Myths, Legends & Folk Tales

Myths, legends & folklore Andalucia has many stories to tell   

           

SPAIN and in particular ANDALUCIA which has a rich history, has some mysterious, spooky, scary stories; we have selected a few to share with you.  Are they true? Not true? Make yourself comfortable in the safest place in your house and join us for the tale of...

SEVILLE is a city with a rich history that also has quite a few ghosts. The best documented is that of SISTER URSULA, a nun of the Order of Charity who appears in the Hospital of the Five Wounds, a Renaissance building which now houses the Parliament of Andalucia. Wander through the corridors of the building and frequent sick room and the old sacristy. The Diputación de Sevilla ghosts wander the corridors of the old barracks. No one dares to walk along the Green Street last Friday night of each month, where there is a narrow passage from the old Jewish quarter. There is also a gentleman in a cloak and ruff inhabiting the high street pharmacy Franks.    

The legend of the BRITISH INSTITUTE in SEVILLE narrates a story of when the building was being reformed they discovered under the stairway giving access to the upper floor, human remains of someone boarded up and buried there.  When the remains were removed the paranormal manifestations started inside the building. Teachers and pupils saw the ghost of a woman dressed in the clothes in which she died – around 1920, descending down the main staircase and disappearing though the door which opens to the chapel, which is currently blocked, and on other occasions she was seen just gliding down the stairs.

They say along these corridors they hear the hasty footsteps of someone wandering in eternity. A new lady has been seen walking along the narrow corridors at the top of the building. Witnesses affirm to have seen her walking around the colonnaded patio, in a half-lit wandering and the image fills with dread anyone who catches a glimpse of this ghost. People who have followed her noted when she started floating downstairs and is about to arrive on the ground floor she vanishes.

In GRANADA you’d expect a few ghosts to be merrily wandering ancient buildings such as the Alhambra Palace, perched high on a hilltop overlooking once-Islamic Granada the and the winding, narrow, cobbled streets. Once a Moorish Palace, the Moorish sultan discovered an affair between his favourite concubine and one of his courtiers. The lovers were parted and the courtier (along with his entire family) was executed. In the palace there is a Parador which is reputed to contain the sad and broken-hearted spirits of the tragic lovers, prevented from being together.

In the pub "EL GRANERO" in the city of Granada a monk named Lorenzo appears. It is in part of the Palacio de Abrantes, which was built in the sixteenth century.

Those who have seen the face of FATHER BENITO far well understood why the old Provincial de Granada, Inns on the Street, has more legends and apparitions from which anyone can absorb in a few words.  Built on a former convent with adjacent cemetery ghostly figures wandering the halls, moving objects alone, cries in the middle of the night ... just some of the ghostly happenings.

Photographs of mysterious spirits have been captured at the PARADOR DE JAEN, a thirteenth century Arab fortress overlooking the rustic Andalucia landscape was refurbished and opened to tourists in the late 1960s.  Although no-one can figure out who these hapless souls are, or why their spirits still roam the halls. According to records, a guest in the castle’s Room 22 claimed to have been awakened in the middle of the night by dull thuds upon the door and a woman’s cry. In 1984, a team of paranormal psychiatrists was called in to investigate, and they concluded that this wasn’t just another ghost story – the room was, in fact, haunted by the spirit of a young woman who had died of heartbreak there several centuries ago.

Room 22 isn’t the only spooky spot in this haunted hotel. The castle is also said to be home to the spirit of a prisoner nicknamed Terrible Lagarto, or Terrible Lizard, who died of hunger long ago while locked up within the fortress. Many have encountered this harmless ghost, who is known to wander the halls and, on occasion, momentarily possess distracted guests.

      

Many of the spookiest tales originate right here in MALAGA, including the haunted house of CORTIJO JURADO, also known as CASA ENCANTADA, in Campanillas, Malaga. It has a reputation of being one of the most haunted houses in the province. The now dilapidated house was built in the mid 19th century the HEREDIA family, one of the wealthiest in Andalucia. The mansion included a chapel, tower, steeple, patio, utility rooms, tunnels, passages, crypts and stables.  A total of 365 doors and windows hidden clues that suggest a strange ritual but there are also tunnels, passages, crypts and a well.

In 1925 the property passed to is new owners, the Jurado family. It is known in Malaga as ‘the haunted mansion’, not only for its ghostly appearance, but due to numerous reports of mysterious voices and strange sounds that have been reportedly heard there without explanation.

Legend has it that the HEREDIA family, together with other rich families in the area, kidnapped young girls, aged between 18 and 21, and subjected them to sinister satanic rituals, involving rape and murder. The bodies of their victims are said to be buried deep within the property. When Manuel Austin Heredia, a prominent Malaga figure, died his heirs inherited the property and many strange events are rumored to have taken place in its walls, including satanic rituals, perverse sexual acts and human sacrifices. 

The legend speaks of crimes carried out by people of high society of the 19th century, men who could bribed to escape justice. There are believed to be secret chambers and tunnels under the house where the girls were kept before their death lead directly to where the bodies were found and rooms said to contain torture apparatus. Unexplained voices and other sounds have been reported coming from the building in the years since. Legends are partly tied to the disappearance of several young women with their bodies found dead three days later on the riverbank close to the house, though police records do not tie the HEREDIA family members to the mysterious disappearance.. 

Whilst it is true that many young girls did disappear during this period, nothing was ever proven to connect their disappearance to the Heredia family. Many say they used their money and influence to evade justice. Whatever the truth of the matter, paranormal enthusiasts maintain that the pain and suffering that took place within those grim walls has led to inexplicable ghostly phenomena.

The impressive farmhouse stands on a hill flanked by the Guadalhorce Rive. If the walls could talk we would possibly be petrified by terror. Local people speak of strange phenomena which often manifests itself, strange lights in the middle of the night with neither hand is the cause also common to hear knocks of doubtful origin. 

     

Many stories and legends have been told around the ARAB CASTLE OF TURON, near Ardales, Málaga and the valley beneath it. Legend has it that a secret passage goes down to the river, and that it holds the treasure of the Arabs, hidden there before the Castillians took over the Castle. Tales involving SIR JAMES DOUGLAS, OMAR BEN AFSUN from Bobastro, Kings and Princesses, hidden treasures and ghostly figures seen at night and even in full daytime. There have even been recordings of paranormal activity. Local people say that at the beginning of the XX century there was a deep tunnel with stairs, into which the kids throwed stones not hearing them touching the bottom. Also there are stories of people being seen at night digging at the Castle.

Without a doubt, the most famous Malaga legend of them all is that of "Pena de los Enamorados" known as "Lovers’s Rock".. A story of forbidden love, dating back to the time of the Moorish ruling in the 14th and 15th centuries. The star-crossed lovers were the beautiful Moorish Princess Tazgona and a young Christian solider Tello who was taken prisoner by her father in Archidona. When Tagzona, pushed by curiosity goes to the dungeons to see the prisoners, lays her eyes on the handsome Tello. One single glimpse is enough for these two young people to fall in love. But unfortunately, their love is an impossible one. Not only they belong to different religions and enemy armies, but Tagzona was already promised by her father to marry another man. In order to fulfill their love, they decide to run away, but unfortunately their plan is uncovered by her father.

Followed by the angry parent and his armed guards the running couple gets to the bottom of a big mountain, and decides to climb it, trying desperately to escape the pursuers. Unfortunately, when they get to the top they understand there is nowhere else to go. With the arrows pointed at them and being told to give up their dream of getting married and living happily ever after, the embraced couple decided to hurl themselves into the abyss. They chose to die together than to live without each other. The legend has it that the dismayed fathers of the pair, who had led the chase, now left helpless at the top of the mountain, decided to put aside their difference and their fight for the ruling of the city in order to live in relative peace (at least until the next battle).

Today the unusual looking rock draws attention due to its positioning in the middle of the green fields and endless olive groves up to the clear and blue sky, and is visible from any of the main roads into the town. It has the profile of what seems to be shaped as a laying down human head which had led to it being called ‘The Sleeping Giant” or “El Indio” The Indian. It is an impressive landmark still surrounded by the tragedy of the legend of Tello and Tagzona the two young lovers.

Staying with Málaga, a visit to the English Cemetery will also ring a fair share of scare…it’s said that the last person to be buried there, who was also the caretaker, wanders his former workplace in the dead of night, and folk have reputedly been lightly touched and felt the brushing of his hands past them…well, it serves you right if you’re going to wander a graveyard at night…!     

               

LAS HURDES in northern Caceres, Extremadura was until recently one of the most undeveloped corners of Europe and one of the poorest in Spain. In 2001, thanks to the Plan Hidologico Nacional scheme water supply to the region was improved.

LAS HURDES is full of legends, and myths are even more abundant that waterfalls. For centuries Las Hurdes was thought to be inhabited by spirits and ancient documents record the founding of monasteries as the best way to frighten them off. There are many stories of strange lights that float in the rivers and kill the walkers as they alight on land.  In one of them a mule driver came across a mysterious light and died shortly afterwards of a strange fever. Other local folks talk of UFOs. Until a short time ago Las Hurdes was an isolated, remote spot, ideal for a visitor from another planet.

They say that a land worker saw a triangular light, and on turning around he heard a noise like the gnashing of teeth and saw a black and famished figure covered with a type of cape or smock. He ran away but the figure was seen in other places. The people organized hunts and in one of them chasers were on the point of catching the figure. Suddenly they saw triangular lights in the sky and the figure disappeared for ever.

This place feeds many legends as, for example, the enormous black bird, headless man Rubiako (Rubiaco). And legends still exist…) Some people say that hurdanos are very aggressive and stuck in their beliefs. That they continue to honor only intergeneric marriages and have huge list of genetic diseases that mankind overcame many times ago. Who wants to go there and check?