A place full of heroin addicts, tomb raiders, pagan rites. Rumors or truth? Anyway, it’s still scary to walk across that place on a foggy morning when you are a child…The graveyard of Santa Isabel is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen.
Well, there are great and beautiful cemeteries out there but having this 200 years old cemetery in the middle of city of 250,000 people I don’t know if I can call it normal. There are 60 chapels built in several different artistic styles and sculptures that seriusly make you cry (sorrow or fear) and more than 3,000 luxurious pantheons. But that’s not the reason why I want to tell you about this location.
I used to live near the place when I was a child and the graveyard paths were and still are, the fastest way to go from one part of the city to the center of old town where my school was placed. So imagine, I had to cross this place alone with my bag full of books at the age of 12. In the mornings, at 7 o’clock more or less, crossing this place with fog and freezing air was the most scary thing I had ever lived before.
The history of this graveyard is also strange. It was built during the french invasion in 1800 after a typhoid epidemic. 6,000 french soldiers arrived here and after the Battle of Vitoria in 1813, most of them died. Lots are still buried here. I heard people saying soldiers of that battle were wandering there.
In the 80’s, this place was depressed (those crisis days now back in town) and it became terribly famous because of heroin addicts, tomb raiders, pagan rites. Some black cats heads were found slit there. That increased the feeling that something strange was happening there. A rumor went around about ghosts living there.
Now there are no wars, and I like to go there sometimes as it’s a peaceful and relaxing place (though I can still feel the smell of something out of this world). The tombs are still broken and probably there are still tomb raiders going there. The council wanted to turn it into a park due to all those rumors but the families didn’t want to move their pantheons so the place remains there and you can still see children passing by scared with the school bags full of books.