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  • Natalie Taylor

STORIES OF SAN MIGUEL: Spooky tales part III

La Loca of the Posada


The Posada de San Francisco is a three-story building on Principal Street, just a few steps from the old Casas Presidenciales—the old vice regal government houses. Unlike those buildings, which were constructed in the late 17th or early 18th century, the posada is a relative newcomer, built in 1939.  Perhaps its resident ghost, then, is the youngest of all of those other specters haunting San Miguel.



The corner of the building has a fourth story, with three small windows on either side. That higher section at the corner with Hidalgo Street, seems like an afterthought, not in keeping with the rest of the building. It rather resembles a tower, which one could imagine housing a dungeon.


According to the locals, a wealthy widow with a terrible deformity on her face, lived in the Posada for several years. When she first moved in, a few years after the inn opened, she ordered to have all mirrors removed from her room because she did not want to see her own reflection.


The widow meandered through the inn—the hallways, and gardens, always wearing a black veil over face. But the thin fabric did not conceal her face entirely, and some people could still discern the horrible

disfigurement beneath. If they showed any sign of recoiling, she responded by lifting her veil to display

her twisted, frightful features, and let out a blood-curdling scream. At the beginning, she would wander onto the street, walk around the Jardin and frighten locals, and tourists who had started coming to San Miguel with the opening of the Art School at Bellas Artes.


As soon as she moved in, she told the staff to remove all the mirrors in her room, her bathroom, and even the hallways—she did not want to see herself. She was paying a hefty sum for her quarters at the posada, and the owners complied with her wishes, and looked the other way on her wanderings through the inn. They were not happy about her ventures outside however, because she scared off potential guests, but they did not want to kick the widow out, and lose the good money she was paying. Instead, they came up with a clever solution. They placed a full-length mirrors in the lobby, near the entrance to the posada. This stopped the widow from going out, as it was impossible not to see yourself on your way toward the front door. Instead of going out, she began to climb the stairs all the way to the top floor, and look out through one of the small windows, screaming at passersby. People began to call her “la loca”—the crazy one.

One day, the widow died in her room at the inn, and her voice was silenced forever. But they say she still walks around the Jardin late at night, her face covered by the black veil. And once in a while, on moonlit nights, she appears in one of the upper windows staring out.


The large mirror remained in the entryway of the posada for a long time, including a sign next to it that said “cuidado con la Loca”—beware of the crazy one.


The posada is closed these days, and the giant front doors are locked. It is impossible to go in and check on the mirror, or the old gardens, or to climb to the top floor where the widow used to dwell. But who knows, perhaps some evening, as you stroll around the Jardin, you might look up and find a dark figure looming in the upper story windows.


The other San Miguel de Allende


Valle del Maiz is one of the oldest neighborhoods in town, with ancient traditions and rituals. The festival of Santa Cruz is held in the latter part of May, and it’s accompanied by fireworks and noisemakers, which resonate through the neighborhood and beyond, for more than a week.



There are also old tales told by the residents. One of the stories is that somewhere in the Picacho Mountains, visible to the south of the city, there is an enchanted cave, and that inside it is another San Miguel, suspended in time.


During Lent season, when the nights are hot, near the early hours of dawn, come the sounds of music, and singing out in the distance from the mountains. This happens most often on Holy Thursday, when the sounds of drums, trumpets, and violins erupt somewhere far off. There are shrill and joyful cries of children, and sometimes come the shouts of “Long live the newlyweds!”


Over the years, a few brave souls left their houses in the middle of the night, and headed toward the noisemakers. A few said that they were able to see the group in the distance. But one thing they all agree on—no matter how hard they try, how fast they run, they can never reach the company of revelers. But there have been some others who wandered off toward the group, and their family members and friends saw them join the party, and heard them singing and dancing with the others. They were even seen walking all the way to the mountains and into the strange cave. And after that, they were never heard from again.


Once in a while someone has returned from this party, and they tell a strange tale. They say that when you walk through the mouth of the cave, you find a great, big space within, so big that it holds a small replica of San Miguel de Allende. It has the plazas, parks, churches, and streets we all know, but on a small scale, and it’s a jolly place where the partying goes on forever. It is a San Miguel where time has stood still, where only its good qualities survive; a mirror image of where we live, where nothing bad ever happens. Those who managed to visit and left, cannot explain why they were rejected, and can never find the mouth of the cave again. And those who did not return must still be within that enchanted cave, trapped forever in a different dimension, where music, and laughter last forever.

(These two tales are part of oral history, told by old-time residents of San Miguel de Allende)

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1 Comment


pathall938
pathall938
May 06

So that's why the Posada de San Francisco closed so long ago and has never reopened. Everybody's so scared she might come back again. 😀

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