Ghosts & The Paranormal – I finally arrive in Madrid and of course I was prepared to be ripped off by the taxi driver. Would this taxi driver with pictures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus placed around his vehicle actually rip me off? Yep, I should have known it, the meter showed 16 Euros and he demanded 25 Euros. Instead of sitting there arguing with him, I just gave him his lousy 25 Euros. When you are in a foreign country, always be prepared to be ripped off by the taxi driver. I tried to bond with the taxi driver and told him I was Catholic too, but to no avail did it help my pocketbook. I was amazed at the fast moving traffic in Madrid. Cars moving at a stunning speed and not colliding. Later when I finally did reside at my hotel, I learned there was a multiple car crash with two people dead at the scene.
If you are a smoker, you will LOVE Madrid, you can smoke at many places at the airport, you can smoke in every restaurant, hotel and pub. At the pubs you can order your drink and they serve small sandwich hors d’oeuvres with your drink at no cost. Dogs are even allowed inside restaurants and pubs! It seemed like every Madridian smoked cigarettes, they are not at all health conscience as us Americans. In fact I saw very few Madridians jogging like us Americans. They have some American places to eat in Madrid such as a multitude of Burger Kings, Starbucks and even a Foster Hollywood American Restaurant. Don’t ever eat at Burger King in Madrid, the burgers don’t taste the same and I found myself having a hard time digesting one burger without regurgitating.
Ahhh…my hotel, I found myself staying at the Hotusa Andromeda – Almagro 10, Madrid MA28010 Room 207. The bed was as hard as a rock and the room looked like a prison cell at Alcatraz, but this was my home for the next nine days. I picked this room, because in 1992, Emilio Rodriguez overdosed on sleeping pills in this room, because he found his fiancee making love to his best friend. Because of that, the price was very reasonable, but of course I missed one night at the hotel and they charged me for that night anyway, in which I will dispute that payment in my next VISA payment. On my first night walking through the streets of Madrid, I found myself caught in a huge political rally. It seemed like I was in a horde of millions of people and I was stuck in this mass of people demonstrating for whatever cause. News helicopters swarmed the skies and if you look on the news, you could probably see my ponytail in this exodus of political demonstrators.
Okay, enough of that, it was time to check out a few haunted places in Madrid. My first stop is the Reina Sofia Museum. Below are my listing of haunted places I visited.
The Regina Sofia Museum
Home to what most consider Picasso’s most famous painting, “Guernica,” is at the Reina Sofia Museum. Also known for its extensive Salvador Dali collection, the museum is believed to be haunted. Visitors have claimed that the have come across the phantasma known as ‘Labios Higado’, which is translated as ‘Liver Lips’. Liver Lips is wearing a white gown type of outfit and his bottom lip extends out. Some witnesses say that the extended lip looks like a piece of liver. Mind you, the building is over 200 years old and was once a hospital, which may account for the paranormal activity that some employees and visitors have reported over the years, along with the sighting of Liver Lips. Employees have also reported seeing strange lights during the night as well as hearing noises and voices in the central part of the museum.
This is home to the Casa de America. This center is responsible for promoting cultural diversity through art from Latin America. People consider the building to be haunted by spirits from previous owners. Designed by architect Carlos Collubi and built in the late 1800s by Jose de Murga, a wealthy businessman, legend has it that Murga’s son and his son’s lover still roam the halls. When Murga’s son fell in love with a local young woman, Murga immediately sent his son off to England. After Murga’s death, however, the son decided to return to Madrid and marry the woman he loved. It was soon discovered, however, why Murga was vehemently against the courtship. The young woman his son had fallen in love with was Murga’s daughter from another woman, making the newly married couple half-siblings. The Pope at the time allowed the couple to remain married, only if they agreed to practice chastity. Their ghosts still wander through the building to this day.
La Casa de las Siete Chimeneas
Located in the center of Madrid’s Plaza del Rey. In 1557, Captain Zapata went off to fight in the Battle of San Quintín and never returned. He left behind the woman he had recently married, Elena, a maid who worked in service for Felipe III. Elena was so unhappy at the loss of her husband that she locked herself in her bedroom in the couple’s stately home. After a few months, the crying stopped. Elena was found dead and smiling, on the bed she had longed to share with her husband. But her body somehow disappeared. Soon after, the unfortunate widow’s father hung himself. King Felipe ordered an investigation, but it’s said that he was more intent on hushing the rumors of romantic ties between Elena and himself than anything else. Many tourists have reported seeing a raven haired beauty that they believe is Elena.
Years later, when most had forgotten this unsolved mystery, there was talk of a young woman in an airy white dress seen nightly, walking across the Siete Chimeneas roof. She would stop at the edge nearest the Royal Palace, kneel down and beat her chest as she vanished into thin air.
In the 19th century, the house was bought by the Banco de Castilla. During renovation, builders discovered the skeleton of a woman embedded within a brick wall, along with a scattering of 16th century gold coins. Then in 1960, the remains of a man were discovered. It has been asked was Elena slaughtered by a jealous king, murdered by her father or was it simply sorrow that stopped her from passing on to the next world?
Taking a break from visiting haunted areas, it was now time to party!
The discotecas of Madrid are supposingly famous for their all night escapades, so I had to try the Madrid dance scene while I was there and they pumped techno music and salsa all night long. Katrina from Moscow, Russia and Serena from Bulgaria showed me some techno dancing. My head was almost splitting from the constant pounding of techno girbishish. What is strange about a Madrid discoteca is that men can dance with men, women can dance with women or you can simply go up to the dance floor and dance by yourselves. Maria Teresa, Rey Moreno, Eureno and Julia at the La Boite del Pinto Discoteca showed me some Salsa moves. How I longed for some good ol’ fashion Old School Music. When you order a drink at one of these discotecas, they also serve free potato chips, sandwich hors d’oeuvres and chocolates.
The Emilio Rodriguez that died in my hotel room made his presence known. One morning I woke up and the covers were off of me, the window was open and I know I closed it and the desk drawer was on the floor and I slept through the whole thing. Damn! I always miss out!
The Spanish may not embrace Americans, but their culture, heritage and history is absolutely amazing. You can take a city tour of Madrid and see the following: Puerta de Alcala, Parque del Retiro, Palacio Real (Royal Palace), Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Toros de las Ventas (that has a beautiful statue of a bullfighter at its entrance), Torres Kio (modern architecture – two lean skyscrapers that face each other, it makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look tame in comparison), Statue of Don Quijote (what? no Don Juan statue?), Fuente de Cibeles, Gran Via, Colon Centre (which was near to my hotel), Fuente de Cibeles, Plaza de Toros Las Ventas (where bullfights are held – huge outdoor arena). I can sit and explain to you each and everything I mentioned here, but it would take a book to do it, I suggest to explore these names on any Google search engine and see what these places are, it will amaze you.
During the time I was in Madrid, I knew I had to venture off to other faraway lands. By train, I traveled from Madrid to Algeciras going through Sevilla. Then took a boat from Algeciras to Tanger (Tangier – Morocco – North Africa) going past Ceuta, North Africa. Morocco is called by the Spaniards Reino de Marruecos. In Tangier, I found open markets that sell everything from olives, nuts, grain and rugs. The streets are a maze. There are satellite dishes and TV antennas everywhere. There are many clotheslines displaying clothes that are drying out in the hot sun. The homes (or box white shelters) are stacked together so closely, you would think it was one big huge apartment complex. They have their mosques and open cafes where the patrons are peacefully smoking out of their water bowls or pipes, a substance that has more nicotine than cigarettes and is very addicting.
After this amazing adventure I was ready to go home. I got ripped off by the second taxi driver going to the Madrid International Airport, this is to be expected, this one got me for 30 Euros.
My flight home was a pleasant one. From Madrid to San Francisco was pleasurable too and of all things I sat with an older Spanish lady that was fun to talk too and she was amazed I had traveled to Spain all by myself. I explained to her that I have traveled internationally many times by myself, but other times with family or friends. I told her I am an adventurer that enjoys world traveling. She just smiled. When I arrived to my vehicle, I had a slow leak in my back tire, I called Triple AAA and they were there in 15 minutes pumping air in my tires. When I reached Berkeley, I was able to pick up one of my favorite radio stations V101.1 and enjoyed the lively music that kept me awake until I arrived home in Elk Grove, where my two dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier named Pika and my black Chow named T-Rex were eager to greet me. Ahhh…home at last, sleeping in my soft comfortable bed.
Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
aka The Demon Warrior
Hegelianism Paranormal Intelligence (International)