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La Recoleta cemetery, illustrious and ghosts

This is the most famous cemetery of Argentina, here you will find the vault of great Argentinian personalities: Politics, was heroes, artists and socialite. You can visit the grave of Sarmiento, Eva Perón, Victoria Ocampo, Adolfo Bioy Casares… but these aren’t the stories that caught my attention.

When I was a child I loved horror stories and films, that’s why I’m going to share with you some of my favorite tales from this place.

Rufina Cambaceres. Daughter of a well-known writer and socialite of the 19th century, died at the age of 19. Preparing herself to attend a gala at the Colón Theatre, a friend confessed Rufina that her mother was the mistress of her own boyfriend. Devastated she ran upstairs to her room where she collapsed and the doctor declare her death. The next day after the burial, her mother went to her daughter’s vault to find her outside her casket. Some say it was a robbery attempt, others believe she suffered a catalepsy attack and she was buried alive. When she woke up, all by herself in the middle of the night, at a cemetery she panicked and died once again. Her mother commissioned a sculpture with Rufina’s image trying to open a door.

Salvador García del Carril and Tiburcia Domínguez. Even though they were married they weren´t joined by love but by hatred, and they will spend eternity turning their back at each other. Tiburcia was a spender and her husband wasn’t very pleased, he published a public letter in Buenos Aires’ newspapers where he informed all the creditors he wasn’t going to pay his wife’s debts. From that day forward she never spoke to him again. When Salvador died she commissioned a huge mausoleum where you can see him comfortably seated on an armchair. But she left very precise instructions for her own death: her bust should be austere and turning her back on her husband. Nice way to spend eternity!

Catalina Dogan. Catalina was a slave and lived with the Sáenz Valiente family, after slavery was abolished she chose to stay with them. After she died, they wanted to honor her by burying her in the exclusive cemetery in the family vault. But it was the middle of the 19th century and the differences between servants and masters were quite big, no matter how much they care for Catalina. That’s why the Sáenz Valiente decided to bury her in the ground outside the vault. You can read this epitaph in her grave: “Catalina Dogan passed away on August 31, 1863 at seventy-five years old. It was in her humble servant class a model of fidelity and honesty. ”

Luz Maria García Velloso. Daughter of a well-known playwright, she died at the young age of 15. Her mother, desperate with pain, commissioned a sculpture where her daughter is lying asleep and some say she spent many nights crying and sleeping in the vault next to Luz Maria. According to the legend, long after her death a young man found a lady crying near the cemetery, consoled her, talked to her and gave her his coat to keep her warm. She introduced herself as Luz Maria and before ending the night the couple ended up kissing passionately. At one point she tells him that she has to leave and runs off in the direction of the cemetery. When he followed her there, the young man discovers his jacket in the vault of Luz Maria García Velloso and recognizes in the statue the girl with whom he had been until a few moments ago. Creepy!

Liliana Crociati. Liliana was an art student who got married and on her honeymoon went to Innsbruk, Austria. She had such bad luck that an avalanche buried the hotel where she was staying and she smother to death. The intriguing fact of the story is that she had a faithful friend, her dog Sabú who died suddenly the same day as Liliana. That’s why her parents commissioned a vault with a large bronze statue representing Liliana accompanied by her beloved dog Sabú. The snout of the animal is worn out because those who visit the vault say that if you touch it you will return to Buenos Aires (from the cemetery they firmly advise against it because it’s deteriorating the statue).

These are some of the stories I loved the most about this mysterious place. Do you enjoy ghost stories or are you afraid of them?

Address: Junin 1760, Buenos Aires

Timetables: Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Guided tours: Free guided tours only in spanish. From Tuesday to Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Duration 1 hour.