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As can be expected of a country with Peru’s history, there’s plenty of paranormal activity to pursue. Where there is a history of suffering and death, restless spirits are sure to follow.
While Peru is home to the fallen Inca empire, it seems things only got worse for the native Peruvians, as the most notoriously haunted sites are those erected by the Spaniards to further their colonial pursuits. Casa Matusita in Lima was the site of many grisly murders, and is believed to have been cursed by a witch as she burned at the stake. Real Felipe Fortress in Callao was a Spanish fortress that is host to a whole host of specters, with parts that even the caretakers fear to enter. The Gran Hotel Bolivar in Lima is home to numerous ghosts, and the 5th and 6th floors have been closed due to the extreme paranormal activity.
La Casa Matusita
Recently renovated in the hopes of diminishing the dark legends that surround it, it’s history is a long, bloody and tragic one.
In 1753, a Persian woman named Parvaneh Dervaspa emigrated to Lima from Europe. Accused of using witchcraft, some legends say that she was actually a healer, and for whatever reason, she was reported to the Inquisition. Of course, they immediately arrested and interrogated her in the typical fashion. As was always the case with the Inquisition, they eventually extracted a confession.
As was the norm, they tied her to a stake in an empty plot of land outside of the Plaza de Armas and burned her alive. As the flames consumed her flesh, she laid a curse on the site of her execution.
Many years later, a wealthy and cruel man purchased this land and built a home there. His servants grew tired of his abusive ways and decided to poison him. Not wanting to be murderers, though, they settled for poisoning him with a hallucinogenic plant instead.
As their employer entertained a group of friends, they prepared the drug from the plant and slipped it into everyone’s drinks. The two servants waited in the kitchen for their plan to take effect.
They soon heard a commotion coming from the room, and returned after the noises stopped completely. They were not prepared for the results of their handiwork.
Blood oozed down the walls and limbs, torn from their bodies, were scattered around the room. Their employer and his guests had torn each other limb from limb.
They fled the house, screaming. They were so disturbed by the event that they spent the rest of their lives in a mental institution
After being abandoned for nearly a century, a Japanese man moved to town with his family and purchased the home, converting the first floor into an appliance store. One day, he returned from work to find his wife in bed with another man. Not giving them a chance to flee, apologize or explain, he took a knife from the kitchen and butchered the two adulterers.
He then waited for their two children to return from school and murdered them as well, completing the curse when he killed himself.
Most recently, in the late 70’s Argentinian TV host Humberto Vilchez Vera, in an effort to disprove the stories of the curse and hauntings, vowed to spend 7 days in the house. Instead, 4 hours after going in, they found him babbling on the street corner outside.
He spent 2 years in a psychiatric hospital, and refused to speak of his experience for the rest of his days. He was not the last person seeking to extract fame from the house, but it always ends the same as it did for him.
Real Felipe Fortress
Originally built by the Spanish to defend against marauding pirates, this fortress went on to serve for years as a bastion for the Peruvian people. However, soaked into the walls is a history of suffering and death that spans its entire existence.
The most famous spirit to haunt this place is the White Lady who is seen around midnight standing on the drawbridge of the King’s Tower. She is believed to be an entertainer who was also the mistress of the Viceroy who built the fortress in the late 1700’s. Why she is trapped there is unknown.
Another, that is better known to those who work there is the ghost of a toddler who died there in the 1800’s. He runs around, as if playing games with the workers and visitors, disappearing when pursued. He is often seen amidst the displays in the museum, and leaves footprints throughout the fortress.
The third most common sighting is of a soldier atop the Queen’s Tower, who jumped off in terror during battle. Though some have seen his ghost, he manifests himself in a more disturbing way, as people have reported feeling the overwhelming urge to jump from the tower while standing where he stood.
Aside from this, people often hear various sounds of unknown origin, including shrieks of pain and phantom footsteps.
In the dungeons, things get grimmer. One of the rooms, barely two feet wide and ten or so feet deep, was once used as a method of torturous execution, where prisoners were crammed in, sometimes by the dozens, to slowly starve to death. Visitors to this room in particular often feel sudden temperature drops, see strange lights and hear moans of anguish, among other sensory anomalies.
Gran Hotel Bolivar
Built overlooking Plaza San Martin in 1924, the stately hotel’s grandiose white stone exterior belies the darkness within its walls. Though the Gran Hotel Bolivar has hosted many foreign dignitaries, musicians and movie stars, it also hosts a large population of the restless dead.
The spirit of a woman was trapped within this luxurious prison after throwing herself from the window of one of the higher floors. Numerous employees who have dedicated their life to this Lima institution have been said to continue their duties even after passing away, including a bellboy and a security guard who roam the halls.
The 5th and 6th floors have been closed for years, and many say this is due to the extreme danger to visitors from their ghostly residents. The management claims that the floors are simply closed for maintenance, but they’ve been closed for over a decade now. Additionally, if you try to go up the stairs, you’ll find the staircase blocked off by a solid wooden wall, and everything is covered in a thick layer of dust, suggesting that nobody has even been up there since it’s closure. This has led to people speculating that this was done to appease the numerous spirits that have accumulated in the hotel.