The supernatural stories and legends of Madrid might not be widely known, but there are plenty of them, and some of them are actually chilling. Both the city and the Community of Madrid have multiple hidden corners full of legends and mysteries where reality and fiction get intertwined, and that is precisely what we are about to explore in the following lines. If you are interested in unsolved mysteries, ghost stories and legends, keep reading and discover the most fascinating tales taking place in Madrid.
The most popular supernatural stories in Madrid are related to the ghosts and phantoms inhabiting its streets — or its museums. For instance, the history of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, or the Reina Sofía Museum, is quite peculiar. It was originally built in the 16th century, with the aim of providing destitute and homeless people with a place to rest. In many cases, they ended up dying there. In 1989, it was officially inaugurated as a hospital. Many people died in that building during its first years as a consequence of different illnesses. So much so, that the hospital workers had to bury their corpses under its soil.
Hence, when the hospital was turned into a museum, the construction works unearthed human remains. Unexpectedly, three mummified nuns were found in the old hospital chapel too. From the very beginning, the people who worked there noticed a series of unfathomable events, like whispers and screams coming from empty rooms, doors opening and closing by themselves, lifts doing the same, alarm bells suddenly ringing… Even today, it seems like the museum will never get rid of these ghostly apparitions.
A similar case took place in the palace of Linares. In 1990, the Spanish magazine Tiempo published some recordings that they presented as electronic voice phenomena (EVP). The witnesses claimed that, in said recordings, one could hear three voices belonging to the members of a family that used to live in the building. The most disturbing thing about these recordings is probably the little girl yelling “I don’t have a mum”. The 19th-century castle can be visited today, and it is the current head office of Casa de América.
This story can be traced back to the 16th century. It is one of the oldest legends of Madrid and one of the most popular ones too. It is the strange case of the House of the Seven Chimneys, or Casa de las Siete Chimeneas in Spanish. This building is located in the neighbourhood of Chueca, and there used to live the daughter of a servant of King Felipe II. Allegedly, the king and this maiden, whose name was Elena, were involved in a romantic affair. However, she married a captain of his army, but Elena’s husband died in a war against France. From this point on, the story diverges in different versions.
Some believe that she died of sadness after the dramatic event. Others claimed it was her own father who killed her, but when he died shortly after, this theory became less likely to be true. They conducted a thorough research to break the case, but Elena’s corpse was nowhere to be found. They did search for it, but she was never seen again.
Many witnesses claim to have seen a young woman walking among the chimneys at night, dressed in white and carrying a torch in her hands. It could be the ghost of Elena, who points her finger at the Alcázar Real, as if signalling the old residence of the king who triggered her tragedy. Either way, the mystery remains unsolved.
Just like the palace of Linares, the building of Real Casa de Correos has served different purposes throughout the years. It was designed by French architects, which did not sit well among the inhabitants of Madrid. Legend has it that, during its construction, different workers dealt with an unexpected visitor: the very Satan. Apparently, a ghostly voice reminded them that the place belonged to hell.
Other legends of Madrid tell us about magic and mythical creatures. For instance, the beech forest of Montejo is known to be home to fairies and elves. According to some legends, these magical creatures lived peacefully until humans came and disturbed them. Seemingly, the fae folk decided to transform those disruptive humans into creatures they could live happily with, and thus they became deer, wild boars and herons. The most annoying ones were turned to stone, though. Considering all this, the next time we visit the beech forest of Montejo in Madrid, we will think twice before making a scene.