In the North-east corner of the Plaza de Cibeles, which I wrote about earlier, there is an imposing building, the Palacio de Linares, which was restored in the 1990’s to its current incarnation as the Casa de América. During construction in 1990, there were many odd occurrences in the house. Doors were opening by themselves, light footsteps of children and sometimes loud shrieks could be heard all centered around the human-scale dollhouse attached to the front of the mansion.
A drove of paranormal experts descended on Madrid to investigate, and one parapsychologist apparently recorded the young, frail voice of a mother that said this:
My daughter is at rest.
My daughter Raimunda,
I never heard her say mommy.
We are here to stay for eternity.
The newspapers in Madrid were all over this story, and soon the talk of the town became “Is the Palacio de Linares haunted?” “Who was Raimunda and was she murdered?”
Many legends emerged, including those of incest, murder and deformed babies. None of them were true however. The true story is that the Marqués de Linares built the lavish mansion with his wife in 1871, and once the building was complete they decided to adopt a child. He had made a great fortune building the first railroad in Cuba, and returned to Spain lavishing money on those in need. They even created a creepy life-sized doll house for their adopted daughter to play in. Honestly I don’t blame the builders for being creeped out by this place. I wouldn’t want to be there in the middle of the night either.
Oh, and the parapsychologist who supposedly recorded the words above was arrested for falsely claiming to be a doctor, and writing phony checks.
Now the Casa de América has exhibitions, performances and film screenings focusing on Latin American history and culture. I saw a great photography show here, with work from many great artists including Frida Kahlo. The address is Paseo de Recoletos 2. Thanks again to Madrid Ocultos for the story!