Have you ever heard an eerier distorted sound or felt the light cold touch lightly brush the back of your neck when you were all alone? Or felt the malicious glare of unknown eyes watching your every move and have no explanation as to the source? Many have these encounters happen across the world. Despite the culture and/or religion the concept of an afterlife is universal. Of course there are exceptions and skeptics but what about those who do believe. What if we can push back the norms of reality and expand our conceptions of what we trust are truths. If one could face this myth head on what would the outcome be?

There has been a recent trend in the last few decades where exploring the paranormal through science-based observation and research in an attempt to put this phenomenon in to perspective. This can be seen through several t.v. series such as Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters International. In fact these two t.v. programs have visited a few haunted locations in Costa Rica.

One famous destination is located in Cartago City; the Duran Sanatorium. It was built in the early 1900’s as a hospital that treated tuberculosis patients. Years after that epidemic had come to settle it was used as an asylum for the mentally ill and then later a prison eventually being shut down in the 70’s after the eruption of Volcano Irazu causing construction damages. This place has painful history for most, so could that be enough to fuel the concept of it containing the souls of the deceased?

There have been hundreds of stories and reports of ghostly activity on the grounds. One of them being the infamous apparition of the little girl of Dr. Carlos, the main doctor and previous owner of the sanitarium. She is usually seen on the steps outside her building where she was treated. The little ghoulish girl is known to be a playful spirit as well; throwing coins and rocks to get the living persons attention. Disembodied laughter and yells of little ones have also been heard throughout the premises. Could they possibly be that of the little girl? Another apparition that could be seen is that of the nun who took care of the grounds then and now. This places hold a uncanny presence and yet Costa Rica has more paranormal-filled places to visit.

Another chilling place in Costa Rica has to offer is the Las Ruinas de la Parroquia. Just outside Cartago City lay the ruins of an old church. This place in particular has the darkest history in Costa Rican paranormal phenomenon. It is said the priest of the church, that once was active, had an affair with his sister in law and out of anger and rage was killed by his brother. It is said that screams of pure rage echo throughout the decaying walls. And the figure of the priest can be seen walking around. But the most eerie of coincidences is the sole-fact a few centuries after the horrific murder the building seems to mysteriously be destroyed no matter what event the foundation always finds a way to crumble down to bare bricks it was created from. Despite other even lesser buildings remaining intact and several remodeling’s it appeared that the loyal church-folk lost hope and closed it for good in 1910. Could this just be from natural causes created from Costa Rican earthquakes or is it the curse of the murdered priest showing his rage and anger from his brutal murder?

The old cliché of spooky things going bump in the night is a mass-spread cultural icon; but what if one were to experience this phenomenon first-hand. Then would perceptions change? Would the very foundation of logic change as well? Maybe you should try visiting these haunted places and test that theory….. and your bravery yourself.

Written by Joelee Schafer, Social Media Journalist

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