Here are 5 haunted Caribbean landmarks in case you want to explore the mysterious side of the Caribbean!
The history of the West Indies is brimming with tales of exploration, piracy, slavery, and romance. In the Caribbean islands, cultures from all over the world have come together to create a melting pot from which fantastical myths and mysteries have emerged.
You’ll find that each island has its own stories and superstitions, some originating from actual events, others from African traditions. Here are 5 real places in the Caribbean that you can visit, each with an incredibly creepy past!
The Devil’s Sentry Box
Fort San Cristóbal was built in San Juan, Puerto Rico by the Spanish in the early 1600s to ward off enemy attacks. Fitted with high stone walls, soldier’s quarters, and a dismal dungeon, the Fort was the setting for some of the island’s creepiest legends. One of these involves one of the sentry boxes in which the Spanish soldiers stood guard at night.
The “garita del diablo”, or “devil’s sentry box” is located a bit further from the rest. It sits down the hill, on a triangle-shaped piece of land jutting out into the Caribbean Sea. Its satanic reputation comes from a 19th century story about a soldier named Sanchez who stood guard there one night, only to disappear without a trace by morning.
Because of this disappearance, the solitary outpost became very unpopular among the guards, who had to be ordered to take their turn there. Superstition surrounding the sentry box grew and evolved until it became known as a sort of “portal to hell” that no one wished to enter.
“This legend gives the idea of society at that time,” said Carlos Almodovar, an historian and park interpreter. “During that time, religion and the supernatural played a major role in people’s lives. They believed that the devil was real and that it appeared and took him away.”
Even today, the devil’s sentry box is excluded from the average tourist’s excursion through Fort San Cristóbal. However, you can still catch a glimpse of it by looking downward from Norzagaray street in front of Fort San Cristóbal. Or, you can purchase a ticket and tour the fort, where you can see the devil’s sentry box from the second level.
Moving Coffins of Chase Vault
The discovery of some coffins that had shifted from their places led to the emergence of one of the most famous legends in Barbados. First, a coffin that had been previously placed in the Chase Vault completely disappeared. Then more coffins were placed inside the family vault as years passed, only to be discovered to be in complete disarray when the vault was opened yet again. After this, the coffins appeared to be rearranged each time the vault was re-opened.
To this day, the mystery has never been solved, even though the governor of Barbados got involved in 1819. He placed sand on the floor of the vault, only to discover about a year later that the coffins had moved again, but the sand was completely untouched. At that point, someone ordered that the coffins be moved out of the haunted vault and buried elsewhere.
Today, you can visit the Chase Vault in Oistins, Barbados. It remains empty, open, and unsealed in a cemetery next to Christ Church Parish Church.
Edinburgh Castle, Jamaica
This now ruined castle in Jamaica’s interior was built by Lewis Hutchinson, a respected doctor from Scotland. He moved to Jamaica in 1760 to start a new life, one that would eventually include a series of grisly murders. He was Jamaica’s first serial killer, luring his victims to an untimely demise by inviting them to the castle for dinner. At least 43 watches were found in his possession that are believed to have belonged to his victims. Eventually, Hutchinson was tried for murder and hanged in 1773.
Today, you can tour the castle ruins, but only during the day. Superstition keeps guides from being willing to step foot in its haunted corridors at night. Ghosts of Hutchinson’s victims reportedly still walk the castle grounds, wailing and howling in the midnight hours.
Rose Hall, Jamaica
This estate was built in the 18th century and inhabited by Annie Palmer, now known as the “white witch of Rose Hall”. Annie was born to Irish and English parents in Haiti. After their death, she learned the ways of witchcraft and voodoo through her nanny, who was entrusted with her care.
After moving to Jamaica and marrying John Palmer, the owner of Rose Hall Plantation, Annie began her reign of terror. Unhappy with plantation life, she engaged in affairs with her slaves and murdered her husband when he caught her in the act. She went on to torture and kill many other slaves, in addition to two other men she married. Eventually, she met her downfall at the hands of one of her slave lovers, who killed her in revenge for using voodoo to cause the death of his granddaughter.
Some say that Annie’s ghost still lurks around Rose Hall, which is a state-run museum today. You can visit it near Montego Bay in Jamaica.
Eden Brown Estate, Nevis
No one has lived at the Eden Brown Estate for over 150 years, thanks to its nefarious past. Dubbed the most haunted site in Nevis, the house is haunted by the ghost of a heartbroken fiancee. Built around 1740, the estate was meant to be the site of a wedding in 1822. However, the groom and best man killed each other in a duel before the wedding, leaving the bride ito a life of misery and loneliness. Legend has it that the girl became a recluse and eventually died alone. If you visit, you may hear her ghost wailing in the ruins at night.
Main image: the Bath Hotel in Nevis (Source unknown)
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