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The Scariest Places in Colombia

Cementerio Central de Bogotá

Updated on 03/13/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Ghosts, haunted houses and scary stories are part of the history of every country. There are places in Colombia with fascinating and terrifying stories that will make your hair stand on end.

This list is intended to show you some of the most terrifying places to visit on your adventure in Colombia.

La Candelaria, Bogotá

Departament: Bogotá DC

La Candelaria is the most emblematic place in Bogota. It is said that this is where the city was founded over 400 years ago. The historic old town still retains its colonial architecture and houses some of the capital’s most important elements.

This neighborhood is known for the fact that Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, a Spanish conquistador, created what would later become the city of Bogotá.

The houses in La Candelaria have a colonial design, with a very colorful aesthetic and balconies that were traditional to Spanish architecture. You won’t find similar buildings anywhere else in Bogota.

Historical personalities such as the viceroy Sámano and the most important painter of the colony, Gregorio Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos, lived here.

Some buildings are centuries old, such as the Colon Theater, which was founded in the late nineteenth century, or the Nuestra Señora de Las Aguas Church, which was built between 1657 and 1694.

The Gold Museum, Chorro de Quevedo and Plaza de Bolivar are some of the emblematic places to visit in Bogota. As a tourist you learn a lot about today’s capital on organized tours.

For many, this neighborhood is not just history and culture, because the neighborhood is also home to a dark secret. La Candelaria is known for being home to a multitude of haunted houses and ghosts that often cause fear and horror in the early hours of the morning.

Cursed houses in La Candelaria

Casa de José María Cordovez

Calle 11 con carrera 2

This is the most famous cursed house in La Candelaria. It belonged to the famous writer José María Cordovez Moure, who is known for his Reminiscencias de Santafé de Bogotá. He wrote a number of chronicles describing daily life in Bogotá at the end of the 19th century.

It is said that he and his family moved to a house across from La Salle University after economic problems. After his death in 1918, reports of paranormal events began. There are many rumors surrounding this house, which has retained its colonial architecture. It is best known that several corpses are said to have been found within its walls.

As mentioned, rumor has it that there is paranormal activity going on. It is said that the first floor is inhabited by the ghost of a woman who messes up the kitchen and knocks on the doors with incredible force. On the second floor there are residents who claim to have seen José María Cordovez himself smoke a cigarette.

Whether it is true or not, this house is one of the most terrifying places in La Candelaria.

Casa Sámano

Cra. 4 #10-18

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Price: Free

Rumor has it that this place is home to the spirit of Viceroy Juan de Sámano, one of Colombia’s most hated historical figures. During the period when the territory of Colombia was a colony of Spain, direct representatives of the king ruled several Latin American countries. They were known as the viceroys.

Viceroy Sámano was known as an authoritarian and aggressive ruler. He also liked to spit on subjects he didn’t like. He is remembered for ordering the death of the heroine and Colombian independence heroine Policarpa Salavarrieta.

It is also said that in this house, which was the last home of Viceroy Sámano, one can hear the sound of his viceroyal heels. Some say that early in the morning it is possible to see one’s spirit. But be careful, he spits and is aggressive towards passers-by.

Can you visit the Sámano house?

Yes, Casa Sámano was restored in 2005 and served as the temporary seat of the Bogotá Museum. It is currently open to visit. Various objects and photographs related to the history of the capital of Colombia are exhibited.

Fundación Gilberto Álzate Avendaño

Cra. 3 # 10 – 27
Price: Depending on the activity, many seminars are free.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Gilberto Álzate Avendaño Foundation is one of the most important cultural institutions in Bogotá. Here you can visit various artistic exhibitions and lectures. The foundation is housed in a colonial house and was the home of Viceroy José de Ezpeleta de Galdeano. He ruled during 1789 and 1797. Although the foundation is widely known for its cultural activities, Casaca Verde, one of the most famous ghosts of Candelaria, inhabits the house.

The Casaca Verde ghost

This story first emerged in the 19th century when the Colombian writer Angel Cuervo claimed to have encountered a strange ghost who wore a “green jacket over tight-fitting shorts, silk stockings, buckled shoes and a powdered wig”. This was recorded by the historian Elisa Mújica.

This meeting took place in what is now the Gilberto Álzate Avendaño Foundation. Since then several appearances of this spirit have been reported. Since 1880 it should be possible to hear mysterious steps that go up to the second floor and knock 3 times on the wall.

For years there have been various hypotheses about the ghost’s identity. Some say it is a mocking ghost of a Spanish citizen who just wants to have fun by scaring people. Others claim that this ghost is the Viceroy Ezpeleta himself, who returned to this place after his death.

Can you visit the Gilberto Álzate Avendaño Foundation?

Yes, there are events taking place so that the public has access.

Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de las Aguas

Cr 2A #18A-68
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. / 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. : 30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This is one of the many traditional churches in Colombia. It was built between 1657 and 1694 in colonial style and has a beautiful white facade. Because of its history and design, the church was declared a national monument in 1975.

Not only is it dedicated to the Virgin of the Waters, but also the alleged location where one of the most fearsome ghosts of La Candelaria appears.

El Espeluco de las Aguas

Legend has it that many years ago there lived a beautiful young woman with long and very beautiful hair.

The woman who lived in Santa Fe de Bogotá dared to say on her birthday that her hair was more beautiful than that of the Virgin of the Water. At that moment, her hair turned into snakes and her soul was dragged to hell.

Since then, her spirit has been said to haunt near the Church of the Water. Those who are said to have seen them were terrified at their horrific screams and their serpentine hair.

Can you visit the parish of Nuestra Señora de las Aguas?

Yes, public access is permitted at the times mentioned above.

Casa del duende Baltazar

This house was not the home of any illustrious figure in old Bogota. However, it is the setting for yet another classic La Candelaria horror story.

It is said that there was a young woman living between the 1700s and 1800s who was unmarried and had no known partner. One day she became pregnant and feared and terrified due to the prejudices of the time when an unmarried mother was viewed as immoral.

She hid for months, hidden from all eyes. When her son finally saw the light of day, she decided to throw the newborn into the fountain in the central courtyard. From that moment on, various paranormal activities began. It is said that the newborn came back as a goblin and called himself Baltazar.

On certain occasions, Baltazar went out to scare women. It is also said that he is very kind with children, they can see him and often play with the creature. The house used to be a restaurant. The owners say they couldn’t prepare the tables for the next day at night because it was messy the next morning.

Can you visit the Casa del Duende Baltazar?

According to a website of the mayor’s office, the restaurant is no longer operated there. Nowadays it is a deserted place so it is better not to visit Casa del duende Baltazar.

Paranormal tour in Candelaria

If you’re interested in these gruesome stories, La Candelaria Town Hall offers a paranormal tour. During this you will get to know the haunted houses and the stories behind all the ghosts of this iconic district.

In 2020, the tours took place in October and November. When visiting Bogota, you can check online to see if the tour is taking place.

How to get to La Candelaria

Getting there is easy. You can use the public transport, Transmilenio, and get off at the station “Las Aguas”.

Central Cemetery, Bogota

Cr 20 #37-80
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Department: Bogotá

The Bogota Central Cemetery is the capital’s oldest cemetery. It was founded in 1836 when Francisco de Paula Santander, one of the greatest heroes of Colombian independence, was president.

Many illustrious personalities are buried here. For example, the children’s book author Rafael Pombo, the poet José Asunción Silva, the left-wing leader Carlos Pizarro, who was murdered in 1990, and presidents such as Eduardo Santos and Gustavo Rojas Pinilla.

Over the years this cemetery has become a place of strong faith for Colombians and visitors alike. Hundreds of visits are recorded asking a favor of the illustrious figures buried there. Of course there is witchcraft and black magic there too.

Sculptures and graves of the main cemetery of Bogotá
Martinduquea, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Central cemetery, place of worship and witch hunt

It is strange to think of a cemetery as a busy place (for a reason other than just mourning the dead), and yet the Central Cemetery attracts many visitors in search of miraculous “indications of favor”.

The tomb of Leo Siegfried Kopp Koppel

One of the most visited graves is that of Leo Siegfried Kopp Koppel, who was a German businessman and founded Bavaria (the most important brewery in Colombia). This businessman’s grave has a gold statue on it. People turn to their ears and ask for a favor, mostly related to getting a job.

Carlos Pizarro’s tomb

Carlos Pizarro was once considered one of the most important leaders of the M-19 guerrilla group, today he is one of the most popular figures in the cemetery. After the demobilization of the M-19 guerrilla group, he began a political career in which he won the admiration and affection of many people. When he was murdered in 1990, that crime was viewed as a crime against humanity.

Given the admiration this guide has generated and continues to generate, hundreds of people ask him a favor. It is one of the graves with the most thank you letters.

Tomb of the Bodmer sisters

Another of the most visited graves is that of the Bodmer sisters. Legend has it that two little sisters died from an illness known as “blue blood”. This is a heart condition that causes some parts of the body to take on this color.

It is said that a desperate mother asked the statue of the girls to cure her son of blue blood disease. The little boy was miraculously healed and since then visitors have made pilgrimages to the tomb to heal them from terrible diseases.

Witchcraft in the central cemetery

It is said that there were several apparitions in the cemetery. The most famous is that of a monk and a teenage girl who allegedly materialize in white robes. But undoubtedly the most terrible place in the cemetery is the snail. It is located in the necropolis and is known because groups of satanists and witches infiltrate it to perform rituals and black magic.

Can you visit the central cemetery?

You can visit the graves during normal opening hours. But the snail is closed and is constantly guarded.

How do you get to the Central Cemetery?

The bus routes 192, 621, A103, A507, T13, T40 all stop near the central cemetery.

Tequendama Waterfall House Museum, Soacha

Departament: Cundinamarca
Opening hours: weekends and holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Prize: A donation of $ 10,000 is requested

Hotel Tequendama in the front and the waterfall in the back
Felipe Restrepo Acosta, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Salto del Tequendama is located 23.5 miles (38 km) from the city of Bogotá. This huge waterfall is a natural wonder with a drop of 180 meters and was once one of the greatest symbols of Cundinamarca.

The Salto del Tequendama is the mouth of the Bogotá River. This attraction used to attract a large number of visitors because of its beauty. However, due to the pollution, all of the flora and fauna there died.

So over time, the waterfall fell into oblivion. The hotel, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the waterfall, became more and more popular. Construction began in 1923 and the hotel has housed the most privileged in the country for years. Thanks to the beautiful Republican architecture and the beautiful view, this place was frequented by many visitors. It is also worth mentioning that the house used to be a train station.

However, the hotel ceased operations in the mid-twentieth century. Along with the pollution of the Bogota River (which flows into this place), the tourist interest in this place gradually disappeared. However, the history of Hotel Tequendama did not end with its closure. Over the years, stories of suicides and ghostly encounters in this place have been heard over and over again. Nowadays this place is considered a haunted house by many.

Haunted Hotel

Anyone looking for a haunted place in Colombia on the Internet will come across the Hotel del Salto del Tequendama again and again.

Over the years, many people have found this place an ideal place to commit suicide. The height of the waterfall and the terrible pollution of the Bogota River guarantee certain death. A lot of rumors sprang up and people were saying that there was some kind of supernatural power. Heartbroken people would be drawn to the waterfall to end their lives. The horror was so great that in 1986 some citizens tried to burn the hotel down.

There is also talk of ghosts of suicides still haunted the hotel. But a saleswoman who has worked in a local store for decades mentioned to us:

“Yes, that’s true with the suicides, the last one jumped a month ago (that was around 2017). A police officer tried to prevent that. But I always come to work at 4 a.m. and have never been frightened by ghosts “.

Can you visit the hotel?

Yes, the hotel has now been converted into a museum. The Granja Ecológica el Porvenir Foundation saved the hotel from demolition in 2013 and manages it today.

Historical photos can be found on the website, for example when a man crossed the Tequendama waterfall with a rope. You can also enter the balconies, from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the waterfall. Don’t forget your camera !!!!

However, the horror stories are not mentioned during guided tours. The aim of this museum is to educate and return to a grandiose tourist attraction of the place.

How to get to the Tequendama waterfall?

The waterfall is located around 24 miles (38.8 km) from the capital. The journey takes around 90 minutes by car (depending on traffic). By public transport, we recommend going to the Transmilenio station San Mateo in Soacha. There is a bus that says “Charquito-Salto del Tequendama”.

Gorgona Island, Cauca

Departament: Cauca
Price: Depending on the plan chosen and the time of year. In the low season you can find prices from 1 million pesos (price 2020).

The island of Gorgona is a heavenly place. Every year, many visitors flock there to rest and enjoy various activities. This island is also one of the best diving spots in Colombia. Whale sharks and humpback whales can also be seen visiting during certain times of the year.

This place hasn’t always been such a paradise. There was a time when the island was the most terrible prison in Colombia. Pain and suffering abounded here and the legacy of this, of course, is a multitude of paranormal phenomena.

Gorgona Island: Hell on Earth

The island was deserted until 1959. In 1960, Colombian President Alberto Lleras Camargo, inspired by other horrific places like Alcatraz, decided to turn this place into a prison. The worst criminals in Colombia were sent to this prison. There were murderers and rapists in abundance. Entering the island of Gorgona was a death sentence.

The prisoners were exposed to inhumane conditions. They slept on wooden beds with no mattresses or pillows and were constantly confronted with poisonous animals such as snakes. In addition, the chances of escape were almost zero. The island is in the Pacific and is teeming with sharks. Many people died during that time.

Finally, in 1984, then Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla sponsored an initiative to demolish the prison. Since then, paranormal apparitions began. Rumors speak of shadows that appear without any explanation. Or strange noises and a feeling of gloom that surrounds people.

Can you visit the island of Gorgona?

Yes, the island is now a national park.

How to get to Gorgona Island

There are two ways to get to Gorgona Island:

From Guapi

The first route goes through the commune of Guapi, located in the department of Cauca. You can get to Guapi by plane from Cali, Bogotá and Popayán. Boats to the island leave from Guapi. The journey takes around 90 minutes.

From Buenaventura

From Buenaventura there are also boats that reach the island in around 4 hours.

Nobsa and the Aranda Cross

Departament: Boyacá

Nobsa in Boyacá is worth a visit. Its simple architecture invites you to relax. The central square is very pretty and decorated with statues made from scrap metal. Nobsa is known in Colombia for the production of traditional ruanas (ponchos). In 2009, 25 artisans made the largest ruana in the world. But not everyone knows that this city has a history with the devil and later with UFOs.

The Aranda Cross

There has been a phenomenon in Nobsa for centuries that no one can explain. Lights appear in the sky that frighten the locals to this day. These lights caused so much horror among the residents of the city that in a short time the devil was blamed for this phenomenon. For this reason, a priest named José Agustín Aranda erected a cross on the highest part of Tungón Hill in 1886.

In truth, however, this cross had no effect and the lights continued to appear. Even the original Aranda Cross was destroyed a long time ago. The locals had to replace it several times. Today the third version of this monument is already standing.

Over the years, people stopped blaming the devil. In the absence of a logical explanation, residents gradually began to suspect that the lights were related to the UFO phenomenon. Since then, some residents of Nobsa have had a tremendous interest in aliens. They are so attached to the topic that you can even find an illustration in the main park that alludes to aliens.

For skeptics like the current governor of Boyacá, Ramiro Barragán, (who was also mayor of Nobsa), it is possible that this phenomenon will one day be explained. He, too, has seen these lights on several occasions.

Ramiro Barragan describes how “a figure that looked like a football” appeared in the sky in 2006. And to his surprise, on January 7, 2007, when a bullfight was taking place, three lights appeared in the sky over Nobsa for several minutes. For those interested: Sometimes there are meetings of ufologists and interested people in Nobsa to observe the mentioned lights at night.

Is it possible to visit the Aranda Cross?

Yes, you can hire locals as local guides. You should be in good physical shape. In total, the excursion takes around 4 hours (there and back). The way is not easy. During the Mayor of Ramiro Barragan, construction of a cobblestone staircase began, but it was never completed. If you want to visit this place, you should definitely take drinking water with you. There are many statues made from scrap metal along the way.

How do you get to Nobsa?

The closest major city is Tunja. The distance is around 70 kilometers and the journey time is 1 hour. Nobsa can be reached in around 3 hours from Bogota.

The House of the Devil, Ciénaga

Cl. 15 #16-13 Ciénaga
Departament: Magdalena

In the listed city of Ciénaga you will find beautiful and unique architecture. The town was therefore named the capital of magical realism. The Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez used this place as a base for Macondo. This is where the events of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” take place.

Between so much beauty we find the Casa del Diablo (House of the Devil), which still terrifies locals and visitors even today.

Old house Casa del Diablo in Cienaga
Carrollss, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The devil’s house

Legend has it that at the beginning of the 20th century a man named Manuel Varela made a pact with the devil in order to gain wealth.

Don Manuel was a man with limited economic resources who quickly made a fortune during the banana boom. This allowed him to buy land and hire a large number of workers.

The rumors about this man started because children and his own workers disappeared from his farm. In Ciénaga it is said that Manuel Varela made a pact in which the devil would give him wealth and prosperity in exchange for the souls of his workers.

After his death in the mid-1950s, his mansion, called Manuelita, became the subject of rumors and alleged paranormal phenomena. It was started to be called the Devil’s House. Witnesses claim that there are diabolical forces living there. They claim the site smells like sulfur at night and that it is possible to see terrifying red eyes peering out the windows.

Can you visit the devil’s house?

The house has been abandoned for decades. Although there are still many people who are still afraid of this place, it is possible to tour the site.

How to get to Cienaga

It is best to travel to either Barranquilla (90 minutes drive) or Santa Marta (one hour) and drive from there to the Heritage Village. From Ciénaga you can easily walk to the house in 5 minutes.

Alboraya Castle, Barranquilla

Departament: Atlántico

Castillo de la Alboraya by night in Barrranquilla
Fvengoechea, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

This “castle”, which was actually the home of a large estate, is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Barranquilla. The story goes that this house dates back to 1626 and belonged to a mestizo named Rondón. Allegedly, this man worshiped pagan gods, practiced black magic, and even made pacts with the devil.

It is said that Rondón was a fearsome looking man and that he had a chapel built where he practiced black magic. Allegedly, this terrible character killed a multitude of people in order to sacrifice them to his gods.

Centuries have passed, but today it is still said that terrible things are happening in this place. It is said that Rondón had a black horse with which he tortured his victims and there are people who claim to have heard the footsteps of this animal in the early hours of the morning. There were also appearances of ghosts, such as those of a woman supposedly dressed in white.

Is it possible to visit Alboraya Castle?

Yes, but the place has been empty for years and is in bad shape.

How do you get to the castle?

From Barranquilla you can use the bus lines C11 and S10.

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About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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