Feb. 4, 2021

Haunted Mines

Hello Espookies! Here are the notes for episode 10, Haunted Mines with Albie Robles. Listen to the episode here

Many mines have a rich but troubling history, in episode 10, we shared to story of a mine from Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and Mina dos Estrellas, located in Tlalpujahua, Michoacan, Mexico.

Leyenda del Jergas

El Jergas

In the beginning of the 18th century, and into some of the 19th century the town of Real de Catorce, in San Luis Potosi, México was a thriving place, due to its many mines. After the Mexican revolution it became a ghost town. It relied mining, having more than 100 mines to mine. The town has inhabitants again and relies on tourism of it's many mines. The loca of Real de Catorce tell a tale of one resident, who has always been there, long before they moved there. 

They say "El jergas" was once a miner, who died on the job. He would show himself to other miners who were alone, and since he was dressed like a miner, his appearance raised 0 suspicion. He would show them where to mine for the best metals and though most stories say he is good, some do say he would cause miners to be lost forever. 

Some say he leaves the mines and frightens little children in the town. Others say that when the mines were still operating, workers had to leave in pairs, otherwise, a man dressed like a superintendent or foreman, would send that lonely worker back into the mine, deeper and deeper. Later other workers would realize that one worker was missing, and in pairs, they would return to the mine, searching. Eventually they always found the missing worker, and the missing worker would always be found sleeping by an excellent spot to mine. Workers never thought el Jergas to be evil for this reason. 

Mina Dos Estrellas

Surrounded by forest, Mina Dos Estrellas is located in the north eastern part of Michoacan near the municipality of Tlalpujahua. At the height of this mine it was a producer of both silver and gold. At one point Jose de la Borda was at Mina Dos Estrellas. For some background Borda was one of the biggest players in Mexican history. He was a Spaniard who immigrated to Mexico and made his entire fortune in mines in both Taxco and Zacatecas. Eventually becoming the richest man in Mexico at one point. It had been a functioning mine since 1560.  Though it wasn’t mined correctly until the 1900s where it became the most profitable. This mine has now turned into a mining history museum that is opened to the public and is free during the day . Mina Dos Estrellas has a lot of history.

On May 17, 1937 a tragic incident occurred. Because it was mined for so long there was a buildup of toxic residue in the lake next to the mine. The lake becomes overfilled and ruptures, flooding the area. More than 300 hundred people died during this tragic event men, women and children alike. It is said that people see apparitions, and it is said that the people who died in this tragic incident still roam the mine and the surrounding area. Some people hear screams, things move, just a lot of activity.

It was even featured on MTV’s show ‘Fear’ and it was the only episode where all contestants quit because of the paranormal activity. None of them could finish their dares. And has been the only destination two be featured twice in the show. In the show they mention a Nahual. And actually blame the activity on this creature as well as the 1937 tragedy on the Nahual. Now for those who just started listening to us a Nahual is a spirit guide and is not essentially evil. However it does seem that the people from ‘Fear’ did experience some paranormal activity. Due to Ghost of the 300+ dead or the Nahual is I guess a matter of opinion. 

During the Museum's operating hours they allow visitors to tour the main tunnel. Some people do so at night. And those who do explore Mina Dos Estrellas at night say it is completely different from the day. In this article I found Anthony Wright (the author) describes his experience while exploring Mina Dos Estrellas at night. When he got there he met Salvador and his wife Mari. They had brought their son’s and some of their friends along to explore the mine. From  what I understand the mine has a place for people to stay overnight if they are willing. And that is what both Anthony and this other group of people did. 

One of the boys from the party goes to use the bathroom across their rooms. When he tries to leave the bathroom the door will not open. Now Anthony and everyone else already started exploring a bit when this happened. So it takes a while for someone to finally hear the boy. They go to try to open the door and it’s stuck. It seems to be locked. They try and try to pry this door open for an hour to no avail. And finally they call the owner of the museum. The owner of the museum drives over to the mine with all the keys he has including the skeleton key. And none of them work. They had to kick the door down. Now Anthony doesn’t specify the kids age but I would imagine somewhere between 8 and 12. Either way what a traumatic experience for this child.

The owner Don Gustavo, was shocked. He couldn’t understand why the door was not opening. So after all this they decide to continue exploring. Again this is all happening at night after the museum is closed so they are the only people there. They go back to a room they had been in before prior to the bathroom incident and they realized that there was a bat in the room. A room they had been in before. According to Anthony the bat was deformed. And I quote “This creature, quite frankly, is one of nature's most grotesque productions, and the sight of it suitably grossed everyone out. Like some glistening rat embryo, it hung suspended from a corner, when suddenly it shot off at us, wings nightmarishly spread. A brief episode of pandemonium ensued as we escaped its manic swoops.” 

 

Sources: 

https://sanluis.eluniversal.com.mx/destinos/16-03-2020/el-jergas-el-fantasma-de-las-minas-de-real-de-catorce

https://www.minube.com/rincon/el-jergas-a2212627

https://revistaaventurero.com.mx/asi_fue/real-de-catorce-y-su-leyenda-ell-jergas/

https://www.mexconnect.com/articles/3544-night-in-mina-dos-estrellas-a-haunted-mine-in-mexico/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv0qd4OSuow&t=505s