Duty Can Be Hell Here

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, or midnight depending on when you are reading this!). Today’s post is being co-authored by our black cat, Bagheera. I am balancing my laptop on one knee while also balancing a sleeping Bagel (as I like to call him) on my lap. Loki has been stressing him out this past weekend and he just needs a day of extra snuggles and his favorite youtube shows. Hopefully he will be back to his dapper self tomorrow and I can get back to work at my desk but if he isn’t, that’s okay too. I can work around his mental health needs. As we learned with Bagheera, his mental health can cause health issues real quick if it not treated. 

This week on the blog we are talking about some spooky locations in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a gorgeous place that I would love to go visit some day. The sites are so colorful, the people seem so nice and caring, and the food is amazing. One day, I will go there. While researching Puerto Rico, one place kept popping up over and over again on places that are throughly creepy. So let me introduce you to Castillo San Felipe del Murro which is often just called El Murro. 

El Murro was a fort on the islet on Old San Juan. It was built in 1539. A second fort was built across the bay call Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (also known as El Cañuelo). The only way to enter the bay was to sail a ship in between the two forts. If it was an enemy ship trying to enter, both forts would fire down onto the ship, making entry impossible. The forts were very important military outposts for Spain and later on, the United States. In 1898, Puerto Rico left Spain’s control and became a part of the United States due to the Spanish- American War. In 1983, El Murro was declared an World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Later on in 1991, the United States Army retired it from being a military site and converted it into a National Park to preserve it and its history. This, in a way, also helps to preserve the spirits that roams the halls and ramparts of the forts. 

There are wide variety of reports of paranormal activity at the fort. The most reported sighting is an odd one. Many people have reported seeing a beautiful woman dressed in white walking the ramparts. Well, only a few reports say she is walking. Most of the reports I read said she was either gliding around (which makes sense if she is a ghost) but more often than not it said slithering which makes me wonder not only how that looks but also if that was a translation error. Another report I read often was that workers and visitors alike would often hear the moans from dying and hurt soldiers that have long since moved on. There have even been reports of people seeing the ghosts of old prisoners floating across the ground. There have been many reports of various Spanish soldiers seen through out the fort. Whether those are just spirits reliving what they use to do or an intelligent haunting, I don’t know. At night voices can be heard calling out even when no one else is suppose to be in the fort. There is a tunnel within the fort that weirds out many guests. They claim to feel watched or feeling or hearing someone walk beside them in the tunnel when no one can be seen. Shots have been heard despite no guns being in the fort for years. Ghost ships have been seen trying to enter the bay at night.

There is one part of the fort that gave me chills while researching the location. Its called La Garita del Diablo or the Devil’s Sentry Box. It was built in 1634. Through out the years of use, the soldiers that were scheduled to serve duty there would often disappear from the tower. Because of how dangerous it was to get to this location and the rumors of the devil taking the soldiers, no one would go check on those on duty there until sun up. Instead they would yell at them every hour or so to see if they were awake or alive. One soldier would yell “¡Centinela alerta!” and the soldier on duty was suppose to answer “¡Alerta está!”. The first to disappear was a soldier who went by the name Sanchez. He would often sit in the tower and play his guitar through out the night. One night, the soldiers realized that they hadn’t heard his guitar that evening and when they tried calling out to him, he didn’t respond to their calls. In the morning, one of the worried soldiers went to check out the tower. Sanchez could not be found but his uniform and weapon were found discarded on the floor of the tower. Many assumed that Sanchez ran off with his lover, Diana, who lived in town. The next night, a new soldier was assigned to the La Garita del Diablo. Another soldier stationed elsewhere in the fort, noticed that evening that there was a bright white flash of light from the inside of the tower. He ran towards the tower. There was a strong smell of sulfur in the tower and the inside walls were covered in black soot. The soldier assigned to the tower was never found. While doing my research, I read that around two dozen men disappeared from this location over the years. Whether it was the devil stealing them away or soldiers just abandoning their positions, we may never know but people still report hearing a guitar being played at the tower shortly after sun down. Maybe Sanchez is still there after all. 

Have you ever been to El Murro? Would you want to go there? Let me know in the comments below! 

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