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Haunted Museum of the Mummies
The Museo de las Momias (Museum of the Mummies) of Guanajuato is an unusual and unique exhibition high on my list of places to visit in the near future. The pictures of the mummified bodies are amazing and horrifying. Not at all what I expected. The expressions on the faces are so varied . . . and expressive.
The museum is located in Guanajuato, Mexico. The displayed mummies are men, women, children, and little babies. Approximately 118 corpses were exhumed from the Santa Paula Cemetery between 1865 and 1958.
Bodies were first interred at the Santa Paula Cemetery in 1853. The burial ground was nearly full within ten years, and Santa Paula started exhuming the bodies to cremate after five years of being interred in the earth.
Dr. Remigo Leroy, was the first body uncovered. Everyone was astounded at the well-preserved remains of Dr. Leroy and the other bodies unearthed. By 1870, officials began to display the mummies to tourists.
If the families of the dead preferred to keep their loved ones underground rather than on display, they were required to pay a fee.
The bodies are so well preserved that many of the corpses have hair on their heads and beards, and clothing covering their remains. The reason for this state of preservation is being studied. There was no process of embalmment or preservation used on the cadavers.
An exhibit of 36 mummies entitled "The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato" is currently on a seven-city tour in the United States until 2012. Some of these bodies have never been displayed before, not even in the museum in Guanajuato, Mexico.
I find it fascinating that this exhibit includes portraits created by a forensic artist depicting how the individuals looked when they were living people. A forensic lab exposes the inner structures of the mummies.
One of the mummies on display has scratches on her forehead and her arms raised above her head which indicate that she was probably buried alive. Her name was Ignacia Aguilar.
Some of the mummies are wearing only socks or socks and shoes. Many are babies. There is a mother and her baby who died during a Caesarean section. One baby, Magdalena Aguilar, is wearing a faded, frilly little dress and has her mouth open with what looks to be her tiny tongue visible inside. Another baby, Nino Gorro, has his little legs crossed and tiny hands clasped as if in prayer.
Many employees and visitors to the museum have reported hearing footsteps and voices when there was no one around. Shadows are often glimpsed during the night and early morning when the Museo de las Momias is closed to the public.
I donít believe any ghostly apparitions could possibly be as disturbing as seeing the little corpses of babies in these gruesome displays. They are some of the most disconcerting images Iíve ever seen.
Belanger, Jeff. Encyclopedia of Haunted Places. N.J.: New Page Books, 2009.
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