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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Daytrippers find an abandoned cemetery near old ‘haunted’ hacienda

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Photos of the eerie discovery near Misnébalam have made the rounds on Facebook and attracted a good deal of attention. Photo: Courtesy

A couple of young men in Yucatán found an abandoned cemetery near the “ghost town” of Misnébalam.

They said that they found the cemetery after a two-hour walk which began at the Misnébalam hacienda.

In recent years, the former henequen hacienda of Misnébalam has drawn several visitors curious about reports of alleged ghost sightings. Some visitors choose to spend the night in the area to conduct seances to contact these supposed spiritual entities. 

Graffiti pentagrams cover many walls and floors at Misnébalam. Photo: Courtesy

As Merida’s urban sprawl has continued to spread north toward the site, more people have become aware of this hacienda — turning it into somewhat of a tourist attraction. 

Residents of some nearby communities have even begun offering tours of the area.

”People are curious about this place, and it’s only normal. It has a spooky feeling to it … and I certainly have seen lots of odd things happen here,” said local guide Griselda Cohuo. 

The detour to the former hacienda is at kilometer 17 of the Mérida-Progreso highway at the end of a narrow dirt road 5 kilometers long. 

Earlier: No refund for travelers who stayed in luxury hacienda

The hacienda dates back to the 19th century but saw its heyday in the early 20th century when henequen exports from Yucatán reached their peak. Henequen haciendas functioned much like medieval European serfdoms. As a result, the owner of the hacienda — known as the hacendado — controlled virtually every aspect of life in the community. 

Many haciendas in Yucatán went as far as printing their own currency to pay their workers. The workers would then only be able to spend their earnings at stores owned by the hacendado.

One of the abandoned structures at Misnébalam. Photo: Courtesy

As synthetic materials began to replace natural fibers such as henequen, the hacienda began to hemorrhage money until it eventually was shut down and its entire population abandoned it. 

It seems unlikely that the area will remain abandoned for that much longer. The real estate it sits upon has become valuable given its location almost exactly halfway between Mérida and Progreso.

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