In total, this tranquil, mazelike city of the dead contains almost 6,500 statues, mausoleums and tombs, commemorating Argentina’s most celebrated inhabitants — including Eva Peron, better known as Evita, former first lady of Argentina. The walkways are lined with fabulous Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Baroque and neo-Gothic style mausoleums, the grandeur reflecting the social status of their owners. Many were famous for commerce and industry...but underneath the calm exterior lie some truly chilling cemetery tales.
Rufina Cambaceres died in the early 1900s. A few days after she was buried, grave workers heard screams coming from the earth. When her coffin was opened, she had scratch marks on her face and the inside of the coffin. On discovering she’d been buried alive, her mother had a beautiful Art Nouveau tomb built, its design mirroring the family’s grief.
Grave-digger David Alleno worked at Recoleta for 30 years and is believed to still haunt the grounds. Over the years he saved up enough money to buy a plot and a statue of himself. According to legend, as soon as the statue was finished, Alleno went home and killed himself. Listen carefully and you might hear his keys clink.