By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – Whether you’re on your way to Havana, or going back to Pinar del Rio, it is becoming more and more impossible to ignore a building that has been giving drivers and passengers a lot to talk about for a while now.
The house is located on one side of the Havana-Pinar highway, at kilometer 78, an area belonging to the city of San Cristobal in the province of Artemisa.
It is a well-made cement prefab house that has been left abandoned for over 20 years, and a dark legend has been woven around its existence in the 21st century.
For it is an undeniable fact that several families have tried to live there (neighbors have confirmed this), and then have been forced to leave. Why?
Investigative reports of the place have revealed contradicting witness accounts from locals.
Some claim that you can hear voices when night falls, or the sound of objects falling or changing place, and some have even seen lights. Many believe that it is cursed by the ghost of Juan “el Colorao”, an old man who lived there for many years and then died in this house. They believe that he appears in the night. Or the ghost of two brothers who apparently lived there some time ago and killed each other in a quarrel.
Others say that all of this just isn’t true. One person has even said that they spent the night there and didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary.
Some more rational versions say that the house is abandoned because it couldn’t be connected with electricity. However, that isn’t so believable if we consider that there are plenty of crafty electricians capable of setting up lines, even camouflaging them, so that inspectors can’t find them. Explanations also include the fact that it is built on low-lying land, so it floods whenever it rains.
But none of the above manages to explain the mystery of a spacious and sturdy house, which given the current housing shortage and also situated in a location that is regularly hit by meteorological phenomena, has remained uninhabited for so long. It only needs some carpentry and plumbing work done, which even if it is a lot of work, still doesn’t seem to be a valid reason.
The search for a complete explanation buries us in a labyrinth of reasons that get us nowhere.
For now, every traveler that travels along the Havana-Pinar highway sees it standing there, desolate, sovereign, without a homeland or owner, reluctant to be occupied. Would you dare to move there?