Meet the legend of the mummies of Guanajuato

Meet the legend of the mummies of Guanajuato

When we hear the word «mummies», our mind is transported to Egypt; however, in Mexico we are lucky to have the largest collection of mummies in the world.

The Pantheon of Santa Paula is home to the dark museum that has captured the attention of tourists visiting Guanajuato and that cannot be missing in your itinerary, along with the Alley of the Kiss, the Alhóndiga de Granaditas and the University.

Here we tell you a brief story about the mummies of Guanajuato so that you get informed on the tour.

¿How were the mummies of Guanajuato formed?

Unlike other places where they were created as part of a funeral ceremony, the mummies found in Guanajuato were formed during a natural process derived from the dryness of the land in this part of Mexico and the presence of minerals.

Most of the mummies come from the cholera epidemic that the city of Guanajuato suffered in 1833. Years later and due to the overcrowding of the cemetery, the local government decided to charge a perpetual right that few paid to preserve the body of their relatives in the place they occupied.

This is how the local government began to exhume them and, to his surprise, he found bodies in good condition.

The mummies of Guanajuato belong to ordinary people like us and not to kings or great warriors. The first mummified body discovered was that of Remigio Leroy, a French doctor who died during his visit in Guanajuato and is now exhibited in the museum in an elegant suit.

As they were unearthed, the bodies were placed in the ossuary with the hope that relatives would claim them and pay the corresponding fee.

The mummies of Guanajuato in popular culture

Telenovela “Las mumias de Guanajuato”, in 1962: this Mexican delivery with series dyes was broadcast weekly in thirty-minute chapters and, unlike the romantic theme of other works of the time, it was about fictional tragic events around to the mummies discovered in the city of Guanajuato.

Movie «The Saint against the mummies of Guanajuato«, in 1970: this film tells the story of how the mummies come alive and El Santo, Blue Demon and Thousand Masks are summoned to fight them.

The formula for the success of the film was to bring together three prominent Mexican wrestling fighters who had many followers in those years.

The surprising finding of the mummies

To everyone’s amazement, when Remigio Leroy’s body was exhumed on June 9, 1865, it was discovered that he was quite well preserved. As more mummies of this type were unearthed, the Guanajuato authorities were forced to consider what to do with them.

It was then that it was decided that the mummies would be relocated in an ossuary located in the basement of the cemetery.

Top Mummies

Of the wide list of museums in Guanajuato, the one of the mummies is, without a doubt, the most terrifying and possibly the most visited for its peculiar theme.

While all mummies look similar, there are some that stand out because of the story behind them. Here are the most interesting ones besides Remigio Leroy:

Daniel El Travieso, a seven-month-old boy who witnesses have heard him cry.

Carmen «The Witch», who says she was buried alive for practicing black magic.

The smallest mummy in the world, belonging to a fetus or a baby who died during birth or was born dead.

¿How to get to the Mummy Museum of Guanajuato?

The legends of Guanajuato are part of the attraction of this colonial city and the museum of the mummies is the ideal place to discover one of the most famous.

Although it is less than 2 km from the center, the road has many slopes uphill and walking can be tired even for people who are used to exercising.

We suggest you arrive by taxi, or take a truck or weigher that says «Pantheon» from Juarez Avenue.

In November, on the occasion of the Day of the Dead, the museum becomes one of the main tourist sites of Guanajuato due to the performances that take place in the Pantheon of Santa Paula.

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