The lovely home was lavishly furnished from floor to ceiling and decorated with objects from around the world. Italian chandeliers hung in the sweeping chambers. The numerous balconies were decorated with ornate wrought iron.
It’s little wonder that no expense was spared in the home’s decor, for the mansion was built by Francisco Carmelo Orantier, the wealthiest man in the state. And when he died in 1869, he left it and his fortune to his lovely 18-year old daughter, Adelaida.
She was the envy of the townspeople as she seemed to have it all–wealth, health, and great beauty. Everything about her seemed perfect from her delicately carved oval face, her creamy, unblemished skin, to her big chestnut-colored eyes. There must have been many eager suitors hoping to claim her hand.
Yet, she died a spinster and spent her days and nights alone, for after her father’s death, she became preoccupied with her fortune, terrified that someone would want to take it away from her. As a result, she became withdrawn and reclusive, shutting herself away in the mansion and only glimpsing the outside world from her beloved balconies.
The running of the huge household fell into the hands of trusted servants as she became more and more eccentric.
Unfortunately, she was so obsessed about the threat of danger from the outside world that she never realized it could come from within the grand home that she so loved. And in 1927, her worst fear came true when she was murdered by Alicia, a trusted maid. The maid smothered Adelaida in her sleep, and confessed shortly afterward, saying that she’d committed the crime in hopes of stealing Adelaida’s money.
Not long after Adelaida’s death, the townspeople began hearing odd sounds coming from the empty mansion, and people reported seeing a beautiful young woman roaming the halls in a white dress and carrying a candelabra. The apparition was seen on the balcony and in many other areas of the mansion.
A photographer who visited the mansion even caught a shot of the apparition on film. In the image, you can clearly see the woman in white and the candles glowing in the candelabra.
A local man, Paul Guerrero, had a chilling encounter with the spirit when he was walking down the street one night. He heard a noise and looked up to see a woman in white at the balcony, a glowing candelabra in her hand. He had known Adelaida all of his life, had even attended her funeral many years earlier, and he recognized her immediately.
Only she didn’t look like the 76-year-old Adelaida. She appeared to be young again, exactly how she’d looked as a young woman in her 20s.
As he continued to watch, the apparition slowly sank from the bottom up until she disappeared. Guerrero, didn’t waste any time; he ran home as quickly as his legs would carry him.
Another man had seen the ghost many years ago when he worked in the mansion as a boy. He was busy sweeping the floor on day, when he suddenly heard a noise. He turned to see a young woman in a white dress, walking from the room he was in into the adjoining room, candelabra in hand. Then she disappeared through the far wall. Terrified, he dropped the broom and rushed from the mansion.
So does Adelaida still haunt the mansion? More than likely she does. She’s either stuck there or refuses to leave, still clinging to the material things she loved so much in life and was so determined to protect. Or perhaps her spirit is not at rest due to her murder.
We’ll probably never know for sure why she still haunts the mansion, but it’s a place that people choose to stay away from, because this is one ghost who’s not shy about making an appearance. Supposedly, the mansion is still empty to this day, because no one wants it. Are you in the market for some real- estate?
The thing that strikes me most about this haunting is that the ghost always appears as a young woman in her early 20s although Adelaida was 76 when she died.
Most apparitions, during the rare occasions that they materialize, look the way they did shortly before death. But in this case, a gray-haired old woman appears as a beautiful young woman in her prime. Is this how she sees herself or how she wants others to see her?
Though we’ll never know the answer, this haunting should give hope to those of us who dread each wrinkle. Perhaps we’ll be forever young and beautiful in the afterlife.