Casa del Mexicano: The Darkness at the Heart of a Historical Landmark

Posted: October 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

ImageImage

I start this post with two images that have nothing to do with the Casa del Mexicano, and therein lies the problem with this haunting. The spiritual transcendence that offers comfort, peace and a cultural center to so many of the Mexican people is nowhere to be seen in Casa’s murals. The rosary in the top picture was placed on a simple grave marker in a forgotten and abandoned cemetery in Oxnard. It is a quiet yet powerful reminder of faith; the person buried there is still remembered even though his or her death was long ago. This act of faith brings peace to this passing from one world to the next.

The second image is highly politicized, representing Diego Rivera’s view of Mexican history. Featured front and center is Hernan Cortes (forgive the lack of accents), the Conquistador who forever altered the lives and destinies of the indigenous cultures. Although Catholicism can be viewed as part of the tragedy of oppression and dominance that the Spaniards left in their wake, it can also be understood as a religion that was adapted, transformed and re-energized by the indigenous peoples of what is now Mexico. When the Virgen de Guadalupe first appeared to the humble Juan Diego, a new myth was created. This new spiritual story was uniquely Mexican and would form the cornerstone for a faith that transcended Catholicism’s original sins. Rivera’s work is bursting with vitality, hope, beauty, faith and power. In his murals and in the other murals by famous Mexican artists (Siquieros, Orozco) there is suffering and pain, but there is also the strength and infinite spirituality of the Mexican people. This is not what you see in the murals painted on the walls at Casa del Mexicano, although they are well done and beautiful in a dark and moody way.

As a Spanish teacher, I understand the political intent behind the current murals. The complete lack of Catholic icons–not even the Virgen de Guadalupe, arguably the most influential female figure in Mexican culture–probably has to do with the Church’s association with the Spanish conquest and the evils of European colonization and exploitation of native cultures. Modern Mexico was built on the blood, sweat and tears of many indigenous civilizations, and Catholic churches were literally erected on top of ancient Aztec temples; however, to concentrate so heavily on frightening Day of the Dead images, Satanic figures, corpses, and agonized and suffering masses, denies the deep and transformational spirituality of the Mexican people, as I mentioned before.

The complete lack of any higher or more noble feeling or even a fleeting reference to God or la Virgencita creates a gloomy, oppressive atmosphere. As a paranormal investigator, I can’t help but think that the artwork is part of the problem there; and what, exactly, IS the problem? I’m still researching that issue and taking to people. My guess is that few people besides the paranormal crowd would feel comfortable there. There seems to be almost constant paranormal activity. While we were there, we heard conversations, woman’s voice, responses to questions, and a full range of bangs, taps, even the dragging of chains. The other ladies describe what happened to them below.

But first, here is a good link to the Big Three Mexican muralists, by way of comparison to the photos I’ve posted from Casa del Mexicano: http://noveladventurers.blogspot.com/2011/11/dont-say-it-paint-it-mexicos-muralist.html

Here are Erin Potter’s observations:

My experience at Casa del Mexicano was fantastic! I had several personal experiences, and a few of them were even experienced by the other girls!

My fanny pack (yes, I wear a super-cool, Tinkerbell fanny pack) got tugged on twice while I was in the main theater. No one was around, and the lights were on. I had just thrown out my gum in a trashcan that was close to the doors, and then “tug tug”. It was cool.

Then Jen and I were in the green room area to the right of the stage, and we heard what sounded like someone moving large pieces of furniture over our heads. We thought it might have been the man who lived upstairs, but we later found out from Frank that the man did not live over the room we were in, and Ty went on the roof and confirmed there was nothing there to explain those noises.

When we were down in the basement right after Marsha got “kissed” on the lips,  I smelled roses. Jen also smelled them. I felt as if the man was trying to woo Marsha.

My big one, though, was seeing the woman. We were all down in the basement. I was sitting in a chair facing the “treasure door”. Jen had heard some sounds behind her and was panning the room with her flashlight, and just as she panned over into that corner, I saw her standing there. She was really tall. I’m not sure, but she could have been floating. She had dark, long hair and what looked like white, flowy fabric draped around her. Her arms were down, but her palms were facing towards us. As the flashlight passed her, she moved very quickly towards the treasure door and then vanished. I was so sure that I had seen her, that I jumped up and started to run towards her, dropping my phone in the process. Of course, she was gone when I got there, but she looked so real.
Her eyes even sparkled in the flashlight. I got no sense of who she was or why she was there. I just saw her with my eyes, which almost never happens. Typically, I feel them before, even if I see them.

I feel that Casa De Mexicano is a fantastic place with lots of spirits, however I also think that there was something that happened a long time ago that the drawings on the walls stirred up again. Whether it be something like Santeria or Voodoo, it’s definitely not good, and I felt that it lay dormant for a long time. The drawings and paintings on the wall have aroused it from its resting place. I would love to speak to the artist, because I feel that he was “guided” to paint these images. I don’t think he knew what they would
stir up, but I definitely feel that he either dreamt about them, or somehow envisioned them. Something led him to draw those things to help set free what lay dormant.

Here are Lizeth Martinez’s impressions:

Casa Del Mexicano was amazing.  The art really intrigued me, and I felt like I was looking into a person’s soul: his passion and his need to show the world what he really feels through the murals.  I found it very honest and emotional.  I do wish he finished the ceiling but it was understandable considering the danger inherent in it.  I want to go back and see the murals in the daytime.  One day, I will return.

The paranormal activity at the Casa Del Mexicano was amazing, with disembodied voices, the tugging of an investigator’s ponytail, a guest feeling cold on her arms and another investigator seeing a full-bodied apparition.  The place was indeed pumping with paranormal activity.  I did not feel uncomfortable or unsafe there.  I felt that everyone who has ever entered that place left something behind.  I want to go back and investigate the area even more.  I indeed loved the Casa Del Mexicano. 

Thank you Dawn and Frank for the opportunity to explore such a wonderful, artistic place.

Here are Jennifer Storey’s impressions:

You could tell Casa Del Mexicano was rich with history. The atmosphere was thick and the brightly colored death-murals added a creepy flavor. Right when we walked in, I knew we would find something and I don’t always feel that way.

The personal experiences that stood out to me were definitely in the basement. We were all sitting around in the center of the floor conducting an EVP session. I had my back to a closet, rumored to conceal a tunnel to possible catacombs underneath the building. Kirsten was speaking in Spanish when I heard footsteps, popping and what I thought sounded like broken glass right behind me. I knew there was no one behind me in the room, so  I quickly shined my flashlight and panned the area. I didn’t see anything, but Erin then stood up and pointed out a woman in the closet doorway. She was so startled, she dropped her equipment. Other experiences included hearing banging pans and the rattling of chains from the basement kitchen (old ghost style) and in the theater, I saw someone in the office passing by the window. It was split-second fast, but definitely noticeable.

This place was truly alive. I can’t wait to go back!

And here are Marsha Covert’s comments:

It’s safe to say I didn’t expect Casa Del Mexicano to be THAT haunted. As soon as I walked into the building I knew something was up. From the beautiful murals all over the walls to the history of the location, I have to say I was thoroughly surprised. Even before we started our investigation things started happening! When we were doing our walk through I got kinda “stuck” in the basement; I couldn’t get over the feeling that there were several spirits just standing there watching us. The basement turned out to be an active haunt; during our investigation we were getting responses to our questions. We could hear a woman’s voice trying to communicate with us. Several times I saw shadows darting across the room. At one point Erin saw a tall woman standing in the corner. Could this be the woman whose voice we captured in our EVPs? When we were investigating the stage area, it was as if the building came alive! We were getting knocks in response to our questions, and the air had an electrical feel to it. Twice, we heard footsteps that couldn’t be explained. A chair moved on its own… We didn’t see it happen because the chair was behind the curtain; but, we certainly heard it! Towards the end of the night we were downstairs in the bathroom doing an EVP session, when I had the most crazy experience ever.

We were all sitting in the bathroom, when all of a sudden I felt like I got kissed right on the lips! It felt like electrostatic shock, but at the same time I could feel the touch on my upper lip! Casa Del Mexicano did not disappoint!! I am looking forward to going back again and finding out who exactly haunts the location and what their purpose is for staying there! A big thanks to Frank for welcoming the Paranormal Housewives at Casa Del Mexicano!  

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Comments
  1. BIGBIRD says:

    HELLO EVERYBODY I SEE A OLD LADY IN THE ROOM WHERE IS A BOOKSHELF SHE IS A SENIOR WHITE HAIR AND HAS HER HAIR UP ON THE SECOND PICTURE WHERE THE MAN IS STADNING UP ON THE STAIRS ON THE WALL THERE IS SEVERAL FACES OF A MAN ONE IS SMOKING A CIGAR THE OTHER ARE MAN ALSO LOOKING AT THE CAMERA THE OTHER IS A DESCARNADO DON TKNOW WHAT IS IN ENGLISCH LONG NOSE EVIL EYES ANOTHER FACE HAS REGULAR EARS HUMAN FACE BUT HIS NOSE IS LIKE THE ONE LIKE A PIG NOSE THOSE ARE EVIL SPIRITS THAT I HAVE READ ON THERE IS TWO MORE FIGURES THAT THEY ARE CAMING OUT OF THE WALL WHERE IS THE MAN STANDING ON THE DANCING HALL ON THE CORNER THERE IS ANOTHER MAN STANDING BESIDE THE WALL ON THE SEAT THERE IS A BLACK SHADOW SITTING TOO IT LOOKS LIKE A WOMEN WHERE THE YOUNG LADY IS TAKING THE PICTURE ON THE WINDOW THERE IS A MAN FACE LOOKING AT HER HE HAS A LITTLE BEAR ON HIS CHIN BUT THERE IS ONETHER FACE OF A MAN REALLY MAD LOOKING AT HER ON THE PICTURE WHERE TO YOUN LADY ARE STANDING UP ONE WITH THE WATER BOTTLE AND CELL ON THE WALL I NOT SURE IS A DOOR OR BOOKSHELF THERE IS A DARK FIGURE CAMING OUT AND LOOKING AT THEM THAT ALL I CAN SEE BE WAITING FOR THE NEXT PICTURE AND LOCATION THANK FOR THE REPOTS THAT YOU POST TO SEE

  2. Sounds like a great investigation guys. We haven’t been there yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s