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Haunted Puerto Rico: Ghost Tours & Historical Gems

view of the lighthouse in castillo san felipe del morro in old san with the puerto rican flag and the usa flag flaming on the left juan haunted puerto rico banner

Have you ever heard about the eerie side of Haunted Puerto Rico? Some places around the island, especially in Old San Juan, are said to be haunted by many centuries of history, leaving a trace of paranormal activity and strange energies within the walls of these intriguing buildings.

I love visiting haunted places on my trips, so here I’ll be sharing some of the most popular spots in Old San Juan where I’ve heard some spooky ghost stories and Puerto Rican legends. From cursed military forts to a theater with a tragic past, prepare to discover a side of Puerto Rico’s history that will make your skin crawl.

Guide to Haunted Places in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Who haunts these famous historic sites in San Juan’s old city?

Plaza Colónstatue of christopher columbus over a fountain in plaza de colon in old san juan puerto rico

Plaza Colón is a beautiful little square in the center of Old San Juan where the gate of the city was originally located. Over the years, it was also used as a marketplace and gathering spot for social, political, and cultural events.

Its famous statue of Christopher Columbus found in the center of the plaza commemorates the colonization of America, a period in history that came with a dark side, involving war, genocide, disease, and enslavement. So, it’s been said that all these devastating consequences left a course in this historic spot, especially the statue.

Today, Plaza Colón remains a hub of activity in town, attracting visitors who come to admire its beauty, learn about its history, and hear the spooky stories told by locals over the years.

Teatro Tapia

Built in the mid-1800s, Teatro Tapia is one of the oldest theaters still operating in the Americas. The venue quickly became a popular hub for cultural events and artistic performances, such as theatrical plays, concerts, and operas. It also played an important role in Puerto Rico’s politics, being the site for numerous political speeches, meetings, and debates.

Today, Teatro Tapia is recognized as a National Historic Landmark of Puerto Rico and celebrated for its architectural beauty, cultural significance, and rich history. 

Of course, the paranormal energy of the building has also been the center of attention in recent years, when the theater was investigated on the TV show Ghost Hunters International. According to the urban legend, its old walls are haunted by the spirit of an actress who fell from the stage in the middle of a performance. Her tragic death marked the venue as one of the spookiest places to visit in haunted Puerto Rico.

teatro tapia in old san juan puerto rico

Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud

The Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud (“Chapel of the Holy Christ of Health”) dates back to the 18th century, with many renovations and restorations throughout its history. The legend says that when a fire accident burned the chapel in 1751, the only remaining object was the image of Santo Cristo de la Salud, which was miraculously intact. 

This incredible event was seen as a sign of godly protection by the Catholic community. Since then, the chapel has become a cultural and religious icon for Puerto Ricans, believed to have miraculous healing powers. Even to this day, it remains a popular stop for locals and tourists who come here to pray seeking healing and blessings.

capilla del santo cristo de la salud with open doors in old san juan puerto rico

Where to Stay in Old San Juan, PR

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Besides being one of San Juan’s most iconic landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, or simply El Morro, hosts some mysterious energies behind its immense walls.

Investigated by Ghost Hunters International in 2011, El Morro gained popularity as a haunted place due to its extensive history involving war, attacks, and death. People have witnessed multiple paranormal encounters in the fort, such as seeing the spirits of Spanish soldiers and the figure of a woman in a white dress, whose face nobody’s ever seen. If you’re interested in exploring haunted Puerto Rico, this is definitely the place to go.

view from above of castillo san felipe del morro with ocean waves stroking on the rocks in old san juan puerto rico

Hotel El Convento

Hotel El Convento is a historic hotel with a rich and extensive past, dating back to the 17th century. Since its construction in 1646, the building served as a convent for the Carmelite nuns. However, in 1903, new laws started restricting religious institutions in Puerto Rico, forcing the nuns to abandon the convent.

For several decades, the site remained empty until the 1950s, when this historic site was restored and transformed into a luxury hotel while preserving much of its original colonial architecture.

Like in every ancient building, there have been tales of ghostly activity and mysterious happenings in the hotel, including nuns wandering the halls seen by guests and staff members experiencing strange sounds and feelings of being watched during their night shift.

Best Ghost Tours in Old San Juan

Explore these locations and many others on these must-do tours of haunted Puerto Rico.

Catedral Basílica Menor de San Juan Bautista

Founded in the 16th century, Catedral Basílica Menor de San Juan Bautista is one of the oldest buildings in San Juan, making it a place of great historical significance and a main tourist attraction.

The cathedral is also known for being the resting place of Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish conquistador who founded the city of San Juan. Since his remains are kept in a marble tomb inside the cathedral, many tales and reports of paranormal activity have been heard, implying that the spirit of Ponce de León still lives there.

catedral de san juan bautista in old san juan puerto rico

Casa Blanca Museum

Built in the 1520s, Casa Blanca was the residence of the Ponce de León family, one of the most influential colonial families in Puerto Rico. During the 19th century, it also served as a military barracks, a government office, and a presidential residence.

Today, Casa Blanca is a historic museum that offers a glimpse into the life and culture of Puerto Rico’s colonial elite, showcasing furnishings, artwork, and different artifacts from the period.

According to the stories that have been heard about this place, people have experienced unexplained activity in the museum, such as doors opening and closing on their own, hearing strange voices, and seeing shadow figures – could it be the Ponce de León family that refuse to leave their home?

Loving these spots? Here are the top 10 hidden gems in Puerto Rico you can’t miss.

Las Américas Museum

Las Américas Museum has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Originally, the structure was called Cuartel de Ballajá and served as military barracks for the Spanish troops that occupied San Juan during the Spanish-American war. In the following years, this spot continued being used for military purposes by the U.S. Army during World War I and World War II.

In the 20th century, the Cuartel was turned into a museum, showcasing the history of Puerto Rico in colonial times, now being recognized as a historic landmark and a cultural symbol of haunted Puerto Rico. Having witnessed these deadly events, it wouldn’t be a surprise that some fallen soldiers were still wandering the barracks. Definitely not the kind of place where you’d like to be alone in the middle of the night.

cuartel de ballaja museo de las americas in old san juan puerto rico

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery

It’s pretty common to hear rumors of paranormal activity surrounding cemeteries – and Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery is no exception.

The cemetery was established in 1863 on a hillside just outside the walls of Old San Juan and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, being one of the most beautiful and scenic cemeteries in the Caribbean. 

These burial grounds have been the resting place for San Juan residents and prominent figures in Puerto Rican history, including politicians, military leaders, and artists – could some of these souls still be trapped between our world and the great beyond?

santa maria magdalena de pazzis cemetery with tombs and the ocean on the background in old san juan puerto rico

Castillo de San Cristóbal

Built by the Spanish in the 1700s, the San Cristobal Castle served as a military fortress, witnessing numerous battles and conflicts throughout its history.

Its famous –or should I say, infamous?– sentry box is widely known as La Garita del Diablo (‘the devil’s watchtower’), with all kinds of urban legends and beliefs surrounding this part of the castle. It’s been said that a Spanish soldier made a pact with a devil, linking his soul to this watch tower forever in exchange for gold.

Since then, many soldiers who came to that devil’s turret looking for shelter would mysteriously disappear without a trace, only leaving their belongings –this definitely adds a scare factor to the already dark and creepy fortress.

Although there have been many different folklore stories about this location, some even involving mythical creatures, they’re all intriguing enough to make Castillo de San Cristobal a popular haunted attraction.

castillo de san cristobal in old san juan puerto rico

Last Thoughts

Old San Juan is a city with fascinating history, culture, and folklore which we can still revisit through its historic places and landmarks. Every location holds intriguing stories and mysteries waiting to be explored, claiming the island’s deep connection to its past.

Whether you believe in the supernatural or are simply a curious traveler, exploring haunted Puerto Rico offers a unique glimpse into the country’s history and cultural heritage.



P.S: Struggling to find the best activities for your visit to PR? Let me plan your trip for you! Check out my 3-day San Juan Itinerary.

I may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay, it helps me keep the blog up :) Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Anna is a traveler, blogger, and entrepreneur who can’t keep herself still. She’s always on the move, whether working hard on a new passion project or exploring a new city as a part-time digital nomad. Dare to keep up? Check out The Tatted Nomad for everything digital nomad, social media marketing, mental health, and travel (and to see her latest addition, Novah, her service dog and travel companion). As a psychotherapist (to be) she also offers insights about your mental health related questions – anything you see that isn’t covered but you have questions about? Let her know!

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