Spooky Street
Spooky Street
Photo by Tom Rogers on Unsplash

The Broken Hearted Ghosts of Calle San Luis

In a densely populated city, among the winding Arab streets of Seville, there is a row of white washed buildings. Small arched doorways, and uneven walls marked by the traditional magenta paint that skirts the foot of the house where it meets the cobbled street.

People have lived in this street for centuries. They have worked and prayed, seen tough times and survived, they have been born and have grown up, married, left to build new homes, but never lost touch with the family. Seville family traditions serve as the story arc that many Sevillanos feel compelled to follow throughout their lives.

Traditions and Superstitions of Sevilla

Catholics to the core, the church helps define the values that many Sevillanos live by. Traditions, and superstitions, all mix well together, as Catholic thought and gypsy lore permeate the thought processes of Sevillanos. La Macarena, the Virgin de Esperanza, an area with more churches than bars — and there are many bars, is populated by the ghosts of the past. Real ghosts.

Avoid these Streets and Keep your Sanity

The type of ghosts that only come out when it’s dark, they stroll along narrow streets where street lights flicker, unusually large moths flutter and gather close to the lamps hanging above the doorways. Some of the locals intentionally avoid walking along Calle San Luis. It’s better to not push your luck, even if you don’t believe in ghosts.

La Macarena

In the district of Macarena, a shout from calle San Luis, a part of Seville where old traditions like Flamenco are still proudly protected, mid-afternoon tapas are served while meeting friends and neighbours, gossip, business, the latest family news is swapped in cafes, loud voices competing with the gushing and spitting of a coffee machine, in the bright sun, nobody talks of ghosts, they discuss politics, music, and the latest World events that have changed everybody’s lives. Ghosts are a part of the mind that only fit night thoughts, lonely thoughts, the type of thoughts that creep in, unnoticed.

Ghosts with Broken Hearts

The broken hearted lover that wanders along calle San Luis is forever doomed to pine for his lost love, so long as he is feared and spoken about. His aching heart is enlivened by the faltering steps of a late night drinker who suddenly realises which street they find themselves in, too late to turn back, the plaza at the end of the street gets closer with every step, but the shadow of the ghost of calle San Luis is seen in every doorway, seeking his lost love.

Ghosts of the Others

He passes the place where the infamous plot of land, much disputed and argued over, with its never ending building project, stands. The construction workers who have come, worked, and finally told their boss that they can’t work there any longer, are many. Forced to leave because of the things that they have seen and heard while on the job.

A Simple Job

A security guard took a job there once, he had to sit in the portacabin, four glass windows surrounded him. An easy job to do, they even gave him a handgun to keep holstered on his belt. Just be there, all night, and at dawn another guard will come and take your place. “You won’t ever draw the weapon, it’s for show.”

The First Encounter

Paperback book flopped open, his radio whispering in the background, tunes that faded into fizzing sounds for no reason, bothered him, the guard leaned over to adjust the grubby old radio. He peered out into the darkness, it was then that he saw something shifting past his portacabin. The sound of falling debris made him get up from his seat. He strained to look through each of the windows, it was too dark, the interior light above splashed brightly against the surrounding glass.

Things Falling from the Scaffolds

It was pure darkness out there, but there was movement, something fell, followed by the dull thump of things falling — or jumping, from a height.

The Sounds of the Night that You don’t Want to Hear

He listened into the night — not really wanting to step outside of his box. In the distance, he could hear the rush of traffic passing along by the Guadalquivir river. But directly before him, he could still hear tapping noises followed by shuffling sounds. He walked towards the darkness, then called out in a loud aggressive voice, “Hey! get out of here — you’re not alone on this site,” He didn’t know why he said those exact words, they spooked him a little. The thumping sounds began again, followed by a mechanical ticking noise in the atmosphere. He wasn’t alone on the site. And that frightened him.

Shuffling Feet Passing in the Dark

As the guard stood before the dark expanse of land, confronted by sounds of shuffling feet passing close by, the heavy dragging sounds closed in around him, and the incessant thump, thump, thump, of something hitting against soft earth, he knew the job wasn’t for him.

Whoever, Whatever, However

But, he was on the job now, his first night, and he had to do something about whoever, or whatever, was moving around on the construction site. He loosened his collar and wiped his mouth with his sleeve.

Looking into the Blackness of Night

He couldn’t fully describe it; it just sort of constantly beckoned him, in a way that was wrong. The sounds in the darkness were part of the blackness he was looking at, not separate, not noise caused by human hands, but sounds of the darkness. It was powerful, he heard its voice calling him. And he was petrified.

The Weeping Voices of Calle San Luis

The sounds of weeping now filled the darkness, pleading voices, and whispers were hard to resist. He was a man who had sought a job where he could protect, and help keep people secure. The sound of weeping and pleading voices in need of help, dug deep into his mind. He began to walk towards the thick darkness.

His Interviewers

When he was later interviewed, the security guard from calle San Luis, tried to explain what had happened that night. Although now safe, it was still a very frightening thing to think about. Some of the interviewers made jokes about his experience, and some sat in silence and listened without saying a word.

The Many Ghosts of Calle San Luis

There are many ghosts in calle San Luis, the stories that people tell are too similar for it all to be a joke, or a hoax, or the invention of fantasy; we don’t know what goes on in the nooks and crannies of dark streets at night, the histories of broken hearts, saddened lives, poverty and injustices that calle San Luis holds. There is much of that.

Written by

Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Living http://seandurham.eu

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