Haunted Prison turned into Arts Center


El Centro De Artes De San Luis Potosi Mexico is one of the most haunted places in the city. With a dark and sinister past of inhumane imprisonment and torture, as well as many on site death, the now beautiful and cultured center of the arts holds a haunting tale to be told. Built from 1884 to 1904 and designed by Vera Cruz architect Carlos Suárez Fiallo this building served as a state penitentiary from the turn of the century until 1999 when it was closed down and repurposed to serve as an Arts Center Institute instead. Some cells where knocked down to connect ball rooms for dancers, while others where turned into soundproof music rooms for musicians. Class rooms for visual arts where built and entire wings became departments. It became a school for the free spirited and a place of enlightenment ironically after holding so many captive and in the dark for so long. The building itself is designed as if a star burst into a square the center of the building has a circular courtyard with a tower painted by local artist and students with wings that extend out like a star shape into a square perimeter overall it is an intriguing architectural design.

In my quest to confront the supernatural and to be able to tour a beautiful arts center I decided to scheduled a tour at this facility on my last trip to San Luis Potosi. My cousin and I agreed to scheduled a late night ghost tour and arrived at the Arts Center just as the sun set in the sky. With the crisp night air creeping up the stone cold walls of this massive courtyard we walked into a grassy opening lined with knarled conceptive statues from the featured artist on display. My curiosity peaked not just for the supernatural but for the artistic presence you feel stepping foot into the building. To be confronted with beauty and artistic majesty when so many before saw this as their last place of residence is eerie to think about. As we meet up with the group and start our tour we walk through a room froth original cell doors and it becomes apparent that art has always thrived here. Inmates decorated their cells and door with carvings drawing magazines and collages. It was their one form of expression against their oppressive situation. On the first part of our tour we walk underneath a second story cell window where a visiting child fell to her death. In the courtyard where mothers and children used to be placed for visits and the years allowed for them to raise their children in prison the screams of the little girl are still heard at night so much so that the museum had recorded EVP as proof of their late night encounters with the dead. Next we passed through an old cell left in tack to show the small space that they used to shove over 20 people in. A carving of a cross was etched in the far back next to the toilet area it was really impacting to imagine so many people crammed into such a small space.

The strange was just about to begin however, as we arrive to the isolation courtyard where the inmates where held in the upright position without sleep for days in the cold my rosary began to get really cold. It felt like my neckless had been sitting in a freezer for hours all of a sudden and I didn't know why till the tour guide explained that the guards used to hose down the inmates with water when it was cold to make them shiver and freeze at night. It was an icy feeling I felt down my spine and wrap my throat. How could this be? I do believe but I am not catholic it was a souvenir I had purchased earlier in the day from touring the local churches but their was no doubt that I felt my neckless get cold. Temperature fluctuations were not the only thing we experienced though. We passed a palm tree carved by inmates and once burned as a distraction in a failed escape attempt followed by a soccer field and another tree used by many inmates as the judging tree because they would judge themselves and hang themselves instead of continue living in such horrid conditions much longer. Here is where things got weird again facing the empty courtyard without any other lights or for of explanation I managed to capture this picture of what seemed like a star coming towards the camera. We continued and passed a beautiful acoustic designed courtyard where your voice boomed off the walls in the music department and back to the courtyard again. When I got home that night though I had an uneasy feeling my cousin noticed the ceiling fan begin to rock back and forth without any explanation. I prayed and the motion stopped, that night I felt like someone shook me awake I couldn't sleep. Even when I got home back to the states lights started to turn on and off around me. This effect lingered for a while and then stopped suddenly one day. I prayed it would go away and I didn't feed into its fears. Whatever it was probably determined I was boring or realized it wasn't welcome and left. I didn't feel like it had bad intentions it was just curious I feel. Either way I told it to go away and it went away, now I have the lovely pictures from my trip and this strange unexplained light photo that looked eerily similar to the shape for the former prison now Arts Center.


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Code Monkey
Staff member
Nice write-up, thanks! 😎 I don't see too much about places like this in Mexico so it is cool to come across something new.

How long ago was your visit and do people still report strange things there?


Nice write-up, thanks! 😎 I don't see too much about places like this in Mexico so it is cool to come across something new.

How long ago was your visit and do people still report strange things there?
The place has said to be haunted since the turn of the century and I took the trip a few months ago. The architecture is beautiful and the history is deeply rooted in rich beauty and abundance.