She had stayed behind when relatives and friends left the country, alone in a big house with her memories, dogs and the occasional company of an elderly cook.
She did got on with her neighbors and had lost the will to live. She read books all through the night, wandered at dawn and retired to her bed for the day.....
So starts a tale about a haunted house and a ghost that in darkness walked within.
It was rumored that the woman’s children had perished in a horrific accident and although untrue, Luisa Catalina Rodríguez Faxas had in fact lost her children.
When she was young, she asked a gypsy to read her palm at a fun fair.
The fortune teller is said to have turned pale and did not wish to reveal the details of the reading.
She would only say that life held a sad ending in store. And so it would be.
Luisa Catalina, a Cuban citizen born in Barcelona, was the last owner of the well known house with green tiles on Quinta Avenida, in the neighborhood of Miramar, which for many years was renowned for its poor state of repair.
It had become impossible for the impoverished Luisa to maintain her home.
Authorities in Havana offered her a different house, but she never wished to move.
It was rumored that her refusal was because of a treasure buried somewhere in the basement, or behind the walls.
The hidden treasure is just another of many legends based on the architect Jorge Luis Echarte designed mansion.
The house was built of brick, concrete and American tiles. It has three floors, a basement, a garage for four cars, a portal and a very unique style.
Having being carefully restored by Havana City Historian’s Office, the house is now the headquarters of the Centre for the Promotion of Modern and Contemporary Architecture, Urbanism and Design.
On November 1960, Luisa, her husband – a distinguished lawyer – and their three children travelled to the United States to holiday in their Miami home. The day they arrived in Florida, her husband, 47, died of a heart attack.
Luisa was desperate and left a paternal aunt looking after her children and returned to Havana with the corpse.
She intended to transfer her husband’s properties into her name, collect her children and return to the Island.
However On January 3, 1961, Cuba and the US broke relations and she could not.
Travelling between both countries became complicated. It was also difficult to make phone calls and post letters.
Luisa was never to meet her children again.
Towards the end of the 1960s, Luisa married a prestigious ophthalmologist, something the family living in the US considered unacceptable.
Her children asked her to never contact them again. A short time later, she separated from the ophthalmologist.
A niece of his accompanied her until she died of a lung cancer on June 11, 1999, at the age of 77.
Her companion also passed away six months later, and the house was left empty and abandoned.Share on FB Share on TT