There is a haunted hotel across the street from a cenote steeped in ancient magic. Of course, at one time there was no road between the land that the hotel now sits on and the deep, natural well across the street that once received human sacrifices. Perhaps the energy from the sacred well has so charged the land in the area that the veil between worlds is thin there. Perhaps the souls of ancient sacrificial victims haunt the place. Maybe the alux guardians of the cenote--magical beings created by shamans--wander the hotel gardens and pools. Maybe Chaac, the rain god to whom so many sacrifices were made, inhabits the area and can be called upon, or maybe even makes his presence known when you are least expecting it.
Whatever the source, the hotel is rife with stories about odd, unexplained, and even quite terrifying happenings in its simple rooms and lush jungle grounds!
Naked Tiny People in the Suitcase
One story was told to the hotel management by a guest who came to explore the nearby ruins of Chichen Itza and take a dip in the stunning cenote. He got settled in his pink, bungalow-type room, set his suitcase on the rustic, wooden table near the foot of the bed, and tucked himself in under the cotton sheets in hope of a good night’s sleep. Long after the moon had set and the room was dark and quiet, he was awakened by the sound of children’s laughter. To his amazement, as he lay in bed--still as he could hold himself--he saw what looked like several small, naked people (about 2 feet high) standing on top of the table. They had opened his suitcase and were rummaging around in it, taking clothes out and throwing them on the floor! The guest did not feel afraid, but rather very startled and lay as still as he could while watching the antics of the playing children. They didn’t seem to notice him, or perhaps didn’t care if he was watching, and they just continued playing with his things for such a long time that the man eventually fell asleep. When he awoke the next morning, everything had been neatly folded and returned to his suitcase and it had been zipped shut!
Were the naked people really aluxes? They certainly seemed to fit the description given by many local Maya people. According to the locals, an alux is a small guardian who is very childlike. They are created by shamans and given the task of protecting land, fields, or homes. Often, if the landowner does not properly feed the alux with offerings of tequila, corn, tobacco, or money, it will stop doing its job and become a bit of a prankster. They are described as being playful, causing a ruckus, throwing little stones, pinching or slapping people, moving or hiding objects, and being heard laughing!
We DID find an alux offering on the premises and several of the hotel workers admitted that there are aluxes in the area. Perhaps the hotel guest was only dreaming his own version of alux activity, or maybe he really did witness the little, mischievous beings firsthand!
The Lady in White and the Crying Child
Late one evening, around midnight, a hotel guard noticed a woman dressed in white leaving her hotel room with a crying child in her arms. She walked down the path, shaded in orange and grapefruit trees, and past the round pool to an area under a big palapa with colorful hammocks strung up for guests to use during the day. In an effort to quiet the crying child, the woman in white laid down in one of the hammocks, nearly colorless in the dark, and rocked the child until it stopped crying and perhaps fell asleep. Then, the woman gently carried the tranquil baby back across the hotel grounds and into the room. The guard thought that it was strange because it was slow season and there were very few guests in the hotel. At the beginning of his shift, he had received a list of the current guests and which rooms they were in and he did not remember that room being occupied, nor any children at all being in the hotel at the time. In the morning, he went to the front desk and asked the clerk for a list of which rooms were full and who was staying in them. The room in question was indeed empty and no children had been registered as guests that day. We don’t know if the woman and her crying baby were seen again, but we will ask next time we visit and spend the night there!
A Terrifying and Heavy Dark Presence
Sometimes, seeing an actual ghost or even a magical being is a lot less scary than seeing something with less form, less definition. We seem to take our scariness cue, not necessarily from what we see, but more from what we feel. In this story, a guest at the Doloros Alba hotel was lying in bed when a dark cloud came into the room. The cloud instantly filled the man with dread. Later, when he related his story to one of the hotel workers, he said the dark cloud felt like a very dangerous and negative energy and even went so far as to describe it as feeling evil! As the man lay in bed, paralyzed with fear, the cloud descended onto his chest and sat there, so heavy that the man felt as if he couldn’t breathe! Thankfully, it wasn’t there long before it lifted, went through the door into the bathroom and disappeared. When the man recovered his wits enough to get out of bed and investigate the bathroom, he found nothing there.
My Personal Stories
I have stayed at Doloros Alba many times. Sometimes, because I am there to visit the nearby ruins of Chichen Itza, sometimes, because I want to spend time exploring the beautiful cenote across the street, Ik Kil, and sometimes, because I am visiting with my shaman friend who lives nearby. I have always enjoyed my stay at the hotel, particularly because it has a beautiful swimming pool that was built on an already existing ancient reef. The water in the pool is said to be healing and filled with positive energy and I very much enjoy soaking there.
However . . .
Chairs that Moved by Themselves!
One day, I was enjoying sitting by the pool with friends. It was late in the afternoon and the air was cool. A tall ceiba tree offered its shade, its reflection perfectly coloring the still surface of the water with the image of a thick grey trunk and a forest of bright green leaves. The air was still in the late afternoon sun and hardly any birds sang. It was almost as if the whole world had fallen asleep save us and our quite chatting.
I sat listening to one of my friends, a glass of wine in my hand, a drowsy, late afternoon feeling of contentment surrounding me, when suddenly there seemed a commotion and the sound of scraping on the tile surrounding the pool. I turned just in time to see two chairs slide off the edge and flip over, simultaneously, into the pool. A third chair that had been next to them where they were all resting about 6 feet away from the pool remained unmoved. Max, who was with me, had seen the whole thing. He said the three chairs were all unoccupied and sitting in a line and suddenly, with no wind or other reason he could see, two of the chairs slid all the way across the blue tile and into the pool, as if they were being pushed. They moved at exactly the same speed, flipping over and into the still water, breaking the quiet and peace of the afternoon.
We have no idea why the chairs moved, but we were sure it was not wind that caused the chairs to behave in such a peculiar way.
Someone Crying in My Bed!
I do have one last story to share with you, and this was a personal experience as well. On a different trip than the one with the chairs scooting across the pavement all by themselves, Max (my boyfriend) and I were all snuggled up in our hotel room after a long day of adventuring. It was late. The night was quite and dark, and we were drifting off to sleep in our cozy hotel-room bed when we both heard a very soft voice crying. The odd thing was that the sound was right between us. I thought Max was crying (yeah, that would be very unusual) and he thought I was crying. At the same time, we turned to each other to see what was wrong and of course, neither of us was upset or crying at all. The sound was soft, but definitely sounded like gentle weeping and was definitely right between us!
I admit, it took me a long time to fall asleep after that!
I know I will be back, sleeping under the covers at Hotel Doloros Alba again, probably sooner rather than later. And I can be reasonably sure I will hear more stories about strange happenings there because I hear new stories almost every time I go. (Yes, there are more stories that I didn’t share with you here, but I promise to in a future post!) Maybe, next time I am there I will have another spooky experience of my own!
Wouldn’t that be cool?
Trying to be brave,