1654 at the El Palacio de Cañete

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One of Madrid’s Oldest Unsolved Mysteries

This is one of the oldest mysteries of Madrid. In 1654, the Marquis of Cañete was found murdered shortly after his meeting in his palace with the city’s priest, Antonio Amada.

Suspicion immediately fell upon the priest. He and his household were taken to the royal jail, which was once the Carcél Real and now is better known as Ministry of External Affairs, on Calle Atocha, near the Plaza Mayor.

After interrogations, the priest was accused and sentenced to death for the crime. The rest of his household was free to go. The church’s representative, friars who knew Amada’s character, argued for his release right before his execution was to take place by hanging in the Plaza Mayor. In spite of their efforts Amada was rearrested and executed because no other
culprit for the murder was found.

After Amada’s death, his right hand was severed and nailed to the main door of the royal palace, the Alcazar. This was when really strange things began to happen. The spirit of Antonio Amada appeared to his accusers and told them that, thanks to divine justice, he only had to spend three days in Purgatory, thank you very much, and that he was on his way to heaven.

Then, the spirit of the murdered Marquis entered the picture, wandering the palace
hallways, demanding that his true killer had not yet been brought to justice.

In spite the shocking apparitions, nothing was done. The palace was not the only haunted ground. Anyone living in the Palacio de Cañete, the Marquis’ wife included, found no peace there. Something unsettled wandered the rooms and halls and made disturbing, disembodied noises. The Marquesa finally moved out. Other residents who moved in, quickly moved out for the same reason.

Time passed and a maid who was in the service of the Marquis and his wife confessed on her deathbed to having killed Cañete because she wanted to defend the Marquesa. From what, we do not know, but this seems to imply that the Marquis may have been an oppressive husband in one form or another. The maid certainly was loyal her mistress.

With this confession, the priest Amada’s hand was finally removed from palace’s door. This appears to have silenced the Marquis’ ghost who stopped wandering through his home making rattling and banging noises. Yet, such occurrences, such as moved furniture and disembodied noises still take place on occasion and are witnessed by several bystanders.

Moreover, in the royal palace, too, certain energies still wander that seem as unsettling.  As one paranormal Madrid devotee explained, these old buildings in the vicinity of the palace, which sits on the oldest part of Madrid, are full of ancient, ghostly and unresolved mysteries.

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At A Glance

Calle Mayor, 69

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