Alexis Velasco

Mexican food lover, performing arts enthusiast and sunset hunter with green tea in hand.


5 Puerto Vallarta Horror Stories and Legends

By  Alexis Velasco
Oct. 31, 2018

Horror stories and legends are elements of oral tradition that generate curiosity, astonishment and fear. Since time immemorial, humans have tried to explain paranormal phenomena and strange experiences, relating them to unusual characters, dark energies or tragic events that took place in the past. Surely, as a child your skin crawled when you heard some of these stories!

These stories abound, especially in ancient cities, attracting hundreds of the curious to their settings: abandoned houses and buildings, old castles, cemeteries and other places linked with terrifying events, all with a gloomy atmosphere.

But what about Puerto Vallarta? What are the stories and anecdotes told here and where have they taken place? Here are some of them.



The Bus of Death

Some locals tell about a spectacular accident that occurred at the end of the 1980s, near the Pepsi facilities on the Las Palmas – Puerto Vallarta highway, when a city bus collided with a dump truck and most of the passengers died.

According to witnesses, minutes before this happened, an elderly woman, dressed in black and behaving strangely, boarded the bus. She caused uneasiness among the other passengers, which is why she is believed to have caused the accident.

Today, drivers in the area say they have seen the figure of this woman at night. And some taxi drivers have even said that she has appeared out of nowhere to occupy the passenger seat along that stretch.


El Gentil

The ocean is a habitat that has been feared throughout history. Much is unknown about the species that exist in its great depths, and Banderas Bay has a story related to a strange six-foot-long creature they call “El Gentil,” a cross between a human and a fish (although others claim that it bears more resemblance to a reptile).

The legend is common in the community of Boca de Tomates and the northern area of the bay. According to the story, fisherman Pancho Jiménez was convinced that “El Gentil” existed, thanks to the stories his ancestors had passed down. However, few believed him. And the day he finally saw it, in front of the La Cruz de Huanacaxtle beach, he became morose. After three days, he decided to go in search of it, but he never returned. His canoe was found 15 days after his disappearance.


Puerto Vallarta’s Old Regional Hospital 

From 1981 to 2004, this complex was the region’s main public health center. Currently, the facilities house various municipal government offices. Due to the large number of people who were treated and died there, various stories have been attributed to it. One of them is that of a little girl who roams the corridors and restroom area. According to workers there, several colleagues claim to have seen her pass by but cannot find her once she is lost among the shadows.


The Woman of the Cuale River

Legend has it that, at night, an old woman wearing a long black dress walks slowly along the shore and dark surroundings of the Cuale River. While some claim that she yells out in the manner of “La Llorona,” others have simply been shocked by her mysterious appearance and frightening look.


Municipal Cemetery

Located in the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood, the municipal cemetery dates from 1956. Throughout the years, it has been the subject of stories ranging from the appearance of a woman who levitates and then disappears into the walls, to the presence of strange lights among the tombs.

Before occupying its current space, the cemetery was located in what is now Parque Hidalgo. As part of the oral tradition of the city, it is said that when it changed location, a woman dressed in black was seen late at night making a pilgrimage from the park to the new facility on San Salvador street.

Alexis Velasco

Mexican food lover, performing arts enthusiast and sunset hunter with green tea in hand.