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Connect with the Great Beyond in Misnebalam

30 september 2023
4 min. de lectura

MisnebalamIf you're anything like me, you're likely counting down the days until October and November, eagerly anticipating the festivities of Janal Pixan. It’s the perfect opportunity to share traditions with family, honor our departed, and why not, get a few scares along the way.


Just 18 kilometers away from Mérida, you'll find the perfect place to immerse yourself in the mystery and nostalgia of these dates. Step out of your routine with a spine-chilling visit to Misnebalam, a well-known ghost town in Yucatán, located within the jurisdiction of Santa María Yaxché, about halfway between Mérida and Progreso. Are you familiar with the history of this unique place?



The splendor of the hacienda and its haunted remnants

At the beginning of the last century, Misnebalam (from the Maya Miis, cat, Nej, tail, and Báalam, jaguar) was a well-known Henequén hacienda, inhabited by around 170 people. According to the legends, the prosperous hacienda suffered a tragic event when Fidencio Márquez, its owner, was attacked and murdered on a nearby road close to his property in 1921. It is said that since then, Don Fidencio has continued to haunt the paths of his former property.


Don Fidencio’s isn’t the only otherworldly apparition reported in the area. There’s also talk of a boy, known as Julián or Juliancito, who allegedly took his own life there, and the account of a monk in a black robe who resides in the town's church. It’s important not to confuse this “haunted” church, which was once dedicated to San Jorge (Saint George) with the nearby San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) church, a neo-Gothic beauty that has been recently restored and also worth a visit, though for completely different reasons.


MisnebalamIt's the legends surrounding Juliancito that have especially attracted supernatural enthusiasts to Misnebalam. It turns out that Misnebalam and its long-abandoned buildings have been a popular destination for both airsoft and paintball players, who occasionally record videos of their games. One of these recordings ended up being widely shared because, behind the action, it was possible to make out the figure of a boy who, of course, was associated with the legend of Juliancito.  


Unlike Don Fidencio Márquez, whose existence is well documented, there are no reliable records of Juliancito’s life or death. As for don Fidencio G. Márquez, he actually died of natural causes in 1940. The events of 1921, which aren’t easy to independently verify, would have been only a failed attempt on his life.  


The truth of the matter is that the population of Misnebalam dwindled until it was completely abandoned in 2005. Rumors attribute this event to the paranormal occurrences, although it’s very likely that it was due to the water shortage in the region.  



Guided Visits to the Ruins of Misnebalam

Misnebalam by Yucatán TodayFortunately for adrenaline enthusiasts, the ruins of the town can be visited through guided tours suitable for all ages. It’s worth mentioning that you could actually visit them on your own, but between ghosts and Aluxes (the lords of the jungle), we can’t stress enough the risk you’d be incurring. There are hiking groups, such as   Senderismo Yucatán o Hiking Mérida , which organize outings for extreme trekkers, so you can at least refrain from going alone.


The Rutas de Xcunyá travel co-op offers nighttime bicycle tours covering 8 kilometers, starting from the Xcunyá jurisdiction. The guides will assist you in exploring the narrow paths safely and delving deep into the history of Misnebalam. The activity includes the use of bicycles, reflective vests, and flashlights.

Regina Zumárraga

Author: Regina Zumárraga

Communicologist specialized in food and product photography. I’m passionate about learning about the culture and gastronomy of different places. In my free time, you can find me at the beach.

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