The Legend Of Casa Dracula

Buried treasure, vampires and... a giant chicken?
BY: ANDREW STACK

The weathered mansion known as Casa Dracula is one of the largest and most well-known buildings in Todos Santos. It was built in 1852 by Don Antonio Domingues, one of the great sugar barons of the town.

Casa Dracula was bought by its current owners in 1985, who purchased it from the great-granddaughter of the original builder. According to one of the owners, Rex Weiner, Domingues was a very rich man when he died. “There were rumors that he hid his treasure, his gold, somewhere on the property,” Rex says, “and in the years since then, many people have been looking for the treasure of Casa Dracula.”

dracula.JPGHe recounts stories of holes being dug around the courtyard where people had searched for a safe containing gold. A very heavy 19th-century safe was even stolen from the second story of the house.

The house took on its haunted persona after remaining empty for many years, with generation after generation of bats flying in and out of the gothic windows, which contributed to the building’s name.

“In Mexican culture, vampire, and blood are very common in folklore. Here in Mexico there is a long history of blood. Sangre (blood) goes all the way back to Aztec times, where people were sacrificed and blood was shed from the tops of those pyramids,” Rex says. “Dracula was a very popular cinematic character so the idea of the Casa Dracula, the house of Dracula, was very much in their minds when they (locals) saw this place and the bats.”

Previous squatters and, more recently, the owners, have reported hearing spooky noises inside the hacienda. “Sometimes footsteps coming up the stairs and nobody arrives, sometimes things are moving around. We understand that it’s the original owner who is restless in his house” Rex says. Most of the myths surrounding Casa Dracula are related to Don Domingues’ reputation for greed and exploiting his workers. 

And there is other folklore surrounding the house. “The legends talk about a giant chicken, “un pollo grande,” Rex says. “They also talk about the “enanitos” which are elves scurrying around.”

Hmm...., elves and a giant chicken don’t sound so scary to us. Better to stick with the vampire stories.