Day 22: Santo vs Las Momias
31 Days of Halloween: On Atlas Obscura this month, every day is Halloween. Stop by the blog every day this month for true tales of the unquiet dead. Come for the severed heads, stay for the book bound in human skin. Every story is true, and each one is a real place you can visit. We dare you.
What is even better than an incredible museum filled with mummies? Why, when they come to life to fight a gang of Mexican wrestlers, duh.
Starting in 1865 and lasting all the way until 1958, the small town of Guanajuato, Mexico had a grave tax. When the relatives of a deceased resident of the cemetery failed to pay the tax for three years in a row, their deceased loved ones were promptly dug up and evicted. However, due to the extremely dry conditions of the soil and burial procedures the corpses often came up as well preserved if shrunken mummies.
Though the grave tax ended in 1958 (three years before the first man flew in space) the cemetery had collected hundreds of mummies which continued to be kept in the local ossuary/museum. The mummies, because they were formed naturally, are much more gruesome looking then your standard Egyptian mummy. With gaunt and twisted faces like extras from a horror movie, they are often covered in the tattered rags they were buried in. Most shocking to visitors are the shrunken children mummies, and one in particular claimed to be “the world’s smallest mummy” is no bigger then a loaf of bread.
But besides being the stars of an incredible museum the mummies of Guanajuato have left another cultural icon known as Santo vs Las Momias de Guanajuato.
Santo or “the Saint” is “one of the most famous and iconic of all Mexican luchadores” Over his life he produced numerous B-Horror/Action films for Mexican cinemas. In 1972 he may have made his greatest film ever. Co-starring Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras, the plot is fairly straight forward. The wrestlers stop in Guanajuato and all the mummies come alive to attack them. Obviously. (There is a motive. Something about one of the mummies avenging his defeat by Santo’s grandfather… or something…)
The film proved to Santo’s most successful, and the mummies even got their own series, starring in such films as Robbery Of The Mummies and Castle Of The Mummies. But words can do little to describe the greatness that is Santo vs Las Momias de Guanajuato, so without further ado…. (Come for the midget museum tour guide, stay for the flamethrower…)
BRING YOUR WRESTING MASK!
MUSEO DE LAS MOMIAS DE GUANAJUATO, Guanajuato Capital, Mexico
Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.
Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook