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  • Writer's pictureNatalija Ugrina

The Eerie Echoes of Sanatorio Durán: Most haunted place in Costa Rica

Hey, travel lovers and ghost hunters! 🌏👻 Are you ready for a spine-chilling adventure? Buckle up, because today, we're diving into the haunting history of Sanatorio Durán, Costa Rica's most haunted place. If you’re a thrill-seeker or just love a good ghost story, this is a must-visit spot on your Costa Rican adventure!

Sanatorio Durán: Costa Rica's Most Haunted Place
Sanatorio Durán: Costa Rica's Most Haunted Place

A Glimpse into the Past

Sanatorio Durán, nestled in the lush Cartago Province, has a history as rich as it is eerie. Built in 1918 by Dr. Carlos Durán Cartín, this sanatorium was initially a hospital dedicated to treating tuberculosis, a major health crisis at the time. Dr. Durán, a prominent figure in Costa Rican medicine and a former president, was deeply invested in combating the disease, as his own daughter had contracted tuberculosis.

Dr. Carlos Durán Cartín
Dr. Carlos Durán Cartín

A Heartbreaking Beginning:

Dr. Durán chose a remote location for the hospital, complete with good weather, fresh air, and natural light, hoping these conditions would aid in the recovery of tuberculosis patients. Despite his efforts, his daughter succumbed to the disease. Her death marked the beginning of the many tragic stories associated with the sanatorium.

Sanatorio Durán perfect location
Sanatorio Durán's perfect location

The Prime Years and Staff: The sanatorium continued to operate after his daughter's death and was primarily staffed by the Sisters of Charity Santa Anna. These dedicated nuns played a crucial role in caring for the patients. It's said that the ghosts of these nuns and the children who died at the sanatorium still linger on the grounds, adding to its haunted reputation.

Expanding Roles: Beyond treating tuberculosis, the sanatorium also housed patients being treated for mental health issues. Over the decades, Sanatorio Durán became a place of both healing and despair, witnessing countless stories of human suffering.

The 1960s Transition: By the 1960s, tuberculosis was no longer an epidemic, and the sanatorium's mental health patients were transferred to better facilities. The building then served as an orphanage and later as a prison. However, its days as a functioning institution ended after the Irazú Volcano erupted in the early 1970s, damaging parts of the complex and leading to its closure.

Ghostly Encounters and Paranormal Activity

Visitors and paranormal enthusiasts flock to Sanatorio Durán for one reason: to experience the supernatural. There are countless reports of ghost sightings, mysterious sounds, and inexplicable occurrences at Costa Rica's most haunted place. Here are some of the spookiest tales:

most haunted place in costa rica
  1. The Little Girl in the Hallways: Many have claimed to see the ghost of a little girl wandering the hallways. Dressed in a white dress, she is often seen playing or simply standing still, staring into the distance. Some believe she was a patient who succumbed to tuberculosis, while others think she might have been the child of a staff member.

2. Dr. Durán's Spirit: The founder himself is said to roam the grounds. People have reported seeing a man in an old-fashioned doctor's coat, believed to be Dr. Durán, still caring for his patients even in the afterlife.

3. Phantom Footsteps and Voices: Walk through the empty halls, and you might hear footsteps echoing behind you or disembodied voices murmuring. Some brave souls have even heard ghostly screams and cries, likely remnants of the hospital’s tortured past.

4.The Haunted Morgue: The morgue is, unsurprisingly, one of the most haunted areas. Visitors report an overwhelming sense of dread and cold spots. Some have seen shadows moving in the corners of their eyes, only to vanish when looked at directly.

Sanatorio Durán haunted

Exploring the Ruins

Visiting Sanatorio Durán is like stepping into a horror movie set. The dilapidated buildings, graffiti-covered walls, and overgrown vegetation add to the eerie atmosphere. But don’t let the spookiness deter you! Exploring this site is an unforgettable experience.

Signs mark various areas of the hospital, including bathrooms, the morgue, doctors’ quarters, the children’s wing, and more. Knowing the suffering and sickness that took place here gives it a sad and eerie feel, especially when looking out the hospital windows on a sunny day. The stark contrast between the bright, beautiful surroundings and the dark history within these walls is both haunting and captivating.

Sanatorio Durán church

Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes, as the grounds can be uneven.

How to Get There

Sanatorio Durán is about an hour’s drive from San José, the capital of Costa Rica. You can rent a car or join a guided tour that includes transportation. As anywhere in Costa Rica, 4x4 vehicle is highly recommended.

Where to Stay

For an authentic and immersive experience, I stayed at Cabañas & Mirador Secret Garden. The accommodation was pretty basic, but the views and the fresh air were absolutely incredible. Plus, you’re only a few minutes away from Sanatorio Durán, making it the perfect base for your ghost-hunting adventure. Waking up to the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape was the perfect contrast to the eerie atmosphere of the sanatorium.

Cabañas & Mirador Secret Garden Irazu volcano
Cabañas & Mirador Secret Garden

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a paranormal enthusiast or just looking for a unique travel experience, Costa Rica's most haunted place is a destination that should be on your bucket list. The haunting beauty and rich history of this place make it a captivating spot for anyone visiting Costa Rica.

So, are you ready to face the spirits of Sanatorio Durán? Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever experienced anything supernatural or if you’re planning to visit this haunted hospital. And don’t forget to check out my blog for more travel tips and ghostly adventures!

Until next time, happy haunting! 👻✨

6,909 views15 comments


2 days ago

Beautiful. Don't let anyone tell you what to do.


6 days ago

Hi I'm reading from Africa what a great story wow I like it


Jul 15

Its very fearfull story but Interesting thanks for sharing with us !


Jul 03

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Jul 03

Good morning, how are you today ?

Jul 03
Replying to

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