Cemeteries are fascinating places. It’s no surprise that they’re the source of so many stories about hauntings and other mysterious happenings. In them, we’re surrounded with fragments of stories — names, dates, and brief inscriptions about who these people were and what might have been important about them. It’s a meager summation of a life, but it’s in these blank spaces that our minds invent stories.
One of my favorite cemeteries — and the one that inspired the underground city of Recoletta — is the La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The grand mausoleums and the cobbled lanes in between them make it look like an old, quiet city in miniature. And, like any city, it’s brimming with stories.
To me, the most interesting story from La Recoleta isn’t about the writers, Nobel laureates, or presidents buried there. It isn’t even about Eva Perón. Rather, it concerns Rufina Cambaceres, a young socialite who died in 1902.