Duende de Zaragoza: The Case of a Talking Entity

One of the most fascinating cases in the history of the paranormal is that of the “Duende de Zaragoza” (Goblin of Zaragoza) dating back to 1934. For months an evil voice communicated and had conversations with the residents and visitors of a flat in Zaragoza. A sinister voice that seemed to come from the chimney of an old fashioned oven terrorised and confused residents, bystanders and investigators. Reports indicate that the voice seemed to be amused by the terror and confusion it generated. Police and other authorities were involved in the investigation and had no clue on what to do to stop it.The case became famous and despite official investigations nobody was able to give a logical explanation to the phenomena.

Everything started on September the 27th 1934 at the apartment block at the adress Gascón de Gotor 2, in Zaragoza, Spain. On that night, Pascuala Alcocer, the maid of the Grijaba family was in the kitchen finishing off with the washing of the plates. As she left the kitchen to go to bed she suddenly heard a sinister voice calling her name and then bursting into laughter. Terrified she runs to the bedroom of the Grijabas and tells them about what had just happened. The Grijabas did not pay too much notice and brushed off the incident.

A few weeks later during November, the voice returned and started insulting anyone that would enter into the kitchen. Various local authorities including the police investigated the flat to prove that it was a hoax. They ripped apart the kitchen but were not able to provide a logical explanation.  Word of mouth made the case the talk of the town. Crowds would stand at the entrance of the building every day, hoping to hear something or get information on the latest incident with the talking spirit. The case was featured in local, national and even international press. The case was covered in the U.S.A by “The Times”.

What makes this case extraordinary is that the entity had an audible voice and with time the spirit was engaging in conversations. The conversations documented are both intriguing and amusing.  

The entity liked to provoke and insult. In one case the entity said:

“I am here, you cowards!! Get out of here, you bastards!!”

One of the most intriguing conversations of the entity was with the police:

Police: Who are you? Why are you doing this? Do you want money?
Entity: No
Police: Are you looking for a job?
Entity: No
Police: Then what is it that you want man?
Entity: Nothing, I am not a man

Official explanations on the case were unconvincing and did nothing to bring the case to closure. Furthermore, the entity was still in the kitchen. One of the official reports blamed the maid, Pascuala. The verdict was that the voice was the result of the maid’s use of ventriloquism even for the cases when the voice while she was not in the building. As a consequence she was fired and returned to her village.

The entity was last heard one night of December 1934. The message was terrifying:

“I will kill everyone that lives in this house! Cowards!”

The original building was demolished years ago. But the owners of the new building standing on the same spot chose to name it “Edificio Duende” (Goblin Building) to keep the memory of one of the most fascinating paranormal cases of the 20th century.

The building standing today has been named Duende to commemorate the case

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