Happy Halloween! Now that the spooky season has arrived, here is an exciting topic that suits perfectly well for this season. If you are into stories that take place in real, haunted, and abandoned locations, you’ve come to the right place!
Chamberí, also known as Andén cero (platform zero) is situated in Madrid, Spain. The station is located on Line 1, also called the blue line. Chamberí was inaugurated in 1919 and the line covered a distance of four kilometers at the time. This start became a popular and vital part of the urban landscape, expanding rapidly over the following decades to become one of the longest metro systems in the world.
Different train stops
During the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939), the station served a dual purpose: a shelter from air raids, and also, storage facilities.
In the 1960s, due to the increase in passenger traffic, the Metropolitan Company decided to lengthen the platforms on Line 1 in order to put into service six-carriage wagons with greater capacity. Railway platforms were enlarged to coincide with the wider platforms on the newer metro lines. Since Chamberí station was built on a curve, it could not be adapted to handle the new longer trains. The Ministry of Public Works decided to close it in 1966, becoming a ‘ghost station’. The trains would continue to pass by the station, but without stopping.
Why is Chamberí called the ‘ghost station’?
The station was not in use to the public for 40 years. The exterior was boarded up to prevent access, but even so, the homeless accessed the station through the tunnel that communicates with the other stations and made this place their home. The speed of the subway made the people who were inside the trains see flashes of light, shadows with human appearances, or hear noises, with the total ignorance that they simply came from the people who inhabited this underground corner. From there, ghost stories started and urban legends were created.
Here are some examples of these stories:
- The crime in Chamberí
Legends say that an orphan girl discovered a romance between a priest and a nun. To avoid getting caught, the couple decided to throw the little girl onto the train tracks. Since the murder occurred, the Chamberí station has been cursed: as the anniversary of the death gets closer, the ghost of the girl can be seen in this station from the trains. Numerous people claim to have seen her.
2. Skeletons behind the walls
During the excavation of the tunnels, the workers came across skeletons from monks. These belonged to the remains of a cemetery and a convent that were situated in the same place a century ago. Without reaching an agreement on what to do with the skeletons, the workers decided to leave them behind. As the trains pass through the station, it is said that the remains of the skeletons can be seen. They say that at midnight the cries of these monks can be heard.
3. Strange disappearances
When the workers came to do the work of extending the platforms, they found that all their work was undone the next morning, which meant they had to start over. Legend says that over the years, some workers disappeared, and also, a few policemen who went to investigate the events. For this reason, in 1966, Chamberí was ordered to be closed and never to be opened again.
5. Ghost sightings
Some visitors testify to having seen and felt a presence in the corridors. A lady claimed that she had seen ‘the man with the mustache’. She was referring to Alfonso XIII, great-grandfather of King Felipe, who inaugurated the Metro in 1919.
6. Strange noises
An employee claims to have heard strange noises. One day she was chatting animatedly with a colleague in a rather loud tone when suddenly she heard a knock on the wall. “It was like when your neighbor from next door tells you to shut up. We searched the entire station, but we didn’t see anyone. Another day, a still image of a headless person was left on the security cameras. In any case, if there are ghosts, let them come and sit by my side.”
7. Deceased passenger
The protagonist is a girl, who is alone at a subway stop. It is night and she is waiting for the last train. When it arrives, she gets on and sees that there are only three passengers. One of them is a woman who is staring at her very intently. At the next station, a man gets on the train and sits next to her. He carefully observes the other three passengers and whispers in the girl’s ear: “Don’t move, don’t talk, and get off with me at this stop.”
When they get off, the man tells her: “I’m sorry I scared you. The woman in front of you was dead, and the two men who were with her were holding her up.”
The station today:
In 2006, restoration work began on the facilities of Madrid’s Chamberí metro station with a view to converting it into a museum that opened in 2008. The museum today features a fully restored Chamberí, complete with original old ticket vending offices, turnstiles, signposts, and advertising posters. Once you enter the museum, you will feel you’re taking a trip back in time to Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s.
Ticket vending machines
It is a blink-and-you-miss-it moment if you pass through the Chamberí station by train, and you might just assume your mind is playing tricks on you, but this is in fact Madrid’s hidden ghost station. So pay attention!