haunted

Do you have a haunted place?

Actually, I have more than one haunted place. Characters call to me through the twisting corridors of time. They pick the locales, and they nag and wail and banshee until I weave the stories they want revealed.

For Hallowe’en, I’m highlighting one of my haunted places.

MEXICO CITY IS A HAUNTED PLACE.

Probably even more so since the latest series of earthquakes reduced so much urban fabric to rubble. But Mexico City is built on the ruins of the mighty Aztec nation. Its governmental palace in the Zocalo is constructed from Aztec stone. The beige in the Spanish building below once grazed the sky as pyramids.

haunted

As did the stone in Mexico City’s central cathedral.

haunted

James Wilkinson, the villain in my Nowhere series, died of an opium overdose in Mexico City. James Monroe sent Wilkinson to Mexico to help shape the nation in its break with the Spanish crown. The author of the Monroe Doctrine wasn’t shy about meddling in the affairs of neighboring nations, especially if the outcome meant a stronger United States.

Wilkinson was happy to play both sides if he ended up with a vast swath of Texas. Before he died, Mexico’s leaders agreed to give him millions of acres of prime Texas land.

How would the United States map appear today if someone hadn’t given Wilkinson too much opium?

Wilkinson was initially buried in Mexico’s Baptist church near the city center. Its dome is visible above the colorful buildings in the picture below.

haunted

When Wilkinson died, he was renting a house near the city’s horse track. Sprawl consumed the horse track long ago. City layers tease the ghosts from before. Urban planners preserved the racetrack in this circular city park and roadway.

haunted

Wilkinson would’ve strutted across this square many times in his perambulations. Workers exhumed his bones in the mid-1800s.

haunted

Today, he rests in a mass grave in the Mexico City National Cemetery. AND THAT’S WHERE READERS MEET HIM AT THE BEGINNING OF I AM NUMBER 13……….

Read more about Mexico City National Cemetery HERE.

Haven’t been to Nowhere? Get my books HERE.

Or making words. It’s the same thing these days.

Our No Family Holidays With Family policy is breaking new ground this Thanksgiving. I need to take a trip for book research. To smell the scents. And haunt the haunted places. And tease out sounds from almost 200 years ago. Or millennia ago.

I’ll take what I can get.

And I’ve been working on my Help! I’m Married to An Architect! board on Pinterest, torturing MTM with images from a place he’s never been.

No. That wasn’t intentional. But this destination has been a regular subconscious theme of late.

When the characters told me I needed to get on a plane, I found a way to turn our family tradition into a Deductible Event.

We wanted to go somewhere else.

Blasted characters.

We’re flying to Mexico City instead.

*image from history.com

Have you ever wound up going somewhere you never meant to be?