O.K. They don't celebrate Halloween in Havana (unless you stumble across a party of embargo-busting Americans defying the travel ban). But from the history department of Old Havana Foods comes this creepy Caribbean tale.
Legend has it the bones of Christopher Columbus are in Havana. Of course, the Domincans have long claimed he's buried in Santo Domingo. And the Spaniards say they have D-N-A evidence to prove the explorer's remains are in Seville. For centuries now, it's been one of history's most famous unanswered questions.
But through the decades, sun-burned tourists (groggy from too many frijoles negros and Cuba libres) have been startled to see an other-worldly apparition, slipping through the shadows of La Habana Vieja. Believers swear it's the ghost of Christopher Columbus!
When he died in 1506, Columbus' will revealed a desire to be buried in the New World. After a lot of arguing and disagreement, the Spaniards later transferred his bones to Hispaniola.
But when the French took control of the Caribbean island in 1795, the explorer's remains were rushed to Havana (the Spanish wanted to prevent his famous bones from falling into the hands of their arch-enemies). Cuban history records that for more than a century, Columbus' weary bones got a well-deserved rest in Havana.
When the Spanish lost colonial Cuba in 1898, however, Columbus' well-traveled remains were on the move again. They shipped his dusty bones over the Atlantic - back to the place where he first embarked on his famous expeditions - Spain.
But no matter what the Spanish may claim, to this day, many Habaneros still believe that a part of Christopher Columbus secretly resides in Havana. And to this day, as visitors enjoy Cuban music and Cuban food in the historic capital city - there are sightings. People still see the spirit of the old ghost, roaming the cobblestoned streets of Habana. Happy Halloween everybody!