The terrible leprosy disease destroyed many lives throughout the ages. And in the city of Loja, The Hangman’s Tunnel in Loja, Ecuador is the place for one of the city’s tragic ghost stories. 

The city of Loja in Ecuador was a place that people set out from to look for the mystical town of El Dorado in search of gold. Today it is more known as a place of culture, art and song. But even this bright singing city has its dark stories and legends.  

A long time ago there was a leprosy colony at the asylum known as San Juan de Dios Hospital in Loja in Ecuador. Back in the day it used to be an incurable disease and the people suffering from it were put away far from other people fearing to catch the disease. 

It is a horrible disease that causes severe disfiguring skin sores as well as nerve damage. It had a huge social stigma and those suffering from it were placed in these Leprocomio, or leper colonies across the world. 

This was the place where Ana María grew up, as her unwed mother, Luz Marina had to take a job at the colony to support her daughter after she was kicked out of her family. Ana María grew up and received an education as a nurse as well, working closely with those affected by the disease. 

She fell in love with a young law student named Luis Felipe. Over two years they met at their regular meeting place on the road leading to the hospital by a huge cliff known then and especially after as The Hangman’s Path. 

After her mother died, Ana María hoped to marry, but found that she had been infected by the disease and had to be quarantined with the other infected away from everyone. 

Unable to meet her fate, she decided to hang herself in a guabo tree near their regular meeting place. When Luis Felipe saw her hanging from the tree, he too chose to hang himself together with her. 

Today, the hospital is known as Hospital Isidro Ayora. In 2007, they built a tunnel at The Hangman’s Path, now known as the Hansman’s Tunnel. It is a popular place for the locals to gather when playing with Ouija boards and claiming that they have seen the ghost of the two lovers, hanging from the tunnel. 


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