Galapagos History | 5 MIN READ

The Headless Gringa of the Galapagos: Trapped in Purgatory

User Avatar Written by: Christopher Klassen
Seymour Airport on Baltra Island

While Santa Cruz Island’s natural history is interesting, Baltra Island’s paranormal past may be even more intriguing, especially with Halloween approaching this month. We are, of course, referring to the Galapagos Headless Gringa.

In fact, the US had a sizable facility on Baltra Island during World War II, more over 50 years ago. There were many ammunition bunkers, two runways, a pier with fuel and water supplies, hundreds of men’s quarters, and even a tiny movie theater and bowling alley. And this is where our narrative starts, my dear reader.

There are wonderful landscapes you can admire at Punta Espinoza!

Landscape in Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Headless Gringa: An Infernal Trap

When the United States was present on Baltra Island, “The Stone House” served as both a bar and an officers’ club. With its striking windows, red roof, and substantial stone walls, it’s quite a remarkable building. About ten or twelve Ecuadorian troops from the Army, Marines, and Air Force resided here. They all did one thing consistently: they slept in the same room. They kept their faithful dog outdoors to guard them from any horrors that could be lurking there at night.

The guys who slept here remembered hearing the sounds of the Galapagos Headless Gringas directly outside, as if to entice and call them into The Stone House. The Gringa’s screams would get louder and louder until the dog would cry and howl and be allowed inside.

Land Iguana Baltra Galapagos Islands

Land Iguana Baltra Galapagos Islands

Even at night, several men claimed to have felt as though something was trying to suffocate them by crawling into bed with them, climbing on top of them, and settling down on their chest. The feeling would go the moment I woke up. Occasionally, a dark, sly figure would appear and hover around the rear of the home, indicating the presence of someone.

Even now, it’s still unknown if reports about the Headless Gringa of Galapagos are merely gossip or real. Despite the spooky tales, the Galapagos Islands are full of magic—beautiful, wonderful enchantment that makes a trip there highly recommended! You won’t want to miss this location because of the great creatures and breathtaking sceneries. And on all of our tours, you have the option to attempt and see the Headless Gringa for yourself upon arrival on Baltra!

An Event at the American Military Base on Baltra Concerning the Headless Gringa of the Galapagos Islands

According to legend, there was an event at the facility during the brief American military occupation of the Galapagos. When he learned that his fiancée had cheated on him, a soldier with a short fuse blew out and threw her down the cliffs that border the little island of Baltra. But the girlfriend seemed to have lost her head when falling from the steep rocks. The soldier was able to hide it from everyone by claiming that she had just gone swimming and was never seen again, maybe even running away with her boyfriend.

After the war, the United States finally packed up after many years. The critically important Panama Canal was no longer under threat, nor should it be protected. After removing as much as they could, they turned the base over to the army of Ecuador. And that’s when things began to go strange.

An Occurring Presence

She initially manifested herself to lonely men as a stunning apparition, enticing them with her alluring beauty to a remote location before revealing her true self—a headless, shrieking ghost—and unleashing her fury of resentment and hatred.

One of her most famous victims was a charming man who worked at the Ecuadorian Air Force installation on Baltra. Some claim it was just bad luck, while others attribute the ghost’s attraction to him to his degree of confident arrogance. Even so, he vanished for many days until being discovered tied up and frothing at the mouth on the island’s far eastern coast. This Don Juan desperately pleaded for the “Gringa” to simply leave him alone after he was saved.

Her peculiar scent was highlighted by his account of the encounter with the Headless Gringa of the Galapagos, which he described as akin to Palo Santo (frankincense) perfume. This tree is endemic to the northern area of Santa Cruz, Baltra, and the North Seymour Islands. But as they drew nearer to her, this scent unsettlingly transformed into the sickening smell of rotting flesh. His dementia never went away, despite the troops’ and higher-ups’ sincere hopes that it would, and they were finally compelled to return him to the mainland.