In Fort San Cristobal in San Juan, Puerto Rico, there is a haunted guard box called “El Garita Del Diablo” or “The Devil’s Sentry Box”.
The sentry boxes or “garitas” in San Cristobal were built in 1634 and used by the Spanish soldiers to guard the city walls at night. Many of the sentry boxes were quite isolated and lonely and at night the guards would shout out to each other in their boxes to make sure everything was OK.
But there was one sentry box in which none of the soldiers wanted to spend the night. It was the most distant and lonely one, standing on a cliff in Fort San Cristobal, the oldest part of the fort’s defences. Guards who stayed there overnight told strange stories of eerie sounds and whispering voices they could hear in the still of the night. They said it sounded like evil spirits or demons were talking to each other.
One night, it was the turn of a soldier named Sanchez to be the guard on duty there. Like every other night, the occasional shouts from one guard to another were heard but nothing was heard from the sentry box that Sanchez was guarding. Whenever one of the other soldiers called to him, there was no reply. The other soldiers became worried during the rest of the night, and trembled thinking about what may have happened to their friend.
At sunrise all went to check on Sanchez and found his sentry box empty. They found his rifle and his uniform, but Sanchez himself had vanished without a trace.
Sanchez was just the first of many soldiers who would disappear from that sentry box in San Cristobal, in the years that followed. Each time, when the soldiers went to check on their fellow guard, they would find nothing but his rifle and his uniform. No traces of the men were ever found and their families never heard from them again.
The mystery was never solved and the San Cristobal sentry box came to be called “The Devil’s Sentry Box” or “La Garita Del Diablo” because the soldiers all believed that their colleagues had been spirited away and devoured by the devil.