Estefanía Gutierrez Lázaro was an average teenage girl, enjoying her adolescent years as a high school student in Madrid, Spain. Her untimely and mysterious death was enough to cause a suspicious murmur within the Vallecas community, a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. However, Estefania’s passing catalyzed a series of unexplained (and seemingly paranormal phenomena) within the Lázaro home; supernatural activity that would later be recorded by law enforcement officials.
Let’s first begin our tale by touching on the bizarre circumstances of Estefania’s passing. On a brisk spring day in 1990, 16-year-old Estefania attended her high school classes per her usual routine. A normal day in a familiar place – but as her tennis shoes squeaked against the floors of the building, Estefania had no idea what awaited her. Her friends, youthful and rebellious teens, decided to skip class and convene inside the bathroom. One of these girls, a close friend of Estefania’s, was stricken by the grief of recently losing her boyfriend to a fatal motorcycle accident. Desperate for closure, the girl sought comfort through an unusual tactic: a Ouija Board. The teenagers decided to hold a seance in an effort to contact the late boyfriend. The spooky situation was interrupted by a rightfully angered teacher, and the girls dispersed and returned to class. Unbeknownst to Estefania, however, she did not leave the bathroom… alone.
In the weeks following the attempted seance, something deep and unsettling changed within Estefania. She began to exhibit symptoms of severe mental and physical illness, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Catatonia, voice changes, and seizures
- Behavioral changes – growing hostility towards family members that eventually led to physical attacks perpetrated by Estefania.
After a year of these symptoms growing in disturbing intensity, Estefania’s seizures sent her into a coma, and the teenage girl died tragically one day later. She was pronounced dead on July 14, 1991, and the physicians at Gregorio Marañón Hospital determined her cause of death as pulmonary asphyxia by a convulsion. A simple enough explanation, yet the cause of the symptoms that led to her coma was not as easily identified. What happened that fateful day in a high school bathroom, and how did it lead to the death of an innocent girl?
After Estefania’s tragic passing, life in the Lázaro house was one of immense grief. The loss of their daughter alone was enough to envelop the family with despair. The events that followed, however, turned their grief into pure terror.
In the early morning of November 27, 1992, the local police recieved a call from a Vallesca resident, complaining of loud, violent noises, echoing from the apartment next door (the Lázaro home). The call appeared to be a regular noise complaint, and Inspector Jose Pedro Negri and three officers were dispatched to investigate. When they arrived at the scene, however, they were met by the entire Lázaro family, standing in the freezing street, eyes fixed on the windows of their vacant (or what should have been vacant) home. They regaled the officers with stories of the strange phenomena that had been occurring for over 2 years:
- A shadow of an elderly person was seen moving in the hallway of the apartment.
- Disembodied voices and laughter. The vocal register sounded elderly, leading the Lazaro family to suspect it was an apparition of their late grandfather.
- Supernatural forces that would throw items across their home, including glass cups and even the family dog.
- Supernatural forces that would slam doors, move items, and terrorize guests. A bulk of this activity occurred in the bathroom, where the paranormal energy appeared to concentrate. Family members often used the restroom in pairs to protect one another from these forces.
At the time, the officers may have rolled their eyes at the family’s fearful laments; and, in hindsight, their skepticism would have been reasonable. However, the policeman dutifully conducted a search of the apartment, with low expectations of supernatural activity. What they discovered upon entering the home, however, was a grave and terrifying sight. One that would later be recorded in their official police report.
Inspector Negri, the three officers, and Mr. Lázaro (Estefania’s father) carefully entered the apartment. During the investigation, Inspector Negri documented:
- An unexplained drop in temperature upon entering the bathroom
- Cupboard doors opening and slamming shut in front of their eyes
- Loud noises emanating from vacant rooms
- An unidentified, slimy substance dripping from a bedside table
- A crucifix torn from the wall and thrown across the room by an unseen force
The officers left the scene unnerved and perplexed by the strange phenomena they witnessed. Their observations were recorded, stamped, and filed by the inspector who has never redacted their statements. Rather, Inspector Negri has confirmed the validity of this report in both legal testimony and media interviews throughout the years. It’s important to mention, however, that the officers did not specify the cause of this strange phenomenon in the official document. They recorded their observations but did not suggest the source was paranormal. There are many reasons a door can swing open and shut, right?
So what happened that fateful day November day in the Lázaro apartment? Even more compelling, what caused the mysterious death of a seemingly healthy teen? Were these events caused by normal, physical sources that can be explained through science and circumstance? Or were they evoked by something else, something paranormal?
Dear viewers, we’ll leave that conclusion up to you.