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Tuesday, September 25 2018 @ 12:41 PM UTC

So, Where Did The Name "Tumba Muerto" Really Come From?

History & Reference By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This morning I posted an article about illegal street racing in Panama City, which reminded me of a story I had heard about the origin of the name of "Tumba Muerto" in Panama City. Back in the late 80's I was told the name came from rich kids who had crashed their cars while racing on the road. And of course as it often happens, as soon as I post something that's wrong, I get corrected. I received the following via email this afternoon, a story handed down through the generations of Panamanians from the area.

"Dr. Octavio De Icaza, a dentist, told me the truth about the name that has been given to the Via Ricardo J. Alfaro.

Many years ago these lands were few large paddocks where their owners kept cattle, where they milked their cows to sell it, and many people passed through this area in the early hours of the morning. The dairy owners complained to the milkers, because some time earlier they had started delivering the milk later than usual. When the owner of the dairy asked them what was happening, feeling very sorry, they told him "Look, Mr. José María, what is happening is that we have to wait for the dawn, because if we don't, then we might run into the ghost who comes out in the early morning hours."

"Here's the thing," he responded. "Tomorrow I will go to see this supposed dead person," said the dairy owner. And indeed, when he arrived at a certain point, there was a "dead" person who was there and floating from one side to the other. The dairy owner then pulled out his gun and fired a shot into the dark, and right away he heard some screams "don't kill me, don't kill me!"

In that way José María was able to learn that the individual had tied a long rope to a tree, and from there he could "float" from one side to the other, thus scaring the poor bystanders, when they were afraid of the ghost, they would drop what they had in their hands to run away, and then the "dead" person would come down to collect the booty.

And since that day this area - the area of Via Ricardo J. Alfaro - has been known as "Tumba Muerto." And Panamanians are like that, once a name has been applied to a place, no one can take it away. The same happened with the second bridge over the Canal. When they said they would give it the name of a famous person no one accepted, and the bridge was baptized "Centennial." The author is a Panamanian citizen."

Source: http://mensual.prensa.com/mensual/contenido/2006/11/11/hoy/opinion/793132.html

Author: HILDEMARTA D. DE RIERA

Editor's Comment: Thanks for sending this to me. It's a much more interesting tale than a bunch of idiots crashing their cars on a new road. I like it. A "real" ghost story, and just in time for Halloween.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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So, Where Did The Name "Tumba Muerto" Really Come From? | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
So, Where Did The Name \"Tumba Muerto\" Really Come From?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 06 2012 @ 01:47 AM UTC

Before it was paved, the road led to a spot known as "Tumba Muerto," which was approximately where El Dorado is now. I can guarantee that nobody raced their hot cars there. On the other hand, after it was paved and had little traffic, it sometimes served as a testing ground for hopped up cars. But it had its name long before that.

So, Where Did The Name \"Tumba Muerto\" Really Come From?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 07 2012 @ 12:31 PM UTC

So many years trying and pondering over the Tumba Muerto name origin... and finally, DW enlightened me... Thanks Don.... rocky

So, Where Did The Name \"Tumba Muerto\" Really Come From?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 08 2012 @ 05:49 PM UTC

I've always wanted to know how Tumba Muerto got it's name. Thanks' Don! Any idea how "Diablo" got it's name?

Best regards,

-Joe-