The mummies on display were taken from the Santa Paula cemetery. [¿Es el mismo que el Municipal?] According to the cemetery rules, if a plot was not bought “in perpetuity”, the remains would be exhumed. So, in 1865, when the necessary proofs of payment could not be found, it was decided to dig up the body of the French doctor Remigio Leroy. And to the astonishment of the gravediggers, the body had been mummified.
More and more mummies were unearthed, and by 1870 the cemetery authorities began to store them in one of the administration buildings. Word spread and visitors began to arrive for a secret peek at the mummies. Very soon, it had become one of the city’s most popular attractions. Not all the bodies in the cemetery undergo mummification. The old gravediggers noticed that only those bodies covered in coal and lime become mummies, while those buried in metal coffins last up to ten years at most.
Initially, visits to the mummies were informal and done in secret, but curiosity grew and grew, and so today we have the museum, which now displays over one hundred mummies to the visiting public.