La Planchada


Informant: Another one that my sister just told me, it’s about a nurse. In Mexico City, there’s a lot of hospitals. Like, basically my mom lives here, and all around her home it’s all hospitals. Everywhere you go there’s a hospital. So the legend says, that this lady, they call her La Planchada. So, why do they call he La Planchada? Because she was a nurse. She worked in a hospital, but the way people noticed her was her dress was always well ironed, you know, and crispy. You know how when it’s like… how it’s fine, like perfect, always. So she fell in love with a doctor, but the doctor, again, said, you know, he didn’t love her back. So she killed herself, and she, um, she became… before she killed herself she became a mean nurse. She was the best nurse. But then after she killed herself they said, that… after he left her she, uh… killed herself, and now it’s said that every hospital in Mexico City has a Planchada.

Interviewer: Like has a…

Informant: Like a lady. A nurse that they call La Planchada cause there’s patients that have said they’ve seen them… that they’ve seen her.

Interviewer: So it’s like a… wait so is it like a person designated or is it just like a…

Informant: It’s like a dead person in every hospital.

Interviewer: Oh, whos like La Plan-

Informant: Who’s La Planchada.

Interviewer: Oh. That’s cool.


Context– The informant is a middle-aged Mexican immigrant who grew up in Mexico City and then immigrated to Los Angeles in her teenage years. She has many family members still in Mexico City, so she learned many of these legends from those family members both while growing up and during her frequent visits and phone conversations.


Analysis– The existence of this legend can probably be attributed to the large amount of hospitals the informant said exist in Mexico City. Due to the large amounts of deaths that occur at hospitals it makes sense that there would be legends about haunted ones. I find it interesting that the ghost does not exist in one hospital but in many, and this fact could be due to so many hospitals being in proximity to one another that the ghost story from one spread to others. The idea of a mean nurse being the ghost could also be attributed to the common fear of hospitals, with people imagining a nurse as the representation of the anxieties people often have when they visit hospitals.