What you see on this picture seems to be a regular barcelonian street, however, it has a dark and horrifying history. It’s the street of Enriqueta Martí’s former residence. Enriqueta (also called the Vampiress of Barcelona) lived in Barcelona during the late 18th and early 19th Century. Her address: Carrer Ponent 29 (today the street name is Carrer Joaquin Costa).
Little is known of Enriqueta’s live before she came to Barcelona. Once in Barcelona she found lodging and employment in the homes of the aristocracy. She worked as a maidservant and nanny. She was a very quick learner. She took her chance and learned from Barcelona’s elite while serving them. She was looking for ways to provide services to members of the privileged class who had everything that she wanted and so she might suckle at their riches.
Martí’s first undertaking was prostitution. Since she had no material belongings, her body was the only ready source of quick money. Her numerous clients included many high privileged men who would later be customers for her horrific product line.
In 1895 she married a painter, Joan Pujaló, but the marriage didn’t last long. According to her ex-husband, Enriqueta’s unpredictable character, mental instability and numerous affairs with other men caused the separation. Nevertheless, the pair reconciled and separated approximately six times.
Soon Enriqueta moved into an entirely different line of work. She was no longer the poor girl but she had acquainted some means. Over the time she had various apartments throughout the city which she would use to protect her horrible secret. Her targets were street children that no one would miss and children from very poor families that would not have the means to look for them. First she would prostitute them to upper class pedophiles.
Enriqueta was living a double life. During the day she dressed in rags to deceive her prey. She selected the children who looked the most abandoned. At night she would fashionably dress up and attend exclusive galas in the theatre El Liceu to find customers.
In 1909, she was arrested in her flat on Carrer Minerva. She was accused of offering sexual services from children in her brothel. However, thanks to her contacts with Barcelona’s high society, she was released and never faced a trial.
Enriqueta soon discovered another source of income. She set about attending to the cosmetic needs of her customer’s wives and mistresses. She slaughtered a great number of her children and extracted from them certain base ingredients. Body fat, blood and ground bone were rendered to healing elixirs, age-slowing facial cremes and ointments. Her medicine was used to treat tuberculosis which was highly feared at the time and wealthy people were paying large sums of money for these remedies.
Enriqueta’s ‘business’ was going on for many years. She was finally discovered in 1912 by a vigilant neighbor who alerted police. Only two children were saved from her apartment on Carrer Ponent 29. Her last victim was Teresa Buitart Congost. For two weeks her family looked for her until a suspicious neighbor spotted the girl in Enriqueta’s window. The police found two girls in the apartment, one was Teresa and the other one was called Angelita.
Enriqueta insisted that the second girl was her own daughter resulting from the marriage with Juan Pujaló. Investigators later found out that the girls was actually the baby she had stolen from her sister-in-law, Maria Pujaló, whom she had assisted in childbirth, making her believe that the child had died at birth.
In a later police inspection of the flat on Ponent Street human bones, hair, and other remains were found. Some of the flats that were in Enriqueta’s possession had false walls and ceilings with human remains.
C/ Jocs Florals 155: she lived here with her husband and her brother in law (hair, flesh and bones were found in this flat)
C/ Picalqués 3 bis: she lived here with her husband Joan Pujaló (bones were found here)
C/ Ferlandina 57: she lived here with her husband and another married couple. It was reported that her husband used to beat her. They didn’t pay their rent and were put on the street.
C/ Tallers 72: she lived here between 1908 and 1909 with Amelia Bayo, a 17 year old girl. They did not pay rent and were put on the street.
C/ Peu de la Creu 1: she lived here with Amelia Bayo.
C/ Minerva 6: she lived here with her lover Salvador Baquer.
C/ Poniente 29: her last residence where she lived with her father (bones, knives, bloody children’s clothes were found here)
Enriqueta herself died shortly after her imprisonment. She was suffering from uterine cancer.