“What is a ghost? A terrible event condemned to repeat itself over and over again, an instant of pain, perhaps something dead that seems at times still alive, a feeling suspended in time, like a blurred photograph, like an insect trapped in amber”. (excerpt from the film “The Devil’s Backbone”)
One of the most popular urban legends in the Dominican Republic, specifically in the city of Santo Domingo, tells the story of a young bride, a former local beauty queen, who died in an accident.
According to the legend, she was a beautiful young woman from a very good family, who died in an accident on the Las Americas highway on her way to the airport for her honeymoon trip.
After her death, many claims to have seen her walking at night dressed as a bride on the edge of Las Americas Avenue.
This is the story that everyone knows, a story that gained much more strength after a TV series was made telling the same story and aired on a famous local channel.
But what is the truth behind this story?
The bride of the Americas; the story known so far
In the stories appearing on the internet, the story is told of a young woman named Nathalia Coss, a former local beauty queen, recently married to a musician from Santo Domingo.
On her trip to the airport of the Americas, she had an accident and died, this story seemed to be something real because, in reality, the highway of the Americas for many years was a stretch of many fatal accidents due to the type of material with which it was built.
The TV series that aired in the mid-’90s, tells a similar heartbreaking story, a beautiful young woman from Santo Domingo loses her life with her fiancé just before getting married and wanders like a ghost in the boardwalk area.
After reading the story several times and seeing that it was mixed with other not so credible urban stories, even repeated in other countries, I decided to investigate much more in-depth about the real story.
I was obsessed with finding the real story, but it was a bit difficult because the real story happened in the 70s where digital journalism practically doesn’t exist.
But, with the help of my resources and skills as a digital publisher, I was able to find an article in a local newspaper where the real story is told.
The bride of the Americas; the true story
The origin of the story of the brides of the Americas is real, although some facts and places were partially changed.
The real character of the “Bride of the Americas” is Alicia Margarita Quirico Pagan, a talented Dominican model who won the title of Vice Queen of Tourism of the Caribbean in 1970, through a Beauty and Congeniality contest.
She studied industrial psychology at Pedro Henríquez Ureña University. The accident occurred on the afternoon of Sunday, April 8, 1973, when the vehicle she was driving, a Volkswagen Beetle model of that time, ran into a cow at kilometer 40 of the Villa del Mar – Santo Domingo highway.
Alicia had gone out that Sunday morning for a walk on the beach of Juan Dolio with family and friends to enjoy his vacation. At the time of his death, she had recently returned from Madrid where was studying for a master’s degree in psychology.
Along with Alicia, there were three other people who were injured and she was the only one who lost her life.
She had cinnamon brown skin, a tanned tone, big black eyes, and long hair the same color as her eyes. Her beauty and charisma captivated everyone who met her. She often said she was proud to be “a product of the Dominican Republic”.
Her joy and her beautiful face captivated all the Venezuelan cameras and the newspapers of that country echoed her by publishing her photographs with the caption “Miss Tourism of the Dominican Republic… her joy resuscitates the dead”.
Legend has it that many drivers who traveled on the Eastern Highway in the Dominican Republic told that they had an encounter with this beauty queen, who asked to stop the vehicle that saw her approaching.