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17: Buenos Aires Café - Part III

*SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 15,16 & 17. Before reading, be sure to listen to Buenos Aires Café - Part I, II & III. Afterward, feel free to check out this "Behind-the-Episode" blog for additional info and photos! And visit our Patreon page for more extras!

Photos for this story provided by Thao Photography & Sasha Haagensen Photography (noted)

Of all of our cases to date, I have to start this off by saying this has been the series that has most impacted me. And what we put into the three episodes is only the tip of the iceberg. There were hours of unused audio from this case and I hoping to share segments of this on my Patreon page in the future.

We'd begun this case on December 1st and it spanned several months where my team and I each worked hard to contribute to this investigation in unique ways. Franklyn helped us draw a clear line between the explainable and unexplainable claims on this case. Sara does what she does best, validates the unseen with her unqique gift. And Alexis really pulled through on this case with helping behind the scenes. So I'd like to share some photos of a very special moment we didn't get to showcase on the final episode itself, but her her Paola and me allude to.

Paola had mentioned she used sage to cleanse the café often. Alexis took time to teach Paola a palo santo cleansing ceremony that would benefit her, her place of business, and the spirits residing there more so than the sage cleansings.

Here Paola lights the Palo Santo and let's it burn for a couple minutes.

Alexis then had her whip the flame out as opposed to blowing it.

It produces a heavier smoke that can fill the space.

Paolo began at the entrance of her café and cleansed the entire building.

Room by room.

When Paola had walked through the entire building with the smoking Palo Santo, Alexis showed her a closing ritual he likes to do with each cleansing. He poured a bowl of fresh rose water and had Paola retrace all her steps and sprinkle this water throughout the entire building as well. This helps cool off the space Alexis said.

Paola believes this cleansing was a big part of what brought some things to light for her, things within her staff that she could not disclose. What ever it was it was serious enough that Paola had to let go of several employees. But in the end, she says it was all for the positive. And she believes the phrase Sara had communicated to her from a passing spirit to be preparation for the anguish she was going to have to face in making the difficult decisions ahead.

Sara recapped all the activity in the building and the spirits residing there.

Estrella was thes spirit many would feel, hear, or see in the kitchen area.

Pictured above is the side of the dining area that "Pancho" resided and whom we believe is the entity many closers hear walking around at night.

And further in the back of this same dining areas Sara informed us there was a spirit attached to this piano near the back exit of the building.

Photo by Sasha Haagensen

Armando was the male spirit the staff mistakenly called "Leon", and he did reside in Milonga Room, the basement speakeasy of the café, where many of the reports were based.

Sara communicated that Armando was now aware that his actions were frightening staff and he'd be more well behaved. He still wanted to make his presence known, but wouldn't do it through touch or startling appearances.

Photo by Sasha Haagensen

He also wanted water and white candles on his shrine. Paola obliged.

I ran a little experiment based on the notes that Paola provided about the drink offerings on Armando's shrine going down. She believed he might be drinking the offerings.

I poured a glass of coffee, anejo, and tequila and made a blue mark to see where the original line was on day one.

Below, you can see how much the liquids evaporated in seven days.

I measured these and they averaged 3/4 inch is evaporation.

Following our investigations into the building with my team, I wanted to dive into research. Before heading to The Austin History Center, I learned that a nearby yerberia and botanica shop called Green & White Grocery might be able to offer some information before hitting the archives.

Owner John was very friendly and had a lot of info to share with us. He revealed that he'd been in this neighborhood and with this shop since the 50's. It was his grandfather's and father's business and now he owns it.

They have a variety of goods and I now know where I'm coming to grab my Palo Santo!

John shed light on the fact that the primary business that operated out of the Bueno Aires Café building was a tortilla factory from the late 1940's up until the 1980's. But then I learned that he knew who Leon was, and that he was alive and well. So I was able to take this information to Paola so we could at least clear up this name issue and possibly have them stop calling the spirit by the incorrect name.

Leon Hernandez owned Hernandez Café, which was a Mexican restaurant during the late 90's through early 2000's in the Buenos Aires Café building. And look what I found in the back parking lot while I was investigation this case.

But this case took a drastic turn when clues in my phone interview with one employee at the café drew up some red flags for me. Flags that made me think he might be sensitive to the paranormal and quite possibly could have a gift similar to Sara's.

Manny, the kitchen manager, had picked up on energy from the piano. No one in the entire staff at Buenos Aires Café even mentioned the piano. So when Sara called out the piano lady spirit, I began to analyze the interview I had with Manny on the phone and could pick out little cries for help. He talked about very personal things with me, thins I originally wasn't going to air. He kept mentioning feeling emotional ties to things.

In the end, when I decided to put Manny and Sara face to face just to see if she could get to the bottom of why dishes were being thrown at Manny for no apparent reason, Sara just started spilling everything out. She immediately said something that made Manny believe his grandmother was letting him know she was there, Sara quickly called out that he was sensitive, and then lastly, she brought up the personal things Manny told me in private.

It was hard to see Manny struggle with the emotional impact of everything that was happening, but in the end, he wanted us to help more. And we did.

Sara, Manny, and I met privately several times at the café to begin the process of having Sara teach him about the gift and how to protect himself and eventually use it.

There was so much that happened I was only able to share a glimpse of the incredible journey Manny went on and the validations Sara made with him throughout the sessions.

However I'm going to be editing the Manny sessions to be able to share them on our Patreon page for our patrons. A lot of it is very personal, but Manny wanted it to be available to anyone out there who might also be struggling with similar issues as him. He didn't know what he was feeling and sensing until we came into the picture. And now he feels he's slowly getting a handle on things and hopes maybe the audio of the sessions might help someone else in his shoes.

It's going to take some time, but I hope to have those up at some point.

In the end, this case was an extremely emotional one for me. I watched Sara use her gift in a new and extraordinary way. She not only brought validation to the staff having unexplainable experiences in the café, but she delivered a message to Paola from a deceased ancestor who knew Paola was going to need to hear these words, then she helped a young man struggling with a gift similar to hers gain power of it, and lastly point out some important things that must happen pertaining to a spirit tied to a traumatic loss in Manny's past.

Photo by Sasha Haagensen

Bueno's Aires Café is truly a magical place. The team and I finally got to go and hang out, grab drinks, and just enjoy Milonga Room one night.

Photo by Sasha Haagensen

Photo by Sasha Haagensen

And I'm excited to announce that Paola and her wonderful café are partnering with The Night owl Podcast to offer special themed cocktails for our listeners and also special meet-ups, events and tours of her restaurant and speakeasy.

Photo by Sasha Haagensen

I can't wait to bring these to you when they are all solidified.

Stay tuned and stay restless out there,

Stephen Belyeu

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Kirkland Swearingen
Kirkland Swearingen

Any update on the content with Manny?


Rorye Hatcher
Rorye Hatcher

The things Sara describes as happening to people who are sensitive but not controlled are unfortunately rather familiar.

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