Catemaco, in the state of Veracruz, is known throughout the world as a center for witchcraft and, to the dismay of some hard-core practitioners, magic has become a big tourist draw. The town holds an International Congress of Witches on the first Friday of every March.
During the event, a black mass is held at the mouth of the cave where the devil supposedly loiters. An oversize six-pointed star — they call it a Star of David — is set alight, to the delight of photographers. Politicians show up to receive amulets for good luck at the polls. Believers flock to the town to have their auras cleansed.
But what about Yucatan? Is there such a thing as Yucatecan witches?
Lourdes MaderoLanz, also known as “Monia” is the only woman to be considered Brujo Mayor (Great Witch) in the history of Yucatan, and she practiced witchcraft since a very young age and for several years until her death in 1969 when se was 88 years old.
According to the locals, the witch performed an exorcism on a man who was being attacked by a dark force. She defeated the demon, locked up the evil spirit and after that prowess, she was given the hierarchy of Yucatan’s “Bruja Mayor” and at that moment her legend began.
The “Monia” Witch, used to practice witchcraft in the region known as “Camino Real”, which runs from Chocholá in Yucatán to Calkiní in Campeche.
The witch of Yucatan lived in her house in the town of Maxcanú where she was dedicated to carry out all kinds of “jobs”, both for healing and using black magic as well.
People say the woman was so powerful that other witches from Campeche, Tabasco and Veracruz used to go all the way to Mazcanú, just to ask for her help, an she was also sought as a witchcraft teacher, reason why “Monia” became ambitious.
According to the legend, she acquired enough knowledge and power in order to become invincible by any other sorcerer in all of Mexico and she even became the bearer of the power of the dark and horrifying Maya spirit of evil known as Kabasbal.
“Monia” managed to be the best witch of all Yucatan as her power was well known, but that power led her to imagine herself as “queen of the underworld” and she became obsessed with invoking and challenging the devil himself.
Legend says that “Monia” found finally the way to summon the devil: on a December night, she made the devil come out from the jungle, and she bowed before him to ask for his help to eliminate a powerful enemy that was tormenting one of her clients.
The demon, pleased with “Monia” for having taken hundreds of souls to its domain, answered that he would help her, but she would have to take the victim to a well in the middle of the jungle, from where the evil emanated, so when they were there, the devil would emerge from the darkness to enter the body of victim and torture the enemy before killing him and stealing his soul.
The witch of Yucatan took an unfortunate man completely drugged and under the control of the sorceress and took him to the well, and as they got there, all the sounds of the jungle and the night stopped.
A horrible thing emerged: it was a hybrid of a man with the torso and head of a goat. It was a Huay Chivo who started talking to “Monia” and said “Do it now! …”
The witch made the man kneel down, and Huay Chivo entered him, possessing his soul and body, while the man wallowed and howled, victim of terrible pains.
At that moment and taking advantage of the man’s vulnerability, the woman threw both (the man and the Huay Chivo inside him), into the well, she took out some liquids made of herbs that delayed for several hours the demon conversion, this weakened him to the point that he could not climb the walls and infernal shrieks and blasphemies could be heard all over the place, while “Monia” placed a large stone lid on top of the well.
The Huay Chivo, accepting his defeat and fate, patiently waited for the human body to rot, so it could escape to the underworld, but before going back there, he cursed the sorceress and swore revenge.
“Monia” threw a couple of mooring and seal spells to make sure the demon did not escape from that “flesh and blood prison”.
After that she retired, she was satisfied, her heart did not fit in her chest as she was so proued of herself, as she had achieved the great feat of her life: defeating the devil. Her legend grew even more, but she had won just a battle, because her soul was condemned forever.
It is said that when she died, the devil appeared at her funeral to claim the body and soul of the woman, it is not known if she truly became mistress of the underworld, but the truth is that the Yucatan Witch and her legend remain among sorcerer circles around the world.
Visitors go to the house of the Yucatecan Witch in Maxcanú and they say that negative energy and evil is so strong in that place, that the spirits of other dead sorcerers gather there.
In Yucatan they consider it a cursed site, and locals claim that the devil (Huay Chivo) is still watching the house.
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