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La Biznaga: The enigmatic town in Mexico allegedly inhabited by witches

This town in northern Mexico has a legacy of women who practice magic.

Witches have been present in the history of humanity for centuries. That figure we have in mind of a woman dressed in black, with a pointed nose, who gathers around the fire to make some spells, has become popular in the West, but it’s not the same in other regions.

According to an investigation by the BBC, we can trace back witches or characters with similar features for millennia. In Ancient Greece, for example, we have the mythological sorceress Circe who turned men into pigs. There are, as well, some passages in the Bible that talk about witches. So, yes, these beings have always been present in the history of humanity.

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Witches in Mexico

In New Spain (Mexico), it was no different. According to research conducted by Felipe Canuto Castillo of the University of Guanajuato, witchcraft in the late 17th century was strong in what is now our country. It all began when the Catholic friars arrived in Mesoamerican lands and encountered the figure of the nahualli; to apprehend her, they associated her with what, in their opinion, was similar to a witch.

The nahualli, or nahuales, are thought to be animal alter egos closely linked to human destiny and ritual specialists with the ability to transform. Witches, on the other hand, were “evil” women with evil plans. However, the idea stuck, and later the Catholic church banned black magic practices or rituals that were ancestral in Mexico.

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Even though they were considered an illegal practice, both black and white witchcraft persisted for centuries, and there are places throughout the country where they are still practiced. One of them is a small town called La Biznaga in Arteaga, Coahuila.

The witches of La Biznaga

In the 1960s a rumor spread that this site was inhabited by witches after the villagers, some of whom are still alive, allegedly saw some of them feasting and transforming into birds around a coven.

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Nowadays, the inhabitants of La Biznaga deny the existence of sorceresses in the region, but some of these women do not hide, even one of them, Martha Molina, gives interviews very often and is considered the most “powerful” witch in the region.

Jesús Peña, from Semanario de Coahuila, went to this town a few years ago, where he collected testimonies from the people who live there, as well as interviews with the alleged “witches,” who told him that the villagers often resort to these sorceresses for good and bad purposes.

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Inhabitants from other states such as Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Querétaro, and Saltillo come to La Biznaga to ask for special jobs from these women who, after centuries of advances, continue to practice witchcraft.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

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