Witches in Guipuzcoa
Here are stories of witches in Guipuzcoa: the coalman and the witches, night laundry, one thousand five hundred pikes, the parish priest's request, mariatxo for us, the Azelain bridge, hit me again, bad meeting in Zubiaundi, a caught witch, a thief of blood sausages
The coalman and the witches
A mishap happened to a man from the Gorbozuru farm near Matxinbeta. He was a coalman and bore the nickname Lopia. That evening, things did not go well for him. Whenever he had a good pyre he realized that there wasn't the usual draft, in short, there had to be a leak somewhere in his hearth. He began to search, wasting more time and constantly cursing until he finally found a leak.
But it was not a small hole but an extraordinary hole and not having a large enough log to fix it, he realized that he would have a difficult task to do. In a fit of fury, gazing defiantly at the sky and clenched fists he shouted:
- Isn't there a witch or a demon from hell to help me?
Mysteriously a feminine voice, strident and very unpleasant, broke the silence of the mountain, a voice which said to the coalman:
- Lopia, what size do you want the log?
It is said that the man of Goborzuru was so terrified that he instantly abandoned his pyre and ran towards the house without stopping which was located several kilometers away.
One night, a herdsman from Bedaio named Maurizio was going with his team to Ugarte when, passing on the river near the Edar Iturri fountain, heard a noise similar to washing clothes. As, despite the darkness of the night, he made out a few washerwomen, he asked them with great astonishment:
- Do you think it's time to do the laundry?
One of them, close to the man, coming even closer answered him:
- Yes, Maurizio, and, holding a bundle, added: Come on, grab these clothes and help me wring it out.
Our man, finding that the washerwoman was quite low-cut, her dress largely rolled up, speechless and animated by an unhealthy curiosity, said nothing. Worse, dazed, he grabbed the bundle that the washerwoman held out to him like an automaton without really thinking about it.
The cries that Maurizio let out, the female laughter we heard around, the pain the herdsman had in his hands, made him realize that the washerwoman had not handed him clothes but a bundle of thorns. Our poor Maurizio, humiliated by the joke, his hands clawed and bloody, continued his frightened way, energetically stimulating his oxen in order to leave the place as quickly as possible because he understood that these washerwomen were in reality witches.
One thousand five hundred spades
One night, a peasant from Asteazu, who always bragged about not believing in witches, coming home found himself facing an impressive group of witches and thought his last hour had arrived. One of them, certainly the captain, spoke to him:
- Take! Fanfaron! aren't you saying there are no witches? Look, there are at least one thousand five hundred here because Mari Txuri and others couldn't come today!
It is said that they demanded that he count them one by one and that each stung our poor unfortunate.
The parish priest's request
A priest in Amezketa, very interested in phenomena relating to witches and witchcraft, suspected one of his parishioners of being a witch. One day, when he passed her on the road, he asked her point blank:
- Well, I know you're a witch ...
As the woman looked at him with a penetrating though mocking gaze, the clergyman hastened to add:
- Don't worry, I'm not going to denounce you!
He was too curious to know how the great Akelarre festivals were celebrated. Then the supposed witch, with all her usual banter, replied:
- Well, you will see, Monsieur le Cure. On, on, I am not one but from what I heard, they do it by doing the natural needs on the spoon of a goat who presides over the feast. The priest said nothing and followed his path with his head bowed, confused, feeling behind his back the penetrating gaze of this woman, a gaze penetrating like the point of a sword.
Mariatxo for us
Mariatxo, Bedaio's most beautiful daughter, was always bragging about not being afraid of the night. So much so that one day, at nightfall, persisting with other young people who had remained to prepare his trousseau, said:
- I bet you that I can do three laps around the house right now!
No sooner said than done. Leaving the house in front of the frightened young girls, she made one turn then another ... attacking the third, a hollow voice arose from the darkness:
- Eguna egunezkoentzat eta gaba gabezkoentzat, Mariatxo orain guretzat!
(The day for those of the day and the night for those of the night, now you are our Mariatxo!)
Nothing was ever heard of Mariatxo again.
The Azelain bridge
It is said that in time, a bridge in Azelain, now disappeared, over the Rio Oria, and a homonymous palace existed in the Sorabilla d'Andoain district and that they were built overnight by witches.
It is also said that it was the lamiñak who built this palace. What is certain is that a stonemason, unable to build the bridge, promised his soul to the witches by asking for their help. They quickly started building the same night and when they were almost done, began to sing:
“Eskuz esku labaingo arria, ta akabatu dugu Azelaingo zubia. Ea neskak, eun ta milla gaituk, arri baten paltan gaituk! "
(Working hand in hand on the Labain stone, we have almost finished the Azelain bridge. Ea, girls, there are a hundred and a thousand of us, with only one stone and we are coming to the end!).
Hearing such a thing, feeling lost, the stonemason ran to seek the priest to perform an exorcism. He did so and the terrified witches fled, forgetting to put the last stone.
Hit me again
One day, a washerwoman from Altzo, discovered very near her, a black cat who was staring at her with suspicion. Surprise making her hair stand on end, she had no other idea than to grab a nearby stick and struck the animal a tremendous blow. But, curiously, this one, did not make the slightest gesture to escape, on the contrary, he sat down on the two hind legs, looking motionless like a statue at our washerwoman.
This seemed so strange to the washerwoman that she took several steps back. However, she was even more afraid when suddenly, the cat asked her in a feminine and urgent voice:
- Hit me again! for whatever you want, hit me again!
Realizing very quickly that she was dealing with a witch and knowing that to hurt them you had to hit them with an odd number and that normal cats do not speak, even if they are black, taken by the deepest panic , the washerwoman abandoned the cat to her fate and ran away to her house, forgetting the laundry she was washing on the spot.
Bad encounter in Zubiaundi
One Friday evening, a villager from Leintz-Gatzaga, named Manuel Beitia, passing over the Zubiaundi bridge, met a group of odd-looking old women who asked him:
- Where are you going Manuel?
The questioned, sufficiently candid, answered them:
- To this farm which is on the other side of the river to find out if anyone will want to accompany me on the pilgrimage to the Arantzazu sanctuary.
It took him wrong because he shouldn't have talked about it to these old women who happened to be witches and as such, aggressive as soon as they heard about Christianity. Besides, he was not slow to understand his mistake because, with all the violence in the world, the witches threw themselves on the poor man, not grabbing his hair, put him in a furnace spending all night feeding him with wood to leave it ground.
A witch caught
On a farm in Hondarribia, the cattle began to lose weight dangerously in the corral. As this could only be the work of a witch according to the priest, they set a trap for him to catch it. One evening, they lit two blessed candles in the corral which they put in a box with its lower part open. On top, they put up a bag with items to hide the blessed candles from the witch.
It wasn't long before she appeared in the form of a threatening black cat mounted on a cow. The men left their hiding place and turned on the light. Immediately, the cat begged them to turn it off, but the latter, fearing that it might escape, left it on. So when the day broke, they could see that the animal turned into an old woman from the neighborhood.
A thief of blood sausages
On Saint Martin's Day, in a farm in Astigarrabia, a rural village in the Mutriku region, the pig was killed. The people of the house were dismayed to see that blood sausages, sausages and some other good pieces of the animal were being stolen. This for several years.
The master of the house therefore decided to watch. When the slaughter was finished, our man hid behind the door where the cold cuts were kept and waited there. In the evening, a small dog wasted no time in appearing. A harmless-looking little dog headed straight for the blood sausages and sausages and took in his mouth several pieces of fresh cold meats. Obviously, it was indeed the thief and could not have gone far with his loot because the farmer began to hit the dog breaking his hind legs.
Despite this handicap, the animal was able to escape and save its life. The master of the farm collected his blood sausages and other cold meats and then told his family what had happened. The next day the sacristan appeared with both legs broken and not able to explain his accident with conviction. Everyone in Astigarribia began to think that the thief dog and the sacristan, probably a sorcerer, were the same person.