The Simiots

It is a 17th century chronicle that sheds light on the Simiots. It's about evil beings who once lived in Vallespir. Here is the text of this story as it can still be read.

the Simiots

The Simiots

"You should know that there is in the middle of Arles, in a valley crossed by the river called Tech by the inhabitants, in the county of Roussillon, in the territory of Vallespir, in the diocese of Elna, a monastery of Benedictine monks from order of Cluny. However, there was a long period during which terrible hailstorms broke out when the harvest was going to reward the hard work of the peasants: in the vines, there were neither leaves nor fruit left and in the fields only straw remained without the grain.

But, what is worse, the region was not only plagued by devastating hailstorms, but it was infested day and night with evil animals, including ferocious beasts not unlike cats and even monkeys who, without fear of man, entered houses, took children from their cradles, suffocated them and carried them off to devour them. All the inhabitants of the region, both monks and lay people, were appalled.

We held a council to see what it would be good to do. Now there was at that time, in the monastery, a certain Abbot Arnulfe, a man of holy life and good morals, adorned with virtues, humble, pious and full of wisdom. (…) The Holy Abbot said to himself that all this had happened because of his own sins and those of the inhabitants of the region, the scourge could only be averted by the arrival in this place of Arles of relics of some saints . »

So Arnulfe left for Rome.

A man of kindness, he obtained from John XIII important relics of St Abdon and Sennen. But the hardest part was perhaps still to be done: bring them back to Arles sur Tech. To get out of it he decided to hide the relics in fake barrels. He ordered two barrels with three compartments. He filled the upper and lower parts with wine and hid the relics in the middle parts. And it is thanks to this stratagem that they were able to arrive safely, where they can still be seen today.

The story goes that as soon as the convoy arrived, the Simiots disappeared...and the legend started!