Long ago during the late 1950's, my family
lived in a small town called Seville, located some forty miles west of
Sequoia National Park in
The town had was been booming, with a Railroad running through it, but
had long since burned down leaving only small shacks for homes.
We were a hard working migrant family and settled in Seville to pick
cotton and grapes.
Soon after we arrived, we were told by
several local families that, in addition to the few migrant families
living in the shack homes, Seville was also called home to several
local witches. According to our neighbors, these Las Brujas
would appear on the first full moon of the month to fight with
each other to see who had the most power.
On the night of the
first full moon, we could hear our neighbors, the Vecinos, outside
talking about the witches. Soon, we gathered up and joined them
out of doors, fully anticipating to see some ugly women fighting.
We waited and watched late into the night without seeing anything,
when suddenly two balls of fire suddenly appeared high up in the air.
Standing between my mother's legs, I watched in awe as the two burning
flames bounced back and forth across the sky, often colliding with
each other. We were told by the neighbors that the blazing orbs
would continue to do battle until one of the witches would exhaust its
power and fall from the sky.
I became frightened
and prayed the witches would keep their distance. Finally, when
my fear overwhelmed me, I begged my mother to take me inside the
house, not staying to watch the dying ember fall from the night above.
I have never since
experienced this incident again, but I have been told that practice
continues to exist in places that witches make their home.
This is not a folklore story but a factual
Ruth E. Padilla, September, 2004