Gardening seems like one of the most harmless and relaxing activities there is. But when this man was planting flowers in his garden, he discovered a glass pot filled with otherworldly items that probably left him quite disturbed.
It all began on September 1, 2016, in Costa Rica, when reddit user ValjeanLucPicard decided to do some gardening in his backyard. The plan was simple: plant some flowers and enjoy the day.
However, as he began digging down into the ground, his trowel ran into something solid. And upon further inspection, it seemed to be some kind of a glass object, perhaps a bottle.
When he finally dug the mystery object out of the ground, however, it became apparent that this was no ordinary discarded bottle. Indeed, what he found was a large black jar covered by tape.
His first thought was that the jar might contain money or drugs that someone had hidden away but never collected. Another realistic possibility was that it was a time capsule – a container full of items from the past meant to act as a means of communicating with future generations.
However, what the jar really contained was far more bizarre. Indeed, beneath the sealed plastic cap was a thick dark liquid which he described as having a “sickly sweet smell” and “the consistency of runny marmalade.”
But that’s not all: suspended in the strange liquid, he discovered an old photo. What’s more, he was surprised to recognize the person in the picture as the property’s landlady, albeit as her much younger self.
And while he had no idea of what this all meant, his wife knew right away that the jar was an act of brujeria – the Spanish word for witchcraft. Consequently, she immediately set out to inform the landlady of what they had found.
The landlady was equally as surprised to lay eyes on the strange jar and the photo. But despite the bizarre nature of the situation, she said she knew who must have been behind this.
As she explained, it was almost certainly the work of a woman who lived on the property around 15 years previously. Evidently, they must have not gotten along very well, and the unnamed woman presumably used the jar to place a curse on the landlady.
Indeed, as they emptied the jar, they found more evidence to support this theory. Inside was a ripped piece of fabric, most likely from a dress, and a piece of paper, which presumably had the curse written on it.
Now although the couple were curious to see what the piece of paper said, the landlady urged them to burn the jar’s contents without hesitation. It was quite apparent that she believed in the curse and wanted to remove it as soon as possible.
Then, after the deed was done, she insisted on pouring holy water on the ashes and into the hole where the jar was discovered. As ValjeanLucPicard later explained, “The landlady is Catholic – but the superstitious, Central American kind.”
But despite the strangeness of the story, he revealed that the locals were not surprised at all. As ValjeanLucPicard explained, “Pretty much everyone here knew what it was, just from me saying, ‘guess what I found while digging today.’ Apparently witchcraft is still a very common thing here.”
Indeed, the practice of witchcraft and the belief in its powers is very much alive and kicking in Costa Rica. In fact, a large number of people continue to see witches and warlocks to help them do everything from solving love problems to placing curses on other people.
The typical rituals used by these brujos and brujas include tarot cards, candles, palm readings, and cleansing homes of evil. While some of these practices are also offered by practitioners of the occult in the West, they don’t seem to be nearly as popular.
In fact, just two years ago a Costa Rican woman paid $140,000 to one “maestra Sonia” to remove a curse that she believed had been placed on herself and her husband. But when the witch seemingly didn’t hold up her end of the deal, the woman went to the police.
It’s quite likely that the woman who buried the jar in the backyard some 15 years ago procured it from one such modern-day witch. And while the concept might sound ridiculous to some people in the 21st century, the landlady certainly believed the curse was real.
It is thought that these beliefs stem from Costa Rica’s pre-Colombian history. Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Mayans practiced both witchcraft and sorcery, and despite the arrival of Columbus and Christianity, these ancient beliefs seem to have survived to the modern day.
But in spite of the apparent strangeness of the story, you’ll be surprised to hear that witchcraft is growing in popularity in the West, too, especially with younger women. And while the stereotype would have us believe that witches worship Satan and sacrifice animals, modern-day witchcraft is much more about a connection with nature and spirituality than placing curses on people.