(c) Martyn Smith. All images remain the property of their original creator.
Disclaimer: I am posting this for fun and because people enjoy reading about these things. If you choose to play any of these games then you do so at your own risk.
How to Play
- Credit goes to The_Kalawishis
- This ritual is simply provided for interest. I don’t recommend performing this. Unless any of you own a secluded manor near Mexico City then you wouldn’t be able to play anyway.
- Also known as The Manor Ritual. It took place in a Manor (obviously) near Mexico City in the eighteenth century.
- Usually played by peninsulars and criollos, New World figures who were at the top of the sistema de castas racial hierarchy.
- It is said that this ritual was only performed a few times and had died out almost completely by the time of Caste War of Yucatan (a Mayan uprising) took place.
- There may be links to the human sacrifice rituals which were practiced by the Aztecs, although the OP notes that such links are tenuous at best. The connection appears to be that the ritual was performed near Tenochtitlan and involved staircases and blood.
- The effigy was most commonly fashioned from straw, cloth and wood. Although it is said that the family performing the ritual would, in extreme cases, use a deceased Native or African laborer, painted and dressed appropriately.
- There are over twenty variations of this ritual, each deviating in insignificant ways.
- It is not clear what ‘black blood’ actually is. The OP describes it thus, ‘in illustrations, it is often depicted as a red liquid, dark to the point of almost being black (in one source it is completely black, the same color as the text). Given its name, some have ventured to conjecture that black blood is blood mixed with ashes, although that conjecture does not help answer the question of exactly what animal the blood would come from.’
- A secluded manor house with two stories and a straight stairwell ascending from one to the other.
- An assistant.
- A chair.
- A pike.
- Black blood.
- An effigy of the ‘victim.’
- A sack or piece of cloth.
- Three candles
- A full length mirror.
- A lighter or matches.
- First you must select a room in which to play. The room should be above another. The OP describes this room as “el piso de la sala superior es el techo de la sala inferior’, that is, the top rooms floor is the bottom rooms ceiling.” You should clearly be able to hear someone speaking in the ‘superior’ room.
- Clear all furniture from both rooms (above and below), including all portraits or photographs, especially anything that is connected to the family (heirlooms etc). If either room has windows, these must be covered.
- A lone chair should be placed in the middle of the ‘superior’ room, facing the door.
- The floor of the interior room should be covered with linen.
- A pike should be stood perpendicular to the floor in the ‘inferior’ room.
- An assistant should prepare an effigy of the intended ‘victim’ of the ritual, usually an enemy of the family. This effigy should be attached to the pike, ensuring that it does not touch the floor.
- After full dark, the performer, customarily female, should sit on the chair in the middle of the ‘superior’ room.
- From here there are some minor deviations based on the time period in which the ritual was performed. To avoid confusion I am using the later method.
- The assistant should now place a full length mirror upright beside the door and light three candles before leaving the room, covering their face with a sack or cloth as they do so.
- You should now place the mirror so it leans against the door as vertically as possible, facing the chair.
- The assistant should take a case of ‘sangre nagra’ or ‘black blood’ to the inferior room. They should pour the black blood over the effigy and loudly chant, ‘el te derriba,’ (he casts you out) seven times. The blood should cover the effigy and drip onto the linen on the floor.
- Once you hear the seventh, ‘el te derriba,’ you should begin your part of the ritual. You should cover your ears with your hands and say, ‘dios no ve este casa,’ (God does not see this house) seven times.
- Now stare at the mirror and bare your teeth at your reflection, blinking as seldom as possible.
- The assistant should wait a moment for ‘el diablo ha tenido suficiente para beber,’ which translates as ‘when the devil has had enough to drink.’ This is usually the moment when the last of the black blood has stopped dripping onto the linen.
- The assistant should now leave the ‘inferior’ room and go to the ‘superior’ room and knock on the door. This alerts you to begin the next phase of the ritual.
- You should now leave the room, relocating the mirror and candles to their former positions on the way out. Approach the head of the stairwell.
- The assistant should return to the ‘inferior’ room and detach the effigy of the ‘victim’ from the pike, bringing it to you. You now throw it down the stairs, saying, ‘el te derriba.’
- The assistant should retrieve the effigy and hand it to you so the process can be repeated until it totals seven times, although some deviations specify only three. You should repeat ‘el te derriba’ each time, getting louder with each repetition.
- The effigy should now be burned by the assistant.
- The assistant can now clean up, which includes removing the mirror and candles and storing them in a secluded, but secure location. The mirror must never be broken.
- If the ritual has been performed correctly, the victim should come to a sudden and unfortunate end within seven days. This can be via illness or a dark figure that will appear in their room and spirit them away. If however the ritual has been performed incorrectly, then you and your family will pay a heavy price.
It is said if you perform this ritual incorrectly you will hear Sympathy for the Devil playing repeatedly in your ear for all eternity. Not really.
The OP details a great number of things that can go wrong with this ritual. I quote directly from the OP here:
‘The most common mistake is to pour too much black blood onto the effigy, letting the liquid drip onto the floor for far too long.
Though the ritual should start well after dusk, various sources emphasize how it needs to be performed quickly, and a small number warn that if the ritual drags on after midnight then it could have deadly consequences.
Rare but valuable personal accounts from performers of the ritual often note how they can feel an unnerving presence around them as they sit, head covered or uncovered, in the superior room. Notably, those who adhered to the later custom would often see their reflection slowly and subtly morph into a repulsive and demonic figure, baring its teeth back at the performer in the dim light.
An obscure account from a servant’s diary, one that was restored by a local librarian after many weeks of labor, tells of an envious aging wife who wanted to kill a woman whom her husband was doting on with the ritual, using the later custom. The servant, who was the assistant for that particular ritual, accidentally poured too much black blood onto the effigy, thus letting the ritual drag on past midnight. He described how, just as the trickle of black blood was beginning to slow, he heard a series of frantic screams from the wife above him. He rushed up to the superior room and pushed open the door, knocking the mirror onto the floor and shattering it. The wife claimed to have seen the devil completely materialize in the mirror and attempt to step out of it before it was shattered. Various times after that event, the servant records sightings of a dark red, almost black figure in various places around the manor and its grounds, sightings which stop with the death of the wife less than a month after the ritual.
The second most common problem that occurs during the ritual involves the phase when the effigy is thrown repeatedly down the stairs. From the repeated impacts many effigies fall apart, and can only be taken back up a stairwell in tatters. Limited accounts of this happening all mention that a foul odor beyond that of the effigy’s material or that of black blood seems to emanate from the effigy’s exposed innards, leaving behind a sickening miasma that seems to inhabit the stairwell for weeks. Those who use the stairwell regularly after that are documented as developing symptoms similar to those supposed to be inflicted on the victim. Perhaps most disturbing was the account of a family that used a fresh cadaver of a Native laborer. They had committed to casting the laborer down the stairs a full seven times, but on the sixth time the corpse opened its eyes and growled demonically. The panicked family incinerated the effigy immediately, terminating the ritual. The family patriarch, who describes the ritual in his diary, then begins to describe vivid nightmares and episodes of sleep paralysis involving the effigy watching him as he lay in bed. He writes of these incidents almost nightly for a month before his diary inexplicably ends.’
Would I play?