Cure for Illness Supposedly Caused by Evil Spirits

The following is from an interview between me and my friend, Elizabeth, at the front desk of the Caruso Catholic Center. She told me about an odd cure for illnesses which are supposedly caused by evil spirits.

Elizabeth: “Okay, so when I was 3 years old, I got very, very sick to the point where everybody in my family thought that I was gonna die, like I was having night sweats and, like, tremors, and I, like actually had the physical signs of sickness. And so, we went to– my parents took me to the the best doctors and they just couldn’t tell what was wrong with me. So, they really couldn’t do anything for me and we went back to see one of my aunts in–(laughs) in Mexico. I was also very, very sick, so, um, my parents did this just because it was, like, their last hope. And, what my aunt did was some kind of, like ritual where she took an egg, um,  a raw egg, and she, like, just shook it all over my body, and, like, rubbed it all over me. And then by doing that, when they cracked the egg they could see, like, what the spirit was that was, like, possessing me, or so they thought. So when they cracked the egg it was, like, the image of an evil eye, so they thought that somebody, like, casted an evil eye on me and that’s why I got sick. And then after she did that I was, like, (snaps) miraculously better the next day.”

Me: “Whoa. That’s amazing.”

Elizabeth: “I know, isn’t that crazy?”

Me: “Does that, like, belongs to, like, any specific culture?”

Elizabeth: “I don’t know if it’s, like, a cultural thing. I have no idea why my parents would have even thought to go, like, take me to Mexico when I was very ill. Maybe they thought that there was something there that could help me. So, I don’t know if that’s a hispanic tradition. I don’t know if that’s anything to do with, like, witchcraft, or anything like that. But, um… my aunt is not a witch. She is (laughs) definitely not like a, you know, a spiritual healer or anything, but she knew to do that. So, I don’t know what to make of that. But, here I am today (laughs).”

I always love it when crazy folk medicine miraculously cures people of their ailments when nothing else can. Because of this, Elizabeth treated her explanation of the cure with a lot of reverence. Even though she knew it was crazy, she still talked about it with a kind of awe since it was the thing that cured her.