• Carolina Quiroga-Stultz

2 - Spooky

A woman driven by her curiosity wants to know what her dogs see at night, ignoring the priest's warning. Later we explore the belief about the limbo and how some souls come to ask for help and others to cause harm. Last, another story about what happens when you rub your eyes with the dog's eye buggers.

#animas #processionofanimas #processionofspirits #pugatory #folktales #talesofanimas #talesofspirits #ghoststales #ghostinchurch #spiritsvisit #souls #wanderingsouls #wanderingghosts #soulspunishment #blessedsoul #blessedsouls #dogsseesouls #limbo #limbostories #spookytales #spookyhappenings


1. The house between earth and sky. Harvesting new American folktales. Collected by Joseph Sobol. Published by Teachers Ideas Press. This story was first told by Anabel y Marianela Medina.

2. The Bird Who Cleans The World by Victor Montejo. Published by Curbstone Press ( Northwestern University Press). Copyright © 1991 by Vievee Francis. Translation Copyright © 1991 by Wallace Kaufman. All rights reserved.

3. Links in Spanish articles:

https://narracionoral.es/index.php/es/documentos/tradicion-oral/410-el-mundo-de-las-animas-los-difuntos-y-la-noche-de-difuntos-en-la-tradicion-gallega http://elecodealhama.es/sumarios/revistas/num006/animas.html

What the Dogs Saw

Adapted by Carolina Quiroga-Stultz

Vocabulary: Anima: Blessed soul. Purgatory: Place where the blessed souls live.

Her name was Rosa, and Rosa was one of those women that not exactly liked to mind her own business. She was always asking about this, about that, about him, and about her. Well, it happens that Rosa lived in a small house, with her three dogs. On the right side of the house there was a creek, almost dry. Passing the creek there was the church.

Now, Rosa had noticed, observed, that certain nights specially around Día de los Muertos, Día de las Animas, The Day of the blessed souls, around the first days of November or around Christmas or Holy Week; for 3 nights straight after the bells of the church had struck midnight, her dogs would go outside and start barking. And she would go outside to see if somebody was trespassing into her property, but no, she never so anything.

Well, this event happened the night before, so let's say today is when the story begins. So today is when Rosa goes to the priest and asks him what is going on, and do you know what the priest said:

Priest: ¡Ay! Rosa, Rosa, váyase, váyase, ¡no pregunte esas cosas! ¡Olvídese de eso, váyase!

Forget about it!

But Rosa was determined not to forget about it. Instead, she remembered what her mother told her a long time ago. If she wanted to see what the dogs see late at night, all she had to do was to wipe off the dog’s sleep, la lagaña, the eye boogers, and then rub it on her eyelids. So that's exactly what she did.

So around 11 PM she went outside her porch, she sat down on her rocking chair, she called her favorite dog Pepita, she wiped off the dog’s sleep, la lagaña, the eye boogers, and then she rubbed on her eyelids, and she waited.

After the bells of the church had struck midnight, her dogs began to bark. At the beginning, she did not see anything, but she heard a whisper, a murmur.

Rosa followed the whisper to her right and then is when she saw the first of the blessed souls, the souls of the purgatory. It was right there passing by the Creek, by the church, and after her wear so many others with their white robes, their candles, praying, and some of them dragging chains.

Rosa watched the procession passing by, and when it seemed that the procession was about to fade away in the distance, the last of the animas stopped, and turn around, and in a blink of an eye, it was right in front of her offering to Rosa her candle.

If there was something that rose knew was that you don't mess with the animas, you don't make them mad. So what option did she have? Rosa went to grab the candle, and when she did, the anima disappeared, vanished in the air. But Rosa was still holding the candle. She dropped it, and she ran back inside. She closed the door, but when she looked down, the candle was right by her feet. She thought that one of the dogs had brought it in.

So, she grabbed the candle, she walked outside, and she walked along the creek and she tossed the candle in, where there was a little bit more of water, and then she ran back inside her house. She closed the door and she locked herself in the room and sat down on her bed with her rosary and she began to pray. And she prayed, and she prayed until finally she was able to calm herself down. But when she opened her eyes the candle was right in front of her. Ooh, that night she could not get rid of that candle and she could not get any sleep.

Next morning Rosa went to see the priest and she told him what had happened, and do you know what the priest said:

Priest: ¡Ay Rosa! ¡Rosa! Yo le dije, pero que usted es una terca Rosa, uno le dice una cosa y a usted le entra por un oído y le sale por el otro. Pero tranquila Rosa, cálmese, cálmese, hay algo que usted puede hacer.

There was an option. What she had to do was to return that candle but of course anything could happen. That afternoon Rosa went back to her porch, she sat down on her rocking chair, and she began to think all the things that could possibly happen that same night. That the animas took another route or that they didn't come by her house, by the creek, by the church. That she was one of the animas in that procession. That the anima, the blessed soul did not want the candle back. That Rosa was dropping the candle by accident making the anima mad. Oh! she could not get any rest.

Around 11 PM she called her favorite dog Pepita, wiped off the dog’s sleep, la lagaña, the eye boogers and then she rubbed it on her eyelids. With the rosary in one hand, and the candle in the other hand she waited. When the bells of the church struck midnight, her dogs began to bark. At the beginning she didn't see anything, but she heard that same whisper that same murmur. She followed the whisper to her right in there they were. The animas, the blessed souls, the soul in penance, they were all right there with the white robes, their candles, praying and some of them dragging chains.

Rosa watch the procession passing by and when it seemed that the anima had completely forgotten about her, that they were going to fade away in the distance, the last of the animas stopped, and slowly turned around towards Rosa and in a blink of an eye it was right in front of her, asking for her candle back.

Good news, right? But the problem was that Rosa was completely convinced that something was going to go wrong. So, when she was passing the candle back to the anima, Rosa was holding onto that candle really tight. So, when the anima grabbed the candle, Rosa did not let it go. And both began to pull back and forth, back and forth, until the anima got really mad and said: Anima: Pronto! (soon)

And the anima vanished in the air with her candle. Rosa fell on the ground unconscious. Next day when the priest came by to check on Rosa he was the one who found her guarded by her dogs.

People say that it took her a couple of days to regain consciousness to remember what had happen, who she was, but eventually she was fine. She resumed her daily activities, her routine, but she wasn't exactly the same after that. She was constantly sitting outside her porch on her rocking chair gazing towards the distance as if she was seeing something passing by over and over again. A neighbor who was there when Rosa passed away, when she died, the neighbor said that before Rosa’s rosary slipped through her fingers and touched the ground, Rosa’s last word was: Pronto!

Curiosity killed this lady.


Well friends, I bet a lot of you have questions and even have things to say about what we just heard. So, the following notes have the goal of helping you understand a little bit more about the story. Now let's move on to las animas, the blessed souls, the souls that come from the purgatory. What is the purgatory? Who are those guys? What are they doing here?

Well let's talk about it. In the essay The popular belief in the purgatory souls in the valleys of the rivers Andarax y Nacimiento by Manuel Francisco Matarin Guil, (which is a digital document and it was written in Spanish by the way) the author says that according to the Catholic belief the purgatory is a place or a state where all sins and wrong doings are atoned.

In the dualistic system proposed by the church, the soul is judged twice. When the person dies and at the end of times. On the first trial depending on what the soul did, it will be either sentenced to eternal fires in hell or it is taken to heaven well it will rejoice in the presence of God.

However, during the second and the fourth century Christianity reflects on the situation of the souls that have not sin enough to deserve that inferno, hell, and can be saved by succeeding at passing perhaps a test or something like that. Therefore, in the 12th century the word purgatorium appears as a noun. As well it is important to say that the pressure of folklore beliefs over scholars at the time, opened the gates to the inclusion of this concept, so, it was a combination of both.

Von Kepler, in 1930 writing Guidance for preachers, advises them that when they refer to the purgatory in front of the congregation it is important to emphasize the most painful parts of it. Because the most important part of the predicament it is to mobilize Christians to feel pity for the souls who are atoning in the purgatory. So, let's go back a little. On the 12th century is when Christianity came with the idea that there are people that when they died they weren't that bad, right? So, it is not fair to send them to hell because they made some mistakes, but it's not fair to send them to heaven if they were not that pious. So, where do we send them? To this new place called purgatory.

Now when they are in that place or in that state, they are helpless, and they need us. From there comes the belief that the sentenced souls try to alleviate the pain by showing themselves to those in dept to them, to open help them to carry on with the promises that were not fulfilled by them (the dead) or to perform sacrifices for them that eventually will help them to get out of that state or reduce the sentence. Therefore, there is a rich and extensive oral tradition that talks about the souls that appear alone or in company or in a procession.

The following note comes from a digital document that you can find in the website the Spanish Storytelling Association (www.narracionoral.es) Under the title The world of the animas by the anthropologist Rafael Quintia Pereira.

According to this document the animas have an ambivalent nature. They can be good, or they can come with evil intentions. The animas can intercede for us to God. They can even help us with our troubles during our daily lives. But they also, can ask for justice or vengeance and be bothered by the living, to the point that they can terrorize that person.

According to the anthropologist Marcial Gondal, the animas can show themselves in different ways. As an individual or as a part of a group. They can even take the shape of an anima such as a bee or a butter fly. They can also manifest through sounds or noises, lights or shadows or they can manifest themselves in a more indirect way. That is when things in the house are not going well, people are getting constantly sick, animas are dying, crops are failing, a lot of tragedies and misfortunes and it just keeps happening and happening and no matter what you do or how you try to stop doing, there's no way to stop that. So that could be that there is an anima or a soul in penance there.

There are certain times during the year that is easier for those souls to transit into our world. So, there is the belief that the animas can come to earth at night, during Christmas Eve, during the night of the dead, Día de los Muertos, which is around November the second, Día de Las animas. So, for instance in Galicia (Spain) during the night of the dead people do not pick up the dishes from the table because they believe that the dead can come back that night and they could be hungry.

Regarding the procession of the animas normally, it occurs, or it happens at night and they go out announcing the future death of a neighbor. The procession is led by a living person that carries a cross. Behind that person comes the procession of animas and they are usually wearing white dresses or white robes with hoods. They are lighting up the path with candles or with bones of dead people lit up.

Now the person that has been summoned to lead the procession, that person he or she, in time, will see how his health diminishes, losing weight, getting weaker and weaker and that person will not find rest until they pass this burden until somebody else. If you find yourself in the presence of a procession of animas you should not look at it, do not be curious, do not listen to what they are saying and do not take what they will offer you.


Very well dear listeners we will finalize the program with One More Story, and this one comes from the book The Bird Who Cleans The World by Victor Montejo, published by Curbstone Press.

The Boy who Saw Visions

The old dog Tusik went out into the yard every night and barked tirelessly. His big ears stood up and leaned forward, as if he spied on the far horizon devilish ghosts and visions about to throw themselves on him.

This scrawny dog pawed lazily at his fleas, and at night he barked fervently and ceaselessly at the distance. This habit allowed neither of the owners of the house nor the neglected dog any peace.

Mothers said to their children: Dogs who howl all night like Tusik have visions and can see strange things that other dogs cannot see, much less humans. And far from being good luck for the dog, it becomes a misfortune that keeps him from sleeping. And what’s worse, he is always terrified.

The little boy Tik-Lol, who heard this, wanted to see if it was true. One afternoon, ignoring his mother’s words, he grabbed the dog and wiped from its open eyes the thick green ooze that gathered in the corners. Then he rubbed his own eyes with it as if it were an ointment, he had taken from Tusik’s runny eyes.

A short time later the boy began to see strange things, and his alarmed cries woke up the neighbors at night. Aaaayyy, what is that! Don’t let it catch me! Uuuuuyyyy!

Every night he’s cries joined the howling of the dog who stared trembling at the horizon. The little Tusik-Lol could not bear up under this evil. He became horribly thin and finally he ceased to exist.

From that time, it was clear that no one should rub his eyes with the phlegm from the eyes of dogs who see visions at night, or what happened when Tik-Lol disobeyed his parents might happen to them.

My name is Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, and Tres Cuentos warns you not to think twice but at least 3 times before following your curiosity, and by all means, do not mess with an anima. Next time there are obsessions that the dead take with them to the other side, unsolved issues with the living. ¡Nos escuchamos pronto, adiós!

List of song’s credits:

Lost in the forest by Doug Maxwell, Media Right Productions.

Anxiety - Madness Paranoia de Kevin MacLeod está autorizado la licencia Creative Commons Attribution (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Fuente: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100328

Day of Recon by Max Surla, Media Right Productions

Funeral March by Chopin.

Contact by The Tower of Light

Despair_and_Triumph by Despair and Triumph de Kevin MacLeod está autorizado la licencia Creative Commons Attribution (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Fuente: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1400012

Time_Stops by Silent Partner


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