These Santería Stories From Miami Took Sad And Dark Turns For Everyone Involved

credit: wanderfullaws / Instagram

Miami is famous for its beaches with crystal clear water, partying nightlife—and an active Santería religious community. The religion has its origins in the Caribbean as a religion that was brought over by the enslaved Yoruba people. Once in Cuba, enslaved people kept aspects of the religion and also mixed it in with some elements of Roman Catholicism. It is practiced throughout parts of Latin America and in the United States as well, specifically in the Cuban-influenced city of Miami.

Like any religion, there are some bad apples that ruin the meaning of the religion for some people. Here are some stories about how some folks in Miami took Santería to disturbing places.

1. Injured chicken found by Parks Department employee in South Beach.

View this post on Instagram

Y tú sabes cómo atender a orumila ??????🤔🤫 Para atender a orumila no hay un día especifico es tu deida y orisha así que lo puedes atender cualquier día lo recomendable es , bien temprano en la mañana, para atenderlo es necesario no haber mantenido relaciones sexuales por lo menos cuarenta y ocho (48) horas previas, no puede estar disgustado, ni haber tomado bebidas alcohólicas previamente, esto es de estricto cumplimiento, porque resulta peligroso y ofensivo para Orula. Las mujeres no pueden estar menstruando para poder atender a este Santo. Si llegara a caer este Santo al piso debe recogerse con la boca para que no se sienta despreciado o que lo botaron intencionalmente. El día que se atiende este Santo debe ponérsele algo que a él le gusta (Addimú) y dejarlo alumbrado con dos (2) velas que se colocan en 2 platos o candelabros. Sele unta un poco de corojo y sele da nuestro aliento al atenderlo 🗣🗣🗣 Los Addimú (Ofrendas) que se le pueden ofrendar a Orula son los siguientes: Ñame: Entero o picado, crudo, sancochado, en bolas, torre, puré, frito. Granos: Cocidos o sancochados. Frutas: Enteras o picadas. Vegetales: Crudos o sancochados, enteros o picados. Arroz Amarillo: Con camarones, pescado o carne. Pescado: En cualquier forma preferiblemente enteros y con salsa, básicamente pargo. Dulces y Confituras: Todo tipo, caseros e industriales, preferiblemente de almíbar o capuchinos o que contegan almedras. Flores: Rojas, girasoles 🌻 entre otras pueden ser cuatro (4), ocho (8) o dieciséis (16). NOTA: Todos los alimentos deben probarse delante de Orula. 🌍 (Ifa todo lo contiene )🙏🙏 De nosotros es la responsabilidad de formar valores en nuestros hijos y ahijados Ashe iboru iboya ibosheshe saludos – – siempre pidiendo la bendición de bogbo “orisha”🕯🙏 – #osha #santeria #orisha #santerosdelmundo #yoruba #new #chile #italia #barcelona #olodumare #venezuela #eleggua #laroye #panama #nyc #instagood #italy #yemaya #shango #oya #oshun #obatala #oggun #oshosi #jimaguas #ifa #palomayombe #paleria #eggun #usa

A post shared by Shango Religión Yoruba (@otrupon_guede) on

In 2013, a Parks Department employee was walking in South Miami Dade and found a chicken in an injured state. The Miami New Times got ahold of the email that was sent to the city’s parks department that details a family photo was pulled out of the live chicken as well as artifacts that were sewn onto the chicken. Someone or some family cut into a live chicken and stuffed artifacts inside and sewed him shut.

2. Dead chickens in the streets.

In a recent article from the Miami Herald, Miamians are seen as the second-most annoying neighbors in the country out of 24 cities. Miamians voted so themselves. One of the main reasons Miamians have issue with their neighbors is because of the mess left behind from some Santería rituals. Miamians have reported seeing the bodies of dead chickens littering the streets and sidewalks after such rituals.

3. Looking to adopt a pet in Miami? Try rescuing a rooster.

Payo the rooster got a second chance at life with the help of a caring Miami family who persuaded a Santería priest to sacrifice another animal instead of him. However the neighbors aren’t feeling like they’re lucky and are starting to hate Payo. His name with his neighbors? El terrorista (the terrorist) because he sticks his chest out to demand for food, attacks dogs, cats and even people, and also crows very loudly very early in the morning. Payo might be shipped off to a neighboring farm if his owner doesn’t get him to be a more considerate rooster.

4. Murder, Santería and fleeing to Argentina.

In one of the most Miami-esque stories, a jeweler named Hugo Quesada was determined to be a Santero. He claimed he asked for the help of a father and daughter duo of Santería followers, but when they refused, he strangled them and stuffed the father’s body in a shed. He also pleaded guilty to the murder of the man’s wife as well. Quesada fled to Argentina until he was found by Argentine agents and extradited to Florida.

5. Slaughtered horses are “not uncommon” in the area.

In January of this year, a woman was walking around Northwest Miami-Dade and found the body parts of 20 slaughtered horses. The crazier part? Rachel Taylor of the Animal Recovery Mission said “It’s not uncommon in this area.” Investigators are having a hard time figuring out who committed the heinous act and why. Taylor said the horses could have been slaughtered for horse meat or also for Santería rituals, which complicates the search for answers.


READ: 10 Folk Religions You Didn’t Know Existed In Latin America And The Caribbean

Are you a Miami native that has heard of some chilling Santeria rituals? Let us know in the comments below and share this article with your friends.