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

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 Santeria 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 Santeria for some people. Here are some stories about how some folks in Miami took SanterĂ­a to disturbing places.

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


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 SanterĂ­a 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 SanterĂ­a 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, SanterĂ­a 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 SanterĂ­a 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 SanterĂ­a 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.

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