|The story a man named Antonio Vega tells could have come out of the Middle Ages, but it is supposed to have happened in California in 1973. Vega recounts his terrifying experience in the January 1977 issue of Fate magazine, published by Llewellyn Publications.
On February 17, 1973, Vega writes, he received a call from his brother, Ernesto, who said he was suffering from severe abdominal pains and was going to the hospital the next day for tests and possible surgery. When the tests were completed, Ernesto told his brother that the doctors still didn’t know what his problem was. They decided to try exploratory surgery, which also failed to determine the cause of this suffering.
The pain continued and within days Ernesto Vega was dead. Even after they had conducted an autopsy, the doctors were still puzzled about the mysterious, fatal illness which had so suddenly struck a man in excellent health. They finally decided, unhelpfully to the grieving family, that Ernesto had died of an "undetermined illness."
Six months later, Antonio Vega’s health began to give out. He suffered sudden and intense dizzy spells that made him feel as if he were floating on air. His mouth and throat were always inexplicably dry??"and, most ominously, he was racked by excruciating abdominal pain. The pain was so overwhelming that Vega could hardly eat; the mere intake of food increased the already unbearable discomfort.
As had his late brother, Vega sought medical help, but without success. Finally his doctor could only conclude that his illness was psychosomatic. He referred the desperately sick man to an internist and to a psychiatrist. They were baffled, too.
When Vega’s mother-in-law, Leonora Perez, suggested a supernatural cause??"a psychic attack by someone who hated him??"Vega scoffed. But his wife and her mother were so worried about him that at last he consented to go to a Los Angeles brujo (a wizard, conjurer or sorcerer), Joe Mendez. The women were convinced that the brujo could help Vega. At that point, Vega, remembering what had happened to his brother, felt he had nothing to lose. On May 30, 1974, his wife, Sue, called Mendez and set up an appointment for the next morning.
Your Husband Is Enbrujado
Mendez went to work immediately. The next day, when Vega, his wife, and mother-in-law called on him, he claimed someone had cast a spell on him. He said, "The person has performed it little by little, to make it seem a natural illness that would eventually lead to your death. I know that you feel this is nonsense, but you will see, you will believe. I can’t tell you who has done this to you, Tony, but you will know eventually."
The brujo had Vega step into a room where he performed a ritual, which he said would restore the afflicted man’s vitality. Vega didn’t believe it, especially when he felt no better the rest of that day or the next. At the end of the second day, as the couple retired for the night, Sue looked startled. "I thought I heard someone whisper in my ear," she said. The "voice" had said, "Your husband is enbrujado, and he will get well."
Suddenly Sue passed out, leaving Vega to suffer the terrible pains alone. His abdominal pains were so intense that he could scarcely breathe. He felt as if he were on fire.
Finally Vega hobbled to his feet, hoping fresh air would give him some relief. His dogs growled menacingly at him, treating him like a total stranger. When he called them by name, they grew even more unfriendly.
He struggled back to bed and desperately began to pray. Just then he heard a whistling noise and something smacked against the table next to his bed. At that moment the pain left him. His body seemed to rise, and he started shaking so badly that the bed vibrated. Something like an explosion sounded from the kitchen. He wondered if the house were caving in.
Just as he started to relax, there was another "explosion." His body shook again. He sensed the presence of someone, a protector, leaning over him but he could see no one.
The last explosion occurred in the corner of the bedroom and it woke his wife, who bolted upright shouting, "My God! What was that?"
The rest of the night passed peacefully.
The next morning, a Sunday, the Vegas and their children dressed for Mass. On their way to church they decided to call on Sue’s mother to tell her what had happened during the night.
As the couple turned the corner on the way to her house, Mr. Vega’s eyes were suddenly afflicted with a burning sensation. And as they greeted Mrs. Perez, his body was consumed in something like an invisible flame. The pain was back with a vengeance. He was too uncomfortable to go to church. He stayed with his mother-in-law until his wife and children returned from the service.
As soon as they got back home, Tony lay down. Something seemed to be hitting him in the stomach, and he kept hearing noises like chanting voices and rocks crashing against the window. For 72 hours he could neither eat nor sleep.
Early Tuesday morning Sue called Joe Mendez, the brujo, to let him know what was going on. "They do not want to release you," he said. "If it’s a fight they want, they shall have it and they will lose. But I must see you once more."
Two hours later the couple set out for Los Angeles. Tony lay in the back seat praying and fearing he would die before they got to their destination. Meanwhile, Sue was fighting her own battle. A few miles down the road she had developed a splitting headache and something kept telling her to fall asleep. She had to struggle to stay awake, all the while cursing whoever or whatever was trying to destroy her and her husband.
Somehow they made it to Mendez’s place. When he saw how ill Sue was, he told her, "They were trying to keep you from getting Tony here. Please come in. I will take care of both of you immediately."
An hour later the two emerged from the house feeling completely well. Three days afterwards Tony met with his psychiatrist, who was puzzled by his sudden cure. His only explanation was, "Faith can help a lot of people and yours has cured you."
The following week, as Tony was entering the hallway of his house, he was startled by the apparitional form of a large, fat woman. He recognized it immediately as his dead brother’s wife.
"You saw the woman who wanted to kill you, as she did her husband," Mendez explained. "The woman is your sister-in-law. I could not tell you this before, for it is against our ethics, but you saw her and now you do believe."