Articoli con tag: Neapolitan folk tales

The volcano magic

an oral tale of 1800

 

One day a man named Mauro  appeared on the mount Vesuvius, he had  a face as black as night and asked the magic of the volcano to be transformed into a normal man.

His prayer was answered. Suddenly an angel appeared who took him into the crater and blowing onto his face made his kin white like snow.

So the two craters were called Angelo and Mauro.

But not all the  volcano stories  end well: when a wicked monk  invoked Vesuvius asking for help to implement his bad design, the mountain was angry hunting from the crater a pillar of fire and sending down a magical horse with flame eyes  and a snake mane.

The animal chased the monk and  when he was  reached, the horse clapped with its socket on the ground  which opened swallowing the evil man.

Those places were then called “Horse  atrium” and ” Monk”.

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The Sorceress of Vesuvius

an oral history, concerning  the eruption of 1858

 

It is said that after an eruption of Vesuvius,  having filled  by lava the big ditch, in a night of November a  harrowing and inhuman scream woke up all inhabitants in the area.

The scream was heard even in the  following nights creating terror among the people.

Peasants armed themselves with rifles and pruning hooks and left for a dawn patrol in search of the origin of that scary scream. They beat the ground inch by inch, but found nothing.

No one could give an explanation and they were all afraid.

So it happened, while they were wondering what to do, that some people  suggested to contact the “the old Mattavona”, a witch who lived on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Having said that, the farmers went in procession to the beldame. The old woman went to the place and uttered some incomprehensible magic formulas. Since then the scream was gone and the farmers went back to sleep at night.

 

 

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