Page 1

Curiously Weird: Issue Twenty Two

Be Aware Of Spirit Trappers

Why Are Gems Are Boiling Hot What It Takes To Be An Aztec Warrior






F  eatures

resolve your unsolved curiousity about mexico

Isla De Las MuÑecas


Isla De Las MuÑecas truly frightening, learn how an island that was never ment to be a tourist attraction became one.

Craving Crystals

Haunt your dreams

Take a tour through a ghost town and discover why everyone left.

Warrior Aztec 34-35, 47

These are the largest crystals in the world, it took them 500,000 years



Recharge your mind with some Aztec history and uncover more about there Warrior God.

to form. they are truely a spectical to see.

Step to a destination


Walk up the same steps as the Mayans and see there sacrifcial process.

Letter to Editor Substance

7 15










Pgs 48-49



Issue Twenty Two | Page 5

Editor in Chief Jessica Scillia Creative Director Vicky Meloney Director of Photography Brian Almond Senior Editor Nathan Ashner Art Director Dylan Shelley Associate Editors Gabby Borrero Justin O’Brien Faith Gunnels Photo Editors Kylie O’Connor Emily Hartung Lily Stamm Photographers Rick Smith José Fonseca Anthony Hopkins Joshua Newton Illustators David Bowles Kain White Mounir Mulhem Copy Editors Juliana Arlotta Stephanie Smith Alicia Montoya Travel Coordinador Alicia C. Diez Proofreader Judith Natale Interns Nick Lara Morgan Ackerman Darrin Kurth

6 Page | Inritum

Curiously Me If you’re reading this I servived MY CURIOSITY

Chill up the spine “ A cold chill up the spine, out of the corner of my eye, a shadow appears that scares my insides. Back home it’s night, the shadow is still in sight, following through a dream, nothing is as it seems. Feeling a presence through the air, I know that she is there raising the hair on my arm, I feel she can do some harm. The difference between you and me is something you’ve never seen. h Next time leave a friend to play wit or you will regret it.”


nritum is a magazine that brings you to the peak of your curiosity and lets you discover more about cultures and uniquely interesting topics. This magazine will resonate with you and give you a better understanding of each topic we cover. This issue is about Mexican culture that you might not see on a normal tour guide.

Our issue will get your brain turning and have you asking “What? They really have that?”. Hopefully we can get you to come and experience this beautiful and interesting place. Sincerely, Jessica Scillia

My relationship with this magazine is stems back to when I was a child and I read Goosebumps to my dolls in my basement. Our team explored the unusual sites of Mexico and we got a deeper look into some of their superstitions and some of their culture. We taste unusual foods and made plenty of new friends. I am really excited to show you the many different things that Mexico has to offer.

Photo and poem by Jessica Scillia Shivers are truely running down my spine Issue Twenty-Two | Page 7

14 Page | Inritum

bug bites For a crawling appatite



hese chapulines, or grasshoppers, are delicious when wrapped in a corn tortilla and drenched in chile sauce, or on their own as a quick snack. They are very popular in Oaxaca, Mexico where they are consumed on a daily basis. Chapulines are very high in protein yet very low in fat and have a wonderful crunchy texture when cooked properly. Grasshoppers in abundance are hard to find and even in Mexico they are only found in certain states. But if you do come across a good Chapulines source, you can use this recipe for fantastic results. Grasshoppers can sometimes contain parasites, so cooking them thoroughly is very important. Photo by Rick Smith The crisp tangy flavor of classichapulines and hard to resist when dusted with chilit and line.

GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS You will need to pull the wings and legs off of each chapuline. Then heat the oil in a shallow pan and saute the garlic, chile and the onions until the onions are translucent. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the onions, chile and the garlic from the oil, leaving the oil in the pan. Saute the chapulines in the oil until they are brown and crispy. Remove the chapulines and drain them well, on paper towels. Sprinkle salt over the top, and then squeeze some lime over them. You can enjoy them as a snack or use as a delicious filling for tacos. Tip-If you enjoy them in a taco, use a corn tortilla with some guacamole or chiltomate sauce to keep the chapulines in the taco. Enjoy your tasty treat.

Chapulines Oaxaca Look for these tasty ingerdients for your next in kitchen excursion. Cook a little longer for extra crispy. Ingredients • 1 lb chapulines • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped • 1 serrano chile, seeded and diced • 1 lime cut into wedges • 1/2 of an onion, chopped • 1/2 cup of oil for frying salt to taste

Issue Twenty-Two | Page 15

True or false It has been seen, it has been heard, but is it true?

article by BRYAN HILL


he Chupacabra is a legendary cryptid often associated with Mexico, and well-known across Latin America. One of the locations the Chupacabra has made an impact in the past is in Puerto Rico. Reportedly first sighted there during the mid 1990s, the Chupacabra made headlines across the world when livestock started mysteriously dying. Animals were found completely drained of blood through small incisions which, according to experts at the time, were not compatible with the bite of a dog, monkey or any other known carnivore from the region. More than 200 Chupacabra sightings were reported on the island in 1995 alone yet as quickly as the Chupacabra sightings started, they had stopped, leaving behind a trail of questions.

Right Photo by David Bowles Fresh off the kill, in search for more blood, the creaper of the night, Are we safe? Is anyone? 22 Page | Inritum

The Origins of the Chupacabra The name “Chupacabra” is of Spanish origin meaning “goat sucker” (from chupar, meaning “to suck”, and cabra, meaning “goat”) which is how the mythical beast allegedly attacks its prey. The Chupacabra has been associated with the “Vampiro de Moca” from February 1975 when a Puerto Rican legend tells of fifteen cows, three goats, two geese, and a pig that were found with puncture marks in the Rocha Barrio suburbs of Moca. Later autopsies showed that blood had been drained from their bodies. The incident made headlines and police blamed the animals’ deaths on stray dogs. When a cow was found dead with similar marks on its skull, a newspaper called the phenomenon “El Vampiro de Moca.”

Chupacabra Attacks Make the Creature as Famous as Bigfoot A series of attacks took place on the island from 1992 to 1995. In March of 1995, there was a incident where eight sheep were found dead. Their bodies were completely intact but their blood had been drained leaving behind puncture wounds in the chest. Paranormal researcher Mark Davenport and video producer Joe Palermo, were in Puerto Rico at the time of the attacks filming a documentary.The animal deaths as a continuous daily event: They were constantly talking about this Chupacabra activity going on - this topic was very serious to them. They’d wake up one morning and find the carcass of their four of there favorite rabbits sucked dry of blood and just lying there on the ground.

Five months later, there was another event, this time with more bloodshed. In August of 1995, as many as 150 farm animals and pets were killed by a predator around the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas. Just like the previous sheep incident in March of that same year, the animals were said to have been drained of blood through small holes. Interestingly, in each of the cases studied, local veterinarians said the cause of death was due to puncture wounds under the right side of the neck. The wounds were about the diameter of a drinking straw and three to four inches in length. In March 1996, the Spanish talk show Christina, aired the story about the Chupacabra, and immediately following the show there was a tremendous amount of sightings across Latin America and the United States.  The Chupacabra had become as famous as Bigfoot.

Descriptions of the Chupacabra There are no known photographs of the Chupacabra. Many supposed images have turned out to be nothing more than disease ridden coyotes. Thus, it is unknown what this mythical creature looks like, if it actually exists. There are however, numerous “eyewitness” accounts which vary quite a bit. The Chupacabra of Puerto Rico was described by many eyewitnesses as standing on two legs. In newspaper articles during the series of incidents, it was said to be “ some type of large ape ” and “ a vicious monkey that can run upright on its legs, slaughter goats and suck the blood from its prey .” A sound bite from an Associated Press video at the time said “ There are two big animals, as big as a man. I saw them from afar, they looked like big apes, like a mandril but I couldn’t distinguish their features.”

“Their bodies were completely intact but their blood had been drained leaving behind puncture

wounds in the chest.

Left Photo by Kain White Pearing though the dark are eyes that glow through souls, the killer shadow is back to haut your home

Issue Twenty-Two | Page 23


ust south of Mexico City, between the canals of Xochimico you can find a small island with a sad background which was never intended to be a tourist destination. The island is known as Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls).

It is dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who met her fate too soon in strange circumstances.The area has thousands of people, but this small island is home to hundreds of terrifying dolls. Their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn trees. Dolls are threatening, even in the bright light of midday, but in the dark, they are particularly disturbing. The Legend It is said that a girl was found dead from drowning in mysterious circumstances many years ago on this island and that the dolls are possessed by her spirit.

Of course these witnesses are exaggerating and the island is in no way possessed but the truth is that the Isla de las Munecas is a very creepy place that marks the casual visitor.But how do all these creepy dolls get on the island? The truth behind the legend Don Julian Santana Barrera was the caretaker of the island. The story goes that Julian found a little girl drowned in mysterious circumstances while he was not able to save her life. Shortly thereafter, Julian saw a floating doll near the canals. Most probably, the doll belonged to the girl. He picked up the doll and hung it to a tree, as a way of showing respect and support the spirit of the girl. Others question even the existence of the drowned girl. Reports conclude that Julian has made up the story about the girl in his solitude.

“The Dolls Themselves

Were Possessed By The Spirits Of Dead Girls”

Local legend says that the dolls move their heads and arms and even opened their eyes. Some witnesses claim they had heard the dolls whispering to each other, while others who were on a boat near the island said the dolls lured them to come down to the island.

He soon realized the dolls were possessed by the spirits of dead girls, and continued to collect creepy dolls hanging them over the entire island. According to those close to him, it was as if Julian was driven by some unseen force that completely changed him.Apparently he was very marked by the fact that he was not able to save the little girl’s life. After 50 years of collecting dolls and hanging them on the island, Julian was found dead, He drowned in the same spot as the girl did many years before. Many people on the island now believe that Julian has joined the other spirits of the island. The locals are very faithful that the Isla de las Munecas is a charmed place. After Julian’s death in 2001, it has become a tourist attraction, where visitors bring more dolls. Since the death of Julian, the island has become very famous and has even been featured in many articles and even TV shows. Although the action of Don Julian was innocent and even admirable, it ended up being portrayed as a real nightmarish destination. Soulless eyes follow visitors as they visit the small island (which is actually a floating garden).

Feature Spread and Photo collage by Jessica Scillia This photo represents the crazy scary nature that surrounds the dolls when you go to this island This photo shows the dolls in there natural habitat

Issue Twenty-Two | Page 31

Craving Crystals we have the largest in the world Article by James Tyler

The Cave of the Crystals is a natural marvel in Chihuahua, Mexico. Its main chamber houses some of the largest natural crystals ever discovered, hence. The magma within makes the cave unbearably hot and humid, and thus it remains largely unexplored. This subterranean spectacle is unquestionably one of the world’s most remarkable displays of natural mineral formations.

measured at 11m (36 ft.) high, weighing approximately 55 tonnes.

These giant crystals have experienced steady slow growth over the past half a million years. Approximately 2­3 miles (3­5km) The Cave of the Crystals is connected to the Naica Mine, under the surface is a giant pool of 300m (980 ft.) below the ground in Naica, Chihuahua, magma. The caverns became flooded Mexico. Despite the Naica Mine having been worked for over time as a result of groundwater centuries, the Cave of the Crystals remained undiscov- seeping in. This water was rich in gypered until the year 2000, when two miners, pursuing sum minerals, and the heat generated by traces of silver, broke into the extensive subterranean the magma worked like a cooker, mainchamber. Just days later, an iron door was erected in taining a steady heat for 500,000 years. The order to protect the entrance. gypsum in the water then transformed into the translucent selenite crystals that we see Whilst the cave is referred to singularly, as the ‘Cave today. Whilst up until now the crystals have of the Crystals’ (Cueva de los Cristales), it is made up grown steadily and slowly, they will grow no of three co­joined caves, with one far larger than the further unless the cave floods once again. others.This gigantic cavern is home to towering stacks of selenite; rising so tall that humans appear miniscule Continues on Page 47 in comparison. In fact, the tallest crystals have been

34 Page | Inritum

Photo by National Geographic This image is inside one of the hottest caves showing off the largest crystals

500,000 Years The amount of years that the crystales were under the magma heated water

950 feet The cave is below the earths surface

36 feet Each crystal is about thirdy-six feet tall

150°F Is the tempeture of the caves. It is so hot a human can only last five minutes without protechtive gear 100% If you think the tempeture is bad the humidity is worse at a hundred percent 55 tones These crystals way up to about fifty-five tones, way heavier then the average crystal

Issue Twenty-Two | Page 35

From The grave to Guanajuato article by CAROLINE MORSE


hen visiting historical cemeteries, do you ever wish you could see what lies below? Well, you’re in luck! When the public cemetery got too full, bodies without living relatives to pay upkeep fees were dug up to make room for new stiffs. Instead of finding skeletons, the staff unearthed mummified bodies, so naturally they decided to put them on display in a museum. The faces on the mummies are horrifying, and walking through the halls lined with the dead is akin to running a gauntlet. The bodies are divided into fun categories like “baby mummies” and “tragic deaths.”

Photo by Anthony Hopkins Mummified people just because there is not enough room in the cemitaries

44 Page | Inritum

Issue Twenty-Two | Page 45

the child snatcher Hide your kids and hide your husbands because no one is safe article by Anthony Wright


lone woman with long black hair, dressed in white, who walks along the water’s edge. She weeps and wails as she walks, crying out for her children, whom she murdered. Some say that to hear her cry means death. Some say that she will steal your children, to make up for her own. Others say that she is a siren, who lures men to their deaths. Several people believe that La Llorona’s legend derives from the Aztec goddess Cihuacoatl, the Serpent Woman, She was the goddess of motherhood, midwives, and fertility. Cihuacoatl ruled the cihuateteo, the deified spirits of women who died in childbirth. The cihuateteo haunt the crossroads, seeking victims. They’ve been known to steal children and to drive their victims insane. Some say they also seduce men. Cihuacoatl would appear in the market with a crib on her back, and then disappear, leaving only the crib. Photo by José Fonseca La Llorona’s sarrows means doom to anyone who hear them. 50 Page | Inritum

When the other women in the marketplace looked in the crib, they would find only a flint knife — the kind used for sacrifices. Cihuacoatl is also known for prowling the market as a beautiful woman dressed in white, who would seduce young men, and then kill them. Robert Barakat preferred the idea of the goddess Chalchiuhtliycue (“the jade-skirted one”) as the source of the La Llorona myth. Chalchiuhtliycue was a goddess of water: rivers, seas, and storms, and the wife of the rain god Tlaloc. Like Cihuacoatl, she was a goddess of childbirth. Aztec legend says that Chalchiuhtliycue destroyed the fourth world (we live in the fifth world) in a giant flood, turning all those who lived on the earth at the time into fish. She would kill fishermen and other men who made their livelihood from water by drowning them in a foaming, swelling, whirlpool that sucked them under. Barakat gives the La Llorona tale, apparently originally from Ciudad Chihuahua, Mexico, where a young

“They’ve been known to steal children and to drive their

victims insane.

woman has an illegitimate child, and the child’s father takes the baby away and drowns it in a lake. Distraught, the woman drowns herself in the same lake. And now, in the summer, she appears in the lake, weeping and wailing. If a man sees her and tries to rescue her, she drifts further out into the lake, where he follows. Finally, when her would-be rescuer is far from shore and exhausted, she throws her arms around him and pulls him down under the surface, laughing as she avenges her murdered child.

So many variations! The legend reaches from the southwestern United States, across Mexico, down into South America, and in addition to its most probably indigenous motifs, sometimes borrows from European folktale motifs as well. In my next post, I’ll share an especially interesting and unusual version that I found. Stay tuned!

Issue Twenty-Two | Page 51

For Educational Purposes