Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.

Spooky Camino Stories

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
When I walked my first Camino, I was staying at Manjarin and very late at night a bicycle pilgrim came in. He sat by the fire and spoke to no-one. I was told his name and that he had cycled from Jerusulem on a very old bicycle. He had, apparently, taken a vow of silence and carried a notebook. "If he thinks you deserve an answer, he will write you one". This provoked some conversation. One man had walked with someone who had taken a picture of this enigmatic pilgrim which, once the film had developed, had not come out. "Ah," said Tomas, knowingly, "es un angel".
I saw him (I think he may have been French) pass me the next morning and heard no more about him. No-one else I encountered had ever seen him.
Now, Manjarin at the best of times is a place to set your imagination wandering, but...

I have just posted in the Camino Books thread an invitation to learn something more about my new book "Compostela". In it, the main character has hallucinations in Santiago when she is accepted at the University to write her doctoral thesis. Her partner returns to the Camino - this time the Camino Portuguese. I would be most appreciative if Forum members have any "weird" experiences they would be willing to share which might be incorporated in the book. All messages will be acknowledged, and, if used in the book, a name mentioned in the Acknowledgements section if authorised.
Tracy Saunders
see also: http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
and
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

evanlow

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Last year I heard the stories of pilgrim who passed a German pilgrim who greeted her walking the opposite way on the road before Burgos. An hour later, she passed the same pilgrim. For a while, she was too shocked to continue.

Some speculate that it may have been a German pilgrim that passed on while walking the camino and now has decided to walk back home.

Hallucination?
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
From my May 31, 2007 email blog:

"Now, for the Shirley Maclaine moment: after passing a
small town, I looked back for a Kodak moment. There
was a break in the rain, and I was willing to pull out
my camera from its rain protection. In glancing back,
I saw a chapel and wondered to myself how I had missed
it walking through the town. After turning around
fully and fumbling for the camera, there was no chapel
in the skyline of the town. There was not even a
building taller than the others to stand out. I can
only speculate that parallel universes suddenly
coincided, and light from another universe suddenly
escaped into this one. The chapel exists in the other
one, but not in this one."
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
In Wilna Wilkinson's book 'The Way of the Stars and the Stone' she tells of meeting the devil on the road, other pilgrim's encounters with witches and other strange stories! All very entertaining.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
There´s a tale in my town, Moratinos, of a mysterious "pilgrim" who appeared one night during the hard days of the Civil War, when a local boy was being beaten-up out on the trail by some bad guys. The pilgrim came out of the bodega hillside and stopped the beating, and took the boy to safety at the corner house on the plaza. The pilgrim returned to the bodega (a hillside that´s been tunneled-out for wine storage, where pilgrims used to sleep out of the rain in the doorways.) He was not seen again.

what made it unusual was that during those years NOBODY dared make the pilgrimage, as outsiders were immediately "dealt-with." And NOBODY would dare intervene in a beating done by "the guys in the green car..." they were out there dumping the body of a suspected of Communist sympathizer.

The rescued boy grew up to tell the tale, and his family still keeps a holy card plastered into the wall of their bodega. But some people in town think it´s all a load of bull, or say they´ve never heard of any of it.

So who knows?
 
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Thank you to all of you have posted so far.

Rebekah: I knew our paths would cross sooner or later! I think the only time before was when I commented that I too got all emotional when in front of the Cathedral. (Even shiny 5 centimo pieces have an effect on me!) What is it about these sandstone bricks which brings out the ineffable in us? I love that cathedral too and know every rincon well, even though I do question, ultimately, who is buried in it. As most of you know, to me St. James is a nice piece of PR.

But perhaps it is because while walking we are concentrating on the inside. Ideas and images come to us which would ordinarily be considered "illogical". It may be all "imagination" (I am currently reading a very fascinating book called The Daemon by Antony Peake which I recommend 'cos it may give us insights into this phenomenon), but I am reminded of walking the Camino de Aragones with many questions when a beautiful blue butterfly decided to follow me for kilometer after kilometer. I thought it might have been attracted to my backpack, which was the same colour, but who knows? It stayed with me for a long time and lifted my spirits enormously. On the same stretch I was "accompanied" by a flock of hawks (this is not unusual as the falcon seems to have some significance in my life) for miles and miles. They would gather on the road in front of me and then take flight, only to re-gather time and time again on my way to Ruesta. I had a heavy heart that day and these two groups of "co-pilgrims" on the Way did much to lighten my steps and my spirits.

And then there is that "ask the Camino" phenomenon. Even this year I remember one day on the Camino Portuguese when I was famished and about to give up (Johnny Walker: there ain't as many places to eat and drink as you say in the CSJ Guide) when a man came out of nowhere with a bocadillo and a bottle of water. Hey, he's probably there every day, but...

Keep them stories a comin'.

I MUST get to Moratinos soon.
Tracy
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
P.S. I haven't commented on Shirley. I walked with someone who had walked with her "researcher" so am very sceptical. It seems odd to me that someone who had walked so far would not pick up her Compostela. But then, well...who knows...?
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Priscillian, I always enjoy your edits. They are so often thought provoking. Thank you.

Ultimately, I have concluded the historicity of who is buried in the cathedral is irrelevant. What is evident is that there is most definitely something spiritual or mystical about the Camino de Santiago ("spooky" would not be a word I would use). The call, that still small voice that whispers to so many pilgrims, is a reaility. The consistent manner in which the Way provides. This list is endless in number. It may be that taking each of them individually would sum to nothing, but taking them together provides enough evidence for me to believe and it strengthens my faith.

That is not to say that bad things don't happen or that the Way is difficult; that trials abound in plenty, but that does not negate the joy of the Camino. It is a matter of perspective. Will we focus on the thorn or focus on the petals of the rose?

The Cathedral still stands, pilgrims still come, and hearts are renewed and Santiago is real. Even more importantly, for me, Santiago's master lives. He makes it all worthwhile.

May His Peace abide with you,

Michael
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Michael B. Thank you. I envy your faith.
No, "Spooky" isn't the way I would ordinarily choose either, but it was Halloween, and ...
I agree that the historicity is not important, but I have to reiterrate that any possibility of an obfuscation of the facts is. And that still exists. The church will not allow further investigation...the Junta delivers a promotional package to the world - Christian and otherwise - which rests upon who knows what fabrication. The money rolls in. The pilgrims come, and that's OK. Perhaps what the church doesn't/can't realise is that we are at the edge of a Spiritual Renewal, but one which will stand for no - forgive me - bullshit. We are not illiterate peasants anymore. We are educated and intelligent beings with a spiritual longing which not only is not being fulfilled by the church (see the attendance in Catholic churches, even here in "Catholic" Spain) but will not go away. What an anachronism the Camino! Why are 250,000 people from all over the world expected next year? To the bones of a saint who probably isn't even there and never was? None of it adds up! Perhaps it won't be long before we all can realise that what draws us has very little to do with the material and much to do with the Spiritual, and for that we need neither Church nor Junta. Perhaps there will be places along the way and near to it which will help us question and celebrate this. Why do so many of us continue to Finisterre? All I ask is for clarity and question to be allowed to exist, or perhaps co-exist in light of 1200 years of mythology: The "Cult" of Santiago so deliberately propagated in the 11th century and so successful even now. What about the relics themselves? Yes DNA testing would be much welcomed by some of us, but it is unlikely to happen: though perhaps enough pressure might change that, but as you say, would it really matter? Maybe ultimately we will all be able to say it doesn't count for much, but for me, I would like to set Priscillian's record straight. I think he, and those others who died so tragically and so unneccessarily with him, deserve that. The time will come, and it won't be long, that we will begin to look at the views of Priscillian and those Gnostics like him who recognised the need to read all the "scriptures" for the Truth, not just those which were accepted. We are already questioning the straight-jacket (keep 'em ignorant and scared) approaches of the established church(es). You only have to look at the online proliferation of sites looking into the esoteric nature of spirituality to see that. The danger, of course, is that we will only find another "gospel" another Way or Truth and if you doubt me, check out the litero-tourists following the Dan Brown Trail. We need something. It is implanted in our consciousness. We reach out to it but so not find it because the established ideas are fences in our way.
I didn't mean to write this much.
Goodnight,
T.S.
Best wishes, and may the Camino be for ever,
Priscillian
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
These questions have been asked since the 11th C – maybe even earlier, when the tomb was first discovered.
Let's presume that Rome proclaims the relics a fraud (they already accept that they are not those of St James) and the church, municipalities, organisations and volunteers withdraw all support for the pilgrimage.
A massive machinery will come to a standstill. No more albergues, no maintenance of the paths, nobody to paint the yellow arrows, no menu del peregrinos, no cheap airflights to Santiago, no Compostela when you get there, no pilgrims' mass etc etc etc.
Will it matter? People can still hike the trail. And, although the archdiocese stresses that, "The most important thing here is the Goal, Not the Way. Jacobean Pilgrims do not go on pilgrimage for the sake of the Way. Through the Way they do get to the Tomb of Saint James "the Great" this is not true if the tomb is not that of St James. Most people say that the journey was important for them, not the destination anyway.
So, what would we be left with? A lovely 800km ramblers' hike across Spain on what used to be the Camino Pilgrimage until the 21st Century.

Sleep and sorry sloth ever pursue them.
Pilgrims and palmers pledged them together
To seek Saint James and saints in Rome.
They went forth on their way with many wise tales,
And had leave to lie all their life after --
I saw some that said they had sought saints:
Yet in each tale that they told their tongue turned to lies
More than to tell truth it seemed by their speech.
Hermits, a heap of them with hooked staves,
Were going to Walsingham and their wenches too;
Big loafers and tall that loth were to work,
Dressed up in capes to be known from others;
And so clad as hermits their ease to have.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Tracy - I am sorry that some hours without a bocadillo have left such a lasting memory...but just to be clear the Guide says this:

"Food and water

On the Camino Portugués you are never far from a café/bar where you can obtain food and drink. In fact you may be surprised how many you encounter!

There are also fuentes (fountains) along the way where you can top up water bottles. However ensure that the water in drinkable. If necessary ask a local.

There are one or two stretches however where there is no bar or fuente for some distance."

also in the Guide there is advice such as this:

"As you prepare to leave Barcelos keep in mind that there are no bars or shops to buy refreshments until you reach Aborim some 11 kms away. "

You've mentioned this percieved deficit a few times - could you let me know on which etapa you encountered the problem...perhaps the bars/restaurants were spirited away that day :)
 
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Create your own ad
€1,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
We are getting a bit off topic, but I believe Sil has a point here and one I am only too well aware of.
Sil writes:

Let's presume that Rome proclaims the relics a fraud (they already accept that they are not those of St James) (reference Sil, please...this is the first I have heard of it it and it is a tad important to my research... :? ) and the church, municipalities, organisations and volunteers withdraw all support for the pilgrimage.
A massive machinery will come to a standstill. No more albergues, no maintenance of the paths, nobody to paint the yellow arrows, no menu del peregrinos, no cheap airflights to Santiago, no Compostela when you get there, no pilgrims' mass etc etc etc.
Will it matter? People can still hike the trail. And, although the archdiocese stresses that, "The most important thing here is the Goal, Not the Way. Jacobean Pilgrims do not go on pilgrimage for the sake of the Way. Through the Way they do get to the Tomb of Saint James "the Great" this is not true if the tomb is not that of St James. Most people say that the journey was important for them, not the destination anyway.
So, what would we be left with? A lovely 800km ramblers' hike across Spain on what used to be the Camino Pilgrimage until the 21st Century.


No, I don't believe that the pilgrimage will come to a stop, only that the focus would be recognised as what it is fast becoming: a way to the interior: consciousness rather than conscience which is what it has been about since the 11th century.
The Way of today does not resemble that of the past. Most "pilgrims" are not Catholic, many are not Christian. It doesn't make any difference: that is the beauty of the Camino.
While I hesitate to mention Dan Brown (Oh go on Tracy; you've already mentioned Shirley) the enormous worldwide success of the Da Vinci Code in particular and less so Angels and Demons is proof positive that people have had enough of being told what they "should" believe. I don't think the Camino de Santiago is any exception. Once I had to explain the word "Gnostic" to people. Now everyone is an expert and Gnosticism crops up in the most unexpected of places. We are even allowed to consider that Judas might have been a good guy after all!
Holy Moly!
The fact is that there IS a body in the cathedral, three in fact. The fact is that there WERE Christian burials around this person and they were 4th century not 1st. The fact is that the cathedral (and the three previous churches) WERE built upon the site of a sacred Roman site which was dedicated to Jupiter and why any self-respecting saint would want to buried in the middle of that lot...well! Saint James would turn in his grave - where ever he is!
As to whose IS buried there... Well, I have my suspicions and perhaps that person's spiritual views were far more similar to many who walk the Camino today than most may think.
And the albergues, sign-marking etc? None of this would change. In fact the idea of a Camino de Verdad might attract even more pilgrims. Certainly sitting on the steps of Santa Susanna's shrine last July I noticed an interesting phenomena: there was a line up of three hours to "hug the saint" but virtully no-one was going down the steps to visit the shrine. We seem to be more superstitious than religious these days.
Also I think that the very fact that so many pilgrims continue on to Fisterre is an indication of the way today's pilgrims differ from those of the 12th century yet seem to be drawn to the pagan Camino de las Estrellas. The Camino is supposed to be concluded at the Cathedral with certain rituals including a Catholic mass, but I doubt that those who continue consider themselves any less “Pilgrims” than those who walk for strictly religious reasons (and I noticed that a "Spiritual" option is not listed when getting the Compostela, only Religious/Spiritual which of course skews the statistics! i.e. the majority walk for Religious reasons - not.)
No, nothing would change: the Pilgrim's Mass would still go on (if as you say the church HAS admitted that James is not buried there - and it is the first I have heard of it - it's all a bit of a sham anyway. But I like the smell of the incense), the Botefumeiro will still dazzle us, and pilgrim menus will still be over-priced in many places.

And methinks thou art playing Devil's Avocado!

Now we had better get back to Spooky Stories or Ivar will get mad at us!

P.S. JW: Sorry I don't remember any particular stretch. I think I must have been at death's door at the time... :wink: I think it is more likely that there are fewer actually on the Camino and you know how reluctant we are to leave it for any length of time (on case it disappears…?) Oh dear, I really must take the ghost down and throw the pumpkin out!
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Well said Priscillian,

Unfortunately, this thread has digress.

To bring it back, what I found spooky is the "body" of St. James was lost for centuries and only recently found again (within 2 decades after the visions of Bernadette in Lourdes). Rivalry from across the Pyrenees? Whose body was it under the cathedral now if it was not St. James.

Another thing I find spooky are the so called bodies of saints that was cut up into pieces, put into jars at the Monastery of Samos. A normal person deserve a decent burial, but if you are a saint you are out of luck.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 100 ratings
Downloads
15,070
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,718
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,561
Updated

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top