The Witch of Lapa

A Bruxa da Lapa

Dona Guilhermina is a very well known figure in Rio de Janeiro, she is popularly known as the Witch of Lapa. This old lady had a dark power that allowed her to see when someone was going to die. Bold, curious, or just disheartened people used to go meet her at the Street of Mata Cavalos (now Street of Riachuelo) to find out their fates. The Witch herself was afraid of her powers and one day she decided to tear off the eye that allowed her to see the future. However, she discovered that one cannot escape one´s destiny. Every year, in the anniversary of her self-mutilation, it is said that the eye returns to haunt her. This is a night that many dread in Rio de Janeiro, fearing to come across the passing eye, floating in the air through the streets. In such an event, one must avoid staring into it. Some say that this is the origin of the expression “evil eye”.

The Immortal Orchestra of Rio de Janeiro

In 1870 the balls enriched by the presence of the Immortal Orchestra in the central region of Rio, were already a tradition. Every Friday punctually at 8pm the band started to play presenting everyone around with a good time. Then, last year a tragic accident killed all the musicians. The event shocked the population. To honor the adored musical group a party was organized at the same place, day and time of their traditional shows. The people gathered were remembering their beloved musicians when a known tune began to be heard throughout the Cinelandia. Panic spread as those that were there realized that the Immortal Orchestra was maintaining their traditional punctuality. Or so the story goes. This is the only record we have of the event, for so far it did not occur again. But the story haunts the society of Rio and many cannot avoid a shiver when passing at the spot where the orchestra used to play. Particularly if it´s a Friday Night at 8pm.

The Ventriloquist of XV Square

During the last decade one of the most successful attractions in the Imperial City were the shows performed by Mr. Russel, a British citizen living in Rio de Janeiro, popularly known as the Ventriloquist of XV Square. His performances attracted hundreds of people and enchanted the public with the magic of his dolls that seemed to be alive. And so they were. Some of those watching the shows began to notice a resemblance between the dolls and people who had disappeared. Until one day Mr. Olavo recognized among the dolls one that had the exact face of a friend of his who had disappeared some time ago. Shaken by fear, Olavo pronounced the name of his friend and the doll answered! Horror struck those at Square XV on that day.

Mr. Russell was deported in the following week and  some of  his dolls were confiscated. The families of the missing persons are claiming the dolls, but the Ministry of Justice has not reached a decision yet. Some clay that many of the dolls escaped during the confusion and are wandering through the city. This story so far has not been confirmed.