Retablo by Miguel Hernández
My girlfriend Rosa and I went for a walk. When we were passing by the cemetery we saw the dead men also walking around. We got so scared we almost died of fear. We thank the Virgin of Guadalupe for we managed to run away before the dead men would see us and we were saved.
I took my son to Tonala to visit his grandmother. We were coming back late at night. We were passing by the cemetery when we saw some skeletons getting over the cemetery fence. They began chasing us. I thank the Virgin of Zapopan because some dogs came running. They smelled the bones and began to bite the skeletons’ legs. The skeletons finding themselves in danger ran back to the cemetery. And we managed to escape.
On the night of November 2, I was at the cemetery cleaning some tombs. I got pretty scared when I saw with my own eyes that the dead man, whose tomb I was going to clean, opened up his tomb and got ready to leave. I ask the Virgin of Juquila to protect me and she helped me to escape from there. The next day, I decided I’d better quit that job at the cemetery.
Tomas Cruz, Oaxaca
Retablo by Flor Palomares
On the Day of the Dead, my grandmother and I went to the town for the mass. On our way back some skeletons from the cemetery began to chase us. They were near us when my grandmother turned and whacked them with her cane. The skeletons fell to pieces, and our dog was happy to see so many bones. I thank the Virgin of Zapopan for such a brave grandmother.
After leaving the town few years ago, when his bride had died on the way to the church, Roberto Mendival came back, full of memories. Since it was the Day of the Dead, he went to put some flowers on his late beloved one’s grave. He stayed over there till dark, reflecting about how it all could have gone different. Suddenly he heard some noise. He saw the dead men leaving their graves. And his bride Clara, who had turned into a skeleton, was among them. She saw her groom and hugged him. Other skeletons prepared everything for a wedding and were looking for a dead priest to conduct the ceremony. Although Roberto had feelings for his bride, he wasn’t into marrying the dead woman at all. He prayed to the Virgin of Zapopan, and the Virgin hastened the hour of the dawn. With the cockcrowing, the dead men rushed to their graves, and Roberto didn’t have to link his life with a skeleton. He thanks for that.
Romualdo Garcia went to put flowers on his aunt Anacleta’s tomb. He had a macabre meeting with ghosts at the cemetery. They were walking along the tombs. Romualdo entrusted himself to the Virgin of San Juan and could escape. He thanks the Virgin with this retablo.
My friend Pancho and I were drinking aguardiente (“firewater”) and made a bet who would pass the night at the cemetery. I was so drunk, I felt brave, so I agreed to do so. But at the midnight, the ghost of my late buddy Rogaciano Mendez appeared. I was so scared, I immediately sobered up. I thank the Virgin of Guadalupe.
November 2, 1952
San Juan Nuevo, Michoacan
Retablo by Unknown artist #1
My buddy and I were coming back after the sowing. We took the short way, through the cemetery, and there the beheaded bride appeared to us. She scared us. We prayed to you, Virgin of the Solitude, so the bride would o away. And she disappeared. Thanks.
Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1976
Retablo by Rogelio Peña
I offer you this retablo, Holy Lord, for saving me during this encounter with the most hideous creature that my sister and I saw at the town cemetery.
Cuch-Balam, Yucatan, 1940
Retablo by Unknown artist #21
Susana Ruiz was attacked by two skeletons at the cemetery. She entrusted herself to the Virgin of Guadalupe and now give thanks because she managed to get away from them, although one skeleton bit her arm.
Retablo by Gonzalo Hernández
On the Day of the Dead, I went out to see if my son was coming home from school. Since our home was beside the cemetery, I found out that the skeletons left their graves. They were very happily walking by the street. All the people in the town hid in the houses. We thank the Virgin of Guadalupe because the next day the skeletons came back to the cemetery and rested in peace.
Retablo by Luz Cadena
One night I worked till late at night. I was coming home, walking near the cemetery, when the ghost of my aunt Clotilde started to pursue me. Only when I invoked the Lord of Work I could escape from it and arrived home safe and sound. Then I ordered few masses for my aunt’s soul and now I dedicate this retablo thanking for saving me.
February 28, 1964
Retablo by Raul