Tourism Brings in Big Bucks for “Cursed” Small Town

Tourism Brings in Big Bucks for

( – Most Americans know about the Salem Witch Trials, the 17th Century prosecution of hundreds of people accused of practicing witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. However, they probably haven’t heard about Spain’s cursed village of witches.

Fewer than 50 people call the tiny village of Trasmoz, Spain, home throughout the whole year. Located next to the snow-covered northern foothills, the town welcomes thousands of tourists every year. But, for most, the attraction isn’t its crumbling 12th-century castle or the view of the majestic snow-capped Moncayo mountain range.

Instead, as many as 6,000 tourists travel to the village every summer to see the sights in Trasmoz. This is the only village in Spain that’s excommunicated in its entirety with an alleged curse so powerful only the Pope can lift it.

Lola Ruiz Diaz, the custodian of Trasmoz Castle, told BBC Travel the curse was the result of activities in the fortress. During the 13th Century, the occupants of Trasmoz Castle forged counterfeit coins. The task made a lot of noise. To avoid discovery, they floated the rumor that witches and warlocks were working at night to create their black magic potions.

At the time, the town operated outside the control of the Catholic Church and didn’t pay any taxes or dues to the nearby Monastery of Veruela. When the abbot (the head of a monastery) heard the rumors of witchcraft, he decided it was a golden opportunity to punish the town. He asked the Archbishop of Tarazona to excommunicate the entire village.

The dispute between Trasmoz and Catholic officials raged on for centuries, and in 1511 Pope Julius II gave the local abbot permission to cast a curse over the village. Here’s the kicker: Since a Pope sanctioned the alleged curse, only a Pope has the power to lift it, and that hasn’t happened in the last 500+ years.

In all likelihood, the town doesn’t want the curse lifted anyway since it found a way to turn it into a money-making blessing.

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