La Leyenda del Callejón de la Buena Muerte

It is rumoured that, in the streets surrounding the chapel devoted to the worship of el Señor del Buen Viaje - Our Lord of the Good Journey - you can sometimes see a tall, dark figure, said to be Death himself, who wanders the streets looking for souls because once, many, many years ago, he was summoned here by a little old woman.

This lady lived with her only grandson in a tiny room and money was tight. They made their living begging on the street, they dressed in rags and food was scarce. All the same, with each other for company, they were happy in a small way.

One day, the boy fell gravely ill and the poor woman, who had no money for a doctor, prayed to God not to take him. But Death, who was already drawing near, heard her prayers first and appeared in front of her and proposed a deal. He would spare the boy’s life, he said, in exchange for her sight. The old woman agreed without hesitation.

Now blind, the woman now depended on the boy to be her guide.

Time passed and soon it was she who took sick. The boy feared for her life and told her earnestly that he “did not want to be left alone.”

Then, the old woman managed to run into her old friend Death again. When he told her that he would be coming for her very soon, the old woman begged him to let her stay a little longer, to which Death replied that he would, in exchange for the boy’s eyesight. But this time, she said no, as she didn’t want the boy to suffer.

Death laughed cynically and then proposed something sinister: He could always take them both; that way, they could be together forever. The old woman agreed to this and asked him to do it, right there and then.

They say that the bells of the nearby church mysteriously rang themselves at dawn that day, and that the neighbors thought that old woman and the boy had died of cold.

According to the legend, Death still comes to stroll through the alley, looking for people to do deals, very close to the room where the unlucky pair had their home.

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