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The ghost of the pilgrim in Fontihoyuelo, a legend published in newspapers from 1881

A pilgrim ghost from the Santiago Road visited this village

Pilgrim while walking the Madrid Way, picture from Envato Elements by diego_cervo

Pilgrim while walking the Madrid Way, picture from Envato Elements by diego_cervo

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Peregrino haciendo el camino de Madrid, imagen de Envato Elements por diego_cervo

Pilgrim while walking the Madrid Way, picture from Envato Elements by diego_cervo

On the Madrid way, near Valladolid, there is a small town called Fontihoyuelo, which is the smallest town that this route crosses. With its 37 inhabitants, it is not a ghost town, but there are testimonies of one from centuries ago.

The stage that goes from Cuenca de Campos to Santervás de Campos crosses the Castilian countryside for almost 22 kilometres. This road passes through small towns, with a few hundred inhabitants at most, but the least populated is Fontihoyuelo. That it is a small town should not deceive you, since it has a thousand years of history that go far beyond the Santiago road.

A ghost pilgrim

Newspapers from all over Spain, from Santander to Murcia, reported in 1881 an event that revolutionized the town of Fontihoyuelo. A local resident declared that a ghost appeared to him. It was the spirit of a pilgrim, who commissioned this man to organize nightly processions to the ruins of the old church.

This man wanted to fulfill what was entrusted to him, since according to that apparition he would find among the remains of the temple a crucifix that had rested there for 240 years. The neighbors turned to the search, and the news reached all of Spain, although not all the newspapers treated it seriously. Some of the newspapers requested that the Civil Guard participate in the search for the crucifix, and another published a poem dedicated to the event.

The crucifix did not appear or, at least, there is no record of its finding. The possible locations of the crucifix are still being considered to this day. When referring to the ruins of the old church, it may be an allusion to the old hermitage of Santa María or the ruins of the parish church of San Juan. It is also considered that it is related to Las Eras, an area of ​​the town.

Fontihoyuelo and the Camino de Santiago

The fact that there are mentions of pilgrims in the 19th century implies that the pilgrimage from Madrid already passed through there. The only evidence is not the crucifix that remains unaccounted for, presumably dating from the early 17th century. In the church of San Salvador, also from the 17th century, you can see carved ornaments on the columns in the shape of the characteristic scallop, which is the definitive clue that the presence of pilgrims goes back several centuries.

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