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The Venezuelan Ceremony Where Spirits Take Over the Living

VICE trekked to Venezuela for Baile en Candela, a yearly spiritual ceremony where people use blood, fire, and age-old rituals to channel the spirits of the dead.

by VICE Staff
Mar 30 2018, 8:01pm

Every October in Venezuela, hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to Mount Sorte for Baile en Candela, a celebration of the goddess María Lionza. Armed with drums, razorblades, liquor, and fire, mediums perform age-old rituals aimed at channeling the spirits of Lionza’s closest disciples—letting the mystic figures take over their bodies to speak directly to the living.

On this episode of VICE INTL, VICE Colombia trekked to the summit to see exactly what goes down on Mount Sorte each year. They spoke to Lionza's followers to hear why they made the pilgrimage, met up with a well-known spiritual guide, and looked on as a few brave souls had themselves possessed by the dead.

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