The Legend of Pedro de Urdemalas

Written by on October 24, 2013 in Haunted Southwest - Comments Off on The Legend of Pedro de Urdemalas

One night, Pedro de Urdemalas was wandering down a lonely lane when he chanced upon a ragged beggar. Feeling sorry for the poor man, Pedro gave him all the money in his pocket. The man asked him what he could do to thank him. Thinking it was joke, Pedro asked for a deck of cards that would never lose, musical instruments to make people dance, and greasewood bush that would never let go until his debtors forgave him his debts. The beggar asked if he had any heavenly wishes. Pedro asked that when he knocked on the pearly gates, he be granted immediate entry no questions asked.

With that, the ragged beggar, who was really in Saint Peter in disguise, transformed and promptly conjured the items Pedro had requested. Wicked Pedro went on his way, gambling with the cards, playing his instruments and stealing money from the pockets of the dancers, and forcing creditors to forgive him his debts.
Legend says that when it came time for him to die, he met Death with that pack of cards in his hands. He challenged Death of one hand or cards, the stakes were his life. Naturally Pedro won and gained another 10 years of life. After 10 years, Death once again came for Pedro, who was waiting with his greasewood bush. Death was on to him and he dodged the bush and dragged Pedro to Purgatory. He caused so much trouble in purgatory, God moved him to Limbo. He caused so much trouble in Limbo that God sent him to Hell. On his way to Hell, he collected all the crosses he could find and kept the demons at bay when he arrived. God then summoned Pedro to heaven, where he knocked on the gates and Saint Peter appeared to let him in. God became so annoyed that he turned Pedro into a rock with eyes. To this day, Pedro de Urdemalas watches just inside the gates of Heaven and watches the new souls enter.

Pedro Urdemales is a character from Latin American (especially Chilean and Guatemalan) folklore that typifies the rogue, rascal or trickster. The Hispanic settlers to the southwestern U.S. brought his legends, stories and tales with them.

Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, wrote a full-length comedy in verse based on the character, and entitled it Pedro de Urdemalas. In 1615, it was published in the collection Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses (Eight Plays and Eight Interludes.

Table of Contents for the Haunted Southwest Series:
La Llorona – Legendary Ghost of New Mexico
Ghost Walks the Rails
Mt. Pisgah Cemetery
River of Lost Souls
The Ghost of the White Lady
The Pottery Curse
Haunted Hotel: The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Vulture Mine, Wickenburg, Arizona
Haunted Hotel: The San Carlos, Phoenix, Arizona
The Haunted Shores of the Great Salt Lake, Utah
Haunted Tombstone, Arizona
Haunted Mines: Ghost, Goblins and Tommy Knockers, Southwest
Ghost Camels of the Southwest
Haunted Dawson Cemetary, New Mexico
Haunted Inn: Who Haunts the Brook Forest Inn, Colorado
Halloween in Jerome, Arizona
The Mystery of the Missing Locomotive, Colorado
The Ghost of La Posada Resort and Spa
Ogden and Salt Lake City Ghost Tours
The Ghosts of the Copper Queen
The Redstone Castle
Highway to Hell
Ghost Train at Golden Spike

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