The Witch Market in Peru

Mercado de las brujas (witches market) La Pax, Bolivia

The Mercado de Brujas, also known as the Witch Market, is located in Lima, Peru and sells unimaginable potions, snake fat for arthritis, various strange herb smoothies, and spices for health purposes – some of these include spices blended with frogs, which are also for curing arthritis – and black candles against curses, among the many strange and fascinating items.

While the witches who hold the market do not particularly wear pointed hats or fly on broomsticks, at least not that we know them doing any of these things, they do make very effective and powerful potions and folk remedies that are believed by the most part of Peru’s population to cure maladies of both physical and spiritual natures. The potions at the market are said to cure just anything, from a hangover to a broken heart.

dsc03784The market is hidden beneath the Gamarra Station, which is the reason why even many locals have no idea about its existence. Legends about the market are, in a way, a luxury only few have can access, though everyone can very easily go and buy things from it. There is a tiny line seperating the market from the outside world, which begins with snake skins hung outside shop vitrines. The main focus of the Mercado de Brujas is to bring back the traditions of the past and let people practice traditional folk medicine. Despite it seeming quite odd, these medical methods are widely practiced among the greater Peruvian society and indigenous groups.

A02ES75h8H47akZ6g0XIjQThe main offerings of the market are ritual items, though one can find almost anything both imaginable and unimaginable. The ritual items include things like python skins, sea shells, hatum hampi (a blend of local dirt, rocks, spices and seeds), and cactus leaves.

IyyvG4ss1RZrRql9W2XLpwFor those needing guidance, at the market a number of witch doctors and healers are within access and hearing, and are ready to help customers through treatments and readings.



Peruvian Witch Market – truly a place worth visiting!

Nina Baklachyan

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