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 to channel 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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