30 Interesting Bélmez Faces Facts

by Sankalan Baidya

The Bélmez Faces (also sometimes known as the Faces of Bélmez) is one of the most famous paranormal activities that took place in 20th century. Some people just blow it off as a well-staged and elaborate hoax while others consider it to be true. We really don’t know what’s true and what’s wrong. All we know is that the phenomenon is quite eerie and if at all it is an elaborate hoax, the person behind it is nothing less than a maestro! So, let us learn 30 interesting Bélmez Faces facts! It will be a fun read!

Interesting Bélmez Faces Facts: 1-10

1. The Faces of Bélmez refer to a phenomenon that started in 1971 in Spain’s Pereira family home.

2. This phenomenon is today considered by many parapsychologists as the best-documented and most important paranormal phenomenon of 20th century.

3. On August 23, 1971, the lady of the Pereira family, María Gómez Cámara claimed that a face was spontaneously formed on the concrete floor of her kitchen.

4. After the first face emerged, María’s husband Juan Pereira and her son Miguel took a pickaxe and destroyed the face.

5. After the face was destroyed, a new concrete floor was laid down only to provide a fresh canvas for yet another face to emerge from nowhere in about a week’s time.

6. This time, the mayor of Bélmez stepped in and ordered the family not to destroy the face.

7. The mayor ordered the piece of the floor where the face emerged to be cut out and removed for thorough investigation.

8. As it goes, something creepy and paranormal manages to get immediate attention, María’s home attracted attention.

9. According to mysterious-planet.com, Pereira family approached the city council for help. Upon receiving the request, an excavation of the ground underneath the kitchen floor was carried out.

10. According to that website, many skeletons (many of which were headless) were unearthed from the depths of 9 feet. These skeletons were tested and were found to be from 13th century.

Interesting Bélmez Faces Facts: 11-20

11. The removed skeletons were the given proper burial as per Catholic rules at a Catholic church. The kitchen floor of the house was also redone after filling up the hole from which the skeletons were excavated.

12. Contrary to the expectation, the removal of the skeletons only intensified the appearances of the faces. This time the faces appeared and disappeared quickly – sometimes within a couple of hours.

13. Every time a new face appeared, it turned out to be distinctly different from the others having distinctly different emotional expression.

14. Also, faces of men, women and children all appeared. Meaningless to say, the Pereira house was opened up for tourists and curious people but of course there was an entry fee.

15. People from different professions visited the house and this included priests, police officials, students, journalists and researchers. One of the most famous paranormal investigators named Hans Bender from Germany also visited the house and it was he who said that the phenomenon was undeniably one of the most important paranormal events of 20th century.

16. A thorough investigation took place under the supervision of Instituto de Ceramica y Vidrio (Institute of Ceramics and Glass) or ICV. They took cement slab samples from the floor to look for traces of dyes or paints. Unfortunately, the ICV did not find any traces of paints.

17. Several skeptics however hold the view that the faces were pure cases of forgery. For instance, Ramos Parera, president of Spanish Society of Parapsychology stated about La Pava (the name of the first face that appeared):

Through infrared photography we saw that this one had added pigmentation [over the original appearance], and even the paint brush bristles could be perceived. Of course, after that we had no doubts it had been painted.

18. Another chemical analysis was performed by a researcher from “Spanish National Research Council” named J.J. Alonso. His report confirmed the presence of a melanocratic compound.

19. Apart from forgery hypothesis which triggered a series of chemical analysis (with no unanimous result), another hypothesis floated around. It is known as thoughtographic hypothesis.

20. According to the thoughtographic hypothesis, the faces were made on the floor by psychokinetic phenomenon in which a human agent, either consciously or subconsciously, projected the images on the floor. Here the human agent was none other than María Gómez Cámara.

Interesting Bélmez Faces Facts: 21-30

21. Supporters of the thoughtographic hypothesis put forward the argument that the expressions of the emerging faced ended up mimicking the emotions of María.

22. Under the oversight of Hans Bender and German television crew, an investigation was conducted in presence of Bélmez notary. In this study, the house was sealed for three months. Specific sections of the kitchen floor where faces were in progress were photographed and then they were sealed off using transparent plastic material.

23. The purpose of the study was to understand whether there was someone deliberately painting the faces on the floor.

24. At the end of the study, it was found that the configuration of the faces had changed slightly and also they moved around the floor. This is when Bender commented:

“In Bélmez, slight changes of the faces’ configuration during the period when the phenomenon was under seal (attested by a notary) have contributed to ensure its paranormal origin.”

25. María Gómez Cámara died in 2004 when she was 85 years old. Since it was thought that María was a psychic and that she created the faces with psychokinetic phenomenon, it was reasonably argued that her death will put an end to the phenomenon.

26. Pedro Amorós – a psychic researcher tried to find more of such thoughtographic faces. His research eventually ended up revealing another wave of Bélmez Faces even after Maria’s death.

27. Later these second round of appearances of faces were completely debunked by Spanish Media as nothing up hoax to attract attention.

28. El Mundo – a popular Spanish newspaper published in November 2004 an article titled “New Belmez Faces Faked by ‘Ghostbusters’ and Municipal Government.” The article detailed that the new Bélmez Faces were hoax.

29. In 2007, Francisco Máñez – an investigator and Javier Cavanilles – a journalist, published a book titled Los Caras de Bélmez.

30. It was in their book (whose title in English translated into “The Scoundrels of Bélmez”) the authors explained that Diego Pereira – son of María Gómez Cámara who deliberately painted the second round of faces on the floor to grab attention.

Skeptoid.com has detailed article that debunks the whole Bélmez Faces phenomenon right from the beginning. You can read the article here.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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