During the Depression of 1936, there lived a young man named Bernado Vazquez in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bernado was a strange young man who desired to get rich by any means possible. One of those means was to use black magic to become invisible.

He would spend a lot of time with a neighbouring woman and her daughter, telling them about his hopes and dreams. One evening he came over to the visit and said: At last I have everything ready. This time I will not fail. I got myself the black cat, pieces of wood from an old coffin-you know those that are discarded in the cemetery, and a big tin can.”

When questioned further, he stated that he was going to use them in a magical ceremony in order to become invisible. With this power he would be able to get rich very quickly. In order to achieve this, he would need to obtain a particular bone from the cat and everytime he placed this bone under his tongue, he would become invisible.

The woman felt sorry for the young man and decided to excuse herself, but not before warning him against using the dark arts. That was the last time she ever saw him.

A few days later she wondered where Bernado was as she hadn’t seen him around. She went to see her neighbour who had rented Bernado a room at the back of the house and asked after him. The neighbour replied that she had not seen him but that a few days before she and her husband had heard a cat screaming. They had been too scared to investigate further.

They decided to go around to the room to see if anyone was there. The door and window were both closed tighly with a thick wood plank. There was also a bad smell coming from the room, which prompted the women to call the authorities.

When the police arrived, they bashed down the door to get inside. Inside the room the stench was aweful and the room was very dirty. In the middle of the small room was an old table. On the table they found the remains of a slaughted black cat. Nearby the hearth was full of ashes and the remains of burnt logs. In the corner was a dirty bed covered by a ragged sheet. On a nail on the wall hung a shirt and pair of pants.

Bernado was nowhere to be found.

The police could never explain the case and lots of questions could not be answered. Where was Bernado? How could anyone have gotten out of the room with planks nailed across the door and window from the inside?

For many years after, the woman often thought of the strange man and his mysterious disappearance. Could he have really found the secret to invisibility?

Invisibility has been mentioned in historical documents from the time of the Indus Valley civilisation. The Vedic texts of India mention yogi’s who had the power to become invisible. It was even mentioned by Patanjali, the author of the Yoga-sutra.

In the fifteenth century, the Rosicrucians began talking about the power of becoming invisible. H. Spencer Lewis, the founder of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis in San Jose, California, stated that one can gain invisibility with the use of clouds. He also mentions that the secret practice is still taught in some mystical schools to this day.John Macky, an early Masonic leader, also talked about this technique. Even Madame Blavatsky, of the Theosophical Society was said to have been told the secret of becoming invisible.

Even today there are accounts of people who have experienced what is now called Spontaneous Human Involuntary Invisibility and wiccan groups which claim that they know the secret to becoming hidden from human eyes.

You can read a full account of the Bernado story by Helen Torres, the daughter of the woman in the story by clicking the link below:

Llewellyn: Bernardo Vazquez: The Vanishing Sorcerer

You can read more stories on SHII here:

Donna Higby: Human Spontaneous Involuntary Invisibility

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