St. Louis Spiritual Supply Store has cursed mother | St. Louis Metro News | St. Louis | St. Louis news and events

click to enlarge Papa Legba runs Papa Legba's Spiritual Supply, which will soon move from the southern city to University City.  - REUBEN HEMMER

Reuben Hemmer

Papa Legba runs Papa Legba’s Spiritual Supply, which will soon move from the southern city to University City.

Just behind the bridge overlooking Gravois Avenue sits Papa Legba’s spiritual supply (4535 Gravois Avenue, 314-489-4338, call for an appointment) A St. Louis basis for ritualistic tools, spiritual texts and sacred relics. A unique hand-painted alligator covering the shop window is enough to fascinate passers-by, but a peculiar southern town rumor alludes to an even greater mystery inside: an “real life” tucked away in the back of the mysterious emporium.

I have been fascinated by this rumor for years, and decided to see if there was any truth in the stories I have heard. I met Henry Manning, aka Papa Legba, on a beautiful spring afternoon.

click to enlarge Papa Legba's spiritual supply has everything you need for magic and witchcraft.  - REUBEN HEMMER

Reuben Hemmer

Papa Legba’s spiritual supply has everything you need for magic and witchcraft.

Papa Legba is in the process of moving its business to University City after 24 years in the Bevo neighborhood. He plans to run the store out of his house starting in June. We sat among rows of elixirs and powders while Papa Legba entertained me for hours with stories of practicing witchcraft in the 70s, performing rituals with northern counties, and chatting with local law enforcement during the satanic panic.

As the surroundings became more pleasant, I finally asked “You know, I’ve heard so many stories of a mummy left here somewhere. Is that true?”

“Oh hell yes!” he replied enthusiastically.

Papa Legba pointed to the back of the store and encouraged me to investigate the rumor myself. Sure enough, what appeared to be a mummy was backed up between Santeria altars and moving boxes. I’m far from an expert in mummy verification, but whatever was laid inside a glass sarcophagus draped with a ceremonial cloth looked like a rotting corpse.

click to enlarge There's a mummy in the back of the store.  Papa Legba says it's damn.  - REUBEN HEMMER

Reuben Hemmer

There’s a mummy in the back of the store. Papa Legba says it’s damn.

“I got the mummy from a store that was closing down, it was in Lemay, it was called the Portal. When I bought it, I thought it was some Halloween prop. It turned out to be right! The owner of the portal bought it from a museum in San Francisco.What he did not tell me was when he bought the damn thing the place burned.His mother used to help him with his shop and when he sold it to me… she died When they brought the damn thing to this, I used to have two parrots… one an African gray and one Amazon bird. They both died. I had a kitten and it died. I said ‘your bitch’ and I had to to summon all the Orishas [Yoruba or Santeria deities] and shit I could to oppress this damn mother. “

The mummy has been behaving lately, Papa Legba explains. But “I always have people who come up and ask how much I would sell her for. I tell them, ‘when I’m dying, you can definitely buy it if you want, otherwise that idiot will not go Trust me, you do not want it! ‘ We’ll see what happens, but I can just donate it to the Church of Satan in Poughkeepsie one day. ”

Papa Legba has guessed why the mummy is cursed. One idea is that it’s because the mummy was disturbed. Another theory is that the mummy was incorrectly named Guinevere. “Some King Arthur shit,” Papa Legba says. “When I got it, there was no sarcophagus, so there was no history. Without history, there is no identity. It was basically just a corpse. Not that they were ever respected anyway. It was horrible what happened in the Middle East. In fact, when the crazy Brits built the railroads, they held unpacking parties and used the corpses to burn their trains on. Bizarre and horrible. At least I gave her a home. “

click to enlarge Papa Legba's spiritual supply - REUBEN HEMMER

Reuben Hemmer

Papa Legba’s spiritual supply

Papa Legba believes that the mummy is of Egyptian origin because of its size. “I remember the first time I saw a mummy. I was a kid scout and we went to see the mummy at the art museum. I remember thinking ‘I could knock the hell out of this! What is it, an adult?’ “

With the move, Papa Legba plans to keep the mummy in an extra bedroom so guests can stop by and take a look. “At the end of my time, you can throw her in the fire with me. I think I’m walking around the afterlife with a wide I can not understand!”

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