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10 places to visit in the spooky season

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 22, 2014, 2 p.m.
Mercado de Sonora, Mexico City

Photo: Maurice Marcellin /Wikimedia Commons

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Mercado de Sonora, Mexico City

This market (mercado) is a traditional retail space, with vendors selling handmade pottery, food and even live animals. However, Sonora is best known for its traditional herbal remedies and for vendors selling occult paraphernalia. Many people come here to purchase decorations and items for celebrating the Day of the Dead, Mexico's more-traditional version of Halloween.

The magic and occult items are used by people who practice Santeria and shamanism and by those who revere Santa Muerte (a folk figure usually portrayed as a skeleton wearing a woman's hooded robe). Visitors can also find ingredients for various potions, some meant to have magical properties and some based on traditional Mexican herbal healing practices. The occult section of Sonora draws tourists and curiosity seekers as well as people who actually use the items for their intended purposes.