NYC
03/06/2013 12:51 pm ET

Big Apple Vodou

Far from the ominous spells and creepy pin-dolls of the silver screen, three New Yorkers debunk the myths about Haiti's ancient religion.

I walk down the narrow basement stairs with ease, but before I can cross the entryway into the warm candlelit temple, the oungan, a male priest in the Haitian Vodou tradition, hands me a ceramic jar filled with water. Pointing to the entryway floor, he motions towards three spaces and asks me to drop water for Papa Legba, the Vodou spirit who grants or denies human access to communicate with any of the Vodou spirits, or lwas.

I pour the water. My salute to the gatekeeper had been approved. I enter.

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