"The Old Tree" - Its name has been locally known as the "Cotton Tree". For many years, it had been majestically standing tall on the roadside in the village of Calcutta, Corozal. Under duress, the tree finally gave way to the elements and natures fury, as its top branches and trunk gave way into a resounding crash one night, what sounded like an old Volkswagon visiting into its buttress roots. Maya mythology is part of Mesoamerican mythology and comprises all of the Maya tales in which personified forces of nature, deities, and the heroes interacting with these play the main roles. Other parts of Maya oral tradition (such as animal tales and many moralising stories) do not properly belong to the domain of mythology, but rather to legend and folk tale.

The kapok is a sacred symbol in Maya mythology (Source Wikipedia)

According to the folklore of the Caribbean including Belize, the Castle of the Devil is a huge kapok (cotton tree) growing deep in the forest in which Bazil the demon of death was imprisoned by a carpenter. The carpenter tricked the devil into entering the tree in which he carved seven rooms, one above the other, into the trunk. Folklore claims that Bazil still resides in that tree.

This "Cotton Tree" Ceiba pentandra is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae (previously separated in the family Bombacaceae), native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Kapok is the most used common name for the tree.

This particular cotton tree or kapok had been growing on Mr. Edwin Sanker's property (now deceased) since he was a little boy. Villagers from Calcutta Village, Corozal would claim that the tree had spirits.The tree has not been very popular with the neighbours because of the paranormal and spirited events villagers have experienced. Felicita says that the villagers have been afraid of the tree because many have sighted ghosts in it. The tree trunk has, what appears to be, a hollow door opening leading into the belly of the trunk. A very intimidating sight when you are close to it.

The buttress root from the tree trunk is approximately 20 feet in diameter. The tree itself was over 100 feet tall and branches on both sides may have exceeded 60 feet. The tree split about 3/4 way from the top.

by Lincoln Eiley

The current owner of the property Felicita Sanker claims that her father Edwin Sanker lived on the property for 75 years and she herself has lived on the property for 51. She says that the tree had been there long before her father was born and when he was a child, her father, used to play on the tree.

Thank you Ms. Felicita Sanker for a great story and here is wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas. One Love!