Legends of Palma: Sa mà des moro
It was in the 18th century, exactly on October 18, 1731, when the priest Martí Mascort appeared murdered in his house on the street of Sa Guixeria, next to the street of Montenegro, today known as the street of “Sa Mà des Moro” (the Moor’s hand).
Don Martín Mascort was a priest of a nearby parish that lived in a poor house on that street. His existence was almost miserable until one day, when doing some work in his house, behind a wall a fabulous treasure appeared: three pots filled with gold.
The humble house became a beautiful mansion and Don Martin hired a handsome young Moorish servant named Ahmed and an old housekeeper who was entrusted with the care of his niece, the young Mary, who shared with him his house.
Soon, passionate love broke out in the souls of the two young.
Ahmed, but his origin and religion were an obstacle, so he made promises to his lover that he would become Christian if she agreed to accompany him to Africa, where thanks to an inheritance he would become a rich man. Once Christianized, they would return to request forgiveness from their uncle.
It was October 18, 1731, the night to escape. Thanks to the darkness, Ahmed and Maria got to the port without any problems, but he, under the pretext of picking up some more clothes, went back to the house, came into the bedroom where the priest was sleeping and snoring and stabbed violently.
Once he killed the man, he tried to find the chest where the gold was hidden but in the meantime, the housekeeper came into the room. She saw the priest dead and she started to scream so loudly that all neighbours woke up. Ahmed tried to run away desperately, he was scared and confused and finally, he was arrested by the sheriff and Maria spent the rest of her life in a convent.
On November 15, the death sentence was notified.
But first, he would be dragged and then cut off his right hand, but he became Christian and the circumstances changed: he would be executed first and after his hand would be cut off and placed in a niche protected by an iron fence at the portal of the priest’s house, so the people could contemplate the punishment for murdering, since then the street was known as Carrer de as mà des moro (the Moor’s hand Street). The rest of the body was burned near the convent of Itria, located near what is now General Riera Street.
The curious thing is that on November 15 in 1731 not only did Ahmed, but two people also died: Maria, his lover, due to her sadness; and the housekeeper while she was returning to her house.
In 1840 there was still the Moor’s hand protected by an iron fence. But years later the house was refurbished, and the hand disappeared but not the fence. It is believed that
Ahmed’s tormented soul was still there as neighbours heard chilling sounds in the area. It is said that every November 15 voice and chains are heard dragged through the area of the mansion, the sounds of the hand scratching the darkness and the dripping of blood until dawn.