Strange pictures that appeared on the stone hearth in the kitchen of Juan Pereira Sanchez in the village of Bélmez de la Moraleda, Spain, during 1971. The Sanchez family was puzzled and frightened when the first face gradually manifested on the hearth, and eventually the son of the family hacked out the face with a pickaxe and filled in the hole with cement and sand. Soon afterward, however, a second face appeared near the site of the first one.
As the news spread, neighbors and later sightseers visited to see this phenomenon. The second face was hacked out and placed on a kitchen wall under glass. On the advice of the village mayor, the hearth was excavated and a shaft over six feet dug out. Bones were discovered, and it was later learned that the house was built on the site of an old cemetery. The second face had an agonized expression and resembled a Byzantine sketch. Other faces continued to appear.
The case was investigated in 1972 by German de Argumosa, who reported on some 18 "Bélmez faces" that had "grown" beyond the cemented hearth on the tiled kitchen floor. Even when the professor covered and sealed the floor with plastic, new faces appeared under the plastic, although the seals were not tampered with. Tape recordings were also made of voices associated with the face phenomena.