Anthracite: What is The Black Virgin Legend? Is it Real?

In Netflix’s ‘Anthracite,’ a small town becomes the epicenter of a string of crimes that completely flip the lives of its residents. The town is haunted by the bad things that happened in the past, and as a result, it has all kinds of stories in the wind, with every person seeing it from a different perspective. The story of the Ecrins Cult and the mass suicide of its followers is one of the ages and becomes central to the identity of the town, but there is another legend that becomes central to the story: the legend of the Black Virgin. What is it, and how is it relevant to the plot? SPOILERS AHEAD

The Fictional Legend of the Black Virgin is Important to the Plot

In creating the fictional story of ‘Anthracite,’ its creators turned towards real-life events and people to give a touch of realism to the story. The part of the cult and the mass suicide closely resembles a real-life case of a cult in France. However, in creating the story of the Black Virgin, the writers were motivated more by what the plot needed than to focus on the folklore and the legends that already exist in the country and its culture.

Image Credit: Thibault Grabherr/Netflix

In the show, the presence of the Black Virgin is considered a bad omen. It is believed that if you see the Black Virgin in your dreams, then someone close to you is going to die. While the whole town is aware of the legend, rarely does anyone see the mystical figure in their dreams and then lose someone close to them. The only person who is terrorized by the presence of the Black Virgin is a young girl named Juliette.

In 1994, even before the infamous case of the Ecrins cult and the mass suicide, Juliette had been having nightmares of the Black Virgin. She revealed that the figure came to her every night, and it would terrorize her so much that she would be unable to move at all, though she would be conscious through the whole thing. At first, it is seen as an omen of something bad, which is what leads her to the Ecrins cult, according to other people. It is much later that the truth about the nightmares comes out.

It turns out that the Black Virgin that Juliette referred to was none other than her brother, Claude. He was in a band and wore a T-shirt that had the words “alone” written on the front and back. The back of the T-shirt also had a picture of the Virgin Mary. Every night, Claude would rape his sister, and with the mirror directly in front of her bed, she would see the back of his T-shirt reflected in the mirror. She would see the words “Enola,” and with the dark color of the T-shirt, the Virgin Mary turned into the Black Virgin.

Her survival instinct repressed the trauma, and she only remembered “Enola” and the Black Virgin, and instead of the rape, she would remember the nightmares. The only way she could make sense of it was to connect some story, some omen, and that’s where the Black Virgin legend comes into the picture.

Read More: Anthracite: Is the Ecrins Cult a Real Cult? Is Caleb Johansson an Actual Cult Leader?