One of my favorite parts about growing up in an Ecuadorian family is the stories and urban legends my family would weave into my everyday life. If I didn't finish a meal, I'd be reminded that the angels would be forced to eat it and it'd give them a stomachache. If there's a mix of sun, rain, and thunder outside, I smile because I know something's happening with la bruja, el diablo, and their marriage.
As a kid, they freaked me out. As an adult, they are inside jokes I share with my family that will hopefully be passed down to the next generation. But no urban legends are like those that pop up during Halloween. Here are some of the most interesting and creepy ones.
As a 6-year-old little girl afraid of the dark, I had no clue what the Boogie Man was — I was too busy being afraid of the cucuy. Every time I thought about doing something bad, I was reminded that he stole little children and it freaked me the heck out.
This story sounds like a telenovela. Legend states that La Llorona became a crying woman haunting us after she was abandoned by her Spanish boyfriend, who she had three children with. She drowned all three kids and then committed suicide — why were our parents telling us this story when we were kids, by the way? If you spot a ghost-like woman in a white veil, run the other way.
It's hard to be scared of Bigfoot when all your energy went into being scared of El Chupacabra. Yeah, by definition, he's only supposed to feast on sheep, but, come on, that doesn't make him any less scary.
The Headless Gringa
Like the Llorona, The Headless Gringa got her name after a love affair that went wrong. She was an American who visited Ecuador (or really whatever country your family is from) with her boyfriend. While there, she cheated on her boyfriend with a native. When he found out, legend has it he essentially threw her off a cliff in the Galapagos (or again, any other cliff by your hometown in Latin America). After he left back home, the ghost of her stayed roaming and is presently feared by men who believe she could come to kill them while they sleep.
El Sibón is also known as El Silbador, which in English translates to "The Whistler." Any time anyone hears El Sibón, it's supposed to be an omen of death. Pan to everyone thinking they're hearing a whistle all the time and lots of freakouts. (And if, like me, you were told anytime a crow came around it was also an omen of death, you were in a constant state of panic — even now.)