El Sombrerón (Colombia)

Background information:

My roommate is Colombian and is the first one in her family who was born in the United States since her relatives all live in Colombia except for her direct family. She actively engages in the Colombian culture, speaking Spanish with her family and celebrating Colombian events and traditions. Therefore, even though she was born in the United States, she holds onto her Colombian roots and treasures her Colombian culture as she believes that her Colombian roots are a large part of what shapes who she is.


Main piece:

When asking my roommate is there was any other type of folklore from her Colombian culture that stuck out to her, she excitedly told me about El Sombrerón. She said that El Sombrerón was a very big fear of hers when she was younger as she did not enjoy being alone or in dark places and feared that he would come and attack her. My roommate explained that El Sombrerón, literally translated to “man in a hat” was a man that wore all black and had two very scary black dogs and rode a black horse. She interrupted her own story by saying that she did not enjoy the color black when she was younger, so this made El Sombrerón even more off-putting to her. She explained that he was a figure that would haunt and run after individuals who were alone in dark areas. Additionally, she added that the moon was an important part of this legend because it provided the only light for individuals to briefly see what El Sombrerón looked like, which made appearances more believable as many supposedly saw a man in all black with two black dogs and a black horse chasing them when they felt that they had encountered El Sombrerón. She says that her aunt and uncle told her about this legend when she was very young and that she feels grateful to have never run into him but is still a bit afraid of him if she is walking alone at night.


Personal thoughts:

I thought that this was a very interesting legend because it immediately reminded me of the legend of the “headless horseman” often seen in the United States and other parts around the world. I shared a similar fear of the headless horseman when I was younger and could therefore understand her fear as a child. I thought the addition of two dogs into this legend was interesting because I have personally never been scared of dogs and feel that this makes the story a bit more bearable.


For another version of this legend, see the following Headless Horseman legend told by S.E. Schlosser:

Schlosser, S.E. “The Headless Horseman.” The Headless Horseman: From Ghost Stories at Americanfolklore.net, americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/the_headless_horseman.html.