La Siguanaba

Flor Speakman

La Siguanaba:

“When I was little, my great grandfather told this story to us. He was going back home from a bar one night, a bit drunk, on his horse one night. He heard a noise and looked behind him, and saw a creepy woman standing there in rags, with long dark hair covering her face. She called out to him and asked for a ride, but he was scared and kept going. She laughed, and when then he felt a strange presence behind him. He glanced back, and she was sitting behind him on the horse! He couldn’t look at her because he was afraid of dying, so he spurred his horse to go faster and faster to try and throw her off. She scratched at his back and kept laughing madly, until finally her presence was gone as he got closer to his house. When he got home, his shirt was all torn in the back, and his back had bloody scratches on it. Since then he never went on that road in the dark again.”

Analysis: This is a personal twist on a popular urban legend in El Salvador. La Siguanaba is often said to be a woman alone, with long dark hair obscuring her face and trying to lure men and children to her, which resulted in death or insanity. This personal account reflects a deep belief in the legend, and might have blown up drunken impressions on a rural road on horseback in the middle of the night to such a thing. Personal accounts like these keep the legends alive and most people who believe and spread them will reference at least one such person who has personally experienced it.