Date of Performance/Collection: 2019
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): spanish
“Growing up…wherever we were in a car on the road to…pretty much anywhere, one of my uncles or aunts would tell us this one story. Apparently in Chihuahua there is this long highway with very few exits or cars passing by. So this couple, who ad literally just married, were on their way to Chihuahua. It was during the night…it was extremely dark. Their car broke down and the husband told his wife that he would walk down the road until he found help, and that she was to stay in the car and lock all the doors. He emphasized that she only opens the doors to him. She agreed and he left. An hour or two after he left, the wife noticed a raggedy man with a brown bag walking down the highway toward her car. The man stopped beside the passenger door and knocked on her window. He smiled at her and pointed at the bag. He knocked again and smiled. Just then a car passed the highway and the man rushed into the trees to hide. The woman flickered her headlights to try to get the car to stop but it did not. After the car was gone, the man with the bag approached her car door window again. He looked at her, smiled, and pointed toward the bag. The wife looked away from him, the man knocked, she turned to face him, again he smiled and pointed toward the bag. Just then another car was making its way down the highway. The man ran into the trees to hide again. The woman flickered her headlights and the car stopped. She told the man from the car that there was an old raggedy man with a bag bothering her and trying to get her to open her door. The man told her that he would hide and when the old man with the bag came back, that she honks many times and he would rush over in his car.
So, the wife waited for the old man to return. He finally did and again he knocked on the window, smiled, and pointed toward the bag. The wife honked and turned her headlights on. The other car rushed over. The old man then tried to escape and in doing so dropped the bag he was carrying. The wife got out of her car and ran toward the bag. The other man stood next to her as she opened the bag. The wife screamed and fainted from the contents in the bag. Inside was the severed head of her husband.”
The informant is a 27-year-old Mexican-American college student. He learned this story from his uncle, father, aunt, and any and all other family members. It is a very popular story to tell in his family. He believes to a certain extent that the events in this story might be based on true events, but he also believes that it might just be a scary story to tell around a campfire.
This legend seems to have some possibility of being true, which makes for a great legend. I believe that the reason this story continues to be told through generations in this informant’s family is because of how real the legend feels.
This story highlights the idea of sticking together in all circumstances.