Tag Archives: MexicanLegends

Duendes in Mexico


The informant heard this story from his grandfather four years ago. The informant stated that Duendes exist where his grandfather is from because he lives in a more pueblo area in Veracruz, Mexico. On a regular day, his grandfather headed to the “terrenos”, large plots of land, to check on the cattle to make sure they were doing well. The informant stated that in order to get to this specific plot of land, you need to go through other people’s lands but that throughout his grandfather’s years, he had built a mental map of how to get to this plot of land. It was later in the day at 4 pm and suddenly, his grandfather felt like he was walking in circles and circles. The next day he woke up in a small passing river as if he had been carried and placed there, not drowning or anything but just there. The informant stated that duendes are kinds of spirits, a sort of energy, that guides you away from where you are going, luring you in to kill you.


His grandfather said that when he explained what happened to his family and the pueblo, or town, they all told him it had to have been duendes. This legend is only told in the town if it happens to someone. The informant does believe his grandfather because it is interesting but perhaps it is just some spirit leading you astray, or maybe he did something to anger the spirit.


Duendes are believed to be goblin-like creatures that can do good or bad depending on the person. In this case, the informant’s grandfather experienced an unusual feeling and memory. When he approached those around him, they imbedded this legend of duendes into his memory thus resulting in a memorate. Some believe duendes to be physical creatures but others view them as simply spirits as the informant does. In order to help explain this weird phenomenon where the grandfather got lost in a place where he had been so many times before, the people in this story begin to attribute and explain every detail with duendes. For example, the setting of this story is said to be with lots of lands, greenery, some trees, and a river. Many of these attributes correspond to the legend of duendes as they are said to live within forests by small houses in the area. Additionally, they explain this memory loss and confusion to duendes taking the grandfather by confusing him and leading him astray.