The Mexican ghost who saved my life

Informant: “Well, you know Isaiah is Mexican, and his dad was born in Mexico [Is he fully Mexican?] He’s like 75% Mexican, which I know he’s like the whitest Mexican I know but you know [Where was he born?] Isaiah was born in the states but his father was born–actually I just recently found out he was the only one in his family to be born in a hospital, in Guadalajara, but they’re from Jalisco. And, I don’t remember how old Alex was–Alex is Isaiah’s dad–um, but they went back to visit in Mexico. And, they were, I wanna say like five people in the car? I know for sure it was Alex and some of his brothers and sisters, and I think Isaiah’s grandfather, and someone else. I don’t remember the specifics but I know for sure Alex was there. And they were driving on like a really back road cause they’re from Jalisco and there are a lot of really rural parts of Jalisco. And they were driving at night, and all of a sudden, they saw this old woman run out in front of them. And they swerved the car, and they all got out and looked for this lady, that they all saw and described in the exact same way, and they couldn’t find her at all.

[What did she look like?]

“I mean just sort of like a generic old woman with the kerchief thing and just very Mexican grandmother looking lady. And they all got out–I mean all of them saw the exact same thing–they all got out of the car and started looking for her. And they noticed that a few yards up the road they were traveling on dropped off to a cliff, and the way that they mark um that a road is closed in that part of Mexico is they light candles going towards where it drops off, and all the candles had been like burnt out. So they all think it was one of the protector spirits from Mexico. Cause they all–every single one of them saw the exact same thing–saw the exact same woman, you know? And if they had kept driving they would have gone off the cliff. And Alex said they all got back in the car and just were like, couldn’t even think of what to say to each other. Because they were so freaked out. But they would’ve driven off a cliff.”

[I would think that candles would always get blown out really easily.]

“Apparently they can, but this was probably… probably in the late seventies or the eighties.” [So there wasn’t a lot of infrastructure.] Yeah, especially because Jalisco is not the safest wealthiest part of Mexico, so. Actually, you know the sauce Tapatio? That’s what the people there are called, they’re called the Tapatios.”


There is not much information out there about protective spirits of Mexico. However Isaiah’s family was already familiar with the idea of their existence. These kinds of incidents tend to happen in the back roads and isolated countryside, which have an aura of mystery and possibility about them, separate from the logic of the industrial world. There is also more of a need for them here, where perils and uncertainty abound. The old woman, as a matronly figure, seems to fit the bill of protectiveness.