Cadejo: Red Eyed Dogs of Central America

A White Cadejo and a Black Cadejo. Photo: whydoihavetoart

Cadejo are large black or white dogs from Central American folklore. The White Cadejo is a kind spirit who tries to protect travelers while the Black Cadejo is an evil spirit who tries to kill them.

The White Cadejo

A White Cadejo – keziadoesart

The White Cadejo is described as a huge white dog about the size of a cow. They have burning red eyes, goat-like hooves, horns and shaggy fur. Their movement is described as being more like a deer than a dog or a wolf. The White Cadejo appears to people travelling at night time and will protect them from anything that would wish to harm them, especially the Black Cadejo.

The White Cadejo is benevolent and only eats bell shaped flowers that grow on the side of volcanoes. The White Cadejo has even been said to protect people from the evil Le Siguanaba.

In Central American mythology the Cadejo was said to help bring the spirits of the dead to the afterlife.

The Black Cadejo

A Black Cadejo – Espookytales

The Black Cadejo is similar in appearance to the White Cadejo apart from it’s dark black fur. It is also said to have a horrible pungent smell similar to urine and sulfur. The Black Cadejo wishes to devour travelers and will chase them and try to attack them. Sometimes the Black Cadejo is seen with a large chain attached to its neck and dragging behind it as if it has escaped from somewhere where it was chained up.

In some variations of the legend the Black Cadejo has purple eyes and seeks out newborn infants to eat. Some say that the Black Cadejo is simply a manifestation of Satan or the Devil.

The Black Cadejo is said to cause people to make bad choices and tempt them to sin.

If you manage to kill a Cadejo that attacks you it is said that the horrible smell will linger in the area for several days.

Cadejo Encounters

A news report about a Cadejo sighting in El Salvador

Many people in Latin America claim to have seen a mysterious black or white dog that seems to be supernatural in origin.

One man in Nicaragua believes he encountered a White Cadejo while working late on a farm. The man was gathering up his tools, preparing to go home for the evening when a happy white dog emerged from the woods and wanted to play with him. The man threw a stick for the dog and it ran off after it. Strangely as the dog got further away it seemed to grow in size. When the dog picked up the stick it appeared to be the size of a donkey.

The dog ran back to the man and appeared to shrink in size as it got closer to him. The man was frightened and shooed the dog away. When he told the other farm workers about his encounter they told him it sounded like he had been blessed by a visit from a White Cadejo and he would now have good luck.

Possible Explanations for the Cadejo

The people who lived in Central America where the legend originated lived lives that were close to nature. They needed to have their wits about them at all times especially if travelling at night time. Legends such as the Cadejo helped them to stay alert for danger at night.

It could be that people have just misidentified large wild dogs or strange looking deer.

What do you think about the Cadejo? Let us know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in other legends from Central America such as La Llorona and La Siguanaba.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *