La Siguanaba: The Woman with the Face of a Horse
La Siguanaba: The Woman with the Face of a Horse. Photo: A Little Bit Human
La Siguanaba is the Central American legend of a beautiful woman spirit who lurks around the countryside looking for unfaithful men to prey on. She lures men away only to eventually reveal her face is that of a horse or a human skull.
The legend of La Siguanaba
La Siguanaba after revealing her identity. Photo: A Little Bit Human.
La Siguanaba, also known as Sihuanaba, Cigua or Cegua, is a shapeshifting vengeful spirit from South American folk lore. The exact details of her legend vary from country to country but the gist is the same.
La Siguanaba started out as a peasant woman named Sihuehuet, meaning “beautiful woman”. Her beauty was said to be so incredible that she could seduce the gods. She used her natural beauty to seduce Tlaloc, the lord of the storm. She became pregnant with his child but after the child was born she was a terrible, neglectful mother and continued to sleep around with many different men and gods.
Sihuehuet was desperate for power and plotted to kill Tlaloc and take his place on the throne of the gods. She crafted a poison to kill him but the plan backfired, turning him into a monster that inflicted destruction upon the community.
Tlaloc was furious with Sihuehuet and got the help of the almighty god Teotl to turn her into a horrible monster, forcing her to haunt the earth and prey on unfaithful men. Tlaloc changed her name to La Siguanaba which means “hideous woman”.
La Siguanaba lures men to her by appearing as a beautiful young woman bathing in a natural stream on a moonless night. When a man approaches with sexual intentions she will engage him and bring him to a private place to have sex with him.
When they are alone she will then reveal her true identity, showing her face to be that of a horse or a human skull. The man will be so terrified he will either die of fright or go insane.
If her victim doesn’t die La Siguanaba will take the now insane man out into the wilderness and leave him to wander until he dies.
Variations in the Legend of La Siguanaba
A similar legend is prevalent in Spain where ghostly washerwomen who kill and devour any men who approach them.
In El Salvador La Siguanaba is said to have married Tlaloc’s son Yeisun. When Yeisun was away at war she slept with many other men and neglected their son Cipitio. In this version she tries to poison Yeisun and take his throne for one of her lovers. The plan backfires and La Siguanaba is cursed to wander the earth forever looking for her son.
In Guatemala La Siguanaba is said to appear as a beautiful woman to lustful men or as the wife or lover of faithful men. The man will embrace La Siguanaba and then realize that she has sharp claws, a pale dead face, eyes missing from their sockets and wrinkled, green skin.
In Mexico, La Siguanaba is always seen either lying down or walking away so her face cannot be seen. She will get men to follow her into the woods and when they are deep within she will turn around and say “Do I still look beautiful to you”? She will then reveal her face to be that of a horse with glowing red eyes and sharp teeth.
In some versions of the story once La Siguanaba has revealed her identity she will reveal her huge misshapen breasts and beat them against the ground angrily.
How to ward off La Siguanaba
Biting a god cross necklace can ward off La Siguanaba. Photo: Unsplash.
The easiest way to avoid being killed by La Siguanaba is to not be creepy and hit on women who are trying to bathe in peace.
If you are unable to hold yourself back once La Siguanaba reveals her true identity it is said she can be scared away by pulling your hair, biting into a machete, a metal coin or a cross necklace.
She can also be scared away by yelling “no te vas a ir Maria, pata de gallina” three times. In English this translates as “you are not leaving, crabgrass Maria”.
Real Life Encounters with La Siguanaba
Many people in South and Central America claim to have encounters with a ghostly figure which resembles La Siguanaba. You can watch this video detailing a few of them. There’s some spooky ones in the comments too!
A video discussing real life encounters with La Siguanaba
Have you ever had an encounter with La Siguanaba? Let us know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in La Siguanaba’s cousin La Llorona or Jumbees.
Walking Sam: The Suicide Spirit of Pine Ridge
Walking Sam: The Suicide Spirit. Photo: Ranker.
In 2015 a spree of suicides took place in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some believe these were caused by an evil spirit called Walking Sam.
Who is Walking Sam?
An artist’s depiction of Walking Sam. Photo: Ranker
Walking Sam is known by various names, including “Tall Man” and “Stovepipe Hat Bigfoot.” He is a towering figure standing at seven feet tall and has eyes but no mouth, sometimes wearing a stove-pipe hat.
When he raises his arms, people can see the bodies of his past victims hanging beneath him. Walking Sam is said to call out to teenagers and try to convince them that they are worthless, urging them to take their own lives. Some believe that he targets young people because they are more vulnerable to his manipulations.
According to Native American legends, Walking Sam is an ancient being closely linked to “Stick Indians,” who are dark and shadowy spirit entities.
Kids grow up hearing spooky stories about these evil forces that haunt reservations and try to lure unsuspecting victims to their doom. They’re always followed by a creepy cloud of death that just hangs around them.
If you hear whistling, it might be one of these Stick Indians nearby. But if you follow the sound, you could get paralyzed, hypnotized, or even lose your mind completely.
If you disrespect them, they’ll hold a grudge and seek revenge no matter what. Some tribes are so scared of them that they won’t even talk about them, so we don’t know everything about these beings. But Walking Sam is supposed to be one of the most powerful ones.
There are those who believe that Walking Sam represents the pain and trauma that the Lakota Indians endure on a daily basis. Given the deep spiritual connection that the Lakota people have with their land and heritage, some see Walking Sam as a physical embodiment of this suffering.
The Pine Ridge Suicides
A video telling the story of Walking Sam
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is located near the Black Hills of South Dakota and is home to the Oglala Lakota tribe. It’s one of the largest Indian reservations in the US. Sadly, Pine Ridge has a sad past as hundreds of Lakota Indians were killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre.
It’s one of the poorest counties in the US. In 2015, a number of young people committed suicide on the reservation, and some people thought that supernatural forces like the legendary Walking Sam were to blame.
From December 2014 to March 2015, there were a staggering 103 suicide attempts, with nine of them being successful, and tragically, none of the victims were older than twenty-five.
The majority of those who died had used hanging as the method of suicide. Although there had been other clusters of suicides in previous years, this was the largest. As the community struggled to understand and deal with the crisis, some looked to traditional Native American beliefs for answers.
Lakota children are raised hearing stories about “suicide spirits,” “stick people,” and shadow people who try to lure young people away from their homes at night. These stories may have evolved over time, influenced by the popularity of Slender Man, into the figure now known as Walking Sam.
Walking Sam Sightings
During meetings of reservation officials, one of the topics that often comes up is Walking Sam. These officials advise reservation members to avoid walking on the streets at night as it would be an ideal time for Walking Sam to approach his victims.
Several residents have expressed concern and requested the police to keep a lookout for Walking Sam. Many residents have reported seeing his shadow and have shared their encounters with the police. Some residents have even reported hearing whistling sounds coming from nowhere.
Have you ever seen Walking Sam? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about Walking Sam you might also be interested in Diao Si Gui: Chinese Hanged Ghosts or La Ciguapa: The Woman with Backwards Feet.
Diao Si Gui: Chinese Hanged Ghosts
A Diao Si Gui or Hanged Ghost. Photo: Cryptid Wiki
According to Chinese legend, Diao Si Gui are the souls of those who took their own lives or were executed. These spirits may manifest as a body with a protruding, lengthy red tongue and attempt to persuade those who cross their path to join them in the world beyond.
The Legend of the Diao Si Gui
Diao Si Gui, or Hanged Ghosts can be created in two ways: when a person takes their own life by hanging or when they are executed by hanging as a punishment for their crimes.
The more prolonged and painful the death, such as by slow suffocation instead of a quick snap of the neck, the greater the likelihood of them becoming a Diao Si Gui.
These ghosts are said to haunt the vicinity of the location where they committed suicide and are often depicted with a noose around their neck, dangling feet, and long red tongues hanging from their mouths.
It is believed that one should avoid making eye contact with a Dio Si Gui as they may lure you into a hypnotic state and persuade you to hang yourself.
In some versions of the legend, if the ghost successfully persuades someone to hang themselves, that person becomes a Hanged Ghost while the original ghost goes free.
Other versions suggest that a Hanged Ghost is not limited to a specific location and can torment a person for days, gradually convincing them to take their own life. When the time is right, the ghost will appear to the person in a high place and lower a noose to them.
Stories About Diao Si Gui
In the Chinese Fairy Book by Dr. R. Wilhelm (1921), there is a story known as The Hanged Ghost, which tells the tale of a soldier seeking refuge for the night in an old, run-down temple.
While there, he witnesses a female ghost descending from the rafters, unaware of his presence in the shadows. Intrigued, he follows her to a farmhouse where he discovers the ghost urging a young mother and her child to hang themselves. The soldier intervenes, saving the woman’s life and causing the ghost to flee.
On his way back to the temple, the soldier takes the rope left behind by the ghost, but she appears on the road and demands that he give it back.
He refuses and wraps the rope around his arm, causing the ghost to transform and attack him. The soldier defends himself by flinging his own blood at the ghost, causing her to retreat. He continues his journey with the rope now part of his arm, unfazed by the encounter.
A video telling the tale of Diao Si Gui or hanged ghosts
Possible Explanations for the Diao Si Gui
It is possible that the legend of the hanged ghost came about as a way to help families come to terms with the unexpected suicides of their loved ones. It’s easier to believe that a loved one may have been manipulated in to killing them self by a spirit than it is to believe that they wanted to die.
Have you ever seen a Diao Sui Gui or Hanged Ghost? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Diao Sui Gui you might also be interested in the mysterious stain left behind by the body of Margaret Schilling or how the ghost of Teresita Basa solved her own murder.
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