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La Ciguapa: The Woman with Backwards Feet



An artist’s depiction of La Siguapa: The woman with backwards feet. Image: Artisticord

La Ciguapa is the story of a feral woman with long dark hair and backwards feet, known to prey upon unsuspecting farmers and adventurers who dare to venture into the woods alone.

The Legend of La Ciguapa

A video telling the tale of La Ciguapa

La Ciguapa is a legendary creature of Dominican folklore that has been passed down through generations and remains a popular bedtime tale for many children to this day. The legend is so deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of the country that even in rural areas, it is often believed to be true.

One of the most terrifying versions of the La Ciguapa legend tells of a demon that dwells within deep caves and entices lonely men with her irresistible beauty and sensuality.

Once ensnared by her hypnotic gaze, the victim is led back to her dwelling where they are either devoured to the bone or trapped forever to satisfy her carnal desires.

Survivors of encounters with the Ciguapa have reported an eerie stillness in the surrounding area, as if all birds, insects, and land animals had been frightened away.

This is followed by soft whispers and howls that seem to flow with the gentle breeze, echoing through the canopies and drawing the listener in from all around.

Finally, the creature reveals itself: a fair maiden standing no taller than a meter, yet with a graceful harmony in all her muscles and limbs.

She has large, dark, and mesmerizing almond-shaped eyes, and hair as black as midnight, but with a luster that glows in the moonlight, thick and long, and draped on her body all the way down to her ankles.

She is given away as a monster by her feet. They are turned inward at the ankle and face the wrong way.

The backward-facing feet of the Ciguapas are not unique to Dominican folklore and have a long history in ghost stories from other parts of the world.

For instance, in Hindu mythology, Bhoots (male) and Churels (female) are ghosts that can assume human form but are only identifiable by their backwards-facing feet.

Similar tales can be found in many other cultures, where forest-dwelling creatures or ghostly entities are described with unusual physical features, such as rotating heads or other anomalies that serve to reveal their non-human nature. These tales of creatures with peculiar attributes are a common feature of folklore across the globe.

The Original Tale of La Ciguapa by Francisco Javier Angulo Guridi

In 1866, Francisco Javier Angulo Guridi, a playwright, author, and journalist, published a short story titled “La Ciguapa.” The story recounts a tragic tale involving the legendary creature, the Ciguapa. This is the first record of the legend in writing.

In this story, a man is traveling along the Palo Quemado road. The man encounters a farmer named Jacinto who warns him of a deadly creature that can kill without physical contact. Intrigued and unnerved by this warning, the man inquires further, prompting the farmer, to tell the story of the creature: the Ciguapa.

Jacinto, an orphan, had been traveling the land for some time until he met Andres, a man who owned farmland between a mountain and a river. Jacinto proposed that he would work for Andres in exchange for a place to stay, and Andres agreed. When Jacinto was introduced to Andres’ family, he quickly formed a connection with one of his daughters, Marcelina.

For the next three months, Jacinto and Marcelina were inseparable and spent every moment together. One day, while they were out walking in the woods, they sat down by their favorite tree to talk. It was then that the nervous Jacinto confessed his love for Marcelina, fearing that she might not feel the same way.

Marcelina, however, reassured him that she loved him too, and the young couple began discussing their future while sitting by the tree. As Jacinto spoke of their love, Marcelina suddenly felt a wave of fear washing over her, but Jacinto vowed to protect her from any harm.

The couple’s intimate moment was abruptly disrupted by a pair of high-pitched screams; one reverberating through the mountains and forests, and the other emanating from Marcelina who had just laid eyes on the creature responsible for the first scream. With a cry of “My God! La Ciguapa!” she collapsed in a faint.

Jacinto swiftly scooped her up and hurried her back to her father’s cabin. Over the following days, Marcelina’s condition fluctuated between deep sleep, delirium, uncontrollable weeping, and seizures. In a rare moment of clarity, she gazed up at Jacinto and uttered, “We were going to be happy…”

After three agonizing days, Jacinto buried Marcelina beneath their cherished tree. Recounting his story to the narrator, Jacinto describes the Ciguapa as a species that existed on the island long before it was discovered.

They are exceptionally beautiful, with “the golden skin of a true Indian, black and slanted eyes, soft, lustrous, and abundant hair…rolling down to the very calf.” Their beauty has a mesmerizing effect on anyone who sets eyes on them.

Have you ever seen La Ciguapa? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed the story of La Ciguapa you might also be interested in the story of La Siguanaba: the lady with a horse face, or the mysterious Nasnas.

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Fofao: The Killer Doll




The creepy Fofao dolls did in fact contain a sharp spike within to support the doll’s head. Photo: Latin Folktales

An urban legend spread throughout Latin America in the late 1980s telling of a knife being hidden in Fofao dolls. It turns out it was somewhat based in reality.

Who was Fofão?

The rather spooky looking character of Fofao. Photo: Wikipedia

Orival Pessini was tasked by TV Globo director, José Bonifácio de Oliveira Sobrinho , to create a child character for the upcoming program Balão Mágico. As any character that was created would go on air, Orival was unsure of what to create, having no prior experience with children.

After contemplating various possibilities such as a dog, pig, clown, teddy bear, extraterrestrial, or human, Orival decided to combine all the ideas, resulting in the creation of Fofão.

Orival was also inspired by Steven Spielberg’s E.T, which he described as being unattractive but possessing a great heart and charisma. Therefore, he aimed to create a similar character in Fofão.

In 1983, the character Fofão made its first appearance on the morning children’s television program, Balão Mágico, as a supporting character to the children’s musical group.

Despite its minor role, the character quickly gained popularity, eventually becoming an iconic figure in Brazilian media during the 1980s. This was largely due to the high sales of a plush toy based on the character.

In 1986, following the end of the original program, Fofão was given its own solo show called TV Fofão, which aired on Rede Bandeirantes until 1989, with a brief return between 1994-1996. The character made its final TV appearance in 1998 on the CNT Gazeta channel.

During the early 1980s, he gained immense popularity among Brazilian children and became a sensation. The character had its own TV show, released albums, dolls, and various other licensed products.

The Legend of the killer Fofao dolls

A video telling the story of the creepy Fofao dolls

After Fofao’s meteoric rise to fame the Fofao dolls sold in huge numbers. Not long afterwards rumors began to spread about the dolls having a knife concealed inside them.

According to the legend, Fofao dolls were cursed and would come to life in the middle of the night. The doll’s head would then separate from its body revealing a large knife. The Fofao doll would then repeatedly stab the child sleeping peacefully next to them.

After the story of the cursed Fofao doll became widely known, many people reportedly burned their own Fofao dolls out of fear. The story has since become a popular urban legend throughout Latin America.

Spookily, the Fofao doll legend wasn’t completely made up. When the head of the doll was removed a large, sharp plastic spike was revealed. This was used as a structural support to help the doll to sit up on its own.

Did you hear the legend of the Fofao dolls when you were growing up? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article about the creepy Fofao dolls you might also be interested in Okiku: The Doll with Growing Human Hair or the story of Gabriel March Granados and the world longest prison sentence.

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Demon Cat of D.C




A possible Demon Cat peering over a fence in Washington D.C. Photo: Wikipedia

Several people have reported seeing a large cat lurking around the US Government buildings in Washington D.C. Some say the cat appears as a warning before significant events.

The Legend of the Demon Cat of D.C

In the mid-1800s, cats were introduced into the underground tunnels of the United States Capitol Building with the purpose of exterminating rats and mice.

The story of the Demon Cat began during this time, with the belief that it was one of these feline workers whose spirit remained in the basement crypt after its passing.

The crypt, which was meant to be a final resting place for President George Washington, is said to be the Demon Cat’s favourite hangout.

As per a Washington Post article from 1898, the Demon Cat initially appears to be a regular-sized housecat but quickly expands to the size of an elephant, causing fear in the observer’s eyes.

In a 1935 Washington Post article, a witness described the Demon Cat’s eyes as glowing with the same intensity and fierceness as the headlights of a fire engine.

In addition to the Capitol Building, the legend extends to the White House. According to the tale, when the Demon Cat is seen on the Ground Floor of the White House (previously known as the basement), it means that a huge tragedy is about to unfold.

The Demon Cat’s notoriety is largely attributed to a collection of cat paw prints that can be found on the concrete floor of the Small Senate Rotunda, located near the entrance to the Old Supreme Court Chamber.

While the Architect of the Capitol asserts that these paw prints belong to the rat-catching cats that once inhabited the building, proponents of the Demon Cat legend contest this claim.

According to them, the paw prints only materialized after the rotunda was almost obliterated by an explosion in 1898, which they attribute to the vindictive cat, although official records attribute the blast to a gas explosion. (Who is to say the cat didn’t cause the gas explosion).

These believers also allege that the initials “D.C.” etched into the same floor stand for “Demon Cat”.

Sightings of the Demon Cat of D.C

One of the cats that lurked in the basement of the Capitol Building

The first recorded sighting of the Demon Cat was in the United States Capitol in 1862 when it appeared in the basement, which was then used as a bakery to feed soldiers during the Civil War.

The cat was seen multiple times in the basement, and a guard supposedly fired a gun at it, causing it to vanish.

Since then, the Demon Cat has been spotted most frequently in the Capitol Building’s basement. While some describe it as a tabby, others claim it to be black.

A White House guard claimed to have witnessed the Demon Cat before the 1929 stock market crash, while another night watchman spotted it prior to John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Even though no firsthand source confirms the Demon Cat’s sightings at the White House, the feline ghost is occasionally included among the “most renowned” spirits of the Executive Mansion.

Possible Explanations for the Demon Cat of D.C

A video about the Demon Cat of D.C

The legend of the Demon Cat of D.C is thought to have originated from a guardsman at the United States Capitol who had possibly consumed too much alcohol during a long night shift, as per public historian Steve Livengood from the United States Capitol Historical Society.

Livengood speculates that upon waking up from a nap, the guardsman saw a basement cat that appeared larger than life due to his lying down position, and this experience might have perpetuated the story of the Demon Cat.

Such oral ghost stories are commonplace, particularly among those who worked graveyard shifts in the Capitol and White House, and the Demon Cat legend aligns with the traditional perception of cats as mystical creatures with the power to bring misfortune.

In addition to this, cats are often associated with nefarious activities and witchcraft. As a result, the Demon Cat tale is probably an amalgamation of history, imaginative narration, and widely held beliefs, making it one of the most renowned ghost stories in the nation’s capital.

Have you ever seen the Demon Cat of D.C? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Demon Cat of D.C you might be interested in other supernatural cats like the Bakeneko or the Canterbury Panther.

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