Myths and Legends

Mexican Tales of Terror

Every country has its own share of urban legends and modern-day myths told at children’s parties, around campfires and now over the internet.  Mexico is no exception.  Today we look at three scary stories from Mexico.  Are these stories based on actual people and events?  You decide.

Story #1:  The Truck Driver on the Deserted Highway.

This story comes from the deserts of northern Mexico and goes something like this:  A truck driver is driving a semi to Mexicali on an infrequently traveled road.  He was hurrying home because his wife was pregnant and about to have a baby.  Not only was he anxious to get to Mexicali to see the birth of his son, he needed to get there to make sure his wife had enough money to pay the hospital bills.  With his wife and new son on his mind, the truck driver hurried through a mountain pass and on a sharp curve, the trailer lurched, and he wrecked his rig up against a bunch of rocks.  He passed out and when he woke up he checked himself and thanked god and the saints because he wasn’t at all injured.  The truck driver needed to flag down help but could not stray too far from the rig because he was afraid that his cargo would be stolen.  It became dark and the man started to become worried.  Since his family was much more important than the cargo, he decided to walk to get help, and walked for hours.  Strangely, he must have been walking in circles because after hours of trudging on desert roads he was right back to his trailer.  So, he decided to stay by the rig and wait for help.  In the morning a young guy came on the road and saw the wreck and the truck driver sleeping.  The young man went over to the trucker to see if he was okay.  The trucker told him about his wife in Mexicali, and that she was in the hospital and about to give birth.  Because he didn’t want to leave the rig, the trucker asked the young traveler if he could go to the hospital and give his wife the money she needed and keep a few pesos for himself for his trouble.  He agreed, but when they shook hands the young man was alarmed because the truck driver’s hand was cold, like that of a dead person.  The young man didn’t think much of it because his mind was on the task of getting the money to the pregnant woman.

When the young man arrived in Mexicali he went to the hospital to find the pregnant woman.  The trucker had given him his wife’s name, so it should have been easy for the hospital staff to find the woman.  There was no record of any woman by the name given in the maternity ward.  They checked back a few weeks and still no name.  The young man did not know what to do because he still had the trucker’s money.  Because the young man lived in Mexicali, he began to ask around, starting with his friends and family first, asking if anyone knew the truck driver’s wife.  Weeks later he came upon an old lady who pointed to an old house.

“The woman you seek lives in that house, but it is probably best that you do not disturb her,” the old lady said.

The young man went over to the house anyway and knocked on the door, he asked if he could speak to the truck driver’s wife and the older woman who answered the door said that she was the truck driver’s wife.  This seemed strange to the young man because the woman seemed past childbearing age.  When the young man explained the situation, the woman started to tear up.

“My husband died 20 years ago,” she said.

The young man gave her the money and left.  When he arrived back at his house, the truck driver was standing there in front of his parked rig and said one word, “gracias,” before driving off.  Later that day at a local bar the young man shared the story and found out that others had also encountered the mysterious truck driver in peril on that same lonely stretch of desert highway.

Story #2:  The Turkey Witch of Hidalgo

For centuries in the rural parts of the Mexican state of Hidalgo there have been stories of a certain group of women who turn themselves into one-legged turkeys and fly around and suck the blood of newborn children.  The newborns’ blood is supposed to prolong life and many cases of sudden infant death have been attributed to these strange one-legged turkey witches swooping down from the sky and attacking young children.  One can ward off a turkey witch by painting a lime cross on one’s front door or by arranging shiny objects such as mirrors or polished pieces of metal in the shapes of crosses around the crib of a newborn baby.  Take these steps and a witch will not come near your baby.

In the small village of Singuilucan there was a rumor going around that the wife of Señor Gomez was one of these strange, shape-shifting witches and that she was really a very old woman who had lived long off the blood of infants.  Mr. Gomez was a construction worker and the next time he went to the job site he heard the rumors about his own wife.  As he had thought his wife to have strange behaviors at times, Gomez listened to what his coworkers had to say about her without lashing out in anger.  Every day at lunch, Gomez would eat a fritanga his wife had prepared for him the night before.  A fritanga is a type of blood sausage cooked in tomato sauce.  The construction workers explained that the sausage was made from the blood of infants that the witch would gather in the middle of the night.  Still curious about all of this, Señor Gomez decided he would play a trick on his wife.  Since he would get up early in the day to go to work, he normally would go to bed early and was never able to see his wife prepare the next day’s lunch for him.  So, the sly construction worker decided to go to bed and cut a hole in the sheet so he could spy on his wife while she prepared his lunch.  He was shocked what he saw:  Señora Gomez twisted off her leg, propped it up next to the stove and then slowly turned into a turkey.  She flew out the window and went into the darkness in search of her prey.  As soon as she left, Gomez took his wife’s leg and threw it into their wood-burning stove and then returned to bed.  When his wife flew back into the house as a one-legged turkey she slowly turned back into a woman.  She started to panic when she could not find her leg anywhere.  Hysterical, she hopped out of the house on her one leg, screaming.  The townsfolk saw that she had lost her leg and for them, their suspicions were confirmed.  They captured her and burned her at the stake in the center of the town at dawn.

Story #3:  The Mysterious Handsome Stranger at the Dance

This legend comes from the city of Hermosillo, Sonora but similar stories can be found throughout Mexico and even in parts of the United States.  This story takes place in the Country Club neighborhood, which was a place for lavish parties and on December 31 a huge New Year’s Eve party was hosted by a few wealthy members of the community.  All the young people were very enthusiastic about attending, and the girls, especially. They spent days looking for the best dress, spent much time doing their hair, and shopped around for weeks to find the best shoes to dance the night away with a special boy.  Many of the girls who were invited to the dance came to think that they would find the love of their life at this party.

That day, a young girl named Linda, was very eager to go to that dance, so much that she spent days looking for the best dress and it took several hours to get ready to become the most beautiful girl in the place. When she finished getting ready, she went to her mother to tell her that she would go to the dance, but Linda’s mother did not let leave her since she was in bed very sick and never asked much of Linda.  Of course, this made Linda very upset and she went to her room and locked herself away for a few hours, until she could not take it anymore.

She decided to escape through the window of her room.  Her friends were standing outside the house and they were waiting for Linda to leave. Linda and her group arrived at the dance and they were very happy because one of the best bands in the city was going to play at this party. Linda was a single young woman with no commitments who came to the dance with an open mind and an open heart.

Linda was easily the most beautiful girl at the New Year’s Eve gathering.  She had several proposals to dance but she did not accept them since she was waiting for the most handsome, gentlemanly man with an air of confidence about him.

Suddenly among the crowd came a tall, handsome, black-haired boy, with beautiful blue eyes, elegantly dressed. No one knew the handsome young man, everyone wondered who he was. The young man invited Linda to dance, she accepted quickly and said that he was the one she was waiting for all evening. They went to the center of the dance floor to dance all night.

At midnight while they were dancing, Linda felt very hot, she felt something burning on her back, she looked up and saw a stain on her dress, so she decided to go to the bathroom to get rid of that stain.  When she saw her dress in the mirror, the spot was not a stain.  The imprint of the hand of that handsome gentleman was marked on her dress. She thought it was a just a simple stain of his hand, so she went back to the dance floor and finished dancing with that man. After a strong smell of sulfur, the temperature in the room began to rise. All the people who were present at the dance looked towards the center of the dance floor.

Before their eyes, a foot of rooster and a hoof of a goat appeared below the cuff of the young man’s pants. Linda fainted from the shock.  The room started to fill with smoke and the young man disappeared. Everyone present ran away until the whole dance hall was on fire.

It was not known what happened to Linda, much less who was that mysterious man.  Many say that she was hospitalized after a nervous breakdown, others that she is currently living with the devil as his bride.


“Para todos México” web site

3 thoughts on “Mexican Tales of Terror

Leave a Reply

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