Myths and Legends

More Legends from the State of Chihuahua

One of the most famous legends in all Mexico takes place in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua and is about a mannequin in a dress shop named La Pascualita who comes to life. That legend can be found in Mexico Unexplained episode number 286 The “Estado Más Grande,” as Chihuahua is called, has many more legends. Here are four:

  1. The Seven Little Heads

At kilometer 21 of the highway from Chihuahua City to Ciudad Juárez, there is a curious monument called “Las Siete Cabecitas,” or in English, “The Seven Little Heads.” The white-washed sculpture was made to honor seven children who died in a road accident, and in addition to serving as a solemn memorial, it is also the object of superstition, legends and is even rumored to be a site where witchcraft and satanic rites are practiced.

On August 1, 1939, a total of 25 children belonging to the YMCA were in a truck on the way to the Cumbres de Majalca National Park when, near the so-called Death Curve, they were hit by a second vehicle, causing the unfortunate death of seven young boys. Their names, on the monument for all time read: Venancio Gabriel Gardea, Armando Gutiérrez Balderrama, Jorge Giacoman, Luis Díaz García, Teodoro Faulkner, Alberto Méndez Peña and Horacio Brondo Valdez.  The driver of the oncoming car would later declare that the brakes of his vehicle failed and although he was able to see the children’s truck, he was unable to avoid them due to the narrow road. The tragic accident impacted the Chihuahua population at the time; the pages of El Heraldo de Chihuahua not only reported the catastrophic event, but also gave space to send condolences to the family members. Funds were raised in the community for a special monument, which was inaugurated in May 1940. The sculpted faces of the seven little boys on this public memorial stare out for eternity. Since the construction of the monument, people have brought flowers, religious items and even sweets and toys to leave at this hallowed place, along with solemn prayers for the souls of the seven children. In the past, officials from the YMCA have had ceremonies at the site in honor of the lives that were lost on that tragic August day.

It is said by the drivers who pass by here that the seven children can be seen playing around the monument in period clothes from the 1930s.  Some have claimed to see ghosts or strange lights in the area in the early evening, right after sundown. Wooden crosses will sometimes appear during the night around this memorial and some people claim that it is the children themselves who are leaving behind these crosses.

The monument of the “Seven Little Heads” also has its more occult associations. Small groups of people have been seen engaged in witchcraft or satanic rituals behind the memorial. One person interviewed in a local newspaper said that those practices go on there because there is great spiritual power and potent energies associated with children who die suddenly. One group found to conduct meetings at the site is the “Hijos de Baphomet,” or, “Children of Baphomet,” and occult group associated with devil worship out of Mexico City. Some claim that this group has even opened a portal to hell behind the faces of the seven innocent children.

  1. La Casa de los Chinos

A long-standing legend in Chihuahua City takes place on a small mountain that dominates the southern part of the sprawling state capital.  The Tarahumara call this place Arewakawi. The Apache call it Ndzil Choo.  Locals have been calling this large rocky hill Cerro Grande for centuries.  There is a cave in this mountain registered with the National Institute of Anthropology and History – or INAH – because of its significant prehistoric rock paintings. The mountain also has a much-visited hot springs which is a vital source of liquid for the many animals living on the cerro. This mountain appears in different videos, murals, songs, among other artistic expressions, as an indisputable symbol of Chihuahuan identity. It has been recognized as a protected landscape for its great biocultural value since the year 2015.

Visitors to Cerro Grande continue to hear a legend about this place that has been around for many decades. Legend has it that when you climb to the highest part of the hill and look towards the southeast, just on the horizon you can see some red flags, and if you wait for the sunset to coincide with the flags, at that moment you will see a majestic Chinese temple. According to this legend, after seeing this temple you must go down the mountain via the north slope only, the side of Cerro Grande that faces Chihuahua City. If you go down the south side, you risk being whisked away through the air and sucked into the Chinese temple.

There are numerous cases of people mysteriously disappearing off the mountain whose cause was attributed to the charms of the mysterious Chinese temple and very few brave people dare to corroborate these stories.

  1. The Bride of Santa Eulalia

Santa Eulalia is a mining town about 20 miles east of Chihuahua City and has a little more than 7,000 inhabitants. A man named Diego del Castillo founded the town in 1652, making it one of the oldest settlements in the state. In the early 1700s Santa Eulalia was a boom town when silver was discovered in the area. The legend of the Bride of Santa Eulalia takes place during these times. It is said that there was once a couple in love who was about to get married. Everything was ready, the two had been together for a long time and wanted to continue their life together.

On the day of the wedding, a mysterious man, armed and on horseback, violently kidnapped the woman and took her away. The townsfolk learned later that he had her living in a cave at a local mine. Here he kept her captive for a time without the family being able to do anything to rescue her. Sometime later, neither of them was heard from again. Legend has it that the man murdered the young bride and then fled the area, which is why her soul is supposedly found wandering in the abandoned caves in the hills outside of Santa Eulalia. If you come across her, it is said, she will plead with you and become angry because she is so desperate to find her way back to town.

  1. The Copper Canyon Monster

In the Copper Canyon area, the Tarahumara have a legend of a creature that approximates the Wendigo found in other native cultures of North America.  This creature is ancient and only lives in the thickly forested areas of the high sierras. The Tarahumara don’t like to talk about this mysterious being, so it is hard for cryptozoologists and folklorists alike to get a handle on its exact appearance or even to confirm an exact name for this mythological beast.

This being is gigantic and has a terrifying appearance. It supposedly devours the hearts of the people in its path, hunting them with great stealth, as if they were animals. The Copper Canyon Monster is an insatiable beast that never tires of feeding, and it just wants more and more.

In one account, this creature has been described as gigantic, humanoid-looking and having very prominent bones. In addition, it has very long limbs and on its hands, it has very thin and elongated fingers that resemble the appearance of claws. Also, it has a terrifying face with needle-sharp teeth and huge eyes that seem to come out of its sockets. It is believed that these beings are extremely fast and that, due to their long nails and fingers, they are able to climb walls and trees without any problem.

There are those who believe that this monster has no hair or fur and if it does have it, it is scarce, and other people say that it has elk antlers.  The skin of these creatures is extremely hard, and nothing can harm it, except fire, which is the only thing they fear, so it is believed that if people encounter one of them, campfires, torches and everything that produces fire, can be great to ward off this terrifying being. One of their weaknesses is that they can only see things that are moving, so if you stay completely still, you could escape an attack of this ferocious beast.

Another story of the Copper Canyon Monster claims that the creatures only feed at night and to do so, they imitate human voices to attract people, who, when they enter the forest, are never seen again.  Some people believe that this being can possess humans much like an evil spirit or demon in the Christian tradition.

There is a case from 1878 involving an indigenous man named Swift Runner who lived in the forests near Chihuahua City. This man claimed that one of these creatures possessed him and made him kill his family.  He was living a traditional native existence in the mountains but was expelled from his tribe, so he had to take shelter with his family in the remote forest, far away from everyone else.

Sometime after his expulsion from his tribe, the man showed up in a settlement asking for help, desperate, saying that his family had died of hunger.  The local inhabitants went to investigate. Upon arriving at the place, what their eyes saw was a scene so horrible that it seemed unbelievable. When they entered the modest shack of the man, they saw that the remains of the man’s relatives were scattered everywhere. The corpses were partially devoured and there were pieces of skin and bones everywhere.

Because of this, the man was sentenced to death by hanging but before dying, he said that he had not done it consciously, but that the Copper Canyon Monster possessed him and forced him to kill his family.  The authorities scoffed at the idea because they were not familiar with the centuries-old native lore regarding this creature.

There are very few sightings of this supposed monster in modern times which lead many to believe that people used this terrifying being as an excuse or explanation for things that had more human causes.


Thanks/mil gracias to El Heraldo de Chihuahua for these wonderful legends.

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