Every country has it folklore, every folklore has its legends. Short stories depicting fantastic beasts, creatures, ghouls and monsters. That hunt those who have mainly wrong their path. Costa Rica is definitely to exception to this. Every tico child remembers some kind of ghost story about La Llorona, or Cadejos, La Carreta si Buyes [Ox-less cart], or the Headless Priest. These been some of the more popular examples among many others. For this entrance we would like to explore 2 of the most famous legends. La Llorona and El Cadejos.
Costa Rican legends share story lines with the legends of other countries in the region. For example creatures as La Llorona can be hear crying pretty much all the way from Mexico to Argetina. And moreover many of this myths come from the Spaniards. Many imported with them in the ships. And shape and reform to fit the new latitudes.,Sometimes also borrowing from the stories of the native Americans. Which ever the case. The stories spread. Either as a way to make sense of the new surroundings. To teach a lesson of what the consequences of inappropriate behaviour might be. Or the keep children and youngsters inside the safe surroundings. Preventing late knight exploring.
In Costa Rica
In Costa Rica some legends are vague in location. Fantastic creatures could be found everywhere. From rivers, to mountains, or cities. However some places still retain a fame for been more magical or haunted than others. For example Escazú known as “la ciudad de las brujas” [The city of the witches] or Puriscal where gnomes, witches still seam to play around. And unease the lives of the people around. Been responsible for everything from just mischievous deeds. Up to evils even related to the kidnapping of small children, dead, or illness.
Anyway today we are preferring to focus on the more folkloric stories. Those who confection belong and where develop mainly to the during the first hundred years of independent life in Costa Rica. Let this be useful for you as information of the history, traditions and folklore of our people. And maybe it might also teach you where to look and what to do and not do. To avoid an spooky encounter.
Perhaps the most famous of all. La Llorona or “The Crying or Weeping Woman” is a Woman Cursed for drowning her new born child. The origins of this character might are impossible to define. Same are its origins however of the events that curse her. Details such as her name or often vague. However many versions call her Maria. A young and very beautiful woman from a very poor family.
María Worked inside an Hacienda. And there she meet one of the sons of the lord. She fell madly in love with him and so did him to her. They decided to marry. The father of the boy opposed the relationship. And prohibited the boy to marry Maria. The lovers ignore the opposition of the father. And so the boy marry her in secret and renouncing to his heritage. Left the Hacienda to live with Maria.
Soon after they had a daughter. Maria started to see how his husband started to fell in love with the baby. And she felt jealous of the girl. Her man preferred to spend all the day with the new born. Time he used to spend with her. Mary went crazy and in a moment of madness throw herself together with her new born to a near by river.
For that action now Maria is cursed to walk the riverside of every river in search of her new born. Crying to find her, and asking for her husband forgiveness. It is said and well testified that during the nights at several rivers a weeping woman can be heard walking in the woods. Crying desperately, screaming Where is my child?
El Cadejos is a Psychopomp. An animal usually black supernatural in nature. That usually guides the souls of the death to the other side. And from time to time are know to help the living to right their wrong as a warning.
El Cadejos do not have a origins story. since its origins are supernatural. El Cadejos has always been and always will be. It looks as a big black dog. With eyes red as blood, dirty fur and furious with shinning fangs. Carrying chains as it walks. With every step if groans and the chains sound as they approach it victim. It rarely attacks but his favourite victims are drunk men. Walking alone in the night trying to get back home. Those whom allow themselves to indulge to much of the pleasures of the life. Are reminded by the devil’s dog that a life of drugs and vices. As its toll at the end of the life.
The Cadejos likes to haunt its pray from the distance. Following the drunk and the wicked, approaching them slowly. Letting them hear him coming, dragging his chains. If you try to scare him he wont back down. If you try to attack him it will simply disappear. And reaper again. The longer you walk the easier it for it to haunt you, and make you get lost. And even entering the gates of hell.
The only way to escape from it and making it go away. Is to kneel down and ask God and the Virgin Mary for forgiveness and promising to left the life of vices behind.