You can also read about Colombia’s Top 5 Scariest Mythological Characters right here…
1) El Silbón
“The Whistler” is a truly disturbing legend from the llanos, the eastern plains bordering Venezuela. The story goes that a wicked young man killed his father in an angry rage when he didn’t bring home the deer heart he was craving. He brought back his father´s organs instead but the family suspected his evil act. His brother punished the evil man by whipping him and throwing hot pepper on the wounds, then sent an angry dog after him to continue the punishment! So now El Silbón, a creepy 6 meter tall, gaunt figure, haunts the llanos at night carrying a large bag of bones said to be his father’s. You know he’s around by his haunting whistle which sounds distant when he is near to you and visa versa. If he is near, it is often too late! He picks a home’s doorstep to stop and count his bones and if you don’t listen, someone in your household will die at sunrise. So pay attention! Interestingly, most sightings of El Silbón are by drunk men stumbling around at night…hmm, coincidence? Don’t distress, there are a few things El Silbón still fears. Keep a whip, hot pepper and a rabid dog around and you should be set.
2) La Bola de Fuego
Another frightening llanero myth involves a 2 meter ball of fire rapidly rolling across the landscape on dark nights, said to carry the spirit of a cursed mad woman. Years ago a beautiful but quick-tempered wife became enraged when her husband asked her to make lunch for 60 other cowboys (that is a little excessive if you ask me). To make matters worse when she went to collect the firewood her husband was supposed to chop, he hadn’t done a thing! Now really angry, she heard her son crying so she marched back in a rage and with the hatchet, chopped off the head of poor innocent little Juan. She immediately turned insane and was cursed to turn into a ball of flames just like her wretched heart. She now roams the plains looking for her son Juan and stalking lone walkers. She only prays on Juans and Don Juans (i.e. sleazy men) so if that’s not your name or game you should be safe. Just in case though, if she appears, you are to start swearing and cursing to ward her evilness off!
3) La Llorona
A great way to scare little ones into behaving is to tell them the myth of “La Llorona”, The Crying Woman. Legend goes that a young woman drowned her own children because the man of her affections did not care for them. However, he still rejected her and she killed herself. At the gates of heaven she was caught with her sins and had to go back to earth and find her children. For this reason she roams around at night, weeping as she searches for them. The legend goes that if you hear her crying you are doomed to an imminent death so better to stay in I guess! Lesson learned, don’t kill your children – basic rules for life I’d say…she sure is paying for it.
4) La Tunda
Visiting the Colombian Pacific? Keep your wits about you! From the Afro-Colombian culture comes the legend of La Tunda. In the jungle lives this wretched and ugly woman said to be recognized by one wooden leg, a molinillo, a common utensil in Colombia. Her danger lies in her ability to shape-shift and appear as someone you know, often your mother or a loved-one, so that she can lure you into the jungle. Once in her clutches, she feeds you shrimp that she has farted on (yes you read correctly) that hypnotizes them into a stupor so that she can do what she will with you: suck your blood, vampire-style, or devour you like a wild animal…overall, I’d say it is probably best just to avoid her.
5) El Hombre Bufeo
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the majestic Pink Dolphin of the Colombian Amazonas. The indigenous myth goes that a strong handsome warrior was condemned to become a pink dolphin by the gods, who were jealous of his good looks. However, he has the ability to convert into a man when he comes out on land with a straw hat covering his only dead giveaway, that pesky blowhole. He is said to be one smooth operator and no woman can resist his charms. So he chooses a beautiful lady, they dance the night away and then he takes her for a romantic walk along the river. Sounds like a nice date, right? Wrong! The next day the woman remembers nothing but within no time, she finds herself pregnant! In fact, many children without known fathers in the Amazon actually have “Dolphin Man” registered as their father on official records!