A women is cursed to walk between the spirit and living world, and to enact on a long-forgotten grudge from her living life, continually cries in search of the children she drowned to beg for their forgiveness. To follow her cries in the hollows of the night is to become part of the drowned yourself.
A humble fisherman lures unsuspecting visitors the center of a lake and reveals his true form as some sort of human-fish monster, which then transforms his male victims into colorful fish and female victims into sirens of the sea.
A white dog with blue eyes is sent from heaven to bestow the people of El Salvador with wealth and prosperity does eternal battle with a black dog with red eyes sent from hell to bring doom and calamity. To encounter either dog will leave to a safe or doomed journey.
A women cheats on her husband, the son of the god of the rains, and is cursed to walk the earth as a horrible monstrosity. She lures unfaithful men to their doom by appearing as a beautiful damsel, then transforming into her true form and their end.
The son of the cursed women, forever wandering El Salvador as a 10-year with eternal youth. A trickster entity, he is the only lighthearted popular myth to exist, though is doomed with backwards feet for …trickery and a pudgy stomach from being forced to eat fireplace ashes as his mother had neglected him.
La Carreta Chillona (The Shrieking Cart) A cart completely made of bone is pulled by nothing as it creaks and shrieks throughout the roads of El Salvador. It’s existence is based on the nonreciprocal nature of the El Salvador natives sharing native medicines with the Spaniards, and the Spaniards inflecting illness on the locals and not returning the same hospitality. The Spaniard who tricked the locals was haunted by the spirits of the people he killed, forced to build this shrieking cart, and piled their bones onto to the cart and dragged it to the cemetery, never to be seen again.
As all of these are recent mythos, I was quite frankly horrified by how many different ways someone can be abducted in the middle of the night by who knows what. There is a common theme of being forced to repeat the sins of yesterday, to trick unsuspecting people with a “pure form” and turn into a monstrosity, and a recurring reference to water. Myths are one way of either explaining phenomena through storytelling or passing on cultural values to the next generation.
I sit here asking myself what kind of message was trying to be passed through all of these myths. My mind immediately assumed that there is some sort of serial abduction problem in this country, and became amused at the prospect of unlocking a centuries-old secret that was doing a terrible job of being hidden..