When we think of myths and legends, we usually imagine elaborate narratives that tell us the story or the emergence of different phenomena or elements of reality. However, we can also find among the narratives of different cultures examples of myths of terror, which in the end tell us about the fears of the unknown and incomprehensible present in all humanity.
In the present article we are going to review ten myths and legends of terror from different origins, some of them of great antiquity while others based on historical moments and more recent contexts.
Some terror myths
Then we leave you with different myths and legends of terror more or less known, which come from different countries and cultures.
1. The sacamantecas
The story of the man in the sack, who takes the children in a sack, is one of the best known myths in Spain. And yet, it turns out not to be such a legend but refers to an event that really happened at the end of the 19th century.
And it is that during this time there were different cases of men who kidnapped and murdered children (in other cases also women) in order to extract their blood and lipids (butters) to sell them or use them as a healing element, believing that they are Parts of the children contributed to cure conditions such as tuberculosis. A real example was Francisco Leona, who together with his accomplice and his client was sentenced to death after the murder of a child for these reasons.
2. La Llorona
One of the most well-known myths and legends of terror in Mexico, and which in fact has pre-Columbian origins, is La Llorona. The legend tells us that there was once a woman who, after marrying and having children, was gradually seeing a distancing and loss of interest in her by her husband. One day, the woman discovered that her husband was cheating and was going to leave her. Furious, she drowned her two children, but after doing so she realized what she had done and ended up taking her own life. Since then his spirit wanders disconsolate, screaming and crying while looking for his children.
A Japanese myth of terror tells the story of Kuchisake-Onna, a vain woman married to a samurai who cheated on other men. One day, the husband discovered the infidelities and furiously severely cut his face and mouth while asking him if he really considered himself beautiful. The woman died, and the repentant husband would end up committing suicide.
Since then the spirit of the woman has returned in the form of yokai, and appears from time to time covering her face with a surgical mask. The woman will search and stop before someone generally young (some versions say that she persecutes students and even children) to ask her if she considers her beautiful. If he says no, he will kill his victim.
If he says yes, he will proceed to remove the mask to show his enormous wound, repeating the same question. If the victim is frightened, shouts or says no, it will kill them. In case of answering yes the yokai will make the same wound, or else he will follow him to his house to kill him there. Trying to flee is useless, because the spirit will reappear.
4. The girl on the curve
One of the most popular and popular urban legends in multiple countries is the legend of the girl on the curve. This tells us how a young woman died years ago in a traffic accident in a sharp curve of the road. Time later, the spirit of the same young woman appears on the road hitchhiking and asking to be carried. After getting into the car, the girl remains silent until the driver approaches the curve where he died. It is then when the spirit tells the driver to be careful since she killed herself in that curve, for once said this disappear.
5. The Holy Company
A well-known legend from the province of Galicia tells us about the appearance of a procession of souls in pain that runs through Galician territory, the Santa Compaña. In it we are told that at twelve o’clock at night the souls of Purgatory gather to go out in procession, carrying candles, praying and singing funeral songs. It is said that he travels through the roads, forests and villages, passing and visiting the homes of those who are going to die.
The appearance of the Holy Company usually announces who sees her future death, sometimes seeing how the dead carry a coffin with the body of the person who sees it. You can also see some chosen and who by mistake during his baptism have been anointed by the oils of the deceased.
The procession is led by a subject still alive, who can not look back at any time and carries a cross and holy water. This subject (who during the day will not remember his night walking) is destined to die in a short time, walking every night without rest and weakening and consuming himself until he dies and join the procession or pass the cross to another victim. If someone crosses the procession, you can protect yourself from it by drawing a circle and praying from within.
There is a Japanese legend that speaks of the spirit or yokai Aka Manto, a spectrum that appears in public bathrooms and schools to give you a choice between two roles: one blue and one red. If the victim of this being chooses red, Aka-Mantle will proceed to cut him with a knife until his clothes are dyed red with blood. If the blue color is chosen, the spirit will strangle the person until death, thus achieving that his face and skin acquires the same blue coloration that he offered. Trying to say another color continues to have the consequence of death, being the only possibility of surviving to indicate to the being to not need any paper.
7. The whistler
One of the best-known legends or myths of terror among those coming from Venezuela is that of Silbón. The story tells how a young man killed and disemboweled his own father, after discovering that his father had raped (in other versions beaten) his wife. After discovering him, his family cursed him and beat him, then rubbing him and rubbing chili or chili on the wounds and throwing the dogs. Over time he became a soul in pain, traveling with a sack in which are the remains of his dead father.
This being is a harbinger of death, and is said to be primarily aimed at attacking and killing womanizers and drunks. His whistles sound distant when he is close and close when he is far away. Several versions of this legend exist, in some of which the motive of the murder of the progenitor is the one to extract the viscera to him to eat them when the father did not manage to hunt a deer.
A macabre Japanese legend, tells the story of a young student victim of school bullying which fell on the train tracks after frightening her classmates, with such luck that was split in half. Since then this young woman, now a furious spirit, wanders dragging her torso with her hands looking for her legs and attacking and killing.
9. The legend of Pocong
This myth belongs to Indonesia, where traditionally the body of the dead is covered with white cloths and lace clothes that are tied over their heads. According to local beliefs, the souls of the dead remain in his body for forty days after his death. After that time the body must be unwrapped. When this is not done, the spirit of the dead man will return in the form of an apparition, since his shroud prevents him from leaving. This spirit floats or jumps to move around, usually looking for the people around them. According to some legends, these beings also feed on the blood of infants.
10. The legend of Bloody Mary
The story of Bloody Mary is one of the classics of horror legends. History tells us that little Mary Whales, who one day fell ill and eventually died. The family buried the girl, installing a device typical of the time when a rope was attached to a bell in case the supposed dead was not (since catalepsy was already known). The little girl woke up, being her supposed death due to catalepsy, and rang the bell. However, nobody heard it.
When the family realized that the bell had fallen to the ground after multiple attempts and unearthed the girl, they found her already dead, her hands bloodied after having tried to flee desperately. But before he died, he threw a curse: those people who say his name three times before a mirror will die, before which the bell will be heard that nobody heard in his case.