ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

There are so many terrifying myths and legends from every culture and corner of the world - so why not mine these incredible traditions to make chilling horror movies? I'm sure people tired of remakes would agree, at least!

Check out 5 terrifying Latin American legends that might just keep you awake all night...

1. El Silbón

Region: Venezuela

El Silbón - sometimes known as The Whistler - is the ghost of a youth who killed his father, doomed to roam the Earth carrying a bag full of his father's bones, his black soul trapped in eternal torment.

The legend goes that he makes an eerie whistling sound, which can be lethally tricksy - but if the music is loud, you're safe. However, if you hear faint, distant whistling, he is close by and ready to kill...


2. El Familiar

Region: Argentina

The legend of El Familiar originates in the sugar mills of the 1800s. He is the devil himself, appearing in the form of a giant black - and sometimes headless - dog. Dark hounds appear in many different folkloric traditions, most famously in Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.


3. El Hombre del Saco or El Sacomán

Region: All over Latin America

The tale goes that a man, Francisco Ortega, was dying of tuberculosis and seeking a cure. A Curandera (a medicine woman) told him to drink the blood of a child, so El Sacomán put a 7-year-old boy in his sack, slit his underarm and drank his fill. He is said to wander streets at night, preying on children who misbehave.


4. El Imbunche

Region: Chile

El Imbunche was a baby sold to a group of Chilean warlocks by his parents. The warlocks altered and mutilated the child, dislocating his head to turn 180 degrees, deforming his limbs and forking his tongue. The warlocks employed El Imbunche as a cave guardian... If you've read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing comics, you may have spotted a villainous Imbunche between the pages...


5. La Viudita

Region: all over South America

La Viudita walks alone after midnight, veiled in black. She entices drunk men into getting intimate with her, letting them pet and kiss her until they remove her veil to see what's underneath... the face they see is a bare skull, with no lips, hair or true face, laughing terribly.

Tales vary as to whether La Viudita was a scorned wife who made a bargain with the devil, or whether her soul is bound to our mortal plain through the pain of lost love...


Which Latin American Legend did you find the scariest?

Sources: Latina, Remezcla, American Folklore, Listverse, Mitos y Leyendas

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