Latino Legends That Deserve Their Own Horror Film

Abandon all hopes for a peaceful night of sleep...

From La Llorona to La Luz Mala, these superstitions and myths have haunted and spooked generations of brave souls. You may have to leave the light on tonight -- these 13 Latin American tales deserve their own horror films:

1. La Llorona

La Llorona, the weeping woman, drowned her children to be with the man she loved. When the man rejected her and broke her heart, the devastated woman then drowned herself. Now, she's doomed for eternity -- cursed to wander the world in search of her lost children. Legend has it, she kidnaps children who stay out after dark -- and punishes niños who disobey their parents. Find books and movies about La Llorona here.

2. El Silbon

El Silbon  -- The Whistling Man --  was born a simple boy, raised by his mother, father and abuelo in Venezuela. The blackhearted boy grew spoiled, and one day, he brutally murdered his papa and savagely canabalized his organs. These days, the bone-chilling villain wanders the countryside and seduces victims with the sound of his whistle. Beware: when the whistle sounds far off, it's actually very near...

3. La Ciguapa

La Ciguapa, mythological creatures in Dominican legend, are described as strange, wild women who live in the mountains and possess supernatural powers. Creepily, they only emerge after dusk, and they have one unique physical characteristic: their feet face backwards.The most terrifying part of all? If you look them in the eye, you'll be bewitched by their power... forever. Here's a book based on the legend.

4. El Sombrerón

According to Guatemalan legend, El Sombrerón only emerges after dusk. No one is quite sure what it is: a ghost, a man, a goblin... or something even more sinister. All agree on his physical appearance: he's very small, dresses in all-black, dons a big, shiny belt, and clunks around in a pair of heavy boots. Infamously, he also sports a large hat that masks his entire face. He then seduces young women, wooing them with his sweet voice. Under his spell, they are unable to sleep or eat... until they tragically meet their end.

5. Mula Sem Cabeça

Forget the headless horseman.... in Brazil, Mula Sem Cabeça sparks fear and trepidation amongst even the bravest of souls. According to legend, a bright, sinister flame replaces the mule's head. A woman who has committed sacrilege, infanticide, or other unforgivable sins transforms into the headless creature... and she can suck one's eyes, nails, or fingers off completely. 

6. El Poira

One Colombian myth tells the tale of El Poira, a short man with glowing, golden skin and long blonde locks of hair. He has large hands and feet, and sharp, claw-like nails. He lives in a large underwater lair where he brings young women, seducing them with the promise of forbidden treasures. Don't be fooled by El Poira. Those who enter his cave never emerge...

7. La Luz Mala

La Luz Mala are unexpected and completely unexplainable mythic lights that flash on the Argentine horizon. Don't get too close: locals warn that the lights will chase you at high speeds if you venture near them. Many believe that la luz mala are the spirits of Christians who didn't receive a proper burial...  Ay Dios Mio. 

8. El Tunchi

One day, El Tunchi lost himself in the rainforest of Peru. There, he became disoriented and died -- alone and confused. His troubled spirit now wanders the forest aimlessly, and whistles at all those whom he encounters. Locals know to never whistle back.... because he will come and find you. 

9. La Segua

According to Costa Rican legend, a tragic love affair between an indigenous woman and a Spanish officer spurred the creation of La Segua. When their illicit romance ended, the woman realized she had lost the love of her life -- and her family in the process. She is forever doomed to wander the world -- seducing men and asking them for a ride on their horse. Once she's on the saddle, her head transforms into a horse's head with large, glowing, red eyes.... You can guess what happens next. 

10. El Cadejo

South and Central Americans know to be careful of El Cadejo. The demon usually appears as a large, shabby dog with burning red eyes and goat hooves for feet. There is a good cadejo -- and an evil one. The white cadejo protects travelers from harm on their journey, but the black one is pure evil...

11. El Cuco

Latino children know to be frightened of El Cuco. The dark, shapeless monster kidnaps children who disobey their parents... so always listen to your mama y papa when they tell you to behave! 

12. La Casa Matusita

A seemingly harmless yellow building in Lima, Peru's city center, La Casa Matusita is a hotbed of demon hauntings and ghost activity. No one can agree on the house's history -- some say that a man brutally slaughtered his family and committed suicide. Other tales claim that a formal dinner party turned into massacre after the guests swallowed hallucinogens. Other stories suggest that a coven of witches previously inhabited the annoyingly cheerful yellow house. Regardless of the origin of the legend, the house is possessed by evil spirits. In fact, legends has it... anyone who enters will lose their sanity completely. 

13. El Chupacabra

What is El Chupacabra? No one really knows, although everyone can agree upon his work. El Chupacabra savagely attacks animals and drinks their blood. Eyewitness sightings of the creature have been reported as far south as Chile and as far north as Maine, but the legendary creature is widely regarded as a Latin American monster. Turns out there is A LOT written about them here.