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Legends of San Miguel, Part Two

By Karla Ortiz


El Descabezado (The Beheaded One)

Legend has it that many years ago, in the former Hacienda del Obraje, there was a calvaryman who treated all his workers very badly. One day, a worker begged him for help, saying his wife was seriously ill. The cavalryman refused to give his worker the money needed to cure her.

When the worker arrived back at his house and found his wife dead, he became so angry that he found the cavalryman and decapitated him. As the cavalryman lay dying, his worker told him that his evil ways with everyone around him had condemned him to spend the afterlife grieving.

Today, on the darkest nights, the cavalryman is said to descend from Obraje on horseback, crossing Insurgentes and arriving at the cemetery in fruitless search of eternal rest. Some versions say that people run home when they hear his horse galloping around midnight. Supposedly anyone who sees this ghost will go blind.


La Llorona (The Weeping Woman)

An indigenous woman had an affair with a Spanish gentleman and bore him three children. When the woman found out that her beloved gentleman had a Spanish wife, she drowned her three children on the banks of the river and then, in grief, committed suicide.

From that day on, it is said, one can hear her loud cries near the shores of rivers, lakes, and streams all over Mexico. Here in San Miguel de Allende, people say they have heard and seen a woman dressed in white and crying for her children in Benito Juárez Park.

Even some local police officers who have responded to reported La Llorona sightings say they’ve been spooked by the sound of female cries.


Catrín de Bugambilia (The Dandy of Bugambilia)

As a living voice of those who worked in this historic restaurant, we knew the legend of El Catrín, a person who began to appear in the bathrooms of the place.

As the story is told, the cooks were cleaning the kitchen one day and preparing to close, when they saw a tall, handsome man enter the bathroom. Before closing, the cooks told the waiters that there was still a man in the bathroom. The waiters went to look for him, but he was gone.

From that day on, the famous catrín began to appear in the bathrooms just before closing. Even Rogelio Ramírez, a local worker, said[MA1] he had to resign due to the fright that the catrín gave him, he. The restaurant has moved several times, but it is said that its ghost appears wherever the restaurant goes.


El Colgado (The Hanged Man)

On calle San Francisco, there is a house that has been occupied by several families, by offices, and now by Casa Europa. Whoever has had the fortune, or in this case the bad luck, of being there, knows the secrets this building hides: it is said that once a young couple lived there, but for some reason the man hanged himself on one of the house’s arches and then the woman died of sadness.

Local workers claim to have seen a man and a woman dressed in period clothing wandering through the building’s corridors. From midnight on, the house supposedly begins to fill with the scent of tobacco smoke, a sign that the couple is about to appear.


El Nahual

“El Chuchin,” also known as El Nahual, was a famous thief in old San Miguel. It is said that this man could turn himself into a cat, dog, or whatever else helped him steal items from people’s homes. He stole everything from jewelry to children’s toys.

They say police once managed to follow his trail to the local dam, where they found his hideout in a cave. Those who have visited El Chuchin’s hideout claim to have found buried toys and other artifacts there. To this day, some downtown residents still see cats on rooftops entering and leaving their homes at will and fear they are being robbed by the famous El Chuchin.

[MA1]I added this, but I’m not sure it’s accurate that he said this or not. Did Ramirez claim this or someone else claimed it about him?


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