33: La Lechuza

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According to Mexican folklore, a Lechuza is an old witch (or Bruja) who can turn herself into a monstrous black bird. They will prey on people who they think have done them wrong or they will steal children to use in their occult rituals. Some say that the Lechuza has sold her soul to the devil in order to gain her powers.

Usually, the Lechuza will appear as a large bird, the size of a human being. It can also appear as a creature with the body of a bird but the head of a hideous old woman.

They usually only come out at dusk or after nightfall. Many people in Mexico have spotted lechuzas flying high over the tops of houses or have seen it outlined against the moon at night.

If the Lechuza fixates on you, it will sit outside your door at night, making crying sounds like a baby. If you go outside to investigate, it will swoop down on you and carry you away.

If you find unexplained scratches on your door or windowsill, it could mean a Lechuza has visited your house during the night.

"When I was a child, my family lived in a little town near the mountains in mexico. I remember my mom telling me about an old lady that lived nearby. She was 60 or 70 years old and my mom said she was suspected of being a witch and could turn into a "lechuza". Apparently, the old woman had done some witchcraft ("brujeria") on my grandma. My grandmother's hair and eyebrows were gone. Some people in the town wanted to hurt the "lechuza" to see if it was really this old lady. One night, when they saw the giant black bird, they took out their guns and started shooting at it. One of them shot it in the leg. They waited and waited, but for days the old lady never left her house. When she eventually came out, she couldn't walk and she was hobbling around on a cane..."

"My family is from Chihuahua, Mexico. My older sister claimed she saw a lechuza a few years ago when she went back to visit. They were swimming at a local pond and they saw an enormous black bird watching them from afar. They started getting freaked out and decided to go home. The lechuza followed them all the way home while they were driving and stayed outside their house until dawn. My uncles claimed they shot a lechuza and the next morning, they found an old lady lying there dead from gunshot wounds... so... either lechuzas are real... or...my uncles are murderers!"

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