Friday, June 12, 2015

La Segua: The She-Devil of Costa Rica

The men are bewitched, powerless to resist her seductive voice and beautiful face . . .

It is said in Cartago, Costa Rica that men who are unfaithful to their wives best beware--an avenging she-devil known as La Segua haunts the streets and attacks men on their way home from brothels in this colonial capital.

La Segua is a seductive ghost who changes shape from a beautiful woman into a terrifying mare.

This legend states:

In the late 17th century a woman of mixed Spanish and Indian blood fell in love with a handsome Spanish officer who was visiting Cartago.

This officer found this young woman's pale skin, dark hair, and jet black eyes irresistible. He told her he loved her and promised to marry her if only she would become his lover.

She relented even though this was against the strict moral code her family had taught.

Soon after she relented to this officer’s request he left for Spain and never returned.

Heartbroken and overcome with guilt over the betrayal of her family’s honor this young beauty was now cursed and died. It is said this curse made it possible for her spirit to turn into a terrible monster.

Part of her disgrace is the fact that besides dishonoring her family she also betrayed her people by becoming involved with a Spaniard --who was the oppressor. She basically slept with the enemy.

It is stated her spirit has remained for centuries. In Central America, La Segua is believed to be a female demon. She seeks out unfaithful men and lures them to their death.

A familiar story told is that she waits for her victims along dark crossroads late at night. As men make their way home from brothels or taverns, she stops them and asks for a lift on their horse.

It is said no man can resist her beautiful face and pleading voice. Once they agree they turn to find a horse’s skull looking at them with a deathly grimace.

In a more modern day version it is stated that once La Segua is in her victim’s car, she pulls out a cigarette and asks for a light. When they turn to oblige, they come face to face with a terrifying monster.

In both the traditional and modern-day versions the victim then sees a blood-filled horse skull with glowing red eyes. The shock of seeing this apparition either kills them or at the very least persuades them to give up their unfaithful ways.

It is also mentioned that she preys on drunks. As mentioned in other posts ghosts preying on drunks is a common theme in Central and South America.

This story has also been used in more modern eras to chastise improper and loose female behavior. Single women are given the warning they should not be tempted away from their family values, or they too will experience the same fate as La Segua.

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