In this article:
- La Siguanaba is a woman with the face of a horse luring men to their doom in the forests of Central America.
- Some say she was once a peasant who seduced her way into high society. Others say she was forced into marriage and later scorned by her husband.
- In most versions, she preys on immoral men, harboring a special grudge against cheaters and drunks.
- How to not get killed by an undead horse lady while on vacation in Central America.
You may have heard of the centaurs of ancient Greek mythology: the half-man, half-horse creatures that inhabited the regions of Magnesia and Mount Pelion. There are several versions of the creation myth explaining the origins of these centaurs. More often than not, the myth involves some sort of lustful relationship between two or more gods.
I guess the apples don’t fall far from the tree because there are also several instances of centaurs making unwanted sexual advances toward humans throughout the pantheon of ancient Greek and Roman mythology.
Anyway, while many might find sexual stories about relations between humans and human-horse hybrids strange and probably disturbing, the ancient Greeks aren’t the only ones who had myths about lustful humanoid horses. Enter the legend of La Siguanaba.
This legend is shared by several Central American countries and details a half-horse, half-woman that lures horny dudes into danger with her beautiful body and seductive antics. Like most legends, there are many different versions of the story of La Siguanaba.
Most of them follow the same basic plotline: La Siguanaba is bathing in a body of water at night, either naked or scantily clad, when she’s encountered by a man (usually a drunk one) who approaches her.
The man is then led deep into the woods until, finally, La Siguanaba reveals that she has the face of a horse and something bad happens. Let’s take a look at a few different versions of this Central American legend and where exactly this odd story came from.
La Siguanaba in El Salvador
In El Salvador, the legend of La Siguanaba is tied closely to the ancient Aztec religion and many of the Aztec gods appear in the story. In this version of the legend, La Siguanaba was a peasant girl who ascended to power using black magic and by marrying the god Tlaloc’s son, Yeisun.
La Siguanaba was just a generally terrible person: cheating on her husband when he went to war, neglecting her children, and even plotting to kill her husband to ascend to the throne. However, her plan backfired when the potion she gave to her husband turned him into a giant monster that terrorized their community.
When Tlaloc found out about La Siguanaba’s deeds, he enlisted the help of the almighty god Teotl, who then turned her into the horse-faced monstrosity that she is today. She spends her days washing clothes in a river and searching for her lost son.
La Siguanaba in Guatemala
In the Guatemalan version of the story, La Siguanaba is almost always seen in a ravine washing her hair with a golden comb. Like most versions of the story, she appears very beautiful from behind and never shows her face until it’s too late.
Some Guatemalans believe that she was once a woman that was forced to marry a man 40 years her elder and that the man cast a spell on her, turning her into the monster she is today. Some believe that she lures away men who are in love out of jealousy.
Others believe that she lures away unfaithful men out of revenge. Once these straying men follow La Siguanaba out into the woods, she turns around to reveal her horse-face and wrinkled skin, her nails start to grow longer and longer, and she lets out a horrifying laugh.
La Siguanaba in Mexico
The story of La Siguanaba is prevalent throughout almost every region of Mexico, although it takes on different forms in different parts of the country. The common thread among all of the regional variations of the story is that La Siguanaba is always seen lying down or walking away so that you can’t see her face.
She entrances lustful men (again, usually drunk ones) and leads them out into the woods. Even when her pursuer gets close, she still continues to hide her face. Eventually, she will reveal the face of a horse and her red, glowing eyes and say something along the lines of: “Do I still look beautiful to you?”
Either the man will be frightened enough to swear off alcohol forever or he’ll be touched by La Siguanaba and die shortly after.
La Cegua in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, the legend goes by the name of La Cegua. In this version of the story, La Cegua is a beautiful woman with black hair, black eyes, red lips, and a divine voice. In older versions, she asks a lone man to help her find her horse. In newer versions, the horse is replaced by a car or a motorbike.
Either way, the man is unable to resist the woman’s beauty and her innocent plea for help. He follows her into the woods until it is revealed that she is a monster with the face of a horse.
La Cegua in Nicaragua
The Nicaraguan version of this story may be the most terrifying of them all. Known in this country as La Cegua as well, she was a woman cheated on by her husband and determined to get revenge.
She went into a cornfield to make a pact with the devil so that she could wreak havoc on womanizers and adulterous men.
After making the pact, she vomited out her soul and her face was transformed into that of a horse skeleton. Her legs then grew into the shape and size of a horse’s hind legs, giving her great speed and strength to ensure that none of her victims escape.
As the legend goes, La Cegua now roams the cornfields of Nicaragua looking to prey on immoral men.
How to Avoid Getting Taken by La Siguanaba
Just as there are many versions of the story of La Sigaunaba, there are also many different defenses against her evil, seductive magic that vary regionally. In some regions of Guatemala and El Salvador, it is said that the only way to ward off La Siguanaba is to make the sign of the cross in her direction. This is meant to both scare La Siguanaba away and to expel the fear from anyone who sees her.
Another common defense in regions where the legend of La Siguanaba survives is to bite some piece of metal. Some say that biting one’s machete will do the trick, others say that you have to bite down on a metal cross or a gold coin to scare off the horse-faced beast.
If you’re worried about running into La Siguanaba while you’re roaming around Central America, you can carry a machete, a metal cross, or a gold coin with you at all times.
However, after hearing about all of the different versions of the legend, I think there’s an even better defense that doesn’t require hauling around cumbersome metal artifacts: If you see a woman bathing naked in a river at night, don’t go hit on her. Maybe she’s just out for a moonlight skinny dip.
If you’re tempted to start following a complete stranger into the woods, the best-case scenario is that you’re going to come across as a massive creep. The worst-case scenario is that you’re going to encounter La Siguanaba and be led to your death or driven to insanity. Probably better to just mind your own business.
Don’t be a drunk.
Don’t cheat on women.
Don’t follow strangers into remote, wooded areas because you’re horny.
Follow these three pieces of advice and you’ll probably never have to worry about La Siguanaba.