La Muelona of Colombian Mythology

Known as La Colmillona, La Dientona, or more popularly known as La Muelona, this beautiful and evil spirit is said to haunt the lonely roads of Colombia. According to legends, a single look could transfix you and force you to follow her deep into the forest.

Once a fair distance from others, she’ll reveal her large fang-like teeth and use them to rip off the limbs of her victims to eat. But just who is La Muelona and what is the legend that gave birth to such a terrifying spirit?

La Muelona of Colombian Mythology

The Legend of La Maga

In the early 16th century as the Spanish began their colonization of Colombia, many of the indigenous people were understandably wary of Spanish settlers. It was around this time a Spanish woman arrived and made attempts to build a business in telling fortunes.

Almost immediately the locals were suspicious of her talents and many believed she embraced the dark arts, earning her the name La Maga (the sorceress). Despite their suspicions, La Maga’s business grew and she expanded into card and palm reading.

Many believed the sorceress had to tap into evil and dark magic to tell the future and while this wasn’t detrimental to the patrons, it would eventually come back to curse La Maga. Some accounts say La Maga lived out the rest of her life telling fortunes and while many were wary, nothing evil was witnessed.

But as her business grew so did her wealth and her collection of priceless jewelry, gold, and money. Upon La Maga’s death, it’s said several people broke into her home and attempted to steal as much as they could. Before they could leave with the items, La Maga’s voice echoed throughout the home cursing all the dishonest and vowing to return to dole out punishment.

According to legend, because of her tapping into the dark magic La Maga could only return as La Muelona. A vicious spirit with large fangs that hungered for human flesh.

Other Versions of La Maga

There are a few versions of La Maga though they all tend to end the same. Mainly the differences are in what La Maga’s business was when she first arrived in Colombia.

Some versions say she used her beauty and charisma to start with sex work eventually opening up a brothel while other versions say she did both fortune-telling and sex work. Either way, her business was said to morally corrupt the local men and many feared it would spread to other towns.

Yet another version says La Maga had no intention of opening a business and it was simply her beauty that transfixed the local men. Despite what La Maga’s business or intentions were, as she aged she lost her beauty which was essential to her. With it fading, La Maga made a deal with the devil who granted her eternal beauty but cursed her with sharp fang-like teeth.

After her death, it’s said a nauseating smell came from her home and many claimed to see and hear things moving around inside. When a group of men investigated they discovered vampire-like creatures living inside and decided to burn down the house.

In these versions, it was this act that caused La Maga to return as the vicious spirit known as La Muelona.

La Muelona Appears

Regardless of what led to La Muelona appearing, she is said to wander the secluded dirt roads, swamps, and forests of Colombia waiting for potential targets to walk by. According to legends, she will only target men who have cheated on their significant others or those who are drunks and liars.

La Muelona of Colombia
La Muelona by Emel Meneses

As these men walk these roads in the late afternoon, La Muelona will appear smiling at them and it takes only a momentary glance to transfix men into following her. Those who have witnessed men disappearing with La Muelona into the woods describe her as a beautiful light-skin woman with long brown hair and large teeth.

These same witness claim to hear what sounds like crunching and bones breaking just moments later. Others have claimed to have also heard a piercing laugh echo through the woods just after La Muelona takes a victim.

Though La Muelona mainly targets men, she has been known to eat cows and horses with her teeth being strong enough to rip large chunks of the animal. It’s also said that she won’t attack men who have pregnant wives or have recently had children. The only other way to avoid an attack from La Muelona is to carry around a pendant of Sant Isidore, the patron saint of farmers.

Unknown and Untraceable Origins of La Muelona

Unsurprisingly with the legend of La Maga and La Muelona possibly going as far back as the 16th century, there’s no exact origin for either legend. There’s also the added complication that the legends were orally told for centuries before being transcribed.

Author and historian Javier Ocampo Lopez is often credited with popularizing the myth when it appeared in his 1988 book Mitos Colombianos (Colombian Myths) but even since then, the legend has changed. 1996’s Gran Enciclopedia De Colombia, 2000’s Mitos y Leyendas Colombianas, and its 2008 edition all have different versions of the legend, often adding or removing parts of it.

The only constant is that La Muelona has large teeth, targets disloyal men, and can be found along the dirt roads near forests in Colombia.

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