Sinister Colonial Ghost Stories: The House Of The Fleshless Indigenous Woman
October 17, 2018|María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
A woman dumped by the love of her life takes revenge in the most sinister way possible. Her spirit still wanders the house where she lost it all.
Anywhere you go in Mexico, you'll find tons of colonial buildings and even towns that have kept the architecture of their time intact. These gorgeous yet eerie places have lots of history and also scary stories and legends that have become part of our traditional folklore. I happen to live right next to what was formerly a small town (now part of Mexico City) called Chimalistac with beautiful colonial houses and cobblestone streets. And ever since I can remember, the mere idea of walking or passing through it gives me the creeps thanks to all the sinister stories that allegedly happened there.
(A typical street in Chimalistac)
Chimalistac isn’t unique, though. Most colonial buildings have at least one of these creepy stories. For decades, you would hear these stories from people living near them or in really cool, cheap booklets that compiled many of them. In this series, you’ll find some of the most sinister and disturbing stories from Mexican folklore.
The Fleshless Indigenous Woman
This is a story of heartbreak and a dark fate. Years before the arrival of the Spaniards, the chief of the Olutas was informed of an ominous prophecy in which his daughter would bring him and his people to an end. Scared, he decided to send the young girl away. Princess Macuilxóchitl was taken her far away and threatened with death if she dared to return. Years passed and Hernan Cortes’ fleet arrived on the coast. Her beauty was desired by many and this sparked tons of rivalries among the conquerors who wanted to enslave her, until a high-ranking official defended her and set her free. This man was Don Raymundo de la Peña Roja, and poor Macuilxóchitl couldn’t help but fall for the man who had rescued her.
De la Peña Roja and Macuilxóchitl moved to the capital of New Spain and settled in a gorgeous house. They lived happily in love until one day, a man came to visit him. It was a wealthy man who had just come from Spain to force de la Peña Roja to keep his word to marry the man’s daughter. Inconsolable, he told Macuilxóchitl they couldn’t be together anymore and asked her to leave. So, she vowed to take revenge and broke into the beautiful house that she had once called home, took an ax and looked for the intruder who had taken her place in De la Peña Roja’s heart. Without thinking too much, she swung the weapon directly into the woman’s neck, killing her immediately. To avoid any suspicion, she decided to take some of the woman’s jewelry, so that people would assume it had been a robbery.
But the rejection had darkened Macuilxóchitl’s heart, and in a macabre move, she decided to take the bodiless head with her. As she walked away from the house, a group of soldiers saw her and noticed blood dripping from her bag. After some discussion, the package was taken and opened in public only to find that it was a woman's head: the head of the wealthy Doña Elvira. Macuilxóchitl was taken to the Holy Inquisition, where she was sentenced to die in the gallows.
Macuilxóchitl was hanged and her hands cut off while an angry mob witnessed how this evil woman paid for her actions. However, Macuilxóchitl only wanted something to rest in peace and Don Raymundo de la Peña Roja’s forgiveness. She never got it and for that reason, her spirit was destined to roam among the living in sorrow. It’s said that she still haunts the gorgeous house, asking her lover to forgive her. Legend has it, many who have encountered her have died after the shock of seeing this handless and fleshless ghost.
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