The Legend Of La Cegua!

“La Segua” is a legend that chastises improper and loose female behaviour, as well as drunken and unfaithful activity of men.

La Cegua

These are evil women that appear at night dressed in horse hair and with a lot of makeup on their faces. They look for their lover or for the man that played with their feelings. Ceguas appear in the throughout the country; there are ugly and beautiful ones. Their origin lies in women full of hate that at the moment of their death choose to continue seeking revenge. Among themselves, ceguas are very friendly; they even help each other to conquer their preys.

Generally, they appear dressed up to drunk men and try to seduce them. Moreover, they laugh loudly; sometimes, they dress in black attire. Their apparitions are manicly melancholy because they scream, laugh or cry wildly. Their goal is to avenge their own deceptions playing with other men and leaving them as crazed idiots. For this reason, when a man acts like an idiot or appears absent-minded, it is said the cegua played with him (lo jugó la cegua).

Another Version

There was once a beautiful Cartaginesa (female inhabitant of Cartago) of mixed Indian and Spanish blood. She is usually depicted as having beautiful white skin which contrasts with her jet black eyes and cascading long hair. One of the versions of the legend says that she fell in love with a Spanish officer who tricked her and broke her heart. The exact manner in which he “tricked” her is not entirely clear, but there is a clear suggestion that it involved some improper advances, sexual in nature, and extremely forbidden for a lady from a good Catholic family. After the Spanish rogue had disappeared, the lady went insane, and an awful curse befell her, turning her into a monster, forever destined to wonder lonely roads.

La Segua, as the monster is called, poses as the beautiful lady that she once was, and she waits by the roadside for unsuspecting men who would be riding their horses after a long night of heavy drinking in town. Attracted to the beauty, they accept to give her a ride on their horse, but as they turn around, instead of beholding the enchanting companion, they come face to face with a horrendous monster with the skull of a horse and fiery red eyes. The warning is clear: men should stay away not only from heavy drinking, but most importantly, from attractive lonely women who can tempt them away from their family life.

Women are not exempt from the warning. In order to not be transformed into a heinous apparition, cursed to wander forever, single women should not give in to advances of men. Furthermore, La Segua’s fate is as bad as it is, because like La Malinche, the Mexican Indian woman who served as Cortés’s translator and lover (Cortés was the ruthless,main Spanish conquistador of Mexico), she is betraying her people by falling in love with a Spaniard, the oppressor. Even though La Segua was of mixed blood, in a colonial context that would not place her on the same level as people of “pure”Spanish descent. Therefore, La Segua does not only betray the honor of her family because of her licentious behaviour, but by sleeping with the enemy.

Another Version

The most terrifying of Nicaragua’s folkloric characters is La Cegua, a witch who resides in the woods. She takes on several facades. At times she appears in a white corn leaf dress with a veil covering her face. It is said that she has long black hair covering over her face. She is also said to wear a Guarumo Tree leaf dress and her voice is made rasping and hollow by plantain leaves covering her teeth.

Others say that her face is ghostly and that her eyes stare into her victim’s souls. Still another version says that she is believed to have the face of a horse. Nicaraguans also say that she walks through the woods and back roads naked, waiting for her next victim. Men are drawn to her fantastical silhouette. The words she speaks to these men are so horrific that the victim goes insane instantaneously – something from which they never recover.

La Cegua is believed to have super-human abilities and is able to walk through solid objects, gravitate above ground and fly at extreme speeds in her efforts to lure men into her trap. To save yourself from such an encounter you should carry mustard seeds and throw them before her. She apparently will stop to try and pick up the magical seeds. As with other myths in Nicaraguan folklore, the tale of La Cegua is believed to ensure that men come straight home after work.



Information found here: 

When I was a kid living in Masaya, Nicaragua, the story of la Cegua (also called Cihuanaba, la Segua, or la Tzegua in some places) was a folktale that went around my school and around the neighborhood. The story basically goes that la Cegua was a mestiza (half Spanish, half indigenous) woman who had an affair with a Spanish man during the time of conquest. To cover up the affair, he revealed her witchcraft activities to the Inquisition that was hunting witches at the time. Scorned and a criminal, she escaped into the forest, and she still walks the roads at night luring men to her and then ripping them apart.

I recently reconnected with an old neighbor friend of mine, Luís Felipe, and we started talking about the legends we heard growing up. He mentioned la Cegua and a summoning ritual that some of the kids at his high school used to do, after I had moved away from Nicaragua. According to Luís Felipe, his elder sister had passed the story on to him—some of her friends had done the same thing when she was a teenager and the story of la Cegua was popular at her high school. The summoning ritual draws on old magic traditions but was simple enough that kids started using it to scare each other. I don’t know how many people actually performed the ritual, since a lot of Nicaraguan kids will respect and leave alone magic. But there are always people who want a scare, and if you needed special magic assistance, this is a way to get it.

Here are the instructions he gave me, copy and pasted from his email, cleaned up a little, and translated into English:

“This is what Esmeralda [his older sister] told me to do to summon la Cegua into the house. It makes her come from wherever she is, even if she is very far away. You need a big bowl of water, at least four palm fronds, some black or dark brown hairs, a candle, and a handful of mustard seed in a container that you cannot see through or into. Wooden boxes with lids or cloth bags are best, but I think anything can work as long as you cannot see through it, even an envelope. It should be something you can open easily. You will need four big squares of black cloth too. As an offering, you will need a small, beautiful object, like a necklace, a seashell, some lace, or a gemstone, but you will not be getting it back.

It needs to be nighttime when you do the ritual. First, you make a box or circle on the floor with the palm fronds. They do not need to touch but you need enough to have at least one on each side of you and in front and behind you. This tells la Cegua that you are in her forest. You should make sure all the windows and doors of the room you are in are open, because la Cegua needs a way to get inside. Put the bowl full of water in the enclosure of palm fronds, right in front of you so you have enough room to sit. Put the candle and the offering in the enclosure. It’s a good idea to have a friend with you, but they have to be outside the enclosure. Now turn off the light, light the candle, and go into the enclosure. Now you can’t leave it until the ritual is over. Place the box full of mustard seed beside your right hand, and the hair beside your left hand, on either side of the bowl. You need to take the three black squares of fabric and line them up in front of the bowl, inside the enclosure.

Blow out the candle when you’re ready to begin the ritual. This symbolizes nightfall. You have to be totally silent from now until la Cegua arrives. Look down into the water in the bowl. You should start to see not the ceiling of the room you are in but the jungle. Then you will see a woman, at a distance, walking toward you. If she is dressed in a dress of guarumo tree leaves held together with strips of black fabric, and her hair is long and black and covering her face, that is la Cegua. When she gets close to the bowl of water, you will see that she is wearing a mask of leaves wrapped around her mouth and jaw. Esmeralda told me that this is to cover up where her jaw was smashed and her teeth were knocked out by Spanish authorities who were beating her after she ran from them when they were arresting her for witchcraft. [The story of the guarumo leaf dress is that her clothes rotted away and she had to make new clothes. The black cloth is what remains of her old dress.]

After la Cegua nears she will start to come out of the bowl slowly. Allow her to do it, but DO NOT let her take off her mask. If she starts to take off her mask, you have to stop the ritual. If she takes it off, she can speak, and it will drive men insane. She will try to make eye contact but do not look into her eyes and do not tell her your name. When her shoulders are out of the bowl, make this simple request: “Quiero tres objetos mágicos,” [“I want three magic objects”]. Then drop the offering in the bowl. If she begins to sink back down into the bowl, you did the ritual right. If she starts to rise out of the bowl farther, she is angry and you have to stop the ritual immediately. Do not try to ask her for anything other than what the ritual allows.

Once she has disappeared into the bowl, you have to pour the mustard seed into the water. This is also how you stop the ritual at any point if you need to. The legend says that if mustard seeds are spilled near her, she has to stop to count them. Pouring the mustard seed into the portal will distract her until you have the chance to dispose of the water. At this point, you can leave the enclosure, and make sure to take the bowl with you. You can flush the water down the toilet or sprinkle it in your yard, but make sure not to leave any puddles where la Cegua might be able to come through again. If you flush the water down the toilet, make sure to get all the mustard seed out of the bowl—or she might come back to count the seeds she missed. Then take the bowl outside and smash it, and make sure it doesn’t go back into the house. Throw it away or leave it outside. Now, go back into the ritual room but do not look under the cloths or go into the enclosure. Sleep in the room where you performed the ritual, but make sure to close the windows and doors. Anyone who was in the room with you during the ritual must also sleep there. Do not get up, even to go to the bathroom, until after sunrise. When you wake up, go to the enclosure. You should find that the magic objects have been left under the three black cloths. You can use these to perform curses and other magic.”

Luís Felipe didn’t specify what kind of magic items you could get, but I contacted Esmeralda directly and she told me you could get all sorts of things to perform malevolent magic: black corn kernels, turkey wattles, poisonous toads, old keys, special ribbons and fabrics, feathers, bones or shards of bones, cacao beans, and human teeth. The teeth are said to be la Cegua’s own, and the bones those of the men she has killed. Based on what I know about old Central American magic, you can use those items to give people boils, sores, injuries that won’t heal, infections, respiratory issues, blindness, and a lot more. You can also curse their houses. La Cegua isn’t a benevolent spirit, so the items you receive shouldn’t be used for protective or healing magic, since the benefit of these objects is that they are already imbued with strong spiritual power. Don’t use them if you don’t mean it.

Some notes: -The water bowl must be a material that you can shatter, so take that into account BEFORE you start the ritual.

-The squares of black cloth should be at least 20 cm by 20 cm (about eight inches by eight inches). There’s no exact measurement, but this is a guideline, because the ritual won’t work if the cloths are too small.

-the dark hair can belong to anyone, or even more than one person but it has to be dark. It represents la Cegua’s own hair, which is black in the stories—do not use light brown hair or la Cegua won’t know you are calling her. Also, DO NOT take hair from an animal. If you do the rest of the ritual right and la Cegua finds you, but realizes you are using an animal to represent her, she will be very offended.

-the palm fronds are supposed to represent the forest where la Cegua lives. If you do the rest of the ritual right, you can also use branches of trees of whatever area you live in. But be careful that you are not summoning someone else by doing that.

-whatever you are using to contain the mustard seed should not have a name on it, whether it is yours or someone else’s. Labels are fine, company names are fine, locations are fine, but no personalization—like a box that someone gave you with your name on it. You don’t want la Cegua to know who you are and come back for you.

About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).