La Lechuza

“I wanted to share a legendary paranormal owl from my home here in the Rio Grande Valley. She’s known as La Lechuza and she’s a witch who takes on the form of a large owl.

As most of you know I’m from deep South Texas, about 3.5 miles from the Mexican border. The belief in La Lechuza is not only widespread here, but I also have several friends who claim to have encountered her as well. So who or what is she? Let’s see if we can piece this paranormal puzzle together…

Usually described as part human and part bird, she’s had many origins and interpretations over the years. She supposedly has the body of a large owl and the head of an old haglike crone. In other words, the old gal is a witch. And a witch that lures her victims by either whistling outside the houses at night, or mimicking the cries of a lost, mournful newborn baby. And who’s going to ignore that?

According to the most popular telling, she often preys on the drunks out at night, her cries luring them to their demise, with their bones picked clean by her vicious beak and talons. One story that’s really common is that she’s the spirit of a woman whose children were killed by a drunk driver so she sold her soul to the devil to spend eternity exacting her revenge…

Another common version that I’ve heard a lot is that she takes the form of a large, gray or white owl. It’s certainly not uncommon to see folks crossing themselves at night here when a large owl passes overhead. I’ve occasionally done so myself…

Another of my favorite stories is that she’s a malevolent spirit that craves the blood of newborn babies as well as the unbaptized. Apparently, that leaves a lot of us in danger.

The best weapon to ward off la Lechuza is salt. So if you hear the wailing screech of an owl here in the valley late at night, a few sprinkles of salt on your windowsill will keep you protected. And a few fringe tales even describe her as a minion of Satan himself, preying on negative emotions and being drawn to disasters and calamities. Sort of a Mothman like entity…

Could these legends be based on sightings or encounters of an extraordinary large owl or other predatory bird? Very unlikely, although I have seen some extremely large owls here occasionally. I’ve included a picture of a massive white barn owl, with a stated wingspan of 15 feet. I’ve definitely never seen anything that big down here. Or anywhere else for that matter.

La Lechuza seems to me to be a mythological demon. Always included in cautionary tales to ensure our continued good behavior. I have to confess an affinity for regional folklore such as this. From hauntings to creatures such as our witch here. If you have any of your own, please feel free to share it with the rest of us. Until next time, as always, stay spooked everyone…” -Glenn Harrison

Glenn Harrison (Hardcore Paranormal-Facebook)

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