So Halloween is upon and nothing gets us in the mood for ghoulish festivities like a few eerie tales. While Belizeans don’t really believe in the headless horseman or Bloody Mary we have our fair share of Belizean folklore characters whose stories will have you biting your nails.

Different cultural groups tell tales of different ghouls, and elders swear that in a time long ago these characters walked among us and may in fact still be around today.

  • Tata Duende– Believed to be a hideous goblin that dwells in the jungle. Belizean children were often warned never to venture into the jungle to play because of Duende, a short little man, with backwards feet, a large red hat and NO THUMBS. An encounter with Duende will result in the request of him wanting to see your hands. Avoid at all costs to show your hands toTata Duende and if you must be sure to not expose your thumbs, because of course he will chop them off and take them for his own.
  • La Llorona- The tale of the weeping woman whose children drowned in a river has been one told for several generations. La Llorona is often heard weeping in the wee hours of the night, and often lures people that are curious to assist this weeping woman, or drunken men that become captivated by her figure. Once La Llorona has gotten your attention she lures you deeper and deeper into the jungle until you become lost or waters until you ultimately drown. Believe that are said to have survived encounters with La Llorona often fall delusional and sick for several weeks after.
  • “Bad Breeze”– While this technically isn’t a character Bad Breeze is definiatly something all Belizean children were taught to avoid. “Bad Breeze” is used to describe the passing of an evil spirit. The scary thing about Bad Breeze is that there is no set time or hour in which one may The passing of a “Bad Breeze” often leaves the face of the person it passes forever disfigured. Very eerie.
La LLorona

These are only a few of our Belizean tales. So this Halloween beware of La Llorona, try to avoid the Bad Breeze and stay out of the jungle….if you love your thumbs!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our stories as much as we have growing up. Stories of encounters with each character differ from family to family so if ever in Belize, don’t be afraid to ask of folklore accounts. While some might be scary, it’s pretty fun to hear all the tales.

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About the Author: Tamara Sniffin

I’m a sucker for a fuzzy face, a feathered face, a face with fins or even one with scales! I am in love with the creatures and the flora that are synonymous with Belize and every opportunity I have to learn more about them and explore their wild habitats I am there! I’m the happiest when I’m snorkeling the reef and swimming with turtles, however my passion is not just limited to critters! Laced throughout this compact jungle gem of a country live the Kriol, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo and Spanish people, and experiencing each culture, especially their celebrations is one of my favorite pastimes.

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