I have several stories that I heard as a kid in El Salvador that scared the daylights out of me
You have to understand that these stories were told around a bonfire... there was no electricity... think prairie times... Anyway... where we lived... come nightime and you would start hearing wolves howl... so there were times when parents, aunts, uncles got together and sometimes the light of the moon was so bright... we didn't do a fire...
My uncle sometimes would act out these stories... and do the different voice of the people. The one I remember most is the story of the Siguanaba.
Story comes from El Salvador & Guatemala.
According to the legend, she makes herself appear to men who have been unfaithful. She appears near rivers around midnight. Men see her bathing and love her long and beautiful black hair which she combs with a golden comb. They get mesmerized by her beautiful body.
The man who sees her gets crazy over her. Then, the Siguanaba calls him and makes him follow her until they get close to the edge of the mountain. She then shows her face to him and it is the face of a dead woman, her eyes are bulgy and become red like they were bleeding. Her delicate skin becomes wrinkled and sort of green, her nails grow and she gives this laugh that paralizes the man in terror.
I found this post made by this guy who tells of this story. It is the story of "The Siguanaba"
When my dad was 8 years of age, he had a scary encounter with this hideous ghost. His father always made him do errands for him at night. One day at midnight, my father's father told him to go check on all of their animals. My dad had to cross the River of Orcones, which is where La Siguanaba is. So as he was crossing, he looked to his right and saw a old woman sitting on a rock in the river. With him he carried a flashlight, and a cross around his neck. As he crossed the river she was staring at him until he was out of sight, and he heard a cackle behind him.
My dad told me he was shaking, he was so scared. To tell you the truth, this experience has caused my dad to be a bit crazy. He has nightmares about her often, and talks in his sleep, feeling disturbed. He shouts out and prays "Hail Mary" in spanish. But he has also told me many stories about what happened to his neighbors.
One of my dad's neighbors was riding his horse across the river one night. As he was riding, he felt something that was behind him, grabbing him tight. As he glanced back, he saw the hideous distorted face of La Siguanaba. With her long gray hair, old ugly face, and white gown. The horse, of course, felt this strange thing and its instincts told it to panic, so it was kicking and kicking trying to get both of them off so it could run faster. But the guy was holding onto the horse very tightly, and the witch ghost was holding on him very tightly. As the horse was galloping closer and closer to home, La Siguanaba suddenly left. When the guy came home, he was not able to talk. His tongue was all twisted. A guy in the house straightened it out, and the guy told his story.
La Siguanaba (also known as La Llorona) Most often comes to people who are alone rather than in groups. But I have heard of experiences where it was in groups. He also told me that she changes. When she's first seen, she appears normal, but as one gets closer, she looks ugly and distorted. She also goes after children, because her son was drowned in the river as a baby.
This one other story was about a woman who lived right by the river. She put her baby on a hammock and swung him gently, then when inside for a few minutes to make tortillas (Because that's what us Salvadorians do). When she went back outside, the hammock was swinging violently, going very high, fast, and out of control. The worried mother rushed to the hammock and stopped it. As she stopped it, she found her baby was gone. The scared panicing mother told everyone and the whole neighborhood searched for the child. After a long time of searching, the baby was found on a rock, not able to speak nor hear anymore. My dad knows this guy, but he's all grown up now, still unable to speak nor hear.
La Siguanaba is found how she thinks the person coming to the river would like her to see. Like if there is a man who has a lot of women and wants a lot of women, then she will appear beautiful, but with her face covered. As the man gets closer, she signals him to get even more closer so close as to hugging distance. Then, she gives him a hug and starts cackling. The guy will look at her and she'll be ugly and old and scary.
If you're running, the she'll try and chase you, cackling and laughing at you as if it were a joke.