Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Help - there is a witch on the roof
Chivirico is staying here for his summer holidays. The other morning, having slept like a log all night, he told me he had heard something on the roof.
As the house is three storeys high, and the roof slopes and has a big overhang, nothing can get up there – not even a rat. I told him it must have been a bird.
The following morning at 6 am, I heard something on the roof, and if it was a bird it was wearing hob nailed boots. It scampered around for around 10 minutes and then silence again.
I told my husband when he woke up and he quite calmly said “It is a witch”. He said they live in the countryside and come when there is a child in the house. They suck the blood from the children, but only if they have not been baptized. He was deadly serious.
I decided to do some research, and speaking to the neighbours they say it is not a witch but a Ciguapa (pronounced see – gwa – pah) and they are well aware of it/her around here.
Ciguapas have the form of a female with brown or dark blue skin, and very long manes of smooth, glossy hair that covers their otherwise naked bodies. They supposedly inhabit the high and remote mountains of the Dominican Republic and are beautiful but evil.
They only come out at night and are very difficult to follow as their footprints go backwards as their feet are backward facing. Some people believe that they bring death, and it is said that one should not look them in the eye, otherwise the person is at risk of being bewitched permanently. Also, the only sound they make is said to be a kind of whine or chirping.
Luckily for me and Chivirico they are not into women or children. It is said that usually only men see them and they are so beautiful they lure the men into the forest to have sex with them only to kill them afterwards.
Legend says that the ciguapa are the spirits of Taino women who died while hiding from Spanish settlers in the Cordillera Central – the central mountain area. They haunt the mountain trails by night, seducing young men to their deaths. However it has been argued that the myth was brought to the island by slaves during the colonial period.
They are known to be insanely jealous, so it is said that if you hear them howling, hold on to your man to stop him following her as that would lead to certain death for him. Gulp!