Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Horse-Rider of the Night

Photo taken in the Cultural House in Dulce Nombre de Maria, Chalatenango
If you search the internet for Caballero de la Noche (literally "Cowboy of the Night"), you will find an endless list of references to Batman.  However, throughout the countryside and small hamlets of El Salvador, a question asked about the Caballero de la Noche brings forth tales of fear and the devil...

The Horse-Rider of the Night is a being which causes panic and fear.  Of course, if the Devil appeared to us as himself, we would die of fright because of his monstrous image.  But as you know, the Devil is a clever devil, and to appear as an ugly animal would be absurd.  So he appears in the most attractive way possible.

It is said that a long time ago, some land-owners suddenly disappeared, and then some reappeared as dead horsemen with insides made of nothing but straw.  How did this happen?  It is said that whenever bad luck surrounded men or for reasons of life they despaired, they would call upon the devil in search of help.  Without wait, suddenly a thick swirl would form and a rider appeared, very elegantly perched on a powerful horse.  With gleaming stirrups and a grand cape, his business was to buy souls.  It pleased him that there were those who would invoke his name and accept offers of money, women, luck, a future for their children and riches in exchange for their souls.  The Horse-Rider would give seven years to his customers, during which they could enjoy all that he had offered them.  After the seven years, he would return to claim that which he had bought.





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