Many myths, legends and superstitions have grown up surrounding the town of El Bramadero and have been passed down from generation to generation, becoming cemented over time in the community’s beliefs and traditions. For this week’s blog, we thought we would delve into the history of El Bramadero and share with you a few of our favourite myths and stories from the community.
El Caballo Negro
Many years ago, on the site where the Catholic church of El Bramadero now stands, there was a big house owned by a farmer. The house was later abandoned but men still used the area to chop wood. Guards surrounded the house at night and reported mysterious sightings of a black horse ridden by a man dressed all in black - now known as El Caballo Negro.
Other sightings of El Caballo Negro have surrounded the town. Before El Bramadero was as populated and busy as it is now, each night before retiring to bed Doña Epifania and Don Rafael would use the old latrine at the back of their house. Doña Epifania would always use the latrine first and one night she heard the click clack of horse hooves outside. She assumed it was the sound of a normal horse but Don Rafael, who was waiting outside, swore he saw a huge black horse with a dark rider staring at him through the dark. Thinking nothing of it they went to bed, but the following night the horse appeared at exactly the same time and stopped and starred at Don Rafael. On the third night, they heard the familiar click clack of horse hooves coming towards the house and they could make out the outline of the horse across the river. Grabbing machetes and torches, Epifania and Rafael ran down to the river but the horse and rider were nowhere to be seen. Giving up hope of finding the horse, they knocked on the doors of people living by the river but no one had seen or heard of a black horse and a mysterious rider. Many myths have surrounded the sightings of El Caballo Negro but the legend has never been solved.
The pretty swimming spot, La Posota, near El Bramadero, is a popular area with both locals and ICS volunteers. However, it hasn’t always been the case. Legend has it that two brothers, Jesús and Ramón, visited the spot, jumped into the pool and started swimming. The brothers mysteriously disappeared and the town believed they must have drowned. However, 22 days later the brothers reappeared and returned to town bearing fruit. The brothers claimed they had found an enchanted, subterranean vegetable patch at the base of the pool. In the following years, others have disappeared in the exact same spot and have never returned. Fear surrounded the area for many years and it wasn’t until much later when priests began using the swimming spot for baptisms that the myth of the underwater town was dispelled.
The Legend of San Vicen
In the nearest village, El Rodeo, a woman’s scream can often be heard at night coming from the tops of the mountains. Legend has it that the scream belongs to a woman who was murdered by her son and her spirit continues to haunt the village. If you hear the scream and reply with ‘¡Hola!’, the spirit of the woman will chase you. However, if you reply to her ‘¿Qué te pasa, San Vicen?’ (What’s going on, Saint Vicen?) her demon will leave you be.
Don Sixto’s grandfather often travelled to a house in El Rodeo to pray. One day, he decided to leave early and head home, alone. In the distance, he heard a faint scream. A few seconds later he heard the scream a second time. Unaware of the Legend of San Vicen he called out ‘¿Hola?’. The screaming rushed towards him and he could hear a women’s scream over his shoulder. Sprinting home, he slammed his door shut and before his eyes he saw a mule breathing fire. He closed his eyes and prayed to the Lord…
A famous Nicaraguan legend, which is popular in El Bramadero, states that there are two dogs, one black and one white, and if they spot an individual they will follow them home, mimicking every sound they make. If you step on leaves, a couple of seconds later you’ll hear the echo of the same leaves rustling behind you. If you cross the river, you’ll hear the sound of paws following you over the stepping stones. As long as you don’t try to fight or provoke the dogs, they will follow you home but will leave you be. Legend has it that as soon as you start to provoke the dogs, they will transform into huge monsters.
Four years ago, Don Sixto’s cousin was walking home to his house in El Bramadero when a dog started to follow him. Thinking nothing of it, he threw a rock at the dog to scare it away. Not a moment later, the dog transformed into a huge monster and attacked. It is said that Don Sixto’s cousin has never quite been the same again.
Written by ICS volunteers Rachel Cole and Theo Briffa