Monday, March 29, 2010

The Legend of "El Caleuche"

Since we're on the subject of legends, here is another one that has been around in Chile for ages. It is the legend of a phantom ship that haunts the coast of Chiloe in the South of Chile. The Caleuche is a large phantom ship sailing the seas around ChiloƩ at night. It appears on foggy nights as a beautiful and bright sailing ship, always full of lights and with the sounds of a party onboard, but quickly disappears again. The myths claim it is crewed by the drowned, who are brought to the ship by three mythological figures from Chiloe: two sisters: the "sirena chilota" (mermaid from Chiloe), "la Pincoya" (a mythical sea creature shaped like a beautiful woman) and her brother, "Pincoy," a male water spirit. It is said that the ship possesses the power to transform unfortunates into animals or inert objects. What other folk tales do you know?