3 min

Ghost story from Costa Rica.

A young man on his way home from the capital San José stopped at an inn to quench his thirst. He had earned a good penny during his visit to the city and offered the beer freely, both to himself and to others. When darkness fell, the man realized that he had stayed too long. Happy and giddy with booze, he mounted his horse to set off. Under a tree he saw a lone figure. It was an unusually beautiful girl, with a sorrowful expression on her face. The man asked her how it was.

"Good lord," answered the girl. “I am on my way to Bacages to visit my sick mother, but I have walked a long time and am so tired!”

"Jump up behind me on the horse," said the man morosely. "I'm going to my friend's ranch south of town."

The girl thanked and was helped onto the horse. She grabbed the man's shoulders and it was off on the dark roads. After a while the horse suddenly started galloping. It was sweating and tossing its head. No matter what the man did, he could not calm the animal down. He felt the girl's grip tighten on his shoulders and finally her nails dug in so much it hurt.

"The lady will probably have to let go after a while," said the man to his traveling companion. But when he glanced over one shoulder, he saw that it was a bony hand with real predatory claws holding him. He was completely frozen with horror and understood that it was hardly the beautiful girl he was in the company of anymore. He felt a sulphurous breath coming along his neck and wondered what horror he would see if he looked over his other shoulder. Finally, he plucked up courage and turned his head. The girl's fair face had been replaced by a horse's head with coal-hot eyes and long fangs. The creature neighed and snorted, and clawed at the horse's belly with its feet, making the animal limp even worse. At last the man caught sight of his friend's ranch and in a haste he drew in the reins. Then the horse stopped abruptly and both passengers fell off. With that, only the man reached the ground. His creepy traveling companion had disappeared. His friend had heard the commotion and came running.

"What has happened here", he wondered, and the comrade explained in a trembling voice about the adventure he had been a part of.

"Aha!" said the friend. “You have ridden with Cegua. Have you never heard of Cegua?” His companion didn't have that and wanted to know what he had been through.

“Cegua is a demon that travels along the roads at night. She's always looking for a lone hiker who doesn't take care of himself - a slob! I can feel you oozing booze a long way, my friend. You were a perfect victim. You were indeed lucky to get away with your life and sanity!” His friend thought so too and never looked at a liquor bottle again.

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