Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Veiled Lady

A legend submitted by Communications Coordinator, Patricia Huerta.

Circa 1700, Guayaquil, Ecuador: She is never seen before midnight. Where did she come from? Nobody knows, but any man wandering around at night is sure to see her walking just six feet ahead of him, close, but unattainable. Although her face is always wrapped in a veil or shawl, anyone can tell she is beautiful, and as she walks, the soft scent of flowers follows.

Every Casanova, old or young, feels irresistibly attracted to her and inspired to tell her some flattering words. Yet she walks ahead, as he follows her footsteps… walking and walking, she never changes her pace, walking in a steady rhythm. No matter how fast he walks, he can never reach her. Under the influence of her charm, he pursues her. Expertly traversing alleyways and crossing streets, the starched fabric of her skirt swooshes in the darkness. She invites him to follow her by simply nodding her lovely head.

A vision only for her pursuer, no one else sees her. He follows her, hypnotized, not knowing where they are going. Then suddenly, the veiled lady stops, and with military precision, she turns around and uncovers her face. The beautiful face with its porcelain complexion and sparkling eyes stare back at the man. But in an instant the magnificent features melt into a cadaverous skull and her flowery perfume is replaced with the smell of decay. “Now that you can see what I am, follow me if you will,” she tells him.

She quickly turns around and vanishes into an old abandoned house. Paralyzed and trembling, her pursuer stands in the darkness, terrified and confused.

Legend has it that this lost soul was once a beautiful woman who gave into the sins of the flesh. In her death she walks the streets at night searching for an eligible suitor.

Portrait by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, courtesy of

1 comment:

Heather M said...

Oooooooooh, That is really scarey!