Visit Trinidad and Tobago and changes are that you come across one of the many legends that have been passed on from one generation to the next. Most of them are scary “camp fire” stories and not for the faint-hearted. Read about the Soucouyant, Gang Gang Sara and the wicked woman who tries to lure young men deep into the woods… more...
Visit Trinidad and Tobago and changes are that you come across one of the many legends that have been passed on from one generation to the next. Most of them are scary “camp fire” stories and not for the faint-hearted. Read about the Soucouyant, Gang Gang Sara and the wicked woman who tries to lure young men deep into the woods…
“La Diablesse” roams at night. She has eyes like burning coals and a face resembling that of a corpse, but hides it well under a beautiful wide-brimmed hat and veil over her face. She is dressed exquisitely in a blouse with puffy sleeves and a long skirt. She has one bad foot, which she tries to hide. La Diablesse turns up at village dances, where the women present immediately dislike her, but she utterly charms the men and then asks one of them to take her home. He follows her, totally under her spell. She leads him deep into the woods before she suddenly disappears. Unable to find his way home, the poor fellow stumbles around in the dark woods until he either falls to his death into a river or ravine. Even worse, it could be that he gets attacked and killed by wild hogs. If you feel you cross paths with La Diablesse on your way home, quickly take off all your clothes, turn them inside out and put them on again since this is the only way to protect yourself from her spell.
Mama Dlo" or "Mama Dglo" whose name is derived from the French "maman de l' eau" meaning "mother of the water", is one of the lesser-known personalities of Trinidad and Tobago folklore. A hideous creature, her lower half takes the form of an anaconda. She is sometimes thought to be the lover of Papa Bois and old hunters tell stories of stumbling upon the two in the 'High Woods'. They also tell of hearing a loud, cracking sound which is said to be the sound made by her tail as she snaps it on the surface of a mountain pool or a still lagoon. Mortal men who commit crimes against the forest, like burning down trees or indiscriminately putting animals to death or fouling the rivers could find themselves married to her for life, both this one and the one that follows. Sometimes Mama Dglo takes the form of a beautiful woman 'singing silent songs on still afternoons, sitting in the sunlight at the water's edge, lingering for a golden moment. Then… a flash of green and she is gone. Some would say: "Did you see a fish jump?" "Yes, but it did see it going back into the water again!" If you were to meet Mama Dlo in the forest and wish to escape her, take off your left shoe, turn it upside down and immediately leave the scene, walking backwards until you reach home
The “Soucouyant" is the old woman who has made a pact with the devil to be able to change her self into all kinds of different forms like a ball of fire or an animal. She lives alone at the end of the village road and is seldom seen. Her house is always closed up as she sleeps away the day. As evening draws near, she stirs and sheds her old and wrinkled skin, which she deposits into a mortar that she carefully hides. Now, as a glowing ball of flames, she rises up through the roof and with a shrill cry that makes the village dogs howl, she flies through the night in search of a male victim in order to suck his 'life-blood' from him. The Soucouyant has to slip back into her skin before dawn breaks or the cock-crows, so she hurries through the forest for her home, finds the mortar with her wretched skin and proceeds to put it on. One day there is something's wrong, her skin burns like fire; it seems to shrink. "Skin, kin, kin, you na no me, you na no me", she sings, crooning softly. "You na no me, old skin." Then, with horror, she realizes the dreadful thing that has occurred. The village boys and men have filled her skin with coarse salt and pepper and will soon come with a drum of boiling tar, the priest and his silver cross, the church bells and soon that will be the end of her. If you wish to discover the Soucouyant in your village, empty 100 lbs of rice (approximately 50 kilo) at the village crossroads. She will be compelled to pick them up, one grain at a time. This is how you'll uncover her disguise.
Mama Malade is the spirit of a woman who has died in childbirth, Mama Malade roams the night in search of people whose spirit she wants to take with her to the other side. She gets unsuspecting victims by waiting until the dead of night and making the sound of a crying child. Anyone who looks out of the window will be taken by her.
And finally there is Gang Gang Sara. The legend of Gang Gang Sara, the African witch of Golden Lane, has its origins in the latter half of the 18th century. On a stormy night she was blown from her home in Africa across the sea to Tobago and landed quite safely at the village of Les Coteaux. From there she journeyed to Golden Lane in search of her family who had long ago been transported there. She lived to a great age and is remembered for her wisdom and kindness. She became the loving wife of Tom, whom legend says she had known as a child in her native Africa. After her Tom had died, Gang Gang Sara wished to return to her native land. She climbed a great silk cotton tree and tried to fly, not knowing that she had lost the ability to fly as a result of having eaten salt. To this day the names of Tom and Sara can be seen inscribed upon the head stones of their graves where they have been laid side by side for almost two hundred years.