If you ever find yourself travelling through the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz or Hidalgo, try not to wander the streets after the Sun has set on the horizon. Many claim that when they wandered through the main avenues by themselves with the Moon high in the sky, a sinister laugh pervades the desolated streets and a long shadow extends up on the walls.
This is El Charro Negro (The Black Charro/Horseman). Those who have seen him say he’s a tall, thin, good-looking man clad in a fine black charro outfit who’s always riding a sullen horse as black as the night.
Many claim it’s the Devil himself, disguised to hoodwink his victims, other say it’s just a wandering soul looking for a little bit of company…
The story of Adela, a woman considered fairly liberal for her time, has been passed down by word of mouth. While other ladies would prefer to stay at home during nighttime, Adela would take long nightly walks and visit some paramours of hers. One of many similar nights, Adela ran into a man dressed like a charro riding on horseback. Said man, aided by flattery, sweet-talk and charm, convinced Adela he’d take her on the back of his horse to wherever she wanted. Dazzled by the man’s captivating personality, Adela agreed to the ride but as soon as she sat on the back of the horse, it suddenly turned into a red-hot fiery wraith and the flames started licking at Adela’s flesh voraciously.
Adela’s screams of pain and horror immediately put the close by neighbours on alert and they stepped out to see what was happening… but it was too late. The Black Charro had taken the unwary woman down to the furthest recesses of hell at full gallop.
There’s another version of this story which, word has it, only happens to male victims. Witnesses both young and old, who claim to have seen El Charro Negro, affirm he settles for walking down with them while on the road, making small talk. If, by chance, there happens to be a church on the roadside, the Charro will kindly take his leave and start walking down a different path but if he offers to help carry luggage or offers a bag full of gold coins he must be turned down sharply, otherwise the traveller will suffer the same fate as Adela.
This story has been passed down on the streets of several states in the Mexican Republic since the 1930s and still nowadays there are people who claim to have been joined by the dismal character, but there’s none left who dare accept the ride or the money.