El Silbón

El Silbón, The Whistler, is a legendary figure that hails from Colombia, specifically Los Llanos. The legend of El Silbón was born, allegedly, when a vindictive young man murdered his father out of rage when he did not bring home the groceries he requested (a deer heart). The rest of his family was horrified at this cruel act and his brother punished him by whipping him and spreading hot pepper on the wounds and chased him out of the family home with a dog. It is unclear how he became the legendary El Silbón, seemingly ageless and with great power, but he has been doomed to carry a bag of his father’s bone and torture the living ever since.

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Although El Silbón was once human, his appearance has become warped and changes from his years hunting in the plains. He is said to be alarmingly thin and surprisingly tall, towering above all others at seven feet tall. He wears a tattered white suit, a wide-brimmed hat, and shoes that are close to falling apart. It is said the dog his brother sent after him is still after him, and whenever El Silbón slows down too much he bites and attacks him. 

But how did he get his name? El Silbón, which translates as The Whistler,  because he whistles as he makes his way slowly across the plains. The tune is said to be the musical notes C,D,E,FG,A,B (in that order). It is said his whistle, in particular, catches the ears of drunks and angry men. Whistling alone would be upsetting enough, but El Silbón likes to toy with his victims and changes the distance of his whistling. It is said that the whistling sounds close when he is far away and out of sight, and far away when he is right on his victims back.

He is said to particularly hate womanizers and drunks. If the El Silbón runs into a drunk, it is said he will suck the blood and alcohol from them, wizening them and killing them. To womanizers, he tears them limb from limb and adds their bones to the sack on his back, along with his father and other victims.

However, it is said that by the time you notice the whistling at all you are already doomed. Although some are said to have escaped El Silbón, very few live to tell their tales. One can escape by carrying around a whip, having hot peppers on their person, or even making sure their dog is near them. These are the only earthly things that El Silbón fears and could keep him at bay.

This image, taken by Alejo Rendón (David), is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.