Hispanic myths are bursting with various blood feasting monsters, but unlike most European vampire myths, which are largely based on Dracula lore, Hispanic blood drinkers take on a huge number of forms. Animal forms are particularly common, like the Chupacabra, who is called Bigfoot’s Latin American cousin. Or the Peuchen, a giant flying snake which uses a hypnotic gaze to paralyze any victim before taking a slurp. Or the Dip, a large black dog, lame in one leg, with a demonic passion for draining his victims dry.
However, there are also countless female monsters with a taste for the red stuff. Here are three to get you started:
Every night La Guajona rises from her underground lair to roam the streets of Spain looking for blood. Clad head to toe in a black cloak, Guajona manages to pass for a harmless old woman. But beneath her robes she hides a hideous form. Her hands and feet resemble that of a bird; they are knobbed and scaly. Straggly black hair conceals her face, which is covered in bright yellow skin, and studded with hairy warts and weeping pustules. A single tooth juts like a slender dagger from the dark pit of her mouth. It is stained the color of ebony, and the tooth reaches well past her pointed chin.
Guajona seeks out homes with young children as they are her preferred victims. When she finds a sleeping innocent, she drives her single tooth deep into the sleeping child’s frail little veins and feasts on their blood. Although Guajona is not reported to kill the children, she will leave them so bloodless that when they wake in the morning they are discolored to an unearthly white and weakened past exhaustion.
This Caribbean shape-shifter also goes about by day as an old woman, but by night she sloughs off her wrinkled and saggy old skin. Once free of her human-looking costume, she assumes her rightful form, that of a blinding white fireball. Taking flight, she darts across the night sky looking for blood. The Soucouyant can gain entry into homes by cracks too small for other villains to enter. Even a keyhole is sufficient for her to slide inside.
By unknown means she extracts blood from her sleeping victims, leaving blue-black bruises on any soft parts of their arms or legs as proof of her nocturnal visit. Although Soucouyant usually leaves her victims alive, taking too much blood will kill them and transform them into another Soucouyant.
Exposing a Soucouyant is popular ritual because her skin is highly prized by people who practice black magic. Also, those wishing to kill a Soucouyant must grind her abandoned skin to a powder and then mix it with rock salt. If you can destroy her skin before daybreak’s first light, Soucouyant with not be able to take her daytime form and will dissipate forever into the sunshine.
A Colombian shape-shifter who often appears to wood cutters or other lone travelers near the jungle or forest where she makes her home. Tunda can make herself appear very beautiful, but with one telling flaw. She always appears with a wooden leg. The leg resembles that of a kitchen utensil called a molinillo. Far from being the comical creature she sounds, Tunda is cunning.
She will distract her intended prey by assuming the appearance of someone they love, a wife, or child. When stalking children, the Tunda always appears as their mothers. Once she has them enthralled, she will feed them shrimps to entice them to follow her deep into the jungle. Once she lures them far from help, she turns on them and sucks them bloodless. But Tunda will not stop there: she also devours her victim’s whole body in a feeding frenzy reminiscent of a wild animal.
Although there are commonalities between these women, they are all quite unique monsters and each one is a worthy addition to vampire lore.