[*] Lechuza are shape-shifting witches, according to stories told by by Mexican and Texano people.
[*] A Lechuza appears to be a large bird with a woman’s face and hair.
[*] In folklore, a Lechuza begins as a normal human woman who sells her soul to the devil in order to be given mystical powers and becomes a bruja.
[*] Afterwards, they continue to look like normal women during the day, but at night they become Lechuza — with owl-like bodies and human heads.
[*] At night Lechuza fly through the air or perch somewhere hidden and look for prey.
[*] They make the noise of a human whistle or a crying infant in order to attract attention.
[*] If you hear the sound of a Lechuza, you are not only in danger of becoming their meal — it is believe to be an omen that someone in your family will die.
[*] Lechuza can carry a full grown man in their talons.
[*] If they are especially hungry, a Lechuza will swoop down and try to run a car off the road to get to the people inside.
[*] Lechuza have the power to control the weather and can make it storm.
[*] They also have the power to make your vehicle’s battery die.
[*] Lechuza can not be harmed by guns or most other weapons.
[*] The only thing that drives a Lechuza away is salt. You can also try screaming/cussing at it.
Story One: “Growing up, I was told by my siblings that La Lechuza was this huge black bird that would visit your home during the night and either sit outside your window or sit on top of the roof making whistling noises until you couldn’t take it anymore. Once you went outside, it would peck or scratch you.”
Story Two: “The story my grandmother told me was that Lechuzas were witches who changed their bodies into owls so that they could travel around. (Basically shapeshifters lol) She told me if I saw a lechuza (big owl) I was not to look it in the eye because if I did, it would snatch my soul at night when I slept. She also said they could be omens of death and misfortune.”
Story Three: “I SWEAR on my life that I saw that bird! I saw it when I was about 9 or 10. I lived south of San Antonio along 35 between 2 little towns called Von Ormy and Lytle. I was at home alone waiting for my dad to get home from work. I was on the couch watching Spongebob (which was is my favorite show). It was a bit late, the sun had set maybe an hour or so before, but the moon was full and lit everything enough that you could see like a dim light was on. My grandma’s house was on the same plot of land about a few hundred yards in front of my house. I looked out the window because I saw movement near her back door. I thought my dad had stopped by there first and was walking home. I ran outside on the front porch to wave at him and yell hello.
But it wasn’t my dad that I saw out there.
I saw this MASSIVE bird. I mean this thing had to have been the size of big bird from sesame street (My kid memory might be exaggerating that a little, but it was huge. Much bigger than any hawk or buzzard I’d seen before). It was sitting on the picnic table in my grandma’s yard and it was looking dead at me. I froze, but didn’t feel too scared. I was just really interested in this giant bird outside. It was jet black. All I could see was the outline of it and the eyes shining in the moonlight. I slowly went back inside and peeked at it through the window on the front door. I was so amazed by it. I had never seen anything like it. We stared at each other like this for a few minutes. Suddenly, it spread it’s wings and flew away. I told my dad about it when he got home about an episode of Spongebob (~15 mins) later and he laughed it off, but I told my grandma the next morning while eating breakfast and she went crazy. She started saying prayers and rubbing eggs on me and stuff. Then she told me the story of La Lechuza, which I had never heard before. It sent shivers down my spine knowing that it was staring at me so intensely. After thinking about it for a few days though, I started to wonder maybe if it wasn’t there to hurt me, but to warn me about something.
Sure enough, a few weeks later a huge storm came through. There was a funnel cloud nearby, but it never actually touched down. The winds did do a lot of damage to my house, but my grandma’s was completely untouched. And that picnic table was the only piece of furniture outside that wasn’t blown away.”
Story Four:“I remember [my grandmother] telling me that La Lechuza was a bruja that sold her soul to the devil and she liked to take away people who were doing “bad things”. I think my grandma was really vague because I was young and she didn’t wanna scare me. She also told me that some people think that if you saw La Lechuza and she didn’t try to chase you or hurt you, that it she was there to warn you of something bad coming.”
Story Five:” I live in south Texas. I have been researching on the lechuza tonight. I was driving back to town and a huge white owl flew in front of my truck. I would say it was coincidence but this is the third time in three weeks that this has happened to me. Twice coming back from out of town and once at midnight getting out of work.I have been searching for sites on common birds to this region and The owls in this part of Texas don’t come close to the bright white color and size of the Owls I have almost crashed into as they fly in front of my windshield. I did not believe in these Mexican urban legend, but after getting hexed in Panama I know anything is possible.”
[*] Most people do not survive an encounter with a Lechuza, so your best bet is to run away from whistling or crying noises you hear at night, and not travel on deserted roads after dark.
The Lechuza: An Overview