The Legend of “El Caleuche”

Since we’re on the subject of legends, here is another one that has been around in Chile for ages. It is the legend of a phantom ship that haunts the coast of Chiloe in the South of Chile. The Caleuche is a large phantom ship sailing the seas around Chiloé at night. It appears on foggy nights as a beautiful and bright sailing ship, always full of lights and with the sounds of a party onboard, but quickly disappears again. The myths claim it is crewed by the drowned, who are brought to the ship by three mythological figures from Chiloe: two sisters: the “sirena chilota” (mermaid from Chiloe), “la Pincoya” (a mythical sea creature shaped like a beautiful woman) and her brother, “Pincoy,” a male water spirit. It is said that the ship possesses the power to transform unfortunates into animals or inert objects. What other folk tales do you know?

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