Legends and Folklore of Belize
There is more to the legend and lore of Belize than stories of buried treasure and visions of pirates that have long since passed. Belizeans are also haunted by witches, grey ladies, and shapeshifters. Even the guests who visit knowing the legends and folklore of Belize leave wondering…maybe they’re not just fabled fiction…
Xtabai – The Shapeshifting Seductress
Wherever you go in Belize and whatever you do, don’t fall for the striking good looks of the Xtabai. She may appear to be a beautiful woman, but she’s really an evil spirit who hangs around Belize’s ceiba trees, luring unsuspecting tourists in for a passionate embrace. She will lull you into a deep, hypnotic sleep, from which you might never awaken. If you do rise in the morning, you’ll realize you’re clinging to a thorny tree and not a gorgeous woman. The wounds you receive from this stabbing embrace cause fevers that are very often fatal.
The Xtabai is also a clever shapeshifter, capable of taking on the form of a snake, a fleshless being, and even people you know. So, if you’ve had a few too many cocktails, make sure you know your way back to your room – and don’t be led off by beautiful seductresses hiding in the jungle.
La Llorona – The Crying Woman
If you bring your children on vacation with you, keep them close at all times so the black-haired lady, known as “The Crying Woman”, doesn’t carry them off into the jungle where they’ll be lost forever. You see, La Llorona lost her own children in the jungle, and to this day, she roams Belizean forests snatching up others’ kids in an attempt to relieve her grief.
Locals also tell of another version of La Llorona who lures healthy men into the jungle after they’ve had one too many drinks at the bar. Be warned – don’t ever follow strange, beautiful women into the jungle as it might turn out to be La Llorona, a horribly ugly evil spirit who harms drunken men with her ear-piercing scream.
The “Grey Lady” Ghost of St. George’s Caye
If you make your way to St. George’s Caye, you’ll surely hear residents talk about the Grey Lady Ghost that inhabits the island. Before you write it off as a silly ghost story, know this: when archaeologists investigated the island, they found evidence to prove that there’s truth in the tale. The trouble is, different versions of the Grey Lady Ghost exist in Belize.
Some say the Grey Lady Ghost is the ghost of Captain Morgan’s lady, whom he forced to walk the plank, and who now roams St. George’s Caye in search of her lover. Others claim she’s a headless woman wandering the Caye at night looking for her husband who was lost at sea during a bad storm. Or perhaps you’ll see an apparition of a young girl who died tragically in a hurricane. But don’t worry, she’s a friendly ghost who will cause you no harm.
However, if you come across either of the other two grey lady ghosts, they might not be so benevolent. To reduce your chances of encountering the first Grey Lady Ghost, heed the locals’ advice and never speak ill of her and stay inside on stormy nights…
The White Witch That Haunts the Island
There is also a legend of a white witch that haunts the very island on which Belize Dive Haven sits. The story goes that she is the only one who knows the secret location of the island’s buried treasure. Our own staff member, Felix, knows the terror she instills following a visit she paid him one frightful night. While she did reveal the location of the treasure, Felix was paralyzed by fear and too terrified to remember where she said it was.
So it seems there is more to this tale of treasure buried somewhere on the island. If you go looking for it, just beware of phantoms trying to lead you astray…
You’ve been warned!
Just 30 miles from Belize City, Belize Dive Haven is located in pristine Turneffe Atoll. Consisting of creeks, lagoons, mangrove islands and cays, the atoll is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 different species of stony corals as well as birds, turtles, manatees and dolphins.