The legend of La Carreta Chillona is one of the most chilling Salvadoran legends, in fact, it has been transmitted from generation to generation in the form of stories told by those who have had the opportunity to hear it at midnight. In some places, this legend is known as “Carreta bruja” wich means cart witch.
The legend of La Carreta Chillona began in Spain. A little boy named Terencio Pérez was adopted by a priest Fray Antolin Oviedo who taught him how to read and write.
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The priest always tried to convince the boy to become a priest. Terencio would always say no, although he promised he would be a good man who would help others.
Eventually, the priest died of old age, and Terencio moved to another town where he began to work for a doctor. He tagged along more for the urge to learn than to actually help.
With time, he learned what he needed to know. A few nights later he took advantage of this group of people that were going to take a ship to go to some distant place. He told him he was a doctor and would offer his services to them if they just took him with them; the people said yes.
Eventually, Terencio appeared in San Salvador. Because no one knew him, he lied and said he was a miraculous doctor. He began to practice his “profession,” and for the people who died in his hands, he said, “It´s God´s will.”
Those who were lucky and didn’t die had to pay him in some way. Eventually, he became rich.
One night, when Terencio was coming back from a bar, he heard a noise, as if it were footsteps. He began to walk faster and faster, until he heard the voice of the priest that took care of him when he was a child.
The ghost of priest appeared to tell him that he doesn’t have a part in this world because many people had been killed by his guilt and the knowledge that he had learned it wasn’t used to help the people.
Thus, the ghost forced him to pick up the bones of all his victims and told him to build a chariot.
When he was done, the priest told Terencio he was already dead, and he was to wander for all eternity until he laid to rest all the bones of his victims in an appropriate cemetery.
It is said that around midnight, Terencio wanders in San Salvador near small towns and villages mourning. You can hear the sound of chains and bones cracking in the distance, and there have been several accounts where people have testified to seeing him.