Cuzco’s Demons Haunt Streets, Lakes, and Forests

Cuzco has an intense and long set of traditions and beliefs. Our grandparents tell us many things. They talk about those who used to live here. What they tell us is true even though many people never relieve them. Only those who saw the events affirm their truth.

They tell about the condenados, the condemned ones. There are many stories about the dead souls., like these, which cannot rest in peace. This is because is life these were bad people who harmed other human beings.

These souls make their presence known after midnight. They begin to moan with a high voice. Dogs are the only animals which can see them and they immediately begin to howl disconsolately. The older people around us say that if you do not believe in these condemned souls you can put some of the eye crud of a dog in your eyes and you will see them too. They will have an impact on you.


A Colonial House where Nobody Can Live in Because the Condenados do not Permit (Photo Wayra)
A Colonial House where Nobody Can Live in Because the Condenados do not Permit (Photo Wayra)

The condenado is once kind of demon that lives among us. Another, about which people speak a lot is the “caracha”. It looks like a man who dresses in black, from his feet to his head. Every time someone comes on him, he bites the back of their heads and necks until he leaves them dead.

This story is from Ayacucho, a nearby Peruvian department, where they say that a father had committed incest with his daughter and then every night he would walk down the isolated streets of Ayacucho where he would find victims whose heads he could bite and thus kill them.


In Cuzco many people comment on the Lake Huacarpay that is an hour outside the city of Cuzco. They say that within this lake lies the famous bell of Maria Angola. At night, if someone is near the lake, it comes out with chains and traps them. It pulls them into the lake. Many people have disappeared along the lakeshore.

The Mystery of Huacarpay Lake (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)
The Mystery of Huacarpay Lake (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

People also say that the ducks that are on the lake cannot be trapped, in contrast. Many people have tried to catch them and the ducks always come out of the competition victorious. They say that the aura of Maria Angola protects them and that people will never be able to trap any of the lake’s ducks.

The chullan, also called chaqui (or single foot) is an evil bird from the jungle. This bird that has only one foot is commonly found in Puerto Maldonado. They say that this bird will come to where the jungle meets the highlands, what they call the ceja de selva, and that if a person who is alone sighted it then it will look like someone they know. It will fool you saying it knows where there is a lot of gold. If you fall for this it will take you down into the jungle in order for this life to lose you.

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