Terrifying Legends of Peru – Series Introduction

(Photo: Leyendas Urbanas/Facebook)

Dark mysteries lurk within the great landscapes of Peru, embedded by the folklore of the people and places that inhabit them.  This series seeks to tell these legends.

Yes, we’ve got a new series in the works.  To be honest, it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for some time.

Peru is absolutely teeming with legends.  Legends about the natural world, pre-Columbian deities, and some of a more sinister nature.  Those tales that inspire a strange mix of dread, nostalgia, and perhaps morbid curiosity are the subject matter I wish to present in this series.

When I began to research for this series, I was quickly overwhelmed by how much great material there is to work with.  Floating heads of unfaithful women, sinister alpaca spirits with human faces, and killers obsessed with collecting human fat are only a few of the bizarre and truly bone-chilling tales original to the Andean country.

Why focus on the dark and spooky tales in particular?

Because fear of the unknown transcends culture.  These kinds of “campfire” tales are the most accessible and relatable way to enter into the vast world of Peruvian mythology.

Furthermore, these stories deserve to be collected in one place and told to an audience that can truly appreciate them.  I believe that audience is here at Living in Peru.

In this series, we are going to encounter all manner of demons, gnomes, monsters, and spirits, all directly from Peruvian folklore.  As we go, if there is a particular legend that you have heard of while traveling or visiting Peru and are excited to learn more about it, please comment or write to let us know so we can consider including it in the series.

 Many of these tales are going to be told in English for the first time.

Stay tuned for terrifying tales from Peru’s desert coasts, high Andean plains, and sprawling jungles.  The three great macro-regions of Peru are deep wells of legends with roots in the cultures that created them.  I hope you are as excited as I am to begin to uncover this world.




Mike grew up and eventually attended university in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated in Integrative Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning and has been a part of planning projects in three different countries. Mike’s passion is reading; he devours both literature and nonfiction. His favorite author is Peru’s own Julio Ramón Ribeyro.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. Sounds fascinating Mike. Vargas LLosa developed the Pishtaco myths extensively in Lituma en los Andes. Look forward to seeing more!

  2. Mike Dreckschmidt

    Ah, Lituma! I enjoyed that book although that ending really threw me for a loop. I’m happy to see there is interest, thanks Phil.

  3. Would luv to watch this,my gorgous son in law is Peruvian,id luve to read about this beautiful culture,and their legions.