Beings that transform themselves at night, half human/half animals, masters of darkness that arouse fear … no, it’s not part of a modern graphic novel, but rather one of the most terrifying Maya legends: the “Huay Chivo” (witch goat). Read on to learn more!


“Beware of walking after midnight in the places where the Huay Chivo goes, because this being of darkness can put all kinds of wickedness on you,” says the legend about this half human/half goat that walks the roads of Yucatán and terrifies anyone who is in his path.


They say that on the darkest nights, on the roads where silence reigns, you are likely to meet the Huay Chivo, a terrifying being who has supernatural powers and performs spells and charms.


In the communities of Yucatán it is common to hear stories about encounters with this being. He awakens great fear because it is believed that he also feeds on chickens and cattle. The recommendation is that if you cross paths with an animal with the appearance of a black dog, but much bigger and terrifying, look away immediately so that at worse you will only sense a wave of cold and a foul smell. But if you dare to meet his burning red eyes, you will suffer fevers and many other discomforts as a result. Scary!


Before you become too frightened, let us tell you the origin of this legend. It is said that in a nearby village there was once a child who knew all the plants and their properties, with the ability to heal people. When he grew up he became a “Huay” or “Way” (witch in Maya) and fell in love with a young woman who helped his family by caring for the goats. The desperate and crazy witch made a pact with Kisín (the devil) offering his soul in exchange for being able to become a goat in order to attract the girl and be close to her. However, the spell didn’t work and transformed him into a frightening being that can become a beast in goat form at will during the night, thereby more agile and better able to perform its evil spells. Hence the Maya legend of Huay Chivo.


So if night falls when you are walking in the jungle, take your precautions so as not to meet the Huay Chivo…unless you want to have a supernatural adventure…and of course tell us all about it!




Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Born in Mérida, Violeta is a communicologist dedicated to writing and creating content on tourism, fashion, and entrepreneurship. She has recently started working as an English-Spanish translator.


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