As a writer of paranormal fiction around myths, legends and magical realism I do a lot of research for future stories within my eleven series. I came across this urban legend that gave me a chill to the bone and thought I might use it someday in one of the Ghost Connection or PBI Case Files adventures.
I must admit I like urban legends and myths that have an important lesson that can relate to reality when I'm writing so this one caught my attention because it's a story that brings to mind the phrase 'spare the rod, spoil the child' and while it takes the consequences of spoiling a child to the extremes it gives you a haunting vision of possible future outcomes. I'm not saying, if one spoils the child these things can happen, I am saying ones actions can have far reaching consequences.
So in the story of El Silbon, (and there are varying stories as is the case with most urban legends but this generalizes the idea) a young boy who lives with his parents and grandfather grows up spoiled. He would refuse to eat particular foods and would throw tantrums until his parents pleased him. Deer was the boy's favorite food and one day he asked his father to hunt one for him. Unfortunately, the hunt came up empty handed and father returned with his head hung low, shoulders slumped knowing he'd disappoint his hungry son.
Here is where the story takes a tragic turn. The boy was terribly hungry and angry his father had failed him so he took his father's hunting knife and stabbed him repeatedly in the chest and gut. He pulled out his father's guts and brought them to his mother to cook. Mother being suspicious asked where he got the entrails and he responded, "from father."
She continued to question him and the boy told her that "father grew them in his belly."
Is your creep factor rising? Mine was. Geez. But the story isn't finished there. Upon hearing her son's explanation she ran out to the edge of the forest and found her husband disemboweled. She cried in agony at the loss. Her agonizing sobs caught the grandfather's attention and he punished the boy.
First he tied the boy to a tree and whipped him repeatedly until he bled. Then he squeezed lemons, peppers and salt into the wounds for added pain. If that wasn't enough, the grandfather gave the boy a sack of his father's remains to carry on his bloody back and set him out to wander the plains, his dogs were sent after him but before he was sent on his way the grandfather cursed him, 'you should not have done that to your father... you'll be damned the rest of your life.'
He released the dogs to chase the boy who whistled the tune, 'do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do until the dogs caught him and ripped him to shreds.
His undead spirit was left to roam the plains, cursed, killing anyone he may come across. He is non-discriminate of his victims, there is no profile for the poor souls that come across his wrath at night upon the plains. He is said to be an omen of death.
You'll hear him whistling the tune. He's said to be tricky, the fainter the whistle the closer he is the louder it sounds the farther he is away.
In another retelling of the myth he is said to visit homes and count the bones of his victims in his bag. If people in the house wake up to his presence they'll have good luck. If they don't one person will die in the household before sunrise.
So what do you think? To me this urban legend is a warning about spoiling the child. Did you get a different message from this tale? The warning whistle also upped the creep factor for me.
Putting a twist to this urban legend and creating a story around a case to be solved for PBI Case Files or Ghost Connection was my first thoughts. Would you be interested in reading a spin on this story in one of my series?
It won't be for a few more episodes as I have the next four planned out but the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation could be called in to investigate a string of murders that look like wendigo or werewolf attacks. The victim's bodies are left disemboweled (guts are missing) as they investigate they discover it's a boy who can see ghosts and he's in training to be El Silbon's apprentice.
Or I could take it from a spiritual level in the Ghost Connection series. El Silbon is looking for release from his curse and Cassie decides to help him for the sake of the humans he would kill in the future.
Which would be a few episodes away since Dentist's Burial Ground is already in production. Either option is doable in the future. Feel free to chime in below with your thoughts. Also if there is a myth/legend or news story that you think would be interesting to research for future book ideas please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Story resource: CreepyPastaWiki