In 2004, a Mexican police officer claimed to have had inexplicable and terrifying encounter with a horrifying, hag-like entity straight out of a child’s nightmare… unfortunately his traumatic ordeal would be but the first in a series of series of run-ins with these supernatural fiends.
The events in question began in the wee hours of Friday, January 16, 2004, when a Mexican police officer by the name of Leonardo Samaniego was on a routine patrol in Colonia Valles, a neighborhood in the Benito Juarez borough of Mexico City, known for its vast parks and tree-lined streets.
His patrol continued without note – as it had so many nights before – until approximately 3:15 am. when 21 year-old Officer Samaniego’s world would be turn upside down.
As he made his way through a quiet neighborhood not far from the base of a mountain located within the metropolitan area known as Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Mountain), the young officer noticed a strange commotion in the branches of one of the larger trees that lined the causeway.
It was when Samaniego slowed his cruiser down to get a better look that all hell broke loose.
Without warning a shadowy, feminine figure seemed to slowly descend approximately 20-feet out of the darkness of tree’s limbs and land directly in the path of the police car. According to Samaniego, the dark-skinned thing then slowly turned its head to look directly at him.
The perplexed policeman hit the brakes and flicked his headlights onto the high-beam setting to get a better look at the entity that was no blocking his path.
In the brightness of the lights, the officer saw what he described as a hideous-looking woman dressed in a sinuous, black cloak, but what riveted his attention were the woman’s evidently empty, black eye sockets, which – impossibly – seemed to be staring into his own eyes.
“I saw her when she turned around – she was a completely black shape. She made a full turn and the light in her eyes vanished. Her eyes were just black sockets, without eyelids.”
For what must have seemed like an eternity, the stunned officer could do nothing but gawk in stark terror at the apparition before him. A being he would later report to his superiors as a “creature resembling a witch.”
It was then that the officer abruptly noticed what was to him the most disturbing aspect of the scene; that this entity had not landed on the asphalt before him as he had surmised, but was actually hovering feet above the ground.
Suddenly, in an apparent effort to block the harsh glare of the high-beams, floating fiend pulled her tattered cloak over her face, and, in a flash, soared directly toward Samaniego’s now idling cruiser.
“She was flying very fast and it took only a second to hit the windshield glass.”
The panicked officer wasted no time in jamming his car into reverse and hitting the gas pedal. While accelerating backwards, the terrified Samaniego managed to get a call to Police dispatcher Angelina Guerrero for some much needed backup. In his own words:
“She was furiously trying to get me with her claws while I was running away in reverse calling desperately for backup assistance to any units around.”
It was in the midst of this chaos that the back end of his cruiser crashed into a wall surrounding the residential area. The jolted cop looked up just in time to see the black-eyed witch once again smashing into his windshield.
Talons flashing, teeth gnashing and brow furrowed with manic purpose, the evidently enraged creature tried to break through the protective glass to get to the young lawman.
Samaniego claimed that the witch continued to stare malevolently into his eyes as she repeatedly crashed into the windshield. It was then that the officer, no doubt fearing the worst, covered his eyes praying that the manifestation would simply go away.
He removed his hands only to see this living nightmare still glaring at him and, in a state of shock, he fainted behind the wheel.
Intriguingly, police dispatcher Guerrero offered a slightly different version of the event, stating that after it found it was unable to penetrate the windshield, the gruesome entity gave the cop a last “nasty look” before rising into the night sky and vanishing.
Is it possible that the panicked officer passed out after making that final report, but was unable to remember it due to post traumatic stress he suffered? It remains an interesting footnote.
It wasn’t long before paramedics were on the scene to treat the still shell shocked officer who, despite the obvious risks to his reputation and professional standing, did not hesitate to recount for his peers what had happened to him.
Samaniego would later surmise that the being had not been able to break through the windshield of his cruiser due to the fact that he had an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging from the rear view mirror.
Interestingly, paranormal researcher Marco Reynoso of the Monterrey-based Fundación Cosmos A.C. reported an bizarre twist in this mind-bending sequence of events involving Samaniego’s case.According to Reynoso:
“In this case I was contacted by a person professing to be a white witch or sorceress for my opinion on the [Samaniego] case, as she had cast a spell to bring down a witch who was about to cause physical harm to the grandchildren of one of her clients.”
The white witch explained to the grandparents initially rejected her spellcasting advice, but, for reasons unreported, they eventually embraced her recommendations to perform certain rituals under her guidance, including a series of prayers.
As events turned out, the very same evening that these rituals were performed to “bring down the witch” apparently tormenting the grandchildren of the client, a strange creature fell out of a tree – the same bizarre entity that plastered itself against the windshield of Officer Samaniego’s patrol car.
Could there be a direct correlation with these two events? Might the eyeless witch’s weakened state be the reason that officer Samaniego survived his harrowing encounter?
While the officer’s courage in recounting his bizarre encounter almost certainly resulted in some ridicule, it also had an unexpected effect in that it prompted others in the police department to admit that they had also seen the flying witch-woman in the dead of night, but had failed to report their encounters for fear of ridicule.
Officer Samaniego’s also prompted residents of Colonia La Playa – a residential district adjacent to Valles de la Silla – to come forward with their own accounts of a similar entity.
22 year-old Norma Hernandez claimed having seen a dark AVIAN-ANOMALY similar to a human being flying through the air two weeks prior to the policeman’s life changing experience.
Hernández told reporters that she had been hanging clothes out to dry behind her home when she became aware of the “black form” flying near her house. Terrified, the young housewife ran into her house to tell her husband about the airborne entity. He scoffed at her description of the flying fiend and refused to even look outside. By the time Norma reclaimed the courage to return to her back yard, the thing was gone. She went on to state:
“It was the size of a person. That’s what frightened me the most.”
The Hernandez experience was in turn corroborated by Seferino Gutiérrez, another resident of Colonia La Playa, who remarked that several years earlier he had seen a black-colored shape with clearly animal characteristics flying over their street.
The next significant sighting in this two year “witch-flap” occurred on September 19, 2006 when the newspaper “Matamoros’ El Mañana” reported that veteran police officer, Gerardo Garza Carvajal, from Santa Catarina, claimed having seen two witches while on a routine patrol near the Panteon Municipal cemetery months earlier.
Garza only stepped forward with the story of his bizarre experience because a fellow officer agreed to substantiate the experience. The young police officer had a glowing record and had never experienced any mental issues or hallucinations, as substantiated by tests performed on him at the Municipal Clinic. In his own Garza’s words:
“I was inside the guardhouse [of the graveyard] when I heard the sound of pebbles being thrown against the door. I went outside to see what was going on, and it was then that I saw two witches with faces like old women, with red eyes and black hats tipped backward; they had feathered wings and claws on the ends of those extremities. They began laughing horribly, and I got back into the guardhouse and saw what they were doing through a peephole. They were flying in circles, so I reported the situation to my fellow officers.”
“[Her] height was a meter, meter and a half, at most…[she] was dressed like a bird, with feathers, you know, she had feathers…seeing her face, it was an old lady’s face, wrinkled, red eyes, black hair. What I really noticed were her black claws… and the hair. In other words, that’s what shocked me the most. It was a bird’s body and a face like a human’s.”
Garza said that he immediately requested backup, and in a matter of minutes was surrounded by several municipal police cars even some from the Ministerial Police. At which point:
“The witches flew off, but the police officers who came to my aid saw what I saw. They can attest to the fact that I didn’t imagine anything. What I saw was real. I’d never been so scared before.”
The petrified officer was later taken to a medical facility where they noted that his blood pressure had “dropped excessively.”
It’s interesting to note that 19th century beliefs maintained that witches would adopt owl form to disturb the inhabitants of lonely farmsteads and would engage in curious animal mutilations – killing cats and stealing their eyes in order to see in the dark. It was also believed that witches in owl-shape could be made to fall out of the sky by reciting the Lord’s Prayer backward.
A video dated May 17, 2006 was received by a Monterrey television station. The controversial recording – which was allegedly filmed near Cerro de la Silla – showed an amorphous, dark object, which (with a bit of squinting) vaguely resembles the classic Halloween heroine on a broom, or at least a humanoid figure moving soaring through the air at considerable speed in a crouched position has sparked a flurry of debate on the internet between those who believe this to be a genuinely paranormal entity and those who think its more likely to be a cluster of balloons held together inside a garbage bag.
Whether this mountainous region of Mexico City is a genuine supernatural hot-spot, a fertile ground for extremely dedicated hoaxers or the site of a heretofore unknown natural (or unnatural) phenomenon has yet to be decided… either way we’ll continue to keep our ears to the ground for any new encounters emanating from this region of high strangeness.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / graphic designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters, Cryptopia and Cryptonaut Podcast