Provided by: the Paraiso Tropical Team. From: Arts on the Ave has allowed RCP to post this fable online.

The legend of “El Cadejo” comes from the times of our indigenous ancestors. They believed that the dog helped humans in their passage into the afterlife. However, with the arrival of the Spaniards and Christianity to our lands, the legend was changed to show the difference between good and evil.

This legend uses two dogs to represent good and evil. | Rebecca Lippiatt

The legend says that the cadejo is the spirit of a ghost and that there are two types: the white cadejo that represents good, and the black cadejo that represents evil.

The legend evolved over time. | Rebecca Lippaitt

The black cadejo appears to those who wander in the villages late at night or those who have a bad conscience and perform immoral acts. The black cadejo pursues his victims to scare them. Once they are caught, he hypnotizes them with his glowing red eyes (similar to coals) and steals their soul, leaving them like fools for the rest of their lives. In El Salvador, we say that a person has been “played by an evil spirit.”

The white cadejo has blue eyes and represents a spirit of light that protects all faithful believers. It does not allow the black Cadejo to steal the souls of newborn babies or toddlers.

In this El Salvadorian legend, your soul can be stolen. | Rebecca Lippiatt

People say that the black cadejo can easily be scared away from places or dwellings. To get rid of this spirit, you must burn incense, commonly known as sahunmerio in El Salvador.

The black cadejo (dog) can be scared away. | Rebecca Lippiatt

The next time you leave at night from anywhere in El Salvador, don’t go to the streets alone, or be careful and always check your back. A black dog may be following you…

El Cadejo
Spruce Avenue Community League
10240 – 115 Ave