El Cadejo are supernatural monsters in Southern Mexican and Central American folklore that can either attack or protect people who travel by night.
Appearance: El Cadejo can be good or evil. What is confusing is that they appear in either the colors of white or black. Don't let the colors fool you as the colors do not necessarily indicate whether or not the creature is good or evil. This said, in most locations the white Cadejo is considered good and the black Cadejo is considered evil. As far as a physical description, the Cadejo appear as large, canine-like monsters, similar to Phantom Black Dogs, having hooves for feet. They may possess goat-like features and are said to possess skin and/or fur that shimmers in the light. Cadejo also possess red, glowing eyes and have a horrible stench.
Lore: There are three distinct types of Cadejo. The first type is considered to be Satan in the form of a Phantom Black Dog. In this form he is usually said to have chains that have been heated red-hot from the fires of Hell chained to his legs. The second type of Cadejo are the good and bad or white and black variety. The third type of Cadejo are the offspring of an evil or black Cadejo and a normal dog. Only the last type of Cadejo can be killed by a person. When a specimen of the third type of Cadejo is killed it's body will immediately dissolve or decompose within a matter of seconds, leaving behind only a disgusting puddle of decomposition fluid which curses the earth and prevents any vegetation from growing on the spot.
As far as behavior goes, the evil or black variety of the second type of Cadejo hide in wait of passing travelers to attack. The evil or black Cadejo prefers alcoholics or drunks as victims. Usually a good or white Cadejo will attempt to stop the evil or black Cadejo from attacking. However, it appears that some times the good or white Cadejo does not show up in time and the evil or black Cadejo is able to attack and kill a human being.
As far as an origin legend for the Cadejo, there is a popular legend of two young men being cursed by a sorcerer due to their sloth or laziness. One of the men became an evil or black Cadejo, while the other brother was transformed into a good or white Cadejo.
Powers: Cadejos possess incredible strength. Cadejos possess the power of hypnotizing or paralysing people who look them in the eyes. People who survive an encounter with Cadejos appear to suffer from a condition similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, usually for the remainder of their lives.
Defense Against Cadejos: Avoid nocturnal travel while intoxicated. Religious artifacts may provide some level of protection, especially against the evil or black variety of Cadejo. Evil or black Cadejos can be repelled with the burning of pungent incense. The third type of Cadejo, the offspring of an evil or black Cadejo and a normal dog, can be killed.
Coasta Rica Legends