Spooky Local Legend: Pascualita, the Real Corpse Bride
El Paso has several scary creatures of lore: La Llorona, the chupacabra…some folks even claim there is a desert bigfoot out around Horizon City.
But there’s one creepy character that you can actually see for yourself. You’d have to drive to Chihuahua City on a day they’re open to see…La Pascualita, the Original Corpse Bride.
In the window of a bridal shop is where you’ll find La Pascualita, a mannequin that has been on display since the 1930s. But, not everybody agrees that it’s just a mannequin. Some are convinced that it’s actually a corpse that has been embalmed in some heretofore unknown process.
La Pascualita doesn’t look like any mannequin you’ve ever seen. Nor does it match any antique mannequins (as far as anyone knows) that would have been in use in the 1930s. She looks like…something in between. Here’s a pic:
OK, that looks like a VERY realistic mannequin, but there are other features that have led some to believe that La Pascualita is actually the corpse of a young woman.
I’ve never seen mannequin hands that look so realistic. Take a look at these mitts:
Look at the details! Why would anyone go to the trouble to make a mannequin with such realistic-looking hands?? Again, no one has ever been able to find any mass-produced mannequins from that time period. Or, for that matter, ANY statue, prop or doll that has hands quite like la Pascualita’s.
According to one former employee of La Popular, the bridal shop where la Pascualita lives, the mannequin has varicose veins that are visible underneath the “skin” of her legs. The employee claims that in the course of changing her clothes, the veins are clearly visible. This has not been independently verified, however.
THE EYES! THE EYES!
Some customers and curiosity seekers claim that la Pascualita’s eyes follow them as they walk around the shop. Of course, the same is said about any number of paintings and statues and nobody thinks the Mona Lisa is actually a corpse. Still, it has to add to the general creepiness.
Also, some people say they’ve witnessed the mannequin weeping.
SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL OWNER'S DAUGHTER!
Part of the lore says that la Pascualita bears a striking resemblance to the daughter of La Popular’s original owner, Pascuala Esparza. The legend states that the daughter was about to get married when tragedy befell her.
Some versions say it was a car accident, others say it was a black widow spider bite. Shortly after the daughter’s death the mannequin first appeared in the shop window. So the story goes.
That last one would be super, super creepy if not for the fact that Pascuala Esparza never had a daughter. The varicose veins story has never been verified and no photos of her legs exist anywhere online.
But those hands, man! The weirdness of the hands and the fact that no one has ever been able to find an antique mannequin that looks even remotely similar are, at least, compelling. I probably need to see it up close with my own eyes.