La Pascualita, the Mexican Corpse Bride

Status: Urban Legend
image This has already been posted in the hoax forum, but it's too good to ignore. Reuters has reported on a Mexican urban legend concerning a mannequin in the window of a bridal gown store in the city of Chihuahua. Local rumor has it that the mannequin is really the embalmed body of the former store owner's daughter. The former store owner was called Pascuala Esparza. La Pascualita means 'Little Pascuala' (i.e. her daughter). According to the legend her daughter died from the bite of a Black Widow spider on her wedding day, so Pascuala embalmed her and stood her up in the window of the store. It definitely is an urban legend because it would be impossible to embalm someone and have their flesh be preserved that perfectly. For some reason, people tend to think that it's easier to preserve a body than it actually is. For instance, there's also the urban legend about a dead wife used as a coffee table, in which a guy seals his dead wife inside an airtight glass coffin which he uses as a coffee table. In real life, it's not that easy to preserve a corpse.

Death Urban Legends

Posted on Wed Dec 21, 2005


Yeah, bodies really go bad pretty darned fast unless you take some rather heroic measures to keep them from doing so. Both Lenin and Mao have basically been renedered to a state much like rubber, and are kept under extrodinarily monitored conditions. Most of the stuff that undertakers and whatall do is with the aim of making the corpse look good until burial. Anything over a couple weeks, and things start going very, very bad. A taxidermist might manage something, but it ain't gonna be pretty.

I can see how such a rumor might get started, especially if the store has only one high-quality mannequin.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Dec 20, 2005  at  11:53 PM
Oh, and I forgot to mention, that sealing someone in an *airtight* container can actually lead to the body putrifying even faster. The body can dry out under 'normal' conditions, making it hard for bacteria to grow. With airtight conditions, you basically wind up with sluge, very fast.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Dec 20, 2005  at  11:57 PM
I'm sure "she" is unique and detailed, but I doubt this is an 75 year old embalmed corpse. Perhaps an old timey Real Doll?

The proportions look off, but it's hard to tell from the small photo. Anyone have a link to a larger one? Also the hairline is too even to be real, it's a wig.
Posted by katey  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  07:10 AM
It IS a wax dummy.

This article says so:

Apparently the store owner had to come out about it relatively soon after the dummy was installed, because people were coming in and pressing their fingernails into it's face to see what it was made out of.
Posted by katey  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  07:20 AM
Hmmm, Alex sure seems to know a lot about the difficulties of preserving dead bodies...
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  07:26 AM
Thanks, Katey, that was quite interesting.
There are several photos there of "La Pascualita," and also one of the real Pascualita, who doesn't look all that much like the dummy.

That's not really the point, though. The point is the legend is a wonderful tale.
Posted by Big Gary in Fairbanks, Alaska  in  Fairbanks, Alaska, USA  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  10:37 AM
For those of use that don't read spanish, the translated version:
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  12:46 PM
us us us us us us us us us us
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  01:39 PM
I don't know, Craig, I like "for those of use". Although it makes me wonder what you have planned for those of us who are of no use. . .
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Dec 22, 2005  at  09:13 PM
Posted by Craig  on  Thu Dec 22, 2005  at  09:34 PM
Well...If that isn't ignorant.
Posted by Madison Marbury  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  09:13 AM
Holy brutal translation batman!

"It was so much the admiration that caused among the public, that the positive fibers and the magic of a powerful guru that arrived from distant lands, who passed for the cupboard and fell in love with immediate of Chonita , they gave life al model."

Yikes. big surprise So did the magical guru from a distant land fall into the cupboard? Become a cupboard? Look like a cupboard? Pass by the cupboard? Get it on with Conchita in the cupboard??
Posted by Ariell  in  Toronto  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  08:48 PM
lol Ariell, brutal translation indeed. I wonder exacty what language that is supposed to be translated into? wink
Posted by Cynthia  in  Maryland  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  08:44 PM
yo soy de chihuahua,chihuahua i lo creo de pascualita yo la vi cuando estaba es chihuahua y si es real su histori y todo chihuahua sabe la histori quisa mexico
Posted by ivan  in  Arkansas  on  Tue Oct 16, 2007  at  12:57 PM
I'm living in Chihuahua right now, and was taken by the bridal shop downtown to see it for my first time. The friends that took me there to show me claimed its absolutely real, not wax. All day today I've been checking with various people ( I'm actually at this site now on my quest for verification ), and it turns out they all believe it's truly a preserved corpse. I'm far too cynical for that, but, how incredible there exists such a strong local legend.
Posted by J.R.  in  Chihuahua  on  Mon Oct 22, 2007  at  04:16 AM
Ive been to that store, im from Chihuahua, and she looks hot.
There is rumors that she changes her wedding dress avery once in a while, by herself.
Posted by Toy  in  Chihuahua  on  Sat Nov 17, 2007  at  03:48 PM
I saw her she scary. My cousins and me are going back to see her. big surprise gulp
Posted by jazmin  in  Lovington  on  Tue Nov 27, 2007  at  10:20 AM
Very interesting, but I still think it
Posted by Marriage Counseling  on  Thu Jan 17, 2008  at  03:58 PM
First of all if you're not from Chihuahua...why don't you just mind your own business? This is a nice leyend that we CHIHUAHUENSES like to keep. It's part of our histroy and culture, now there's no reason for you all to argue about wheather it's true or not. I'm not trying to sound rude...but please just let the story be, nobody cares what you think anyway. It's nice to have something to think about everyonce in a while, not everything has to have a scientific reason or whatever. And yes I am from Chihuahua I grew up with this story going around my house and all my friends. This story actually means something to us.

Posted by Mirna Borunda  in  Marfa, Texas  on  Mon Apr 21, 2008  at  08:27 PM
sorry tried to spell leyenda!!!!!! LOL
Posted by Mirna Borunda  in  Marfa, Texas  on  Mon Apr 21, 2008  at  08:30 PM
For all of you out there, this is true and she didn't die of a spider bite, she was shot by a Judicial, (swat) who was in love with her and if he couldn't have her no one else could, he shot her coming out of the church, I have been there and it is a corpse it's kind of freaky looking they take care of the corpse every single day and have a Doctor who gives it shots and stuff, you should try going there to visit.
Posted by Margarita  in  Utah  on  Tue May 27, 2008  at  10:39 AM
hello this is a great storie of course it is factively fake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by anahi  in  san diego  on  Wed May 28, 2008  at  06:37 PM
ok...this is what my mom told me ....the oly thing real on la pascualita is the head and the hands....and also thats not the way she died....its just the nice way to put it but there's a darker side to the story.....
Posted by mimita...  in  chihuahua mexico  on  Wed Jul 16, 2008  at  10:32 PM
ok the head and the hands are real. one story i heard about her is that on the day of her wedding a black widow got in her crown and bit her. the other story is that her mom had her fiance killed the day of the wedding she found oukt and killed herself by jumping off a cliff they could only save her hands and head to be embomed
Posted by jaz  in  lovington  on  Fri Jul 25, 2008  at  02:27 PM
That reminds me of this (true) story:
Posted by Lea  on  Tue Jul 29, 2008  at  10:16 PM
we've always loved to hear wierd & mysterious stuffs no matter how untrue & (very often) stupid it is.Who cares what the scientific theories say anyway and why should we always be skeptical?

For me these stories are quite interesting & sometimes fascinating.In this case of the corpse bride,I think the legend is a good one.I've heard some of the worst ones.Keep these stories coming in.Love to read them
Posted by niharika  in  India  on  Fri Aug 15, 2008  at  10:54 PM
Hi.....I have just returned home from Chihuahua Mexico. I went there to visit family. It was my first time there and my family took me to the store to see La Pascualita...and indeed...she seems to be real. Her hands are so humanlike. I saw her with my own eyes and if the legend is not true...then someone did a GREAT job of making the mannequin look like a real corpse. I guess we will never know if she is real or not....but come on....does it really matter??? This is a legend that the people there have carried on for a long time, so just let them be!!! I do recommend for you to go see her if you can. Chihuahua is a beautiful city. Don't forget your camera!!!!
Posted by Cheri  in  Virginia...USA  on  Sat Oct 04, 2008  at  06:47 PM
This story is definately true,about 15 yrs.ago
I went to this store and i seen for myself. I remember just staring at her and thinking oh my gosh she must have been so beautiful and how sad that she died on her wedding day. I was looking at her for the longest time and it seemed that she was staring at me. I was talking with my family members and looked away for a minute and when I turned to look at her again her head was tilted a different direction. We were so freaked out that we all decided to return at 3:00 am because that is when she gets down and changes her wedding gown. Well we decided not to because we were all afraid.
Posted by donna zamarrron  in  phoenix az.  on  Sat Oct 25, 2008  at  02:30 PM
long face omg!!
Posted by Virginia Lou Ann Marie  on  Sat Jan 10, 2009  at  01:06 PM
That picture is fake! i have a real one with me right now, that my aunt took at the store! so ya'll shut up.
Posted by Abel  in  Ontaro, Canada  on  Mon Jul 20, 2009  at  03:13 PM
Comments: Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.