The strange legend of El Imbunche – Chile

The wizard
The wizard

This myth is terrifying for several reasons. First of all, it focuses on a child. A first-born son was sold by his parents before his ninth day of life to a member of the Centre Comitee, a special guild of warlocks from Chilean folklore.

Secondly, the baby was deformed with dislocated limbs. Two months later, his tongue was forked. Eventually, the warlock began a process that resulted in the baby’s head being turned 180 degrees. The last part of the transformation consisted of cutting a deep incision under the right shoulder, inserting its right hand into the gap, and sewing up the wound. When it healed, the Imbunche was complete and ready to take his role as guardian of a cave.

This myth is one of the few being portrayed in popular culture outside its country of origin. British writer Alan Moore, famous for works such as Watchmen and V for Vendetta, used the Imbunche as an enemy on his run in Swamp Thing in the 1980s.

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