ghostShe always comes at night. Her victim is in a deep sleep on the military-style cot. Unheard, she climbs on top of him, slowly pressing her weight onto his chest. His dreams begin to darken as his lungs crush under the ever-increasing weight. He struggles, then wakes with a start…

but he is alone, the mysterious woman – he knows it was a woman – is gone. In the morning, he mentions the episode to one of his fellow naval servicemen, who says: “That’s the ghost of the Headless Gringa! You’re lucky to be alive!”

A Galapagos Ghost?

Sun-drenched Baltra Island seems like an unlikely place for a ghost, so you may be surprised to find out that it’s the most haunted place in the Galapagos Islands. Baltra, of course, was home to a US air base in the 1940’s. The Americans built a runway and a number of hastily-constructed but durable barracks and administration buildings. Some of them are still there, and even in use by the Ecuadorian navy and air force.

The Legend of the Headless Gringa

According to legend, there was an American couple living on the base. The wife/girlfriend began to cheat on her husband, who found out about it and pushed her down a ravine: as she fell her head got caught and came off (by the way, there is no such recorded incident on the American base). Ever since then, the Headless Gringa has haunted the old base.

Her Supernatural Powers

The Headless Gringa has a few tricks up her sleeve. The most common “experience” that the sailors and airmen have with her is the feeling that someone has climbed into bed with them late at night, pressing their weight down on them and trying to suffocate them. If they wake up, the feeling is immediately gone. Others claim to have seen a shadowy, wispy black torso in the dark corners of the old barracks.

Many others claim that the Gringa can disorient them at night: men walking to the base from the barracks suddenly find themselves at the airport, that sort of thing (alcohol might also be a culprit). The men claim that the ghost can bewitch them and make them look for a private place where they can be alone. Some claim she has a perfume of Palo Santo, which can change to rotting flesh when she is angry.

The Headless Gringa has never attacked, appeared to, or disoriented a woman (of course, very few women have ever spent the night at the military base).

There’s no need to fear: the Headless Gringa is endemic to Baltra Island and has shown no interest in moving to Puerto Ayora or onto a cruise ship. Until the Ghostbusters come to get her, the only ones who need worry are the sailors and airmen of the Ecuadorian armed forces!



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