For the past 75 years, a tiny bridal shop in Mexico has been the subject of some pretty crazy rumors. Tales of supernatural fiddling abound, with whispers of disembodied voices, mysterious cold spots, and even the occasional darting shadow seen from the corner of a visitor's eye. But the creepiest rumor centers around a bridal mannequin sitting in the window; a highly detailed dummy that many say is a perfectly preserved corpse.
The tale begins on March 25th in 1930, when the odd-looking mannequin was first placed in the windows of La Popular, one of the most well-known bridal shops in Chihuahua, Mexico. Almost immediately, the locals knew that something just wasn't quite right with the figure. Before long, tales of the stunning mannequin began to spread far and wide, and visitors trekked from all over just to see the intricate details in the doll. From the individual wrinkles in the hands, to the real human hair, to the mesermizing gaze of her glass eyes, it was almost as if the figure was a real person frozen in time.
Eventually, people began to notice the similaries between the mannequin, nicknamed La Pascualita, and the daughter of La Popular's proprietor, Pascuala Esparza. According to legend, Esparza's daughter had tragically passed away on her wedding day, victim of a Black Widow spider bite. Locals whispered that the beautiful figure in the window was, in fact, the embalmed body of Esparza's daughter. More and more, the details began to make sense, and the townspeople became outraged. Of course, Pascuala Esparza formally denied the allegations, but by that point, it was too late - the legend was set in stone.
Today, La Pascualita still sits in the window of La Popula, and the rumors have only become more pervasive. Of all the employees who work at the popular bridal shop, only two are allowed to change her clothing, and only behind closed doors. It's a practice that makes some of the employees pretty uncomfortable.
“Every time I go near Pascualita my hands break out in a sweat," said one shop worker. "Her hands are very realistic and she even has varicose veins on her legs. I believe she’s a real person.”
Other workers say they've come to the shop in the morning only to find Pascualita has changed positions on her own, or complained that she would "watch" them with an unsettling gaze as they tended to the store.
75 years later, some have come to revere La Pascualita as a saint, leaving candles and offering prayers in front of the window. Some ask for good fortune, but most come to her seeking guidance in matters of love. Many brides even let Pascualita decide on their gowns for them, simply choosing whatever dress she's wearing at the time they visit.
So, is the strange mannequin really the preserved corpse of an ill-fated bride? Skeptics say no, pointing to the difficult upkeep when it comes to stopping a corpse from decaying, but those who have seen La Pascualita in person walk away believers... and very creeped out believers at that. After all, how strange is it for a store to keep the same mannequin for nearly eight decades, and shroud its undressing in secrecy?
To pay your respects to La Pascualita yourself, you need only head to La Popular in Chihuahua, Mexico, where the famous shop welcomes visitors to take a closer look at their strange model, so long as you don't touch.
For more of the creepiest corpses in North America, you can head to the Barbour County Historical Museum in Phillipi, West Virginia, where the mummified bodies from strange medical experiments sit under glass, or to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in Seattle, Washington, where the moustachioed body of Sylvester, one of the best preserved mummies in the world, peers at shoppers as they peruse the shop's curiosities.