El Silbon or The Man Who Whistles is a scary legend from Venezuela about a man who murdered his parents and is doomed to carry a sack of bones on his back for all eternity. They say he eats people, especially children, drunks, and unfaithful men.
El Silbon or “The Man Who Whistles” is a frightening figure who appears at night in rural areas. He is a tall, skinny man with a deformed face who carries a bag of bones on his back. El Silbon is famous for the eerie tune he whistles. Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti. They say it can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and the blood freeze in your veins. If his whistling sounds very loud, it means he is far away. If the whistling sounds very faint, it means El Silbon is nearby and you should immediately flee the area.
Years ago, there was a young boy who lived with his mother, father and grandfather in Los Llanos, Venezuela. They lived a very simple life, tending to their farm. However, the boy was pampered by his parents and they raised was a very spoiled child. He was extremely demanding, ordering his parents around and refusing to eat certain foods. The boy had no respect for anyone. He would make a big fuss, shouting and screaming, until he got his way. His poor parents were worn out trying to please him.
One day, the boy told his father he wanted to eat the entrails of a deer. His father was desperate to please his spoiled son, so he went out hunting. After hours of searching through the forest, the exhausted man returned empty-handed, hanging his head in shame. The young boy flew into a rage and, taking a hunting knife, he plunged it into his father’s chest again and again. Then, he ripped open his father’s belly and pulled out his guts.
The boy carried his father’s guts back to the house. He gave them to his mother and asked her to cook them. The mother became suspicious and
“Where did you get these entrails?” she asked.
“I got them from my father,” the boy casually replied.
“And where did your father get them?” asked his mother.
“He grew them in his belly,” said the boy.
The mother couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She rushed out to the forest and searched frantically for her husband. She found his corpse in a clearing. He had been disemboweled and there was blood everywhere. The horrified woman fell to her knees and began screaming and howling in grief.
When the boy’s grandfather heard what he had done, he was beside himself with fury. The old man took it upon himself to punish the boy for his terrible sins. First, he tied the murderous child to a tree and beat him over and over with a whip, until his back was raw and bloody. Then, he rubbed lemon juice and hot peppers into his wounds to make them sting. Finally, he handed the boy an old sack containing his father’s bloody remains and threw him out on the plains.
As the boy fled, his grandfather shouted after him, “You should not have done that to your father! On your head I lay a curse! You will be damned for all eternity!”
With that, he set his dogs on the boy and they chased him down, nipping and biting at his heels. Eventually, the dogs caught up with the boy and killed him. The curse transformed him into El Silbon, an undead spirit who must roam the world eternally, followed by a spectral dog that constantly chases him. He is doomed to wander the plains, carrying the bones of his victims on his back and bringing death and destruction to anyone he comes across.
At night, El Silbon enters people’s homes and lays his sack of bones on the floor. He starts counting the bones and if no one in the house hears him, it means that someone in the house will die before sunrise. If the family is awakened by his counting, then everyone in the house will experience good luck. El Silbon is more active during the rainy season, so you should use extreme caution during this time of the year.