La Mala Hora or “the bad(evil) hour” is an urban legend based out of New Mexico, USA.  This terrible spirit is thought to be an evil demon, or vengeful ghost, that lonely travelers often have the displeasure of meeting. Always appearing after the midnight hour along ominously dark country roads. It has been found lurking in the darkness at a crossroad, waiting for some unsuspecting traveler to make its acquaintance. 

According to some, it is more feared than the Devil, himself. 

It has been told that it appears first, as a large, black mass, billowing, and in constant shift. It can also change size it’s size and shape in an instant, with the look of a dark shroud or a black cloud. 

The unfortunate souls who have seen the demon, may suffer from being driven mad. It may hypnotize, and paralyze its victims, attacking in a sudden rush, enveloping the unwary prey, and suffocating them, leaving the poor traveler dead at the side of the road.

In other stories, it can transform into a vile woman, a female personification of evil. Appearing in black clothing, her hair looks long and unkempt, and said to be hovering, her clothes dangling at the bottom, where feet should be. New Mexican locals say that she very rarely appears in human form but said to be considered a death omen when she does. If she is encountered at a crossroad, it usually means that you or somebody you know is going to die.

A commonly told story of an encounter mentions a woman whose husband was away on business for a few days and decided to go to stay with her friend in Santa Fe. It was just after midnight when she left her house and drove down the lonely, deserted highway. After a while, she approached a small crossroad, when suddenly a dark shape appeared in front of her car. The woman screamed in fright, slamming on the brakes, as her car came to a screeching halt.

After catching her breath, she looked to see her view was clear, a very dark sky peppered with stars, and long roads leading to nowhere. Her path lit only by the guide of her headlights. For a moment, the woman breathed a sigh of relief, until, out of her peripheral, she saw something that almost gave her a heart attack. Right beside her window, looking in at her, was a hideous old lady pressed against the glass. She had the twisted face of a demon, glowing, burning red eyes, and a mischievous grin of short pointed teeth. The demonic lady began pounding on the window, trying to break the glass. The deep pounding shook the car, and gave way to clawing and scratching, in what seemed like coming from every direction.

Terrified, the woman stepped on the gas and took off down the road. For a few horrific moments, the demonic lady kept up alongside the car, still grinning, clawing, and tearing at the window. As, the car sped up and the thing fell behind. The woman looked in her rear-view mirror. The last thing she saw was the demon growing taller and taller, until it was as large as a tree.

When the woman reached her friend’s house, she frantically ran inside and locked the door behind her. The woman, upset and visibly shaken, explained what she had seen at the crossroads and her friend gasped in horror.

“It must have been La Mala Hora,” her friend explained. “The Evil One. They say the demon only appears at a crossroad when someone is about to die…”

The woman was overcome by worry and dread throughout the sleepless night, unable to reach her husband. When morning broke, she drove home as fast as she could, avoiding the crossroad, fearing that the demonic lady would appear to her once more.

When the woman reached home, she found the police at her home. The officers approached her, asked her name and broke the terrible news to her. Her husband had been mugged on the way back to his hotel the night before. He had been shot in the head and was killed instantly. It all happened just after midnight.

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