The pollo maligno, literally "evil chicken", is a giant chicken from Colombian folklore.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
As its name suggests, El Pollo Maligno is an evil chicken. It is usually depicted as a massive (but otherwise ordinary) hen. In one depiction, it can take on the form of a wanderer.
Behaviour[edit | edit source]
These creatures have a high-pitched call which sounds somewhere between a bird's song and a human whistle or, alternatively, like a chick. They can be heard at night, but are often passed off as an owl. One can tell how close it is by the volume of its cry; however, the closer it is, the quieter it will sound, and vice versa. It is advised that travelers turn back if they hear the call of the Pollo Maligno ahead.
If there are two or more people travelling on the road, the Pollo Maligno will run in front of them and chirp incessantly in an attempt to either drive them mad or draw them closer. Then, it will devour them. The only way to get rid of the chicken is to pray to Saint Miguel nine times, at which time it will disappear.
The chicken will also attack people if they play cards, joke, or drink, as it doesn't approve of these things. Unlike most chickens, it can also fly.
One story, however, claims that the bird is not lethal at all! It will disguise itself as a human wandering at night, then begin to follow someone. It will slowly begin to chirp, and when its quarry notices and tries to run, it will manifest in its chicken form right in front of them and begin to peck at their feet. If the person does not panic, then the chicken will turn into a vine that wreaths around their legs and brings them to the ground. This version of the chicken is literally a manifestation of the devil, and it attacks men more than it does women.