“The Woman From El Molino” feels a bit fresher for being about ghosts with a more mysterious agenda.
This recap of Haunted: Latin America episode 3, “The Woman From El Molino”, contains spoilers.
“The Woman From El Molino” is as obviously ridiculous as stories of haunted houses and obsessed, possessed dolls, but I was a bit better disposed to it just because of a welcome wrinkle in making the motivations of its ghosts somewhat cloudy. It also has a connection to a specific bit of folklore that at least feels as if it earns that Latin America subtitle, even if the specificity really doesn’t amount to anything in the grand scheme of things.
Anyway, Rodrigo Cases, a police NCO and criminology student, wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the ghosts that have haunted him his whole life — so he claims, anyway. He had what he considered to be an ordinary childhood, except for the things he couldn’t explain, such as feeling “a presence”, and hearing a woman’s voice in his bedroom in El Molino. A fat bible falls off a shelf. He sees a ghostly woman while he’s out running, and she disappears, leaving a trail of steam, some kind of smoke. Steam and smoke aren’t the same things, of course, but let’s not split hairs.
For the first time in Haunted: Latin America episode 3, we actually get some cultural specificity. Rodrigo relays a legend in Chihuahua of a woman from El Molino, a native of the Conchos tribe who lived by the river and was known by the Christian name of Margarita. She had a boyfriend named Marcos who was part of her culture, so she rejected the advances of a Spanish soldier named Rogelio who was stationed nearby. In response to being turned down, Rogelio abused Margarita, and in her disgrace, she jumped into the river, where she is sometimes said to appear, even now. This is who Rodrigo is convinced he saw.
(I couldn’t find anything out about this, but it’s not entirely dissimilar from the more commonly-known La Llorona, though the circumstances are a bit different.)
Years later, coming back from a party, Rogerio is giving a classmate a ride home into El Molino as he begins nodding off. He sees the ghost again, first on the road and then in the car, face contorting in a silent scream, so he pulls over. Both he and his lady friend saw it. Afterward, he drove home very quickly and his friend began to distance herself from him. Unable to get over the experience, he returns to the scene of the crime at 3 am, but the ghost doesn’t show up. Well, what a waste of an anecdote that was.
Nevertheless, sometime later he responds to an incident and sees another ghost in a window where nobody is supposed to be. She shakes her head and disappears. He sensed that this was a different ghost and that there was something different still, and bigger, behind her.
When Rodrigo moves to a new house in Chihuahua, one night the stereo starts going bonkers and he — all together now — feels a presence. He sees the woman screaming in his bedroom and she slams the door shut, but when he enters the room he’s gone. He vacates the house and starts renting it out to someone he knows, and somewhat inexplicably he and his wife visit to kind of rub it in that the house is haunted. The tenant doesn’t believe him so he proves it by shouting out to the ghost, at which point the lights flicker and all the ghosts assemble behind him. Nobody else present sees the ghosts, but they do see the flickering lights, which completely does away with all their skepticism. Rodrigo realizes that the house isn’t haunted, he is.
This, though, turns out to be a good thing, since one night while on patrol in 2018, one of the ghosts tells him he will be attacked and coaches him through a subsequent ambush and firefight. He miraculously survives, despite two videos revealing that he should have been killed in the crossfire. He believes the ghosts are helping him, but he isn’t sure. His wife understandably finds all this difficult, but since she loves him, she reckons they’ll overcome it, which is a hopeful note for Haunted: Latin America episode 3 to end on. Maybe he should ask his new friends the lottery numbers or something.