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Didn't Abuelita Just Come Back From Church?


So this particular encounter will require some backstory, my apologies if it is a bit long winded.

Both of my parents where born and raised in the same small village in El Salvador. It's really far out in the country side at the end of a dirt road. The village is called La Aldea on the Chalatenango region of the country. Like many other countries we have our share of folk lore and super natural beings, the most famous being La Sihuanaba. She has many origin stories (the one I heard was that she married the devil himself and gave birth to a wicked offspring). But for all intents and purposes anytime anything happened that seemed paranormal or unexplainable it was credited to La Sihuanaba.

My parents took me and my sister down to visit both of their families around the time I was 7 or 8 (1989 or 1990). We were staying at the home my mother grew up in and staying with my Abuelita (grandmother) and some of my Tias (aunts) and Tios (uncles). My mother was one of 12 kids and this was their family home. It was not built for that many kids growing up, the village itself was rather poor.

One night early during the trip my Abuelita made her way down to the church in the village for weekly mass along with a few other relatives. Others stayed behind and just hung out in front of the house. We were between a chain link fence and the front door. About an hour and half later (I would say about 8pm or so) many of us - myself, my mother, some cousins, aunts, & uncles - saw my Abuelita walking back from church on the one road of the village. She walked into the front yard through the fence and into the open front door. We all greeted her as she walked passed us but I cannot remember if she greeted us back. We found nothing odd about the situation at all.

About 5 minutes later my Abuelita was walking through the fence accompanied by the same family members she went to church with earlier in the evening. Needless to say we were all very confused. All the family that stayed behind asked my Abuelita how she got back to the church without us noticing her. The only other entrance to the house was a door to one of the two bedrooms and it was also on the front of the house where we all would have seen her. She proceeds to inform us that mass had just ended and they had just left the church. She was just as confused as we were.

As soon as those words left her mouth we all started screaming "it was La Sihuanaba!".

When we saw the doppelgänger we didn't feel any sort of unease/dread/etc. Or at least I didn't. But the fact that this was a group experience shared with a bunch of family makes it all the wilder. This is one that I'll always remember.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, thething45, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-24)
thething45 - My apologies to you. I inadvertently posted my comment on your story!

Regards, Melda
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-24)
Zaruje - I think that there are a couple of possibilities to explain the "person" in the kitchen.

I'd like to tell you about something I experienced. At the time I think I still only had my firstborn son. This is a very long time ago. One late Saturday afternoon my husband received a call from a friend asking him for some assistance on something or other. Off went hubby to his pal. A short while later it was bath time for the toddler and as I walked past my front door with him in my arms I saw my husband about to enter through the screen door. I said to him I won't be long, just going to bath the baby. So off I went. To my surprise after my son was bathed and dressed, there was no sign of my husband. Very shortly thereafter he did in fact enter via the screen door. He totally denied having been home at the time I was bathing the baby. I believe him, he had no reason to lie. So, what was that all about?

I'm adding a link which is similar to the above although the circumstances are different.


So perhaps you saw the entity which has made its presence known to you previously, or perhaps you did see your uncle at the stove an hour before he was actually there.

Strange things happen!

Regards, Melda
thething45 (5 stories) (12 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-24)
Thank you everyone for your feedback!

Manafon1 - if my Abuelita was projecting herself arriving back home while still at church then I have grossly underestimated her spiritual abilities and overall awesomeness:)

Biblio - thank you very much for your kind words. I sincerely appreciate it!

Melda - I know that wail all to well too. Our son suffers from croup almost every time he gets sick. He's just getting over it now thankfully. I can imagine the look on your husband's face when he got back home.

I've had another experience with dopplegangers that I will document on the YGS site. I must say I am enjoying sharing my experiences with the community.
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-24)
thething45 - To quote Biblio, I found your account interesting and entertaining. La Sihuanaba certainly seems to be a multi-talented, other-worldly individual!

I too saw what I believe to be my husband's doppelganger. This occurred on a Saturday afternoon at approximately 17:00 (5 pm). My husband had to deliver something, (I don't remember the details) to a friend who lived about five minutes drive away.

My eldest son, approximately 18 months old at the time, was ill. He had a high temperature accompanied by that perpetual wail, which mothers know all too well. I decided to let him have his bath and duly ran his bath water.

As I was passing the front door with the baby in my arms, the door being open but the screen door closed, I distinctly saw my husband standing at the screen door. I said something to the effect of "that was quick, I'm just going to give Craig his bath".

Approximately 15 minutes later, Craig bathed and changed, husband was nowhere to be seen. He arrived home about 20 minutes after that and vehemently denied standing at the screen door at the time I saw him there, dressed in precisely the same clothes he had been wearing all day.

Strange things happen all the time. Your abuelita was obviously just as dumbfounded as my husband was!

Regards, Melda
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-23)
Greetings, Thing, and welcome to YGS!

I'm in complete agreement with Manafon's assessment of your narrative. I'll just add two points, if I may:
1. That was not "long winded" at all. You described the environment and your family dynamic clearly and effectively.
2. I'm putting this in my "favorites" list because it was interesting and entertaining.

Manafon1 (6 stories) (712 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-21)
Hi thething45--Thanks for sharing your account of witnessing a doppelgänger of your grandmother. It is all the more compelling because multiple people saw the figure simultaneously.

Accounts like yours are welcome because they show that the apparition isn't evil or a portent of bad luck. Your description falls nicely in line with other reports of doppelgängers. It is regularly reported in such cases that the apparition of the living person will precede the actual person by a short period of time. Your grandmother was probably wishing she was already back at the house and unconsciously projected an image of herself.

I like that you state there was no sense of unease or dread. I also like how you feel privileged to have experienced such a unique event. It was interesting to learn a little bit of the folklore of El Salvador and the La Sihuanaba. Cool stuff!

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