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The La Patasola

La Patasola

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The Patasola or "One Foot", also known as "La Patasola", is a demon from South American folklore that has many of the traits associated with both succubi (female demons) and vampires in other cultures, it is also part of a large group of female monsters found in South American folklore that appear to men hunting in the forest.

The origin story of this obscure creature varies, but usually follows the pattern of a scorned, unfaithful, or otherwise “bad” woman. Some believe that she was once a mother who killed her own son, and was then banished to the woods as punishment. Others believe that she was a wicked temptress who was cruel to both men and women, and for this reason they mutilated her with an axe by chopping off one leg and throwing it into a fire. She then died of her injuries and now haunts the forests and mountain ranges. In another origin story, she was an unfaithful wife who cheated on her own spouse with the couple’s employer, a patron. Upon discovering her infidelity, the jealous husband murdered both her and the patron. She died but her soul remains in a one-legged body.

The Patasola will appear as an enchanting woman and lure her male victim into the wilderness before transforming into a one-foot monster (with a cleaved bovine-like hoof and moving in a plantigrade fashion like mammals such as an average human being or a polar) that will proceed to feast on his blood (like a vampire) and devour him (like a traditional monster). This fiend's appearance is often described as possessing 1 breast, bulging eyes, catlike fangs, a hooked nose, big lips, and tangled hair.

The Patasola is believed by some to be a nature spirit, despite her demonic activities, and guards nature - which is part of why she attacks humans, being very unforgiving of their trespass into her territory: which is said to be near mountains, virgin forests and other remote areas.

Within Latin American tradition, gruesome myths and legends often serve as cautionary or morality tales. In particular, folkloric legends such as the Patasola served to reinforce gender norms and sensuality. Latin American societies such as Colombia used popular culture to control the deviant behavior of the people, particularly the lower classes. The belief in the need to establish appropriate sexual behavior stems from the idea that a well-ordered society rests on a well-ordered family, specifically a nuclear family run by a strong male patriarch with an obedient and domestically inclined wife. It is likely that the Patasola existed as a warning to al men to avoid being seduced by beautiful women. A man seeking to have a secret tryst in the woods would be punished in gruesome fashion if they encountered La Patasola.