Best Urban Legend

Staff Pick

WINNER: Donkey Lady

> Honk if you've heard this one before — if you dare.

There are multiple variations of a South Side legend about the bridge over Elm Creek by Applewhite and W. Jett Roads, including honking or calling upon the Donkey Lady to have a truly terrifying experience. While methods of contacting the Donkey Lady can be different — there was a phone number people used to be able to call to hear her hee-haw before the clippity-clop of her evil hooves drew closer — depending on who the storyteller is, one common thread is fire.

As the story goes, a young woman promised her first child to the priesthood but eventually changed her mind. Then her house caught fire, killing her children and severely disfiguring her with sagging skin and leaving the woman nubs for limbs, hence the Donkey Lady moniker. That tale is from When Darkness Falls, a book of San Anto paranormal stories that classifies the Donkey Lady as a La Llorona, a weeping female spirit (a common piece of lore throughout Texas and Mexico). Or, as another telling goes, a family offended a wealthy man who was abusing their donkey. For revenge, the man brought a mob, locked the family in their house and burned them all to death, or so they thought. Instead, a fiery figure bounded out of the fire and hurled itself into Elm Creek, never to be seen again, according to one author who shared the story told to him when he was young on the Texas Cryptid Hunter blog.

You know the rest: a terrifying figure barrels toward a car, smashing its windshield while moving at unworldly speeds. But who knows? The only way to find out is to head down to Elm Creek and find out for yourself.

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