The Urban Legend Of The Corpse Bride

In the window of a store called La Popular, in Chihuahua, Mexico, one can find La Pascualita (via Atlas Obscura). She has soft features, wide eyes, and voluminous lashes. Oh, and she’s a mannequin. La Popular is a wedding shop that has found fame not because of their stunning dresses, but because of the object that models them. According to History 101, La Pascualita made her storefront debut in March of 1930. Almost immediately, bystanders were amazed by her realistic features that include rosy cheeks, a detailed face, and flowing hair.

Per Ripley’s, they were also struck by the mannequin’s uncanny resemblance to the shop owner’s, Pascuala Esparza’s recently deceased daughter. As the legend goes, Esparza’s daughter was getting ready on her wedding day when she was bitten by a black widow spider and died (per All That’s Interesting). Locals became convinced that Esparza had her daughter embalmed and was now on display. She denied the rumors but the legend lives on that the bride, La Pascualita, now a mannequin, was once a real girl.

Corpse bride or mannequin?

La Pascualita and her legend took on a life of its own. According to All That’s Interesting, customers claim that the mannequin’s eyes follow them through the story and that she moves positions. Even the store’s staff feel unnerved by her presence (via Ripley’s). An article from Odd Feed states that one employee believes she’s real because of her realistic hands and alleged varicose veins on her legs. Per Top Adventure, La Pascualita’s clothes are changed twice a week behind curtains. Those entrusted to undress and dress her state that her body is not that of a mannequin.

Another legend describes that she was indeed a mannequin until a French magician fell in love with her while visiting the window. He then brought her to life and took her out each night before returning her to the storefront in the morning. The general consensus is that La Pascualita is not an actual corpse. History 101 believes there’s no way the embalming could be so pristine after over 90 years on display without a stable environment or the use of experts. That being said, there’s no doubt La Pascualita is an incredibly detailed mannequin that has a life-like presence. She can still be visited at La Popular in Chihuahua, Mexico on the corner of Ocampo and Victoria streets (via Atlas Obscura). It’s said that wearing the dress she is modeling will bring luck to any marriage. 

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