Little Pascuala (or La Pascualita) has been doing the rounds on my internet feed for a while now, so I figured she’d be worth a post. She’s a mannequin in a shop window, drawing people in to see the bridal shop because of a bizarre story circulating around her.

The mannequin has an attached urban legend because of her life-like appearance, some are convinced that she is a corpse and was embalmed then used as a model for the wedding dresses on sale there.

On the 25th March 1930 she was unveiled in a spring season gown, instantly the attention came to the very life-like looking mannequin with her wide-eyed glass orbs and richly detailed skin and features. The mannequin looked very much like the owner at that time, Pascuala Esparza, and people concluded that it could in fact be her embalmed body. The daughter had recently died the day after her wedding as she had been bitten by a black widow spider.

La Popular, Chihuahua, Mexico, met with the disapproval of the locals because of this idea. By the time Pascuala himself had issued a formal statement against the growing rumours it wasn’t helpful, the rumours were abound and it seemed quite a great deal of people were unwilling to believe the mother. Over time her daughters name was sadly lost in the recounting of the tales, La Pascualita is now the living memory of that newly wed.

The mannequin comes attached to some supernatural happenings, none are confirmed. If she truly is an embalmed woman it might be worth a consideration but the one I found fantastical was the idea of the love-sick French Magician who would come to her at night, magically revive her and take her out in the town. More believable experiences are those of feeling she is watching someone, or her eyes feel like they follow you. I get that with good wax-work models. Another says she shifts positions over night.

The staff are asked to change her behind closed doors and many have said that they feel uncomfortable about it, she even has varicose veins on her legs. Another account I spotted from an employee also said that only the hand and head were that details and that is why there are never revealing dresses on her.

Some people have considered the ‘corpse’ worth of a sainthood due to her condition, some brides use the dress she is wearing that day to be the choice for them as a symbol of good luck, quite why I cannot see if the daughters wedding and day after were so disastrous she died…

I am inclined to believe the Museum of Hoaxes in considering this one, it would take a considerable effort to keep a body in that condition especially if you are to consider she is regularly moved and handled. Corpses are meant to deteriorate, embalming and mummification will preserve them to a great degree but as the environment changes nature quickly takes over the intended role of breaking the remains down.

Lenin’s perfectly well tended body is cared for and only displayed not touched, to remain so well preserved. The mannequin is moved to change, handled to be dressed and therefore it is my opinion that whilst she is an expensive and good addition to the shop, she is not a corpse. My verdict is an urban legend.

Corpse-Bride-Header

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