Headless Gringa of the Galapagos Islands

Posted on August 19, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Trivia

latinamericanhistory.about.com / The bright and sunny Galapagos Islands, far out in the Pacific Ocean, seem like a strange place for a ghost! But according to the locals, the former American Air Force base is home to a wandering spirit who targets lonely men late at night. “The Headless Gringa” crushes her victims in their sleep and waylays solitary travelers. Here’s the story, as the locals tell it.

The American Air Force Base

During World War Two, the American military feared that the vitally strategic Panama Canal would be attacked and/or captured by the Japanese. They looked for a place where they could put an air force base which would protect the canal and give plenty of warning of any sort of invasion. The Galapagos Islands, on the equator some 500 miles from the mainland, were perfect. The United States quickly made a deal with the Republic of Ecuador, which owns the islands, and a base was hastily constructed.

The base was in operation until shortly after the war. At its height, there were about 5000 men there, as well as airstrips, barracks, a casino/bar and even a small bowling alley and movie theater. The soldiers there busied themselves patrolling for enemy ships and submarines, but the feared invasion of Panama never materialized and none of the forces stationed in Galapagos ever saw any combat.

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