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The South American Folkore That Inspired La Tunda From The Winchesters Season 1, Episode 2

This article contains spoilers for "The Winchesters" Episode 2.

"The Winchesters" continues to echo "Supernatural" while carving its own identity in the successful horror franchise. Like its parent series, the early episodes have been monster-of-the-week mysteries that are steeped in terrifying folklore such as Lougarou creatures. However, they also tease overarching horrors that will make their presence felt down the line, spelling trouble for all living lifeforms.

According to showrunner Robbie Thompson, coming up with brand-new types of creatures for "The Winchesters" has been lots of fun. "[We] really were excited about trying to find a new monster, a new Big Bad, and even within the course of episodes, trying to find some new monsters for our heroes to be fighting," he told TVLine.

Episode 2, "Teach Your Children Well," perfectly epitomizes that sweet balance of old and new — and it features an interesting monster for good measure. The closing scenes introduce a "Supernatural" character to "The Winchesters," but the main story pits the gang against a South American folklore creature that's never cropped up in the "Supernatural" universe until now.

La Tunda mimics the appearance of people's loved ones to lure them into danger

Episode 2 of "The Winchesters" is a thrill ride, sure, but it also invites viewers to dig into some spooky South American folklore. The episode's villain, La Tunda, is a shapeshifting tree creature that preys on victims with parental issues. The monster has roots (pun intended) in Colombian mythology on "The Winchesters," similar to the real-world legend that inspired it.

According to Espooky Tales, La Tunda has been discussed in Colombian and Ecuadorian folktales since the 1500s. Described as a forest, jungle, and mountain-dwelling woman, she's known for taking on the appearance of the people her victims love before kidnapping them. This element of her persona informed "The Winchesters," as most of her victims thought that she was their parents or religious teachers. However, "The Winchesters" simplifies the lore to an extent, as La Tunda has also been known to steal unbaptized children and claim adulterous men as her lovers. To seduce the men, she cooks enchanted shrimp in her butt, which causes them to become attracted to her.

While "The Winchesters" portrays La Tunda in a villainous light, it's worth noting that she's more nuanced in some folktales. According to Ancient Origins, she's a friend of nature and protects plants, rivers, trees, and animals from those who seek to destroy them.