Known as a devil woman, La Diablesse is a woman whose figure and dress make her appear to be beautiful. But she wears a large brimmed hat to hide her disfigured and ugly face. In other versions of the tale her face in beautiful. She is found in almost every village in Trinidad, particularly in Northern Trinidad. She appears on the nights when the full moon is the only light that pierces the darkness and she waits on those remote byways where a man is likely to pass, who would digress from their course to accommodate a pretty face. Her long dress hides her one cloven hoof. She often appears from behind trees and she casts spells on her unsuspecting male victim’s whom she leads into the forest with the promise of sexual favors.
These men are never able to catch up with her, eventually finding themselves lost and bewildered. Confused and scared, the victim tries to find his way home, often meeting a grisly end. Other versions of the tale see her make victims waking up naked in a stinging nettle tree. Those who thought that they may have encountered La Diablesse often took their clothes off and turned them inside out before putting them on again. It is believed that this will protect you from her. There is also a male version of this folklore character. Jack O’ Lantern entices susceptible women away from the safety of their surroundings to certain doom.
Caribbean parents tell the tale because they thing the story of the La Diablesse, would caution children about the virtue of good behavior. This story is also important because it features cautionary tales warning young men to be wary of women who look attractive on the outside but may have evil personalities waiting to entrap them.