Texas. An American State well known throughout The World for it's ''Heroic Stories'' and ''Tall Tales''. From Booted Cowboys in ''Ten Gallon'' Hats to beautiful girls, Texas has ''it all''.......including many Ghost Stories and legendary Curses. One such, comes from southern Texas and the 1840s. It is the tale of the Mexican Outlaw Vidal – who would later be known as ''El Muerto'' or ''The Headless Horseman''. Vidal was infamous in His day. He and His Outlaw Gang were well known for being Cattle and Horse Thieves. They worked a strip of geography still known as ''No Man's Land'' (a portion of unclaimed land between Mexico and The United States, which would eventually become US Property after The Mexican War). This made Vidal unconcerned. He like to ''hunt'' The Region regardless.
To counter, that well known Texas Law Enforcement Agency known as The ''Rangers'' spend much effort in trying to curb not only Vidal, but many other Outlaw Bands. It is said in Texas a Man can ''Steal another Man's Wife and Money...but never steal His Horse or Steers!'' In The American West both Crimes were an instant ''death penalty''. Despite ''swift justice'', it did nothing to curb Vidal. Eventually, The Rangers even resorted to more ''extreme measures''. One such was to ''hack up into little pieces'' any Horse Thief or Cattle Rustler, leaving their ''portions'' to be eaten by Coyotes and Vultures. Even in this, Vidal was said to laugh.
When Vidal stole several prized horses from a Texas Ranger Coral, ''War'' was declared. Paying the ''right informants'' would yield Vidal's ''secret camp''. A group of Texas Rangers ambushed Vidal and His Men at night. Although shot to death, The Rangers decided to ''set a gruesome example''. Vidal's head was cut off and attached to His Horse's saddle by a leather strap, there to hang freely. His body was likewise ''strapped into His saddle''. The horrible visage was then ''pointed'' to the horizon. With a slap on His horse's rump, the beheaded Bandit was ''set loose into the brush''.
Soon Indians and Farmers began to tell tales of ''seeing'' this now decomposing body, galloping thru the prairie. Shot at by gun and arrow, Vidal was literally in pieces when His horse was finally stopped some weeks later. Vidal (or what was left of Him) was buried in an unmarked grave. Unfortunately, somewhere along His ''journey'' His head came free of it's strap and tumbled free – never to be found. Years would pass.
In the 1890s, Cowboys began to tell tales of ''seeing'' a phantom rider without a head – galloping at great speeds, thru the prairie at night. The Apache called the apparition ''El Muerto'' or ''Headless Horseman''. Seeing Him ride is seen as extremely ''bad luck'' – with death by some means – the end result. As with most stories of such, ''He'' is searching for His missing head. He will wander Texas until ''Hell freezes over'' – or He finds His Head.