Intrigue and a lack of facts lead people to become creative and imaginative. The truth is, there is limited information, which helps fuel the legend. "This is the fertile ground from which folk and urban legends are born and thrive," says Prower. He believes these types of legends continue to be passed on because they are fun and more interesting than a mundane explanation.
And there's likely another reason this "real-life" corpse bride in the shop window legend continues: It's an excellent marketing tool for this local dress shop. Who doesn't love a good mystery?
Theresa Córdova shares in her 2012 University of New Mexico dissertation thesis, "Recordando Nuestra Gente: Ritual Memorialization Along the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro," that she visited the shop where the bridal mannequin stands, explained her research objectives and was granted an appointment to talk with the manager. But when she came back for the scheduled meeting a few days later, she realized she had been stood up.
A store clerk eventually told her there wouldn't be an interview because the owners claimed it would bring bad luck, she shares. "I left the store and realized how the story of Pascualita was the dress shop's marketing tool in a city with multiple wedding dress shops," Cordova writes. "The owner and public relations director viewed my study as negative publicity."
Determined to find more information about La Pascualita and prove her existence, Córdova explains in her thesis that she sought out archives at the city church and was told the story was only a legend.
"I could not find any record of her life in the archives because she did not, in fact, exist," Cordova writes. "I was unable to rely on any historical archives, written obituaries or church documents in order to reconstruct the life and death of La Pascualita."
Denying interviews about the corpse in the shop window seems to be a good marketing strategy and one that maintains the intrigue and mystery of La Pascualita. Prower thinks it's a good business decision to turn down interviews. "It keeps the legend alive, keeps their business in business, and keeps a little more magic here in our mundane world," he says.