Below is a supernatural story told to me by a classmate whose family hails from the Mexican state of Michoacán, the subject of the story being her grandmother at a young age encountering an evil supernatural entity, possibly a demon, with her siblings.
For the sake of convenience, I have identified the interviewer in the following interaction as ‘Q’, and the subject as ‘A.’
The story was told as follows:
Q. Let’s hear a ghost story.
A. So In Mexico, my grandma told me this story- my grandma was born in Mexico. Um, my grandma told me that at a certain time, so you had to cross this river to get back, but her and her brothers and sisters, they would go and get fruit. But like, you had to cross the river- it was a long way. So you basically had to leave early to get back before sunset and you have to cross this river
If you were to cross it before sunset you would see a dog, but it was like a demon dog. And it would turn its head and look back at you and like turn its head upside down
She said one time, her and her sisters, they were fighting. They were fighting over a banana. And the sun had already set, and the oldest sister was all like, if y’all stop fighting and we all stay quiet and be calm, the dog won’t come.
But because her and her sister were fighting over a banana, the dog ended up appearing. Like, she said that they saw the dog, and uh, the only way they could outrun him was to like, swim in the river. So they had to swim in the river. The dog ended up catching up to them, but by the time he did, they were already like, in their house. And what they had to do was all like, get together, under a table, and just like apologize to each other and like hug each other.
So once all of them, basically like, were good, the dog- they just stopped hearing the barking.
Q. What part of Mexico was this in?
What stands out about this story is its similarity to many classic tales in utilizing supernatural elements to form a moral or some kind of concluding lesson.
Whether the incident happened or not is not the matter. What does matter is the scenario of a grandmother giving her granddaughter a story involving the escape and overcoming of assailing evil forces by the power of familial love, something that could only have been accomplished if each of the family set aside their qualms and focused on the issue at hand rather than continue to fight.
Such small, personal tales demonstrate the power of narrative in illustrating lessons for successive generations in a manner that can be properly understood and perceived in a child’s eyes, hence the presence of a monster (the demon dog).