USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘legend’
Legends
Narrative

New England Ghost Story

Informant EB is a senior at the University of Southern California majoring in political science. EB is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but he has spent the majority of his youth in Connecticut. Here, he shares a ghost story known to a town in Connecticut called Dudley Town.

EB: “So Dudley Town is a famous old colonial town in Cornwall, Connecticut, and most people who are from Connecticut know of it as a spooky, old ghost town. Back in the mid to late 1700’s, Dudley Town was mostly farmland and it was used for farming purposes only. But because other businesses were opening up and it was located on an area that was not ideal for farming, the agricultural production suffered and eventually closed down. So the story is that there was a doctor in this town who killed all of his patients when he would go visit them at their homes. He would poison his patients by giving them the wrong medication. This doctor was known to be a Satanist and that he believed that if he followed and did what the devil instructed him to do, he would be rewarded with a rich and fruitful afterlife. So he did this for years and years up until he hung himself in the middle of town. It has been known that his dark, evil spirit haunts the remains of this old town and that no one will really go near it because of all the strange things that have happened. I think it is even closed off to the public today.”

Where did you earn about this legend?

EB: “Um well I heard it while going to school when I was younger and it is a story that is talked about in school by our the older classmates. I have heard variations of the story over the years, but it is something that has been talked about among friends and schoolmates for generations.”

Does this legend have any significant meaning to you?

EB: “Uh kind of in that it is was talked about in school as a way to warn the students to not venture over to that town because of what happened, but it mostly freaked me out when I first heard in school.”

What context or setting would you share this story?

EB: “I have shared this legend to other people when it has been close to Halloween, but I feel like if I were to run into someone who is from Connecticut, they would have a better understanding of the whole ghost story thing and we would be able to relate to it better. I feel like most people who aren’t from Connecticut would look at me weird because they may not know the historical background of old colonial towns like Dudley and or they might now believe in the supernatural. But it’s also a fun story to share for entertainment purposes too.”

Analysis:

Connecticut is a New England state that is prominently known for its coastal cities and its mysterious rural areas. The remains of an old colonial settlement, Dudley Town is known to be cursed. Plagued by hundreds of unexplained deaths and tragedies, this town is now prohibited to the public and has been reclaimed by the surrounding forest. The remains of this eerie town are now fully covered by trees and wildlife. I found it interesting how the informant learned about this legend in school while he was a new student and how it is tradition each year to share this legend with the younger incoming students.

Legends
Narrative

Croatian Cemetery Legend

Informant FV is my grandfather who was born and raised in Split, Croatia. Here, he describes a Croatian legend from the city of Split that was about a courageous man who was dared by his friends to visit a cemetery alone at night. This legend has long been told over generations:

FV: “There were a group of guys who were one night hanging out with each other like they normally do after work. They started talking about daring each other to go to the cemetery by themselves. No one out of the group would immediately volunteer because they knew you’re not supposed to trespass. Well, there was one guy in the group who eventually volunteered himself to go. He volunteered because he wanted to prove to his friends that he was brave enough to go alone to the cemetery. Then they all agreed that he would go to the cemetery at midnight with a knife. And this was during the wintertime. They told him to put the knife on top of the grave and to leave it there. And that’s what the brave man did. He followed the instruction to place the knife on top of a grave and to leave it there to be found the next morning. Well, when his friends came the next morning to pick the knife up, they couldn’t find him anywhere. So they proceeded into the cemetery at the break of dawn looking for their friend. Once they ventured into the cemetery, they saw a man passed out over one of the graves. Turns out their friend who was dared to enter the cemetery late at night to put a knife on top of a grave died. The man ended up getting tangled up on his long coat. Because it was pitch black and you couldn’t see anything, he thought someone was grabbing him by his coat, which caused him to have a heart attack. He died on top of a grave from a heart attack. Now, people say that they see the man’s silhouette or ghostly figure roaming around the cemetery looking for his friends.”

How did you learn about this legend?

FV: “Well it’s a story that is told over the years while growing up. I heard it from my grandfather when I was a young boy. My friends also heard about the story from their grandparents as well. It’s meant to scare the young kids in town and for entertainment purposes. But there are people who truly believe that the man who died that night still exists within the cemetery, so people tend to tell the same legend. It’s an old legend that is known in Split and is still told today.”

Why do you like sharing this legend with other people?

FV: “Well, it’s a story that lives on over generations and it’s fun to tell for fun, but I know some people who have shared with me that they have seen the apparition of the man themselves so there is a spookiness to the story.”

What context or setting would this story be told in?

FV: “Well, this story has been told at gatherings like parties or other events mainly to entertain those who are listening.”

Does this legend have any significance to you?

FV: “I enjoyed telling this story to my children when they were young and to my grandchildren because it was a legend that was passed down to me by my family, so I like to do the same and share it with my family.”

Analysis:

There are many legends and myths within the Croatian culture and this is one example of a legend that has been past down generation to generation by word of mouth. This legend is told for entertainment purposes during parties or gatherings to compel the audience with something interesting. It has been said that those who have visited this cemetery in Split have seen the same man walking through as if he was alive. Legends like this are often shared in the Croatian culture to amuse the young children.

 

Legends
Narrative

Connecticut Ghost Story

Informant EM is 18 years old and a freshman at the University of Southern California. Her major is cinema and media stories. Here, she discusses her ghostly experience as a freshman in high school in Connecticut:

EM: “For my freshman year of high school, I went to boarding school in the middle of nowhere in Connecticut. It was kind of an isolated community so we had to tell each other stories to keep us entertained for the most part and a lot of those stories involve the founding of the school and the legacy of the people who founded the school. So I got the luck of moving into the oldest dorm on campus that had been around since the 1800’s and it was a scary place. It was drafty, it was cold, it was falling apart, so naturally we had a bunch of ghost stories about it. The most memorable one was the story of the ghost of Maria Bissell Hotchkiss who was the founder of the school. Legend had it that if you went out at night to the hallway and you went to the back staircase of the dormitory, which was named after her by the way, you would see a woman dressed in white in a Victorian costume, like very old fashioned clothing, walking back and forth throughout the hallway and she would go down the stairs and if you tried to follow her, she would disappear. A lot of this has to do with the fact that back part of the dorm used to be her home when the school was originally founded. It’s kind of like the idea that she is looking out for the students. She’s been known to be a benevolent ghost, nothing really scary about her, but it was still creepy and there were definitely tons of sightings. I remember in particular when we had a blackout, because we were snowed in, there was this horrible blizzard. I actually feel like I might have seen something. I like to think that there is a rational explanation because like again it’s an old building, but I heard footsteps out in the hallway and I had the room closest to the back staircase and there wasn’t anyone with me. My roommate was back in my room but she heard the footsteps too, but she didn’t see what I saw. I saw someone in the dark who was dressed in white and this figure was opening the back door to the staircase and going in and you know there could be many explanations obviously, but it definitely made me think and it was kind of a fun story to tell other people after.”

How did people react to your experience?               

EM: “Well there was this girl who was a daughter of a teacher and she lived in the house adjacent to the dorms, and she said that all throughout her childhood before even knowing who Maria Bissell was, she had actually seen the ghost in one of the rooms, which when we later went upstairs to look at it, it turned out to be my room because it is the closest to the back. So we were thinking that maybe this used to be Maria Bissell’s room when it was a house, so maybe that explains why she keeps going there. But the girl said she wasn’t scared of her as a young child. She said that she got the impression that this spirit was kind to children. She started a school so maybe she is still around just to keep looking out for her students to make sure that they are OK.”

How or from whom did you learn about your school’s history?

EM: “Well before I saw it with my own eyes, I had the background because it was a popular story to hear around Halloween from the older students. It was kind of like an initiation thing like I would hear it from like the girls who were proctors and were seniors and you would hear it from the faculty. But I remember that they would make this little ritual out of it on Halloween where they would take us to a graveyard. They would take us out on Halloween night to the grave of Maria Bissell. It was just to scare us and it was part of the initiation process. It was a big part of the school culture and especially the women who are a part of the school. The boys never heard about this kind of stuff that went on, only the girls were involved.”

Did any of the girls ever share this with the boys?

EM: “Never. No, actually it was very exclusive. I don’t know if it had to do with that the dorm was a girls dorm, but it was definitely women who passed it on to other women.”

Does your experience have any meaning to you?

EM: “Well I’m not sure, but I like to keep my mind open. I like to think of it more as a lucky encounter or a positive thing, almost like a good luck charm more than it would be like something that is very scary because it was a way in connecting with the history of the place and also it’s nice for a change to have like a mascot ghost that isn’t out to get you. It was definitely a positive experience.”

What context would you share your experience in?

EM: “Well it makes a great story for stuff like Halloween, but I feel like it’s probably easier to explain to people from my same background. So if I were to meet another girl who went to Hotchkiss, I would probably ask her if she heard about Maria Bissell and ask her of she experienced anything similar. Everyone has their own story on Maria Bissell, which kind of defines your belonging to group of Hotchkiss girls. It would definitely be a bonding thing.”

Analysis:

EM’s experience with the ghost of Maria Bissell Hotchkiss is a large part of the schools initiation process and part of the tradition of passing those experiences onto the new class of girls who are coming in. It represents belonging within the community and the spirit of Marie Bissell Hotchkiss is portrayed as a benevolent spirit who is a reminder that the girls of this community a part of a tradition that was upheld for decades. The shared experiences and stories brought the community together. It solidified the bond between the girls of the school. It also established a sense of identity for the girls who went to Hotchkiss. Many girls came from all over the U.S. and the world to earn an education at this school and through the many experiences of encountering Maria Bissell over generations brought a sense of community and a shared belief system that all the girls could relate to and understand.

 

For another version of this legend, check out this article written by Stephanie Thomas:

http://www.hotchkiss.org/abouthotchkiss/hotchkiss-today/last-bissell-halloween-walk/index.aspx

Citation:

Thomas, Stephanie. “Origins of the Bissell Halloween Walk.” The Hotchkiss School. N.p., 2014. Web. Apr. 2016.

 

 

Legends
Narrative

The Devil at the Dance

Informant KJ is a sophomore studying cinematic art at the University of Southern California. He is of French-Canadian descent from the region of Quebec. Here, he discusses traditional Canadian folklore that has been known in his family for several generations:

KJ: “So there’s this other French-Canadian legend called “The Devil at the Dance” and it’s about this young couple who fall in love with each other, but they have opposing religious beliefs and the girl’s parents refuse their daughter to be involved with him because he is a Christian and they’re not. The daughter professes her love for the Christian boy, but her parents refuse to accept their daughter’s claims. The mother even says that she would rather have her daughter associated with the devil himself rather than a boy like hi. Then one day, the devil knocked on the family’s door. The family was so afraid that they asked a priest to convert them to Christianity. Once the family and the daughter were officially converted, the Christian boy and the young girl got married, both now as official members of Christianity.”

How did you learn about this legend?

KJ: “It’s just another French-Canadian tale that I’ve heard over the years from my grandparents.”

In what context would you share this legend?

KJ: “Well, my grandparents would share this story with me and other cousins mostly when I was younger and it was usually at our family gatherings.”

Does this legend have any significance to you?

KJ: “Um ya kind of because it was something that was always told from older members of my family like my grandparents and they made it fun, so ya it does.”

Analysis:

This French-Canadian tale exhibits the influence the devil had in the reinforcement of Christian ideals by scaring the non-believing family into converting into Christianity. The image and representation of the devil is quite common among French-Canadian tales, as he is known to make deals and to trick people. The devil is a prominent ancestral fixture in French-Canadian folklore and continues to be in modern society.

 

Legends
Narrative

Menehune- Mischievous Hawaiian Spirits

Informant CT is in her third year as a neuroscience major at the University of Southern California. CT is Hawaiian and is from the island of Oahu. Here, she describes a well-known Hawaiian legend about mischievous spirits who play tricks on those who visit the Hawaiian Islands:

CT: “Menehune were natives of the Hawaiian Islands and were really small in stature. They have been known to look like little elves or fairies, but not really fairies, more like trolls and they lived deep in the forest away from civilization. They have been known to trick and mess with the tourists who come to the islands for vacation, like they tend to play practical jokes on the tourists like they would misplace your things while on your stay or they would pull you hair. They would also pinch or poke you. Mostly just silly stuff.”

How or where did you learn this legend from?

CT: “Well, my grandparents would always share this story with me and my sister when we were little. They’ve told us that the Menehune were like the first people to come to Hawaii and live on the islands. My grandparents would always say to us that whenever me and my sister did something bad or went against our parent’s rules, that is was the menehune that made us to it, that they influenced us to do it, like in a playful way.”

So the Menehune were not scary or meant to scare anyone?

CT: “No not at all. They, from what I have been told when I was little is that they are just playful spirits that mess around with young kids. It was never a scary thing or something to be afraid of. Nothing in that nature.”

In what kind of context would you share this Hawaiian legend?

CT: “Um well I guess you would share this legend to those who are going to Hawaii on vacation. Like I’ve made a joke about it before to my friends who were going to Hawaii during the summer. I would tell them to watch out for the Menehune while they are there because it’s been known in my culture that they mess with the tourists and their things so its just something fun to share with other people and kind of make them aware of this legend.”

Does this legend have any significant meaning to you?

CT: “Um, well it does in the sense that it is part of my Hawaiian culture and that it’s been shared and passed down through my family and it’s pretty well known. Like my friends and their families have spoken about it, mostly in a fun and joking way.”

Analysis:

These mischievous spirits have been known to pull pranks on those who visit the Hawaiian Islands for leisurely reasons, especially in more remote areas of the islands. Although there is no official record of a Menehune siting, legend has it that their spirits still live on and play on the minds of those who visit the Hawaiian Islands.

 

Legends

King Arthur

Informant was a 19 year old female who was born in England and currently lives in Los Angeles. She lives in my hall, and I interviewed her.

Informant: King Arthur’s a pretty well known story, so I don’t know how much I can say that you probably don’t already know. But it’s a pretty big story in England, like he kinda symbolizes our heritage and stuff like that. And I think we had a real King Arthur too so some people think the story is real, which I think is funny. But basically the story goes like this. Arthur’s father was the king of England, but then like he really liked this other girl that was married to someone else, so he asked Merlin for help. Merlin’s the wizard. And he made himself look like that girl’s husband. And then they had Arthur, but Arthur was raised by a knight and didn’t know that his dad was the king or whatever. So eventually, the king died and like he didn’t have any kids except for Arthur who didn’t know that he was his kid. And then Merlin did this thing where he put the sword in this stone, and he said that the person who could take the sword out of the stone was the king. And then a bunch of people tried but like nobody could do it until Arthur came and did it, and he became the king. There’s a lot that comes after that with like the round table and the knights and all of that, but I don’t really know much about that. Just the sword thing.

Collector: Is there anything in particular that you like about this story?

Informant: It’s like part of my culture, I guess. Even though like everybody knows the story, it’s a very British thing, and we take pride in it. I mean, I don’t care much for that, but I know that a lot of people do. I just think it’s a cool story.

For another version of this story, see “Matthews, John. The Book of Arthur: Lost Tales from the Round Table. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky & Konecky, 2002. Print.”

I have already heard of the tale of King Arthur multiple times, but I didn’t know that it meant a lot to English people. I thought that it was just a random story that Disney used and made popular, because that was the first time I had ever heard of it. It’s interesting to see how a story that is so well known around the world can have particular significance to a specific culture. Another thing that I think is interesting is that I didn’t know that the story included the king disguising himself to commit adultery. If my memory serves me right, I don’t remember that having been a part of the Disney movie. This is something that Disney has always done – obscure the more intense, not-PG versions of stories, and it makes me wonder what other things Disney has obscured.

Legends

Santo Toribio Romo

Legend

 

Nationality- Mexico

Primary Language- Spanish

Occupation- Construction Worker

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 3/17/16

Santo toribio romo

Before i had crossed the border from Mexico to the United States, I did a lot of preparation and praying for the trip. I also talked to a lot of my friends about relatives that they know who have gone and made it there safely. One of my friends whose name was Rosalba told me a story about the Santo Toribio Romo. Her husband had traveled to the United States with another friend and his son. They traveled day and night only stopping to sleep and the occasional rest. One day, they ended up getting lost and ran out of food and water for two days. They kept marching on but had no idea where to go. The father then said he saw an oasis and a man who looked like a priest standing next to it telling them to come this way. The man was obviously hallucinating since it was in the middle of the desert. He grabbed his son and hoped it was the way to go.  When he went towards the oasis direction, they found out it was the right way to go and made it to the United States. When he arrived and settled down, he called his wife and told her what he saw. She said that it was because she prayed for Santo Toribio Romo to guide them and he was the one who appeared to them. He thanked her for her prayers and said he will work till he can afford to send her safely to the United States. This story gave me hope because if things turned out bad, I can have my family pray for me and hope would keep me alive during my trip.

Francisco is from Mexico and has personally heard this story from one of his friends. His friend had heard the story directly from a man who experienced a legend himself. He liked the story she told him because it gave him hope to keep pushing on his journey to America. Opportunities were thin in Mexico so he did not really have another choice but to cross the border so having his faith lay in a priest made him feel safer about the crossing. Santo Toribio Romo lays on his wall in his living room because even to this day he treasures the faith he received from the saint. It was at a time when crossing the border was at its high so a lot of people in his family or just his friends used the saint to guide them on their journey.

When Francisco told me the story, it made him remember how tough it was to cross the border and how grateful he is to be here. His faith was very high because he later met the man who crossed and he confirmed that it was true. Francisco’s cross was not as vigorous as his but it was still difficult. The story is very uplifting so hearing it whenever wherever is suitable.

I believe this story is very interesting. Santo Toribio Romo was originally a priest from Jalisco, Mexico who died during a Christian uprising in 1928. To many of the Mexicans, after his death, many can recall seeing him on their journey to cross to the United States recognizing him as a patron of migrants. Many come to United States in search of miracles and put their lives in the hands of a saint. They have to overcome countless obstacles such as more patrols, night vision, and armed guards who shoot to kill, not to mention the dangerous environment they have to get through with limited supplies. Hundreds die each year attempting to cross with their faith in the saint and hundreds more continue to cross with the same faith despite the many deaths that have occurred. Francisco is one of the ones who made it with the faith placed in Santo Toribio Romo. The courage instilled upon Francisco was enough to get him to take the risk and make it to the United States. Many of the Mexican people have very little to count on yet end up having countless hope. It is because of folklore like this, legends and saints that allow people to keep on going and obtain a better life for themselves. Francisco worships the saint and lets his son know about his journey and the saint that helped him get there because he wants his son to know the struggle he had to go through and to appreciate how good he has it.  This legend is very strongly exchanged within the citizens of mexico and those who hear the stories of the people who crossed successfully.

 

Legends

Honduran Family Legend

Legend- Honduras

 

Nationality- Honduras

Primary Language- Spanish

Occupation- Factory Worker

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 3/11/16

One night when it was raining, a few days after your uncle marisio was born, your grandmother heard a strong knocking on the door. Your grandpa was still out working so she was uncertain if she should open the door. The baby was sound asleep and the knocking did not sleep so she decided to go see who it was. When she looked out a window, she saw a tall man with a black hoodie and coat getting soaked outside right in front of the door. When she went around to ask who it was, the man said “Let me see you baby”. Your grandma became frightened and said “No!”. The man then said that if she did not let him see the baby, in 18 years she would pay severely. The man kept knocking harder and then Marisio began to cry. Your grandma made sure the door was locked and ran to comfort Marisio. He would not stop crying and the man would not stop knocking. After a few minutes your grandma heard a horse hooves walking around the house. After half an hour of circling the house with a horse, the noise was gone and the baby stopped crying. 18 years later, your brother became mentally ill and has never recovered since then.

The person who told me this story was my mother. She is from Honduras and currently resides in Los Angeles. She learned this story from my grandmother who told her because she says it actually happened to her. Her brother has been ill ever since he turned 18. She believes that a reason he is “sick” is because it has something to do with the devil. Either because of this event or another possible reason that has to do with witchcraft. This is important to her because it taught her how evil and powerful the devil is and to always confide in God because he is where all good resides. She also learned that she should not ever open the door to any stranger, to always look through the window first, because you never know ehn the devil may be knocking. To my mother, it is an answer to an unknow. When my family in Honduras did not know why or how this happened to Marisio, they simply blamed it on the devil and realized it was a sane answer. She has had several spiritual rituals performed on him but to no avail, making her think that it is too late and the devil it too powerful.

The context of the story was serious, mysterious, but calm. Her tone was not with an intent to be ominous or scary because that was not the point of the story. She told me in broad daylight, in our living room when i asked her how did my uncle get sick. Her objective was to tell a story and give me a lesson, not just to scare me.

When my mother first told me the story, I was frightened. I was only 10 years old and the thought of the devil almost coming in contact with my family was crazy. I made sure to never open the door unless I knew who it was or if it was safe to do so. It also made me fear the devil and what he could do. When I turned 13, my mother was so cautious because of what happened that she gave me pills that would smoothen out my puberty process. She believed that it may help me and prevent anything similar to what happened to Marisio happen to me. Of course back when I turned 13 i thought that her methods were unorthodox but i could not really debate against her since she was my mother. Nothing terrible happened to me but it made me realize how religion and faith could really affect someone’s thoughts. I realized that with a lack of knowledge, people can become very afraid of the unknown and turn to their religion or God for answers. In Honduran culture, people believe that the devil rides with a horse and has unbelievable power and that anyone who is sick or evil is under the control or influence of the devil. Stories like these increase their beliefs because sometimes they have nothing else to believe in.

 

Legends

Santo Nino de Atoche- Mexican Legend

Legend- Mexico

 

Nationality- Mexico

Primary Language- Spanish

Occupation- Construction Worker

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 3/17/16

Santo Nino de Atoche

When i was a child, my dad was in a Mexican jail and our whole family was devastated. One day, I could not help myself, I had to be by myself and pray that my dad would be okay. I decided to go to a river and just think. I did not know when he was going to come out because my mother did not know either. As time passed, a kid walked by me. He looked younger than me and told me, your dad is going to be fine and is waiting for you home. The kid then walked away and fled to the village. I have never met him or seen him. I rushed back home wishing the kid was right and started to tear up as my father was home. I hugged him and told my mother that a boy told me my dad would be okay. She showed me a picture of a saint that looked just like him. I then realized that a saint had blessed us and guaranteed his safety.  She told me the that the saint’s name was Santo Nino de Atoche.

The person who performed this legend was my uncle. He is from Mexico and had lived in Zacatecas for most of his life until he came to the United States. In his city, there are many legends, myths, and stories people share. This legend came directly from his own personal experience but Santo Nino de Atoche has been around for hundreds of years. Francisco had learned this story from his mother who had told him that Santo Nino de Atoche was a holy saint that was the child of Jesus. My uncle believes that he appears when people need miracles and pray to God. God is the one who hears their prayers and sends the saint to assist them in their time of need. His whole family has portraits and other objects that worship the saint but he never truly believed or submitted his entire faith until he saw him when his dad was in jail. Seeing him there made him believe that he was real and that if he ever needed his help again, all he would have to do was pray and a miracle would be possible.

When Francisco told me this story, you can easily determine that his feelings for the saint are strong. We were at the dining table eating some traditional Mexican pastelitos. He told me the story with a smile on his face and excitement of reliving one his beloved childhood memories. He even had a glass case which held the saint. He has owned it ever since he left Mexico and everywhere he has gone in the United States. His faith in the saint is undeniably real and immense. The passion he shows when telling the stories lingers on the listener and makes them feel that maybe what he is saying is totally real.

The legend of Santo Nino de Atoche is very interesting and highlights the fact that a lot of the Mexican people love miracles and works of jesus. Their faith to the saints is tremendous and they use this hope to keep moving and pushing forward. A lot of the Mexican people use this hope to get out of the country to have a better life like in California. The hope received by saints such as Santo Nino de Atoche propels them to take the risks believing he will protect them and make sure they make it. The story of the Nino de Atoche had originated in Spain during the 15th century and has traveled all the way to Mexico. Many of the people do not know its origin but they do know that the Saint had helped religiously devoted men escape prison when imprisoned for the wrong reasons. They have taken this story and embedded it into their culture and have their children believing it is a strong Mexican only belief. Francisco has passed on his story and belief to his son which also shares the belief that Santo Nino de Atoche can grant miracles and when in times of needs, he only has to pray for his help and all will be okay. When a faith withheld changes into a personal experience, the belief becomes stronger and can survive multiple generations.

Folk Beliefs
Legends

EL Cucuy

Legend

 

Nationality- Mexico

Primary Language- Spanish

Occupation- Construction Worker

Residence- Los Angeles, CA

Date of Performance- 3/17/16

El cucuy

There is an old legend that came from Mexico. My mother would always tell me to behave or else the cucuy would get me. Cucuy was a small, bat eared, furry, hairy creature with red eyes that would kidnap you if you misbehaved or did something you weren’t supposed to. My mother said I have to always go to sleep at night on time, never do anything bad to someone else, and most importantly, listen and never disrespect her. If I did, the cucuy would come and get me. I have heard stories from my friends that say that when it’s night and they are out playing when their parents are asleep, they can hear something screeching and red eyes near the bushes. Every time that would happen, someone would go missing the next day. My mother would tell me stories and to this day, if i go to Mexico, I am still scared.

This  piece of folklore from Francisco was about the Cucuy. He learned it from his mother who would tell him anytime she believed there was a motive to disbehave. There are hundreds of legends in Zacatecas but this one was very popular and widely used. Almost every child in Mexico knows it because they are all afraid of it. To Francisco, this legend means a lot to him because it represents where he came from and what he shall pass on to his kids.

Francisco made the story of the cucuy sound ominous. He told it in a way that made the constant disappearing of children answered by the cucuy. The story is typically told in a dark night before kids go to sleep or wander off at night.

El cucuy is another legend from Mexico that has long been known by the Mexican people and a lot of latin americans. It has traveled to the United States and spread at a tremendous rate. The boogeyman is the american version of el cucuy since they both have the same roles, scare kids into staying in their beds and not doing any evil deeds. El cucuy is actually often seen as a variant version of “el coco” that originated from Portugal that had a similar role but had a pumpkin head. Except now, countless Mexican parents use it to instill good behavior on their children despite how cruel it may sound. There have even been books in the United States about el cucuy, its impact on children, society, and culture is amazing. No one has given or copyrighted a face for el cucuy but millions of people seem to believe in it.

 

IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0357507/

-Boogeyman movie that can be seen as a similar iteration of el cucuy.

 

[geolocation]