The informant tells the story of the Blood-Sucking Chicken from his hometown in Idaho Springs, CO.
The story of the blood-sucking chicken seems to have been made up by neighborhood children/his brothers from when the informant was a child. There is always a fascination with the dangerous, the scary, and the unknown, all three of which seem to be embodied in the story of the blood-sucking chicken. The informant said that there were a lot of shanties in the mountains around where he grew up. These shanties,
dangerous, abandoned, and most likely forbidden by parents for exploration, are themselves a rich source for spooky/ominous folklore, particularly around children who love to create stories to fit the atmosphere of particular surroundings. The shanties also bring into play the differentiation in class between the informant and his childhood friends and the inhabitants of the shanties in that what their parents deemed unsafe because of socioeconomic standing could have been accepted as dangerous by the children for a completely different reason, seeing as class isn’t usually a big issue among children. So, the shanties themselves provide a backdrop of eeriness and danger, which is augmented by the ominous barn and its mysterious and monstrous contents.
I see the blood-sucking chicken itself as the children’s imaginative way to make sense of the dead animals that were found around the ominous barn: the appearance of dead animals around the barn was left unexplained by a voice of authority (that is to say, their parents), so the next logical and most exciting conclusion the children could come up with was that there was some kind of monster inside the barn. And, seeing as the children could easily hear the sounds of the chickens in the scary barn though they couldn’t see them, it fit that the monster was a blood-sucking chicken that would escape from its coop and terrorize the barn’s surroundings at night. And thus, the blood-sucking chicken was born.
Another great thing about the blood-sucking chicken and its barn is that going to the barn and hearing the blood-sucking chicken became its own type of legend quest practiced by that informant and his friends, because going to the barn would be a way to show their bravery and to defy the foe that they themselves had created.