Context: My informant, JP, is my uncle. He grew up in Texas and hearing legends of El Chupacabra from his friends. He has told this story many times in the past to family and friends, and shown the accompanying video. While I’m not sure he actually believes it, he always tells the story as if it is entirely factual and a real account of a chupacabra sighting. This piece was collected over the phone as he told the story to me and his girlfriend. In the text, I am SW and B refers to JP’s son (my cousin) who was approximately 11 at the time.
JP: “Well first of all, you gotta know what the chupacabra is. And literally translated from Spanish it means ‘goat sucker.’ And it came about that, I don’t know, years and years, probably a century or two ago, the farmers down in um… Mexico and south Texas, some of their goats would end up dead in the field, and like the blood would be sucked out of them. They looked to find out what was doing this, and the… the whole tale of the chupacabra. It wasn’t just goats either, there were cattle and other things that were dead and all the blood was sucked out of them. Anyhow, there’s been sightings over the years, a whole bunch of times, of people seeing the chupacabra. And, and various descriptions of them. I used to think that stuff was just fantasy and just kind of make believe, and kind of funny. Until one night, when B and I were going to um… Jack in the crack. We were hungry at about 12:30 at night. So we were going down to go get some tacos and whenever I turned onto the big street, there it was running down the middle, the median of the street, running the opposite direction we were going. It was el chupacabra. It was about the size of a coyote but it had no hair on there, and it ran like kind of like a deer, kind of hopped with the back legs and stuff, it was kind of weird. And I told B I was like ‘oh that’s the chupacabra! I saw him before that is him!’ And it looked just like the descriptions that people talk about, I mean big teeth that are sharp and… and long and um kind of a dog-like face but wasn’t a dog. I mean, kind of looked like it but not a whole lot like a dog. And there was no hair on this thing, and it was kind of a brownish, blackish color. And the ears were set farther back than like a coyote or a dog too. And they were smaller. So anyhow he was running that way so we went back around, and um, pulled into this space – cause we saw him cross the street. And we pulled into the… behind the fire station where we saw him go in. And we were looking, and um… this is whenever the video actually started right about this point. And we were looking and then all of a sudden we saw it! It was there, we just caught a glimpse of it but it took off running. So we had to whip back around and get back out onto the main street, drive down about an eighth of a mile, and then turn into a neighborhood, and then come back towards this big, massive park where we saw the chupacabra. And we um, we turned on the street to see it. And we were looking… couldn’t find it, couldn’t find it, and then B goes ‘there it is! There it is!’ and it was in the park! So I drove over the curb, into the park at 12:30 at night in this big grassy area. And the chupacabras going and we were following this thing and it was running from us. And we have video of this thing because like I said, I used to think it wasn’t true, but then we actually saw him. And… the way it was running it was weird it looked like… it ran more like a deer. But, like I said the size of a coyote but no hair and it was kind of blackish, and big teeth and the eyes were really big too. Yeah the eyes were big. Anyhow so we were chasing, he was running away from us and we were flying in the car going probably about 30 miles an hour through this park trying to chase this chupacabra. And it was zigging and zagging and we were zigging and zagging in the car going left and right. And B is laughing and he’s getting thrown all around and I was like laughing too. I’m like going, I was like ‘oh my god, get this on video! People are going to pay money to see this, this is evidence right here!’ So… and then we made a, at this point that chupacabra made a hard left bank and took off and there was a whole bunch of rabbits right there. And um, but he was too afraid running away from us that he didn’t go after any of them, he didn’t try to suck any of the rabbits off or anything. So anyway, he took off running into this neighborhood, and we were flying we jumped over the curb, then went back into this neighborhood area and down the alley. And then that’s kind of where we lost it. It… heading over in that area. And then um, B was laughing so hard he wet his pants in the car. But it was, that is the honest god’s truth, and I have video evidence to prove it. And his eyes… it might have been the way that our headlights hit it but his eyes glowed. I mean they were like glowing things, like a yellowish, greenish kind of color. And we’ve seen him two other times, and actually one time we saw him in the daytime. But the other times that I saw it was in the nighttime. And um… even like about a year or two after that we saw it again. And it was, it was the same one because it had the same kind of black um… brown spot on it.”
My uncle loves telling this story as his firsthand encounter with a legendary monster. I’m fairly certain the animal in the video is actually some kind of coyote or even a large rabbit, and I have a feeling he knows that too. However, it makes a very engaging story to tell at parties or to friends. The way my uncle tells the story with so much gusto and detail shows his love of being seen as an engaging storyteller and the life of the party. The traditional legend of El Chupacabra is fairly common in Texas because of its proximity to Mexico and high population of Mexican immigrants. The fact that my uncle has his own story shows the intermingling of folklore between traditionally separate national folk groups. It also shows humanity’s propensity for using supernatural stories to explain things that they otherwise can’t, even if a normal animal would be a much more logical explanation.
For another description of the chupacabra, see Lewis, Robert. “Chupacabra”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 18 May. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/chupacabra