El Cucuy

“There’s like a monster called El Cucuy, kinda like the boogeyman, it’s meant to scare children. Basically if you misbehaved El Cucuy would like to come and get you.”

Background: The informant’s parents never used it to scare her as a child, she would sometimes hear it from family members at parties or at dinners. She says it was used more in a joking manner in her family, rather than as a tactic to keep the kids in line.

Analysis: The El Cucuy is mainly viewed as a Spanish myth or legend but it can also be viewed as a superstition as it is able to mysteriously hide under the beds of misbehaving children. El Cucuy is often equated with the Western idea of the boogeyman and has many different variations such as Coco, Coca, Cuca, or Cucuí. Many cultures often have a boogeyman in order to prevent children from misbehaving, though most families don’t take it seriously in today’s society, often using it in a joking manner so as to not completely terrify children.