Informant: There’s this story that you tell kids to scare them called el mano peluda which translates to the hairy hand. It comes out to get you at night when you go to turn off the lights. It’s just this hairy disembodied hand. When my mom would put me to bed as a kid, she’s scratch at the door frame after turning off the lights and say “it’s El Mano Peluda” so I would stay in bed and go to sleep. No one would ever say what would happen if you were attacked by him. I think it was scarier to leave it up to the imagination.
I asked a group of friends to share scary stores form their childhood. This was one of their responses. The informant is of hispanic descent.
In looking up the story, I found out it is most commonly referred to as La Mano Peluda. I find it interesting that both the informant and her mother who told her the story referred to it as “El” even though they both knew it was grammatically incorrect.
For more on El/la Mano Peluda see: http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/our-issues/scary-latino-myths-read-or-el-cuco-will-get-you