Folk belief – Narrative

My informant shared a story in heard from his babysitter while he lived in Puerto Rico. His babysitter was a black woman from St. Croix and she was a strong believer of mythical creatures, mystical occurrences, legends, witchcraft and magic. My informant does not remember extreme details of the story but he does remember her legitimate belief in it.

This is the story as he remembers it: One time late at night she heard footprints walking behind her but every time she turned around to look, no one was there. She then got in her care and drove home. Even when she got out of her car and walked up toward her house she continued to hear the footprints. When she got up on her porch and to her door she turned around as fast as she could and at the bottom of her porch she saw what she described as a hoofed man. Startled, she went into her house and nothing else happened. The next morning in the dirt along her drive she saw hoof prints leading up to her porch. She also said that a similar incident had happened to her cousin in St. Croix.

My informant said his babysitter was telling his this story to share her experience and not to scare him as it would seem based on the story content. The informantÂ’s babysitter took a folklore creature and added him to a real life experience that she believed in. The creature she described is similar to pan or satyrs in Greek mythology or a faun in Roman mythology. These half goat half man creatures are also present in African mythology which is where my informants babysitter most likely got her belief from. There are also many accepted folk beliefs, myths and legends in Puerto Rico and the discussion of them is more widely accepted than in the United States.