Mexico: Chupacabra

Informant: The story of the Chupacabra is one I have been hearing for most of my childhood. The first time I heard it was at a sleepover when I was about nine years old. We were all getting ready to go to sleep and decided to tell each other scary stories. The Chupacabra is a type of monster that attacks and drinks the blood of livestock, specifically goats. Hence its name “Chupacabra” which literally means “goat-sucker.” The monster is always described as a type of beast with really sharp teeth and black eyes. Even though it doesn’t necessarily attack people, the terror towards it comes from the fact that many people have claimed to see it. It’s almost as if its presence is the horrifying thing rather than its actions.  Even though my fear towards it eventually faded, it was still a figure people talked about. This was especially true for little children. So, like, if you want to scare a little kid or get him to do something you can always say “Va a venir el Chupacabra por ti” which basically translated to “the Chupacabra will come get you.” 


I find it very interesting that the informant describes his fear towards the Chupacabra as a kid even though humans are not this creature’s target. I think the fear stems from the scary appearance of the Chupacabra.

The fact that the Chupacabra sucks the blood of livestock made me think of vampires. Among other things, vampires are known for sucking the blood of people. Therefore, the trope of taking the blood from another living creature as a form of survival is something both creatures have in common.

I think that the reason why the Chupacabra takes blood from livestock is because many parts of Mexico are rural. Farming and agriculture is very prominent in Mexico and for people living in rural areas their livestock is extremely important and valuable. Therefore, I can understand how the idea of a creature that goes around killing your livestock can become a terrifying prospect. The part that I would be interested to research more are the supposed Chupacabra sightings. The informant mentioned this briefly but I wonder what who exactly it is that has claimed to see the creature. Is it kids, farmers, old people? This would provide a much more holistic understanding to the Chupacabra tale.