Tag Archives: Hispanic folklore

El Chupacabra

Text: El Chupacabra 

My informant is the mother of a friend.

She said that El Chupacabra is a Latin American folktale about an unknown creature that sucks the blood out of living animals. El Chupacabra is mostly known for targeting the livestock of farmers, especially goats, hence the english translation of “the goat sucker”. There are different speculations of what it looks like, but the most common tends to be a sort of demented dog.

She also said the tale itself is at least a hundred years old, but became popular around 40 years ago when farmers began losing their livestock in a similar manner to that of a Chupacabra. People, mainly farmers, likely still tell this story as a warning of what to watch out for. El Chupacabra was used as something to scare children with in order to behave or else the Chupacabra would come after them. She thinks the Chupacabra whether real or not demonstrates the highly superstitious culture of Latin America as people quickly speculated the Chupacabra to be of an almost otherworldly nature rather than some animal. She personally believes el Chupacabra is likely just some animal that had perhaps gone undiscovered.


Upon analyzing the Chupacabra, it is a legendary creature or cryptid. The story of the Chupacabra is that it is mainly a monster that goes after farmers’ livestock. Although the Chupacabra is something that is not scientifically proven, people still speculate its existence.

I see this creature as a way to explain the unknown or the fear of something larger and powerful outside. While livestock could have been eaten by wolves or a large animal, the thought of the Chupacabra or a creature in place of a more rational explanation shows a part of the superstitious culture in Mexico that my informant mentions.

The Chupacabra is also used as a monster that parents or older people may use to scare their children, which diverts from it’s origins. Which show a development to its story on a surface level from a creature that is used to explain how livestock or farms get messed with to a monster that also want to potentially hurt humans, or in this case, children.



The chupacabra was, in the words of the subject, a goat-looking humanoid creature that would suck the blood out of its victims.  If the subject ever went on a hike or into someplace more rural and nature-like with his family, then they would tell him and any other children with them that the chupacabra was always somewhere, and was waiting for kids who didn’t pay attention or didn’t heed their parent’s warnings so that it could snatch them up and carry them away to devour them.  They would especially remind the subject of this story if they and their peers weren’t staying close to the parents, and were going too far into the wilderness without supervision.

The subject reported that descriptions of this creature varied every time they were told about it, with the subject sometimes being told it was a monster, to sometimes being told it was a demon, to sometimes being told it was simply a scary animal.  However, some things that always stayed consistent with the retellings was that it was very small, very fast, very strong, and extremely grotesque.


The subject, N.S., grew up in the urban areas of Los Angeles, but was very close to rural hiking trails and other natural, outdoorsy environments, where they and their family would make regular weekend trips towards hiking trails and parks.  It was in these hiking trails and parks that the subject was warned by his parents of the dangers of the chupacabra, and of the dangers of going too far from their parents in the rural area.  The subject also stated that the stories about the Chupacabra slowly began to be phased out of their life as time moved on, until eventually, their parents never mentioned it again.


The superstition of the Chupacabra was likely meant as a way to prevent the subject from running off from their parents when in heavily wooded and rural areas, especially since the subject could navigate the sometimes-thick brush more easily than their parents could.  By giving the subject a dangerous boogeyman in the form of the chupacabra, the subject’s parents were able to ensure that the subject would stay close to them, as well as avoid taking any unnecessary risks whilst they’re out in such an unfamiliar and dangerous environment.  The Chupacabra also likely had some history buried in actual sightings, with people over time spotting creatures that matched the chupacabra’s descriptions, and created a superstition hidden behind the Chupacabra’s nature and danger.