16 July 2009


"A shepherd wakes at dawn to find that his flock has been devastated by what at first appears to be a wild animal. Usually, the victims are entirely drained of blood" (Carson 107). After closer examination, the animals appear to have small puncture holes resembling teeth marks. The Chupacabra has reappeared.

A question regarding Chupacabra was posed in response to one of our blog articles. I have no personal experiences about the Chupacabra to relate, and I do not know if one really exists. Still, the creature is interesting to discuss.

While not considered "a true vampire", "the tale of the Chupacabra seems eerily akin to vampire legends, making the creature all the more mysterious and frightful" (Carson 106). But, "to the folks living in this region," stretching from South America to the United States, "the "Chupacabra" is more fact than fiction," It is "the south-west's answer to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster"(106).

"Chupacabra stories are relatively recent phenomena" (Koven 73). "The reputed creature has been part of local lore for hundreds of years, but only recently has begun to garner more public attention" (Carson 106). "The first recorded incident occurred in the turn-of-the-century (19th-20th) New Mexico, although rumors of a strange animal date back to early 1800's" (Carson 106). However, the majority of Chupacabra reports come from the past decade. "No one knows why it suddenly began to make regular appearances in the early 1990s, but since 1995 the Chupacabra has been blamed for the deaths of over 2,000 farm animals, and has been reported as far away as Russia and Hawaii!" (Ho 68).

Reports of the Chupacabra range "from Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and even Russia. After an intensive two-year period [1994-1996] of goat sucking, the creature seemed to disappear from Puerto Rico and everywhere else" (O'Keefe 292).

The name, Chupacabra, literally means "one sucks goat" or "goat-sucker". While this name sounds rather funny to us, it is very descriptive because the Chupacabra is the monster responsible for draining the blood of livestock, particularly goats, in the Americas. Some sources credit Silverio Perez, a Puerto Rican entertainer & entrepreneur, with coining the name. He noted the creature's propensity to drink the blood of goats in 1987 (Wikipedia). Other sources claim that "the term "Chupacabra" was first coined" in Mexico where "Goat-herding is a vital part of the economy" (Carson 107). Regardless of its origin, "most of the stories" associated with the Chupacabra "are basically the same" (Carson 107).

"Much of the information we have on the Chupacabra's appearance has been pieced together from eyewitness accounts. Allegedly ranging from three to six feet in length, the creature is said to have a sleek, hairless body with a tail that varies in size. Grayish-blue skin is usually complimented by huge, red eyes that peer out from a slightly oversized head. The most striking characteristic is undoubtedly the row of razor-sharp spikes that protrude from the animal's spine, rivaling its claws in sharpness"(Carson 106). "A typical chupacabra weighs about 30 or 40 pounds" (Morton). "Some reports have listed slightly different attributes" but "most are remarkably similar" (Carson 106).

The Chupacabra hunts at night and does not harm humans unless provoked. There is only a single report of a diurnal Chupacabra from Canovanas. This tale describes a "Chupacabra walking in the street in the middle of the afternoon! When [the spectators] approached it, the creature ran away" (Ho 68).

There have been several instances when authorities have attempted to discredit the tales of the Chupacabra or blame the instances on other sources. "The discovery of a 'vampire cult' in eastern Arizona" prompted an investigation into the Chupacabra stories. "In March of 1998, several cult members were convicted of stealing cattle and sheep...for their 'religious practices'" The carcasses recovered from the 'vampire cult' were "grossly mutilated, with large holes punctured in the torsos to facilitate the blood-letting. However, in the Chupacabra cases, the bodies have almost always been relatively intact, with the sole sign of injury being small, nondescript puncture wounds" (Carson 110). Another group sought publicity from the Chupacabra and fabricated an animal for display. The "Ghastly Cattle-Vampire" corpse starred in a traveling sideshow in the early 1990s. This creature was revealed to be a hoax--a corpse assembled from body parts of various animals including a crocodile and monkey. (109).

So where does the Chupacabra come from?
"In some circles, it is speculated that perhaps the elusive creature is in fact a real animal, a remnant from another geological period" (Carson 110). Other people believe the creature to be an extraterrestrial. The glowing red eyes make it appear other-worldly. The theory of an alien Chupacabra is particularly popular in West Texas and Arizona where reported UFO sightings are more commonplace than in other areas of the world. These are good theories, but to the Mexican "village folk...the Chupacabra" is "the Devil incarnate or...one of his demons" (110).

Hasta luego,

Note: We will not be discussing aliens, the Montauk monster, or any monsters not related to the vampire in our blog. Of course, you are welcome to bring them up in discussion topics/comments, but we will not formally address the topic of such creatures.


Carson, Kyle. Sacred.
Ho, Oliver. Josh Cochran. Mysteries Unwrapped
Koven, Mikel J. Film, folklore, and urban legends.
Morton, EW. Out for Blood.
O'Keefe, M Timothy. Caribbean hiking.
Wikipedia. "Silverio Perez". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverio_P%C3%A9rez

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