Legend of Chupacabra

Only in Mexico would you find Vampires,  Chupacabras, and other night creatures being so widely celebrated. In Spanish, Chupacabra would literally mean goat sucker, and the story goes that this creature sucks the blood of wild animals.  Who doesn’t love a good mystery or gruesome mythological creature to scare the children into behaving at bed time? After research it seems that several specimen that were  claimed to be those of the chupacabra in reality ranged from an ocean skate, common dog,  or simply not found at all.

When we first drove into Tlaquepaque we couldn’t help but notice—since they were attached to every single telephone and light pole in town—posters advertising a vampire exhibit at the cultural center. We decided to give it a go. It turned out to be a really gory, disgusting but fascinating show with life sized sculpted models of every kind of monster—mostly vampires and werewolves, but also some seriously hideous demons as well as the usual marginally human suspects like Vlad the Impaler (the real historic human behind the Dracula myth). There were some seriously horrible scenes, such as eyeless demons with giant, blood-dripping fangs ripping a person’s heart out, a man impaled on a huge stake, the evil Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed, aka Countess Dracula, bathing in a tub full of virgins’ blood. You get the picture. It was not pretty. The models were just realistic enough to be nightmarishly convincing.  So much so that our 12-year old daughter kind of dragged us out of there after a few minutes. But meanwhile, whole families of Mexicans—kids in strollers, teenagers, little packs of excited boys with their grandmas, took their time, oohing and aahing and totally digging the lurid, scary, bloody spectacle. Is this about being Catholic, being Mexican, or what?

One of the last rooms in the show had a life size model of a Chupacabra, the legendary goat sucker of Latin American myth. If you see one of these guys running down the road, get out of the way. Especially if you look anything like a goat, for it is on the blood of goats that the chupacabra supposedly feeds. And don’t think you’re safe north—or south–of the border. There have been sightings as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile.

After the gruesome spectacle of the vampire show, there was nowhere to go but— Guadalajara!

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