The Story of El Cucuy

El Cucuy is the boogeyman which is not real. Mainly in Mexican families talk about El Cucuy but, why? If it’s not true, why do they talk about it? Parents would tell their children about El Cucuy to scare the children. But, why scare the children? Well, this is a benefit for the parents so the children listen to the parents. What do the parents say? They tell their children, “If you don’t listen, El Cucuy will come to your room and take you away, then eat you.” This would normally work for small children around 5 – 8. This would work more if their child watches the movie El Cucuy to scare them more. This does benefit the parent but does not benefit the kid. For this reason, they get nightmares and cause them to be scared when sleeping alone in their room. They then would run into their parents rooms and cry on how they are scared and the parents would complain about them coming into their room in the middle of the night. This would be the parents fault.

 In addition to El Cucuy there is a movie based on the Cucuy and there are also books based on El Cucuy. The movie is more popular and is shown to kids instead of the book. In the movie it would show exactly what the Cucuy would do. If you misbehave El Cucuy will find you then hide under your bed or in your closet and wait until you’re alone and in your room, then take you away and eat

you up.

I remember as a child when I was around 5 to 7, my mom forcing me to watch El Cucuy. Sitting on the couch I was hugging a pillow ready to hide my face until I felt the pillow away from my arms and my tio took it away from me and as I turned to look at my tio I saw on the screen El Cucuys face and I was terrified by that face I had seen. I had nightmares every night that El Cucuy would come for me in the night and take me away. I would even cry to my mom and say “Please let me sleep with you, I’m scared!”

Now that I’m older I see that El Cucuy isn’t scary as it seems but just a story to tell to kids to scare them to behave. I still laugh till this day remembering how I would act when someone told me El Cucuy would come for me for misbehaving. Even when they tried to force me to watch it again I would yel at theml not wanting to watch it because of how terrified I was. 

So, if it’s not true, why do people believe in it? El Cucuy is just to scare the kids to behave so the parents wouldn’t have to deal with them yelling, crying and misbehaving. This is the reason why people believe in it even though it’s not real.

Melanie Arriaga- Trinity High School – DMSF Class of 2026

Image: Cucuy: The Boogeyman