Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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CHUPACABRA

(Chew-pa-COB-rha)
The chupacabra, the well-known "goat sucker" of Mexico, is one of the best-known vampiric creatures. The first recorded sighting of the beast was by the governor of New Galicia in April of 1540. He described one as being a small, dark-scaled man who carried a torch and a spear, and when it attacked, it did so in large numbers. It was also reported that the creature was an excellent jumper and could cover a great distance in a single leap. As time passed, the description of the chupacabra changed, and each one varied widely from a foxlike animal with bat wings, cat eyes, and blue skin to a thick-bodied, furless, quadruped-type canine. There have also been a number of different theories as to what the chupacabra is exactly. Ideas range from an extraterrestrial creature and escaped genetic hybrid to the more mundane explanation that it is merely an animal of the natural world that has previously been unrecorded or is simply suffering from a bad case of mange. What is not in dispute is that the chupacabra, regardless of what it is or where it came from, is a blood-drinking creature.
So far, all of the known victims of the chupacabra have been an array of domestic animals: chickens, cows, goats, and sheep. The chupacabra uses its amazing stealth to sneak up on the animal, killing it quickly and from surprise before it can sound an alarm. In the morning, the animal carcass is found with the smallest of bite marks on its body and completely drained of blood, with not a single drop to be found anywhere on the ground. Interestingly, in the year 2000 campers and other nature enthusiasts claimed to have seen the chupacabra in their campsites at night and when they awoke in the morning, they discovered that their water bottles had been stolen.
This creature, as steeped in folklore and mystery as it is, has also been attributed to having other supernatural powers, such as never leaving tracks or a scent trail, the ability to shape-shift into an old man, and it cannot be photographed or trapped. Fortunately, all the myths and stories surrounding this bloodthirsty creature describe it as being afraid of humans, running off as soon as opportunity presents itself.
Source: Burnett, Conspiracy Encyclopedia, 311; Candelaria, Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture, 161­62; Davis, Ecology of Fear, 268­70; Szasz, Larger Than Life, 1 97­98
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