Have you heard of El Cucuy – if you don’t behave the Cucuy will come and get you!

I'm confident El Cucuy caused my anxiety as a kid. I can’t tell you how many times the thought of El Cucuy scared the crap out of me as a kid, it was a staple childhood folklore that parents and adults used to con their kids into behaving and essentially scared me straight for life.

El Cucuy is pretty much the equivalent of the boogeyman who preys on disobedient children and will pop up out of nowhere, kidnap and eat them for not listening to their parents.

Perhaps El Cucuy is the reason I suffered from anxiety as a kid - Growing up I recall my mom and relatives would threaten us kids with calling out to the Cucuy if we disobeyed or did not complete our chores around the house and it would freak me out.

The worst of this was that no one knows what El Cucuy actually looks like. The myth of El Cucuy stems back centuries to prehistoric Celtic Europe. Actually back in 2001, Cinco Puntos Press out of El Paso published the bilingual children’s book El Cucuy written by Pennsylvania-born Joe Hayes. Hayes refers to the beast as a wolfman type of creature.

Year after year throughout the centuries El Cucuy has been described as an ugly and decrepit old man, a ghost, a large reptilian, a wolfman with sharp razor teeth, or that the Cucuy itself is just a severed head.

As a child, my imagination picked all the worst scenarios of what El Cucuy would look like and the thought alone would deter me from disobeying my elders.

Case and point – El Cucuy was just that, a mythical creature to insight massive fear and anxiety in children to make sure they obeyed their parents.

After all these years it’s interesting to see that the myth of El Cucuy still holds strong.

Who knows – maybe once upon a time El Cucuy really existed but let’s not tempt it - As they say, behave or El Cucuy will come and get you.

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