Chupacabra Facts: This Folklore Creature Will Fascinate You

Divya Raghav
Oct 26, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Apr 18, 2022
Edited by Ruffa Espejon
Fact-checked by Tanmay Tiwari
Rumor has it that the chupacabra hypnotized its prey. Read on to learn more fascinating chupacabra facts!

We have all grown up reading stories about monsters and giants, and some of them are shrouded in mystery as urban legends with no proof of existence. 

Chupacabra is another name on the list of famous monsters like the Loch Ness monster and the Himalayan Bigfoot or Yeti. This mysterious vampire beast became an urban legend, especially after Benjamin Radford published a detailed report about it in 2012.

The mystery was solved quite easily as the report suggested that the animal was a wild dog. But people were not satisfied with such a simple solution for the loss of so much animal life. Some wondered what happened to the original chupacabra seen in the '90s?

Why are people not seeing the alien creature after the first few years of sightings? Where had the real animal disappeared to? These are some of the questions that are still bothering people, after so many years.

The first report of an unusual appearance came in 1995 when people in Puerto Rico blamed the chupacabra for attacks on their domestic animals and loss of animal life.

There were rumors of carcasses of domestic animals like goats and sheep lying dead, uneaten but drained of blood.

People also gave accounts of seeing a creature that resembled a mix of many other animals like a reptile but standing like a kangaroo, with large, glowing red eyes, and standing on two legs. No one could verify these claims or get any pictures.

Eight sheep were reportedly killed in the first attack by a Chupacabra, each with three similar puncture wounds in the chest, and all the blood had been drained.

History Of Chupacabra

The history of chupacabra began in 1992 when the newspapers, El Vocero and El Nuevo Dia, in Puerto Rico published reports of the killings of many domestic animals, including goats. The first killings were reported in the small town of Moca. Eventually, it was known as El Vampiro de Moca. 

People also suspected that the killings were committed by satanic cult members. But the killings spread through Puerto Rico, and many farms reported a loss of animals due to unidentified killers. People started connecting the name "el chupacabra" with the fearsome four-legged legendary creature from folklore in 1995 that is thought to prey on domestic animals. 

The name achieved the status of a legend in Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico and Mexico. Chupacabra stories became common in the Hispanic population in America. The name chupacabra comes from cabras, meaning 'goat', and chupar, meaning 'to suck'. This is derived from the blood-sucking habit of the animal. 

A few months after the first incident of the slaughter of the eight sheep, an eyewitness, Madelyne Tolentino, reportedly saw a similar vampire beast in the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas. Some strange creature killed more than 150 animals and pets during that time. 

A creature with similar habits called 'peuchen' was identified in Chile, but it looked similar to a snake with wings. The Philippines also reported an animal with similar descriptions like a chupacabra. New Orleans in the U.S. had related legends about an isolated lane called Grunch Road where people reported seeing Grunches with similarities to the chupacabra.

Many investigators have tried to decipher the mystery behind chupacabra. The animal could result from interbreeding between different populations of wild dogs. Some others said that the animal could be an example of some extinct reptilian creature. Scientists investigated a chupacabra corpse found in 2000 in Nicaragua and concluded that it was a strange breed of wild dog.  

Radford believed that people could not be trusted about the related legends of the chupacabra. Scientists also found that blood-sucking reports were unfounded, and the animals were not bled dry.

They did not say that people like Tolentino were lying, but that they might have been confused due to what they had seen in movies. Eyewitnesses usually exaggerated their claims, and slowly the rumors became urban legends.

Radford studied reports from Latin America and the U.S. He found that it was clear that dogs and coyotes with mange were being called chupacabra by some.

A biologist Barry O'Connor also concluded that the chupacabra reports in the U.S. were coyotes infected with the disease sarcoptes scabiei. People do not get infected with scabies anymore as we have developed medicines for it, while other animals still get it.

Another researcher stated that these theories didn't explain the repeated chupacabra reports around Puerto Rico, with around 200 incidents. Some people described the animal as different from dogs and standing on only two legs. News spread like wildfire, and soon chupacabra merchandise was also selling in the U.S. and other places. 

The blood-sucking monster, chupacabra, remains a legend, though scientists feel that there is no truth to its existence. Public memory is full of questions that resurface from time to time, and they may continue to call a strange animal a chupacabra.

Mysteries Behind The Chupacabra

Mysteries abound around the chupacabra in many parts of America. The physical characteristics of the animal vary in different reports. Some people claim to have seen a big creature, almost a small bear. Their descriptions include spines on the back from the neck to the tail. This appears similar to the dragons described in many books.

Another mystery is that people have reported seeing the chupacabra in different parts of the continent, from Puerto Rico to Maine and Chile. Simultaneously, other parts of the world have also reported similar creatures.

Different dog breeds look different due to their size and behavior. We know that some dogs are big and are hunting dogs, while other small breeds are more like toys for humans. Usually, they breed the same species.

But if the dogs breed between different varieties, some strange characteristics may emerge in the offspring. Witnesses have mentioned seeing chupacabras with wings, round heads, red eyes, no hair, very furry, etc. The reports also claim that they walk like dogs or humans.

A mysterious rumor said that the chupacabra could hypnotize or paralyze the animals. Scientists explain that the prey is stunned due to fear, just like spiders or snakes stun their prey with venom.

But this allows the chupacabra to suck the animal's blood. People said this as they saw only a couple of holes in the body of the dead animals. Usually, hunting animals kill their prey and then tear it apart to reach the meat and internal organs.

Radford tried to uncover these mysteries and investigated them for five years. He says that one woman's story of seeing a chupacabra brought a lot of attention to the phenomenon of such mythical creatures. Other creatures like the Bigfoot or the Lochness monster were different, while chupacabra is supposed to be similar to a vampire. 

With plenty of investigation and scientific research, the mystery is solved. However, the chupacabra is still discussed as people do not like the explanation of it being mostly dogs or coyotes with scabies. They would rather have it as a part of their folklore.  

Researchers believe that chupacabra still exists. Traces of its existence were rumored to be linked to many events of which mange is one.

Stories Or Events Of Interaction With Humans

Initially, people attributed the killings of their domestic animals to other hunting animals or even to satanic cults. But once the killings spread across the Puerto Rico island, then they found that most dead animals had some common pattern. They had punctured holes or wounds and had almost no blood left. Another story mentioned green creatures with red eyes. 

An interesting story is about the alien creature Sil depicted in movies. The first eyewitness of Chupacabra, Tolentino, had seen the movie before she claimed to see one in real life.

Her report mentioned that the real creature that killed her animals looked like a chupacabra and the resemblance was impressive. Benjamin Radford investigated the case and felt that Madelyne Tolentino was influenced by the creature in the movie and looked at a wild dog or coyote through that lens.

Conventional predators kill and tear apart the dead animal while eating them. On the other hand, the chupacabra is said to have sucked the blood out of them.

People believed that it punctured two or three holes near the neck of the animal and sucked out blood and organs through those holes. The fact is that dogs or coyotes also hold onto the necks of their victims and bite using their canine-sharp teeth.

Scientists are convinced that the animals were killed by dogs and coyotes diseased by mange or scabies, and there is no mystery behind this legend. The mass hysteria may have resulted from unexplained mass deaths of animals. The 'Ozark Howler' is a large bear-like animal that is also another urban legend like the chupacabra.

Another interesting fact is that chupacabra emerged again in the early 2000s when people in the southwestern U.S. started finding dead bodies of a creature similar to the chupacabra. It had four legs and black bodies with no hair. Investigations proved that these were dogs eaten by mange. 

The legend of the chupacabra is similar to many other nonexistent creatures or monsters in folklore. While many stories about the animal are heard, no real proof or image has been available so far. It could just be a figment of some people's imagination or can be a real creature that is yet to be discovered.


What does a chupacabra sound like?

There are some reports from people who claim to have seen a chupacabra. But no one has ever made any claims about hearing the sounds made by this creature.

What does el chupacabra mean in English?

The word chupacabra comes from two words in Spanish: 'cabras' meaning goat, and 'chupar' meaning to suck. This creature was attributed to killing and sucking domestic animals like goats and sheep, and people started calling it by that name.

What does chupacabra look like?

People across various parts of the globe have claimed that chupacabra looks like a dog, with hair or without hair. Some say it is tall and bipedal, while others say it is small. Teeth, spines, and bulging red eyes are other features claimed by people.

What is a chupacabra?

Chupacabra is a strange animal, as witnessed by many people. On the other hand, scientists are clear that this is a dog or a coyote with scabies.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Tanmay Tiwari

Bachelor specializing in Maths and Science, Master of Arts specializing in Ancient Indian History

Tanmay Tiwari picture

Tanmay TiwariBachelor specializing in Maths and Science, Master of Arts specializing in Ancient Indian History

Tanmay is a highly motivated individual with a passion for personal and professional growth. He possesses a diverse skill set, including writing, photography, marketing, and content creation. Tanmay graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Math and Science from Holkar Science College in Indore and a Master's degree in Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Archaeology from St. Xavier's College Mumbai, demonstrating his academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. In addition to his academic achievements, Tanmay is also a talented athlete who enjoys engaging in physical activities such as fencing, aerobics, and martial arts.

Read full bio >