Culture

These Terrifying ‘Cucuy’ Sketches Will Remind You How Your Parents Were Mad Geniuses

Growing up, “El Cuco” (or El Cucuy, Coco) was the go-to “boogieman” used by adults to keep kids in line. I was a troublemaker, so my grandma always used El Cuco as a threat to try to get me to sleep. “Si no te duermes, viene El Cuco a llevarte,” my grandma would say, turning out my light. She was a single parent using every tool in her belt to keep me in line. Sometimes it was a belt, sometimes it was El Cuco.

However, she never truly explained to me exactly what this mysterious “Cuco” looked like. By asking around, I found that everyone had a pretty unique, even if sometimes similar, idea of what El Cuco looked like to them. And that’s probably the point. If you tell a kid something is coming to get them and give no description their mind will auto-fill with literally the most terrifying thing they can come up with. And for parents struggling to find something more threatening than themselves, the imagination of a child can do wonders. No chancla necessary.

We had our in-house police sketch artist draw up the suspects, so that you too can be on the lookout for these creatures. These are some of the terrors that the mitú staff dreamt up as kids.

Alex Zaragoza (Editor) envisioned El Cucuy as a tall, Slender Man-like figure.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Alex said, “For me, El Cucuy was a creepy demonic figure. Tall and dark, with a creepy robe. Its face was pale with big dark eyes, shallow cheeks, and thin lips. Very big and looming, but lanky.” She revealed that her creature appeared in two separate instances for her:

“I was most scared right when I got in bed. If I misbehaved or messed around with ghost stuff, my mom would say ‘Vas a ver, cabrona. Te van a jalar las patas en la noche.’ So I would sleep curled up into a ball and with my whole body covered except for a little space over my nose and mouth so I could breathe. I was petrified of having my feet pulled and dragged under the bed. The other instance, which still freaks me out, is any time I was in a bathroom in front of the mirror. I was (and still am) terrified of looking up from washing my face to find El Cucuy or some other scary figure standing behind me.”

Jorge Rodriguez (Writer) had a werewolf-like creature follow him in the dark.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Jorge revealed that to him, El Cucuy was tall and slender with large, knobby elbows and knees. “He is covered in hair like a werewolf but has the face of a demon with large, sharp teeth and he has big claws on his hands and feet.” What he feared most was getting caught by El Cucuy in the dark, saying, “Didn’t matter if I was outside or inside, when it got dark, I assumed El Cucuy was lurking in the shadows all the time.”

Katherine Mendoza (Video Producer) had a mini-Cucuy waiting for her in the hallways.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

To Katherine, El Cuco looked like a short, husky creature. “He had a square hat and wore all black. He had no face and a long robe but I’m sure if I needed to explain what he physically looked like it would be very much like Warwick Davis in the 1993 Leprechaun.” Like many parents, Katherine’s mom used it as a threat.

“My mom always threatened to call El Cuco on me but I was wise enough to know she didn’t have that type of pull. For the most part, I was terrified of seeing him on my way to the bathroom when all the lights were off. I had a really long hallway, the kind that required two light switches, so I would turn one on but still had the take the quick journey to the next light to make sure that he wouldn’t appear. It felt like he was always waiting for me before I had a chance to handle my business. I swore I would spend my final days as ‘The niña who pee’d on herself,’ or worse, ‘The niña that caca’d her panties.'”

Lucy Flores (VP of Public Affairs) had a Cucuy that couldn’t get through customs.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Lucy was very clear with her descriptions:

I would describe El Cucuy as a muscular, male, black or dark grey figure that looks similar to a demon as portrayed in biblical propaganda but has features like a chupacabra. So the Cucuy is slightly hunched over with a slightly rounded back (like a werewolf) but has a human demon face with horns (like the devil) and has smallish legs (like the chupacabra). He is fast. And strong, and has terrifying sharp teeth. And will rip you to shreds with his clawed hands if you don’t eat all your food. (The punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime, but Latino parents tend to exaggerate your trespasses).

But what’s most interesting about her Cucuy was that he grew stronger when he was home in Mexico. She told me:

I was most scared during my trips to Mexico. For some reason I always felt like El Cucuy spent far more time in Mexico then he did in the U.S. I was scared of every single dark situation anywhere in Mexico. But when I was home in the U.S., El Cucuy was only frightening when your family reminded you he would come for something you did or were doing. But in Mexico, it didn’t matter if you did anything bad or not – that was his home so you better watch your back.

Jessica Garcia’s (Writer) Cucuy was made extra scary by the way her mom said it.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Jessica explained to me how her mother turned El Cucuy from scary to terrifying by the way she said it. “I imagined the Cucuy to be an evil entity. The way my mom pronounced it, “Cucuuuuuyyyyy,” made me think he was an evil ghost. Like one of those scary dementors from Harry Potter. All in black, you cant see his face.”

Like many of us, Jessica was most scared of El Cucuy when it became dark. “I was mostly scared of him at night. I hated going outside at night in the dark to throw out the trash. I would run back super fast because I swore he was gonna creep up on me. Pretty much any time it was dark and I was alone, that was when I was most scared of him.”

Gina Apestegui (Brand Producer) found herself not just scared of El Cucuy, but where he’d take her and what he’d do to her.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

Gina’s boogieman sounded a lot like Jessica’s: “El Cucuy was a floating ghost with a black mantle. He or she had big yellow eyes. Imagine Harry Potter’s dementor with large cartoonish yellow eyes.”

She was most scared of what El Cucuy would do to her. And it seems like she let her imagination run wild:

“I always had to have the door closed. Since I didn’t have a closet in my room, I thought El Cucuy would come from dark parts of my room, the shadowy part of the curtain or the from the pool of black cast by my stuffed animal. After watching “Child’s Play,” I couldn’t go to the bathroom to pee in the middle of the night because I thought Chuckie would grab me by the butt and suck me into the toilet forever taking me into the sewers of NYC… and maybe turning me into a Ninja Turtle.”

Because I didn’t believe in monsters, my mind picked the scariest thing it knew to fill the terrifying void in my mind.

Credit: Christina Henderson/ mitú

For me, it was Lou Ferrigno’s version of “The Hulk.” Green skin, hair, mushroom cut, bulging muscles, angry expression, yellow teeth, white eyes and just always waiting to grab me. It felt scarier that a tall, muscle-bound creature could do more damage than a ghost. Like, this guy could punch my face in and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it — that’s real fear.

He was always just coming out from under my bed. For some reason, it was always just his torso, almost as if he’d jumped through the floor from below and half of him was still underneath. I’d make deals with him in my mind. If I could make it to my bed in three seconds after switching off my bedroom light, he’d have to leave me alone. On the days that I lost that race, the deal was that I had to sleep completely covered by my sheet from head to toe. I’d fall asleep covered up and eventually, unable to breathe, would take the blanket off in my sleep.

What did your “Cuco” or “Cucuy” look like to you? Describe it and tag your sibling to see if you had the same monsters lurking!


READ: These Hispanic Authors Will Make Your Halloween Extra Spooky


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Here’s How To Maintain A Long-Lasting And Healthy Relationship According To Advice From Reddit Grandmas

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Here’s How To Maintain A Long-Lasting And Healthy Relationship According To Advice From Reddit Grandmas

@Samkelwe14 / Twitter

When it comes to relationships, there’s no doubt that some good advice can go a long way. Whether you’re in your early days or headed down the aisle, we found the best advice Reddit could give for you to apply for your blossoming relationship.

Check it out below!

Do two tasks for your partner and don’t make a big deal out of it.

“For me, my grandfather gave me the best advice. He said, ‘choose two things to do around the house that she never has to ask you to do. Do the best job you can do and take pride in it but never draw attention to or complain about it. Just do it and expect nothing in return.’ I cook dinner and do the dishes/cleanup cooking messes. It took my wife almost a year to notice. When she did however I would find my laundry was magically done on its own, folded and put away. When I told her she doesn’t have to do my laundry she stated “you always cook and clean for me! I figured it was the least I could do!” – u/Ironwolf9876

Be selfless between the sheets

” I feel like this same goes for sex – do that little bit extra to make your partner feel sexy and special every time. A little bit of selflessness on both sides adds up to a world of extra pleasure for each.” – philipjeremypatrick

Don’t always go for 50/50.

“The one I heard is “healthy relationships are not 50/50. Each person should be putting in 100%.” – reddit user

Give your S.O. the benefit of the doubt.

“The best relationship advice I have heard came from an interview Michael J Fox did where he talked about how his marriage had lasted so long. He said ‘We give each other the benefit of the doubt.’ If your SO does something thatakes you worried, angry or sad, ask them to tell you their side of the story before you let your emotions run wild. There is probably a reasonable explanation and a good reason for how he/she acted. That will help avoid a lot of conflicts and foster trust.” – Loive

If you’re arguing to win you’ve already lost.

“You shouldn’t be arguing trying to prove that you’re right or that she is wrong. You should be communicating what you each see the situation as and come to a mutual understanding or agreement. Relationships aren’t a competition. Even if you guys end up not agreeing, at least you’ll know why it upsets the other person and will know not to do that because it negatively affects them.” – cdotace

Be sure they’re the one.

“My mother asked me the night i proposed to my wife if i was sure i wanted to be with her. It made me mad in the moment, but i realized she made a valid point. 6 years and twin boys later, I have never been more sure about a decision in my life. Thanks mom.” – sillysimon12

Get married when you’re poor.

“I was fortunate enough to be invited to a party where there were several elderly couples. At the time, I was in my early twenties, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. A couple in attendance had been married for over 60 years. I asked them, “What advice do you have for a young person like me? The woman said, ‘Get married when you’re dirt poor…’ My mind was blown. I thought to myself, “Wow, that is some incredible advice. Literally start a life together, and build it up from nothing. That would create an unbreakable bond and friendship.’ Then she finished with ‘… so you can’t afford to get divorced!'” – MutantCoach

Say I love you before you leave for work in the morning.

“1. Say I love you (and mean it) every morning before you leave for work. You may not see them again. 2. If they regularly do something small that annoys you, first see if you are able to stop being annoyed by it before asking them to change.” – Reddit user 

How do you do the little things.

“To achieve an amazing relationship, you need to consider what you do in the little things. What your girlfriend/wife is like when she greets you at the front door, over the table at breakfast, etc. These little things add up to 80% of the success of your relationship. Dedicate yourself and be focused completely in the moment in these little moments and you will achieve the best relationship that you have ever had.” – ImpulseTee

Carry the load. Know it’s like moving a sofa.

“I heard a comic once say a relationship is like moving a heavy, awkward sofa up 3 flights of stairs. The whole time you’re talking to the other person, and you wonder if they’re carrying their load, and it can be tough. But its easier than doing it alone.”  – beingtwiceasnice

Be on the same page before you get married.

“Being in love with someone is a good reason to date them, but not necessarily marry them. People fall in love all the time but if the two of you don’t agree on the important life decisions (kids, religion, fiscal responsibility, etc.) then your marriage is likely to face some serious challenges.” – bdd1001

All Of The Times Our Mamas And Abuelas Taught Us What Love And Fun Were In 2019

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All Of The Times Our Mamas And Abuelas Taught Us What Love And Fun Were In 2019

@ROCIOANDUJO / Twitter

Abuelas and mamas are the best. They’re wise, fierce, cranky, and, if you’re lucky, they are so loving. That is why it’s so important to pay them the respect they’ve earned, while also celebrating their incredible life. People should honor their grandparents each year as if it’s their last — and in a way that they’d love. In 2019, there’s no denying that they delivered!

Here’s a look at all of the abuelas and mamas who killed it in 2019.

This abuela who did a Mariachi howl after getting surprised on her 93rd birthday

A family in Arizona surprised their 93-year-old abuela on her birthday and holy hell was it sweet. As soon as nana opened the door, her family started playing mariachi music, and she loved it! We have no idea how many people were in that house, but by the sounds of it, there was a lot. Her stunned face clearly showed she had no idea a birthday party in her honor would be behind the door.

This mama who threw a lowrider birthday for her baby boy.

One Twitter user, who goes by the name of @whoissd, went viral when she had a birthday celebration for her son that emphasized just how much teaching the old to the new is vital. For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance. For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance.

This mom who hosted a job fair for her kids to teach them about life.

Shaketha Marion McGregor /  Facebook

One mom’s Facebook post went viral after she shared that she hosted a makeshift job fair for her children after they kept asking for a higher allowance. “My children continue to ask for a new cell phone, an allowance, and to go places,” the mother, Shaketha Marion McGregor wrote in her Facebook post. “Yesterday I told them that I’ve heard their requests and that I’ll have a surprise for them today when they get home from school. SURPRISE!!! It’s a whole hiring event. If you want it, work for it, earn it!”
And yes, she even had an in-home credit union (wait, what even is that? These kids are about to be ready for when #adulting hits them). McGregor’s Facebook post has already gotten over 212K likes, 35K comments, and over 130K shared on the social media platform.

This mom who still crushes on the father of her kids after all of these years.

Earlier this year in May, Rocio Andujo tweeted about her parents’ love story. The 21-year-old from Texas shared that her mom and dad, Rosalia and Robert, have been together for 27 years. Like any good romantic drama, their love affair started with friction. Dad, the playboy of the block, was head over heels for mom, who knew better than to give the player any play — until she did. “My mom always knew my dad was a ladies’ man & wouldn’t really take any girl serious so she always rejected him… because she didn’t want to be just another girl on his list (her words),” Rocio, who works as a server while attending college, said, according to BuzzFeed. “After a year & months of my dad chasing after my mom & trying to get a chance with her she finally gave him a chance since she saw that he kept insisting and insisting even after she would reject him.”

Apparently, her pops was sprung, and everyone around them took notice.
“Everyone could see how in love my dad was with my mom and everyone would get surprised because they had never seen my dad so in love with a girl before,” Rocio wrote. But Robert wasn’t the only one all heart-eyes in the relationship. Rocio discovered something recently that proves that her mom has been equally enamored all these years: a collection of all the flowers that Robert gave Rosalia during all the years they were boyfriend and girlfriend. “No one knew my mom had kept those flowers. She also still has the first bouquet of roses he gave her,” Rocio said.