Monsters and Ghosts A to Z : The Chupacabra

El Chupacabra in Monsters A to Z from Nurse Ghastly
image via Heather Hopkins

The Legend

The Chupacabra is perhaps one of the best-known cryptids of the American southwest as well as Central and South America. It is believed that the creature is a small bipedal beast that drains the blood from various farm animals. The name “Chupacabra” itself means “goat sucker” after the animals found drained of blood after what many believe are attacks from the creature.

Some report that the chupacabra is a small reptilian being with gray scaly skin and large spines along its back. Others describe it more like a canine. There have been reports of the creature running like a small gnome, reports of it hopping like a kangaroo, and reports of it stalking prey like a hyena. The more reptilian reports seem to focus more in the areas of Puerto Rico and South America while the dog like reports appear more in Texas and other areas of the American Southwest.

One theory states that the Chupacabra is not a terrestrial being but rather alien in nature. Those that follow this school of thought believe that the drained blood is part of mutilations being done to the farm animals. These individuals point to missing internal organs in some cases as further evidence of this theory.

Most reports state that the exsanguination done by the creature is almost always done through a bite mark in a three hole pattern that makes the shape of an upside down triangle.

el vampiro

The History

The first recorded sighting of the Chupacabra occurred in Puerto Rico in the 1970’s. At the time, however, it was not named as a Chupacabra but rather El Vampiro de Moca. Fifteen cows, three goats, two geese, and a pig were all found drained of blood with strange puncture marks on their bodies.

Arguably the most well known of the Chupacabra sightings occurred in 1995 in the village of Canovanas in Puerto Rico. Madelyne Tolentino states that her mother woke her up to show her a strange creature that was outside of their house. What was witnessed by the two is the reptilian version of the creature with large spikes on it’s back.

Author and skeptic Benjamin Radford believes that this sighting greatly resembles the creatures in the movie Species, which Tolentino had watched just before her sighting. Therefore, he proposes that the sighting is unreliable, as he details in his book Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore.  Some who have been researching the phenomena, however, tend to disagree with this idea and feel that he perhaps jumped to this conclusion too quickly.

The Elmendorf Beast on Monsters and Ghosts A to Z from Nurse Ghastly
image via San Antonio Current

In the spring of 2004, a canine version of the creature was reported to have attacked a poultry farm in Texas. Rancher Devin McAnally eventually killed the beast by shooting it. Upon inspection, he found a small, bluish creature with large fangs and a “rat-like tail”. The creature that would come to be known as the Elmendorf Beast was shown to be little more than a feral dog after DNA analysis was done. Beware the Elmendorf Beast

Supposed Chupacabra photographed by Michelle O'Donnel in Maine
image via Sydney Morning Herald

In August of 2006, a woman by the name of Michelle O’Donnell reported spotting a strange foul-smelling beast on the side of the road near Turner, Maine. The creature was later blamed for the deaths of a Doberman Pinscher and Rotweiller in the area over the past several years. However, strange sightings and occurrences had been reported in the area for over a decade. Unfortunately, the remains were unable to be examined to determine their exact origin.  Maine Monster Mystery

In 2007 over 300 dead sheep were attributed to the doings of the Chupacabra in Boyaca, Columbia. That same year a woman by the name of Phylis Canion found what she believed were three Chupacabras dead on her property in Cuero, Texas. DNA evidence of one of the creatures was tested and found to be that of a coyote.


Another sighting close to Cuero, Texas came in the form of a video in 2008 taken by DeWitt county deputy Brandon Reidle. The deputy witnessed the creature running down the road and turned his dashcam on to capture the footage.

blanco chupacabra on Monsters & Ghosts A to Z from Nurse Ghastly
image via CNN

In 2009 the body of a strange creature believed to be a possible Chupacabra was found in Blanco, Texas. The creature had been poisoned after getting into rat poison in a barn. Jerry Ayer, owner of a taxidermy shop where the creature was taken stated that he was unable to identify it. Various universities such as Texas A&M had requested to do testing on the corpse and the body was eventually passed on to the Lost World Museum.

Radcliffe texas chupacabra on Monsters A to Z from Nurse Ghastly
Image via WMUR-TV

Finally, in 2014 a woman by the name of Jackie Stock captured what she felt was a live Chupacabra in Radcliffe, Texas. Game officials believed the creature to be a mangy raccoon, and it was eventually euthanized.

In all, it would seem that the majority of the “blue dog” variety of Chupacabra can be attributed to animals with mange. However, they do all seem to have a similar appearance. Some researchers believe that it is an evolutionary change in the coyote. There seems to be little evidence to back this up as of yet, though.

More Monsters & Ghosts

For more monsters and ghosts be sure to check out our past posts in this series!

For the letter A, we visit the Philippines to take a look at the Aswang.

For the letter B, we head to Tennessee to follow the legend of the Bell Witch.

Let’s Connect!

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.