"Chupacabra. They're all over Mexico."An Urban Myth monster of Latin American origin, believed to suck the blood of livestock animals, especially goats (thus the name, which is Spanish for "Goatsucker"). Combines old Vampire Tropes with modern UFO mythology, by way of Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious. The myth began in Puerto Rico during the 1970s. At the time, there was a rash of animal slayings, mostly farm animals that had bled to death. This caused some people to (halfway seriously) think some kind of vampiric creature was on the loose; it became known as "The Moca Vampire" (Moca being the town were the attacks started). The attacks eventually stopped as mysteriously as they begun. The local yellow journals, of course, exploited them to the hilt. Coincidentally, at the same time, similar unexplained cattle slayings were taking place in the southwestern United States. In their case, they gave rise to the urban legend of aliens stealing cattle for experimentation. In the 1990s, the attacks started happening again on Puerto Rico. This time, people started calling the "monster" El Chupacabras, later shortened to just Chupacabra (supposedly, Silverio Perez of the comedy group Los Rayos Gama coined the name). A magazine called "Revista OVNI" (UFO Magazine) came up with the theory that the creature could have been created by aliens (likely inspired by the American cattle slayings theory). They also provided an artist's conception of what it looked like — showing a creature resembling a skinny, big eyed "Grey" type alien but with fangs, claws, scaly skin and a ridge of spines along the back. Despite having no actual evidence for any of this, people embraced it, and the current concept of the Chupacabra was born. The slayings were never officially resolved, though reportedly an American expert on animal attacks identified them as being caused by wild dogs, based on some pictures of the carcasses he saw. The myth became surprisingly popular across Central and South America over the years, and even in the Southern United States, with people claiming to have actually seen the creature. It also has been featured on several TV shows and movies, effectively being treated as the Latin American equivalent of Bigfoot. Pop culture spread the chupacabra even further, with recent sightings as far as Russia. The Chupacabra is sometimes known as the Chupacabras. This is in fact the original form of the name in Spanish; this type of compound word in Spanish (verb + noun) usually has the plural form of the noun (other examples: el abrelatas "the can opener", el sacapuntas "the pencil sharpener", el tocadiscos "the record player", el pisapapeles "the paperweight"). In 2010, corpses of quadrupedal "Chupacabra" were analyzed and revealed to be coyotes afflicted with mange, while the bipedal Chupacabra originated from Madelyne Tolentino, the eyewitness from the Puerto Rico cases, believing that the monster Sil from the science fiction horror film Species, which she had watched prior to making the report, was real.
— Brock Samson, The Venture Bros.
Some examples of series that have made references to the Chupacabra:
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Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima! references the Chupacabra once or twice. In the original, it was just theorized that it was a Chupacabra behind the vampire attacks. (In truth, it was Evangeline.) In the second animated series Negima!?, it became more of a Running Gag, ranging from a Chupacabra-based club being used as a cover for those who discovered Negi's secret and Asuna printing far too many Chupa-Tees to sell, to Negi being turned into a chupacabra as punishment for revealing magic to normal humans. Even in the Spring OVA, a small portion is spent on a Chupacabra hunt, and at the very end, a Chupacabra is seen watching the plane fly away. The Chupacabra shown here is much more comical than most versions, resembling more a spotted potato with fangs than anything else.
- In the manga of Azumanga Daioh, when the girls are planning to go to the zoo to see real pandas instead of just pictures, Osaka thinks of something else she wants to see. When she remembers, what she says is translated as "the chupacabra". (The anime version of the same scene says something else, and the original version says she wanted to see her life flash before her eyes.)
- The Chupacabra is referred to by name in Sgt. Frog, complete with a Recycled IN SPACE! variant called Space Chupacabra, but eating goats is never brought up - it's still considered as urban myth though, and the resident mythological-creature-hunter Alisa Southerncross goes after it - but gets curbstomped bigtime as it eats her surrogate father Nevula.
- In Occult Academy, Maya and the gang investigate mysterious cattle mutilations near their school. At first, they dismiss it as a bad-natured prank. The chupacabra eventually kidnap Ami, and it's up to the rest of the gang to save her.
- In Gintama, Otae inexplicably finds a cave swarming with chupacabras while the gang is lost in the mountains and in search of shelter from a snowstorm. She thinks it would be a good place to stay if they can beat all of them up, but everyone else is too creeped out by them to bother.
- In the Touhou manga Touhou Suzunaan ~ Forbidden Scrollery, Remilia adopts one as a pet. Which kind of makes sense since she's a vampire.
- A Fantastic Four miniseries, "Isla de la Muerte" (Island of Death) had the superheroes coming to Puerto Rico to deal with the Chupacabra.
- In Young Justice, Impulse raced over to Puerto Rico to look for one after reading a cryptozoology book - lifting rocks and animals while calling out for it◊.
- In the Monster Mash comic The Perhapanauts, the team's comic relief and somewhat Team Pet is Choopie, a intellectually enhanced chupacabra (though not that enhanced).
- The comic book Proof features a chupacabra as a recurring character. Its true form has never been seen, because its M.O. is to kill people and wear their skin.
- Deadpool fought a bunch of chupacapras who kidnapped a goat named Bella.
- Paradox Press's The Big Book of the Unexplained explores the Chupacabra legends in depth.
- The IDW graphic novel "Chicacabra" (written and drawn by Tom Beland who also did the above mentioned Fantastic Four story) is about a Puerto Rican girl named Izzy who finds an abandoned lab and gets merged with the last living Chupacabra (the rest were killed).
- The Burrowers: The titular creatures are very similar to the idea of the Chupacabra. They attack buffalo, slit their throats, and then wait for them to rot before consuming them.
- Numerous obscure little horror films, including:
- Chupacabra Terror.
- The "Mongo Chupa" segment of Terror Overload.
- El Matadero.
- Mexican Werewolf in Texas.
- El Chupacabra.
- Legend of the Chupacabra.
- In the horror anthology Tropical Tales Of Terror The Chupacabras were actually a hidden race of intelligent, predatory birds.
- A Chupacabra named Xolo shows up in the Cal Leandros series as the vampire Cherish's cute, seemingly harmless pet. That is, until he's revealed to be a telepath who Mind Rapes Niko and whom Cherish uses to control the other characters.
- One of Falcon Quinn's friends is a chupacabra named Pearl. Rather than an alien, she more closely resembles a fairy with a large stinger tail. And while she does enjoy chupa-ing the occasional cabra, she's more fond of flower nectar. She's also extremely proud of her heritage. Extremely.
- Numerous chupacabras appear in the InCryptid series as therianthropic cryptids: James (Verity's competitive dance partner) in Discount Armadeddon and Midnight Blue-Light Special, Princess Leya-you-out, one of Antimony's fellow jammers in "Bad Dream Girl" and "Jammed," and Malena, one of Verity's fellow dancers in Chaos Choreography. Their beast form is the typical scabrous reptile-wolf creature, their human form is indistinguishable from a Latin@ person of their age and build.
- Chupacabras appear as the guard dogs for the Little Green Men in Mr Blank. The narrator wonders if they aren't some weird hillbilly version of the Greys.
- Robin T. Popp's Night Slayer paranormal romance series features chupacabras as the creatures who create vampires, though they're more like critters than monsters. They're also interesting in that they temporarily turn to stone in daylight.
- Dead Silver starts with the main character heading off to New Mexico in order to capture a chupacabra.
- In The Golgotha Series, Mutt and Jim take down a chupacabra which has been troubling the town. It can fly, and has glowing Hypnotic Eyes which fortunately only work on goats.
Live Action TV
- The X-Files:
- Episode "El Mundo Gira" reveals that the Chupacabras are actually illegal immigrants who have been infected by an alien fungus.
- The standard version is discussed in "Bad Blood". Mulder presents Scully a new case — dead cows that have been exsanguinated. Scully ironically asks if it wasn't by any chance that Mexican goatsucker.
Scully: You're not gonna tell me you think it's that Mexican goatsucker thing.Mulder: El Chupacabra? No, they got four fangs, not two, and they suck goats, hence the name.Scully: So, instead, this would be...Mulder: Classic vampirism.Scully: Of a bunch of cows.
- An episode of Xena: Warrior Princess amusingly featured a rampaging critter which wasn't called a Chupacabra on-screen, but was blatantly modeled after the standard description of the beast. (See picture above for the general idea.)
- A featured monster on Animal Planet's Lost Tapes. This version differed from the image above in that it was more of a canine-like ground-dwelling bat monster.
- One of the three leaders of the Yuumajuu in Tensou Sentai Goseiger is Buredoran of the Chupacabra.
- Bones had a Chupacabra as a possible suspect in one episode, "The Truth In The Myth".
- Grimm had a Chupacabra episode.
- Red vs. Blue makes a quick joke about it. Sarge calls it a "Chupa-thingie."
- He is still fond of calling the team's jeep "Chupa-baby."
- Deadlands tells us that Chupacabras...Chupacabrae... Chupacab... "Goat Suckers" have actually been around since the late 19th Century. True to the stories that have sprung up around them in modern times, they are formed when someone of Latin American descent betrays another.
- Pathfinder, in its desire to fill up its Bestiaries with as much cryptids and folkloric creatures from real life instead of making up new things like its arch-rival, includes a chupe that's a fair bit more lizard-like◊ than the standard portrayal.
- One of the Vampire: The Masquerade Gangrel clanbooks has a Chupacabra character template, with a backstory of being Embraced while in wilderness, driven half-crazy by the Beast and feeding on animals due to lack of human prey in the area.
- Diablo has a Scavenger-type boss monster named El Chupacabras.
- Appears as a tough regular enemy in the later Castlevania games, although a translation error led to it being called "Cave Troll". In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, getting its soul lets Soma attack with a Gene Simmons-style long ass tongue.
- Chupacabra is one of the many mythical and folkloric beings that appears in the Shin Megami Tensei games.
- You can summon Chupacabras in Scribblenauts - they attack goats on sight. Amusingly, they can wear hats and can hold items.
- In The Elder Scrolls series of games, a chupacabra like monster called a "Hunger" appears as regular enemy in Morrowind and in the Shivering Isles expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. More so resembling their counterpart considering they posses strong "Drain Health" spell and attack with their tongue.
- In Shadow Hearts 3 one of the hunting quests is for the Chupacabra. In Chichen Itza of all places.
- Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare has a chupacabra that can be killed as part of a challenge. There's even an achievement for doing so, titled "Chupathingy."
- Greasels from Deus Ex.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, No-Bark Noonan confuses a Nightkin for one of these. When someone explains the holes in the murdered cattle were made by bullets, Noonan concludes that's even worse: it's a Chupacabra with an automatic weapon!
- They're an tough enemy in Let's Go Find El Dorado, that can kill off one of your party members on contact with your wagon.
- In Sluggy Freelance, while avoiding Bun-bun, Aylee goes to pick up a tray of drinks for the group. The waitress is terrified and stammers "Do not eat me, chupacabra!" to which Aylee cheerfully responds "Do not eat me, senorita!", thinking it's a normal human greeting. She later resolves to use one of Bun-bun's greetings, "your money or your life!"
- Ursula Vernon's small webcomic Irrational Fears features a chupacabra facing down various monsters.
- Jeffrey Rowland's Overcompensating has featured several storylines featuring a Chupacabra.
- In a throwaway gag, a victim of the gender-shifting orb in Eerie Cuties is in gathering signatures on a petition to save the "spotted chupacabra".
- Bloody Urban lampshades this trope. The Chupacabra is a disguise used by Shaun in the strip of the same name.
- In The Impossible Man, the chupacabra is actually a pet owned by teenager Angela Salinas. It's appearance in the story resembles the cartoon rendition of chupacabra, where it is a green furball with fangs, as featured on some Puerto Rican T-Shirts.
- Spec World has (or had) a fictional cryptid called the Chupie (links to Web Archive because the page hasn't been moved to the new host yet).
- The animated movie Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico, which not only gets the origin of the creature completely wrong (treating it as being part of Aztec mythology!) but redesigned it to look more bigfoot-like. (The writers might have gotten it confused with the Nahual, a supposed Mexican were-jaguar.)
- Dexter's Laboratory had an episode that claimed Dexter had created it to scare off Dee Dee, but it had escaped to Mexico and started attacking goats ("I never said it was a completely successful experiment").
- Sealab 2021 had an episode titled "Isla de Chupacabras."
- The monster also appears in an episode, "Dia de Los Dangerous!" of The Venture Bros., inexplicably leaping from Brock's car to attack Dr. Venture. Apparently, Mexico is full of them. Amusingly, Dr. Venture had earlier declared them to be nonsense.
- In Futurama, the Planet Express crew ventured into the sewers where the inhabitants lived in fear of a vicious monster they called El Chupanibre.
- The Jackie Chan Adventures episode "The Curse of the Chupacabra" features Jackie and El Toro fighting one of these while in Mexico and El Toro being scratched by it causing him to become one himself, until the curse is broken.
- It appeared in one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: It comes out of the TV screen while Billy is watching a magical videotape. It latches onto his nose. Grim presumes that it's trying to eat his brains, and Mandy thinks it'll starve. Of course, Billy being what he is, doesn't know what it is and can't even pronounce its name ("Chupa-ma-flablah").
- On Maya & Miguel, the title characters tried to claim that they had one as a pet. Then, it turned out that there really was one in town.
- The Christmas Episode of íMucha Lucha! had chupacabra as Rudo Claus' reindeer.
- Referenced in an episode of Invader ZIM, when Gaz tells Dib she thinks she saw one lurking around the mall's parking garage so she can get rid of him for the afternoon. Dib notes that there aren't any goats around for miles, but nonetheless, he spends the rest of the episode wandering around the garage in search of it.
- Appears in Generator Rex, and it turns not to be an EVO like most of the monsters in the series.
- The 2011 Puss in Boots movie has chupacabra as one of Puss' nicknames.
- In Archer, Pam refers to herself as "...like some kind of Chupacabra. But for dicks"
- One South Park had Cartman's hunt for the Jewpacabra.
- In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, the gang sets out to find the Chupacabra, who apparently turned out to be a secret agent by OWCA unbeknownst to them.
- Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends: Chupacabra is actually a vampire named Dvorak, who became deformed and driven nearly insane after biting something that didn't agree with him (General Rinaker).
- Groj Band had one episode feature a monster called "El Chewpoocaca" as a Homage to this.
- In Mike Tyson Mysteries, in "The End", Mike Tyson fights a Chupacabra and beats it by punching it in the groin. It gets back up and it gets taken down by Cormac McCarthy as a centaur and the Chupacabra is actually John Updike, a novelist, who was thought to be dead but he actually transformed into a Chupacabra for some reason.
- There actually are Real Life animals called "goatsuckers", but they're birds of the nightjar family. Long before the modern chupacabra legend got started, these nocturnal insect-eaters were rumored to drain the milk out of nanny goats' udders.