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Showing posts from October, 2015

The Cucuy in the Nighttime

According to my grandmother, the cucuy (pronunciation: coo coo ēē) recognized a kindred lost soul when he saw one and would abduct the bad child at night.  He had eyes that gleamed in the dark and had fangs that tore through young flesh as if it were cake. No one would miss the bad child the next morning.  They would be too busy celebrating good times and lavishing all their love and attention on the good children the cucuy left behind. On days when I was exceptionally bad, I slept with one eye open, knowing the cucuy was waiting for me to fall asleep. I have used the cucuy on my own kids but not to the extent it robbed them of their dreams.   My children had their own bouts with night terrors.  As a little boy, my oldest tried to escape his by sleep walking.  I was always on the alert and followed him around the house until I could steer him back into his bed.  My youngest swung punches and kicked at his brother and sister in his dreams. We had countless family meetings about not bul…

What Scares You?

With Halloween just around the corner, everything around us screams Boo! I went with HoneyBunch the other day to Hobby Lobby and then to Lowe’s. There was a whole section of expensive, scary lawn decorations.  I am talking The Grim Reaper, a horrific witch who lunged at you as you passed in front, and a zombie who drooled and turned to follow you with its watery eye sockets. Way to go!  Buy that trio and you make up what you spent on decorations by not having to buy Halloween candy.  The neighborhood kids and their parents would be too frightened to come near your abode. What scares you besides opening your water bill every month or the price of beef? I hate scary movies.  I do not like zombies or vampires, Chucky or the guy from Elm Street.  I like realistic endings.  Let me emphasize that again – endings. I want to know that when you kill something, it stays dead.  I realize that commercially successful movies will engender sequels and prequels, but I hate scary movies that make you…

I Believe in Ghosts

We bought a house in the older area of the little town. The houses on that two-block neighborhood were on quarter-acre lots, made of brick on all four sides, and were spacious. The owner had passed away and the heir had inherited several houses and wanted to liquidate all the properties, so he sold the house to us at a ridiculously low price. The real estate agent knew the deceased and told us she had passed away within days after one of the neighbors found her ill inside the house.  Her husband had died several years previous and their one son had died in a war a long time ago, probably Vietnam. My first husband and I divorced, the dog and cat died, and the three kids grew up and moved away in the fourteen years I lived in that house, but I never felt alone. There were lots of times I felt, heard, or saw movement inside the house, but when I went to check, there was nothing or no one there. One time I was standing at the sink washing dishes and saw movement out of the corner of my rig…

Do you believe in ghosts? I do.

It’s not like I attend séances trying to visit past relatives or old loves.I do not go chasing after them or watch TV shows about ghosts.Mine are incidental encounters. I believe in ghosts because I believe in the hereafter.  And because I believe that there is better than the right here, I think the ghosts we do encounter have a reason to make themselves known in this realm. I have no explanation why they want to visit with me but I wish they would do it in the daytime, but that is never the case.  My ghostly visits have always been at night. Everyone in my family thinks I am afraid of the dark.  Not so.  I am fine with the dark.  It’s the night that scares me, and I have my grandmother and my dad to thank for that. My grandmother raised us and she kept us in line with the whole array of Mexican folklore about the llorona (pronounced yorona), the Cucui (the boogieman), the Diablo, and an assortment of other scary stories.  When we got older (and properly scared straight), she confesse…