El Cuco / El Coco / El Cucuy
El Cuco is a mythical monster whose origins can be traced to Spain. The legend of El Cuco is used throughout Spain and Latin America as a fright tool to keep the children off the streets late at night and to make them go to sleep. It is very similar to the Boogy Man in USA.
There is no real description of this mythical being. It is as if he has no form or shape. It is just a being that is more felt than seen. It is said he is able to shape-shift into all sorts of creatures. He can be your favorite animal or a nondescript shadow moving across the floor. El Cuco can become a horrible monster or make himself so small that he can slip through a crack, hide under the bed or in the closet.
In Dominican Republic El Cuco roams the streets and alleys looking for kids to take away in his sack. He can take the form of a hobo or homeless man Parents and grandparents alike tell the children if they do not go to sleep and fast that El Cuco will come and take them. Even worse if they are out roaming the streets unsupervised El Cuco will stuff them in his sack and take them away.
So be careful if you can’t sleep and you see a shadow with eyes glowing passing near your bed. Also, remember to never roam the empty streets alone. If you see a faceless man with a big sack it could be El Cuco….
*A few artists have used the name. Cuco Valoy, a Dominican salsa and merengue singer makes many references to El Cuco. Tonio Rosario has an album named “La Magia de El Cuco”. There is a trip music festival in Puerto Rico that uses the name of this nocturnal faceless creature.