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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Professor Constanza’s Supernatural Encounter

In the Amazon and other forests in Latin America, there is talk about a human-like creature that enjoys talking to people in the forest. It has different names in different parts. Chuyachaki in Peru, Mapinguari in Brazil, and Cheneque in parts of Guerrero, Mexico. The creature looks human. In fact, it looks like someone you know. For instance, if you are walking through the forest with a partner and that person steps aside for a moment, the creature could take the shape of your partner. Generally, it is friendly and makes interesting small talk.

The creature is convincing enough to make you follow them somewhere off your path, leading you deeper and deeper into the forest. They are friendly but, if you follow them and eventually get to a clearing, you will be forced to work on the creature’s farm. This apparently is a tremendously disorienting experience. Eventually, you go mad (as in crazy not angry) and will eventually roam the forest again, which brings you back to the edge of the river near your home. There, your family will find you dirty and rambling. You also will be naked.

So, how do you avoid making the mistake of following this creature into the forest? Well, anytime you come across someone in the forest, (even if you are traveling with a companion) you must discreetly look at their feet… because this creature’s feet are turned backward.

Note: In some places, the feet part is slightly different as some might see deer hooves or hidden feet. In other versions, the feet are not the issue. In Southern Mexico and Belize, the creature has its thumbs turned backwards or is hiding them under their armpits. I used to state that this myth is found in one version or another from Siberia to Patagonia. I say “I used to” because it stopped being a myth the day I saw one.

P.S. I have also walked into one of their farms by mistake.

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!


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