Ghost sheets are folded away, little werewolves are complaining of toothaches after too much candy, leaving many with fond memories of Hallowe’en.
Down in America’s southwest, some festival-goers caught more than they were expecting during the annual Festival de Otoño. As the effigy of El Kookooee burned, a photographer caught an eerie specter in the background.
Every October, locals gather in Albuquerque’s South Valley for their version of Samhain. According to tradition, everything contributing to the past year’s bad vibes are written down and burned with El Kookoee. As they go up in smoke, the year is given a fresh start and all trespasses are forgiven.1 Plus, who doesn’t love an autumn bonfire?
Also known as a cucuy,2 warnings about the hispanic bogeyman are whispered to naughty boys and girls before bedtime to keep the squirts on the straight and narrow. As a supernatural cryptoterrestrial with a penchant for terror, El Kookooee has no set form, having mastered the talent of shapeshifting. Even cooler, carved pumpkins are called “coca”, from which cucuy derives, and boys will carry them atop wooden stakes like the heads of so many French nobility!3
So… was this an entity’s phase change caught on camera? Over at KRQE News 13, a local ghost hunter chimed in to Matt Mauro on the spook.
“Basically, this is the exact match to the frame where the fire is,” said Wendy Jay of the Southwest Ghost Hunters Association. “It’s just inverted and upside down and basically a different color. It’s called refraction.”4