In the film “Mi Familia” a 1995 Drama/Indie film reveals the appearance of some scenes of this famous monster known as the La lechuza. The film it’s about a generation of an immigrant  family Maria and Jose from the 1993 Era, the beginning of the film shows a scene in which Maria is with her son who is trying to cross the river to cross to the United States and reunite with his husband Jose. However, the river is very aggressive and the water is very high the coyote smuggeler  tells maria how dangerous it is to cross, but she begs the coyote smuggeler to help her cross the river ,as she’s crossing the river  she looks up and sees a lechuza (owl) looking down at them, she is surprised to see an owl by day rather than night, she then gets into the boat but ends up tipping over and she’s dragged into the river with her son but by miracle she makes it out alive, a few seconds after the lechuza comes out again as its sitting on a tree branch staring at them. Throughout the movie chucho maria’s son gets older he goes to a club and suddenly  gets into a fight killing his rival. He rushes out and hides in an empty house because he knows the cops are looking for him due to the murder he had done. Lastly, in a scene  chucho starts running away from the cops as he knows that the cops are near him. As he is running he stops as he hears the  sound of an owl hooting, staring at it making eye contact , suddenly the owl flies away making this loud sound attracting the cops to it,he continues running when all of a sudden he gets killed by the cops.

lalechuza-illustration

Owl superstition? In Mexico, the owl means darkness, magic, death (Japantimes).  Superstition of these creatures have been around for a very long time from our parents great grandparents to our  parents telling stories to their kids about this scary creature. This creature fits to thesis one of Jeffrey Cohen’s Monster Culture  Thesis , which is  the monster is born only at this metaphoric crossroads s an embodiment of  a curtain cultural moment of time,a feeling and a place. In new mexican spanish an owl is called a tecolote, from the Nahuatl word tecolotl. In other parts of the southwest owls are sometimes known as lechuzas (chicanofolkare). La mujer lechuza or the owl in which is popular in the hispanic folktale  as well as in mexico and texas. According to legends la lechuza it’s a bird in which resembles to an owl. It is often described to be a large bird with a womans face who becomes women in the day and lechuza at night. A lechuza its known to make the noise of a human whistle or crying infant in order to attract attention. legends claim to sold her soul to the devil in order to  be given mystical powers and become a witch. However , others believe the lechuza is a creature who once was women and was wronged and now is seeking for revenge. It is to believe if you hear the sound of a lechuza it is there to warn you of something bad coming or someone in the family will die. Scary right? However, there are many different legends of this creature from different parts of the world who have encounter with it, According, to an article from Daily mail, in the city of Durango New Mexico, villages heard recounting stories of how the owl had been seen looking through the window at the home of one of the villager and how it had apparently tried to curse another, believing it to be a witch a female villager demand the owl to reveal its human name and turn itself back into a women if it wanted to be freed  (dailymail).

tyto_alba_close_up

According to legends a lechuza is drawn to negative emotions, other legends believe it kills children who are warned to never leave the house after dark others believe that if a couple is having a loud argument at night la lechuza may perch in a nearby tree waiting for someone to storm out of the house(freaky). In another theory from Cohen, “The monster always escapes, we see the damage that the monster wrecks, the material remains,..but the monster itself turns immaterial and vanishes to reappear someplace else”.  This quote pretty much explains in how monsters usually seem to escape no matter what, According to the article Mexico Unexplained, because the creature is magical, legends believe the lechuza poses natural powers and it is told that the only things that drives a lechuza away is salt or by screaming /cussing at it in which means that in reality this creature eventually never dies but you can only scared it off. In conclusion, my opinion about this monster is that I am one of the many people who believe in this folktale or superstition or whatever some might want to call it and I must say that I have had few occasions where I have actually heard it hooting and have seen it with my own eyes and I must confess it is one of the scariest noises I have ever heard. You’re probably wondering well is it true  about what legends says in which are if you hear it something bad happens or someone dies in your family? And the answer to that is yes, those few times I have encounter with this creature within a week or so family members passed away,other times were car accidents or sometimes just little minor things but I must say that its rare when this monster appears or screams at you, but do know that when it pops up,  be ready for the worst.

lachuza

Work Cited

Bitto, Robert. “The Lechuza – Mexico Unexplained”. Mexico Unexplained, 2016, http://mexicounexplained.com/the-lechuza/. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

Evans, Sophie Jane. “Shocking Moment Owl Was Interrogated By Mexican Villagers”. Mail Online, 2014, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2718798/amp/Shocking-moment-owl-interrogated-superstitious-Mexican-villagers-set-fire-witch.html#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

La Lechuza: Legendary Mexican Terror Of The Night | Freaky Phenomena”. Freakyphenomena.Com, 2018 https://freakyphenomena.com/?q=article/la-lechuza-legendary-mexican-terror-night. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

Castro, Rafaela. Chicano Folklore : A Guide To The Folktales, Traditions, Rituals And Religious Practices Of Mexican Americans. 4th ed., Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2018, Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Monster Theory: Reading Culture. 1996, https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsq4d. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.

“Superstition Aside, Owls Are Good Luck To Mexican Potters | The Japan Times”. The Japan Times,2002,https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2002/01/11/national/superstition-aside-owls-are-good-luck-to-mexican-potters/. Accessed 16 Nov 2018.