Yucatan Folklore Part 1

On New Years Eve, we went to Jorge’s Uncle Mike’s house for a gift exchange with his dad’s side of the family.

As I’ve mentioned before, most of Jorge’s dad’s family lives in a small town in the state of Yucatan called Yobain. This little town is filled with lush jungle vegetation, locals riding their bikes, people chatting with neighbors on doorsteps, and beautiful white-washed stone walls around many of the houses.

The Yucatan Peninsula is filled with incredible stories and superstitions handed down by the Mayan culture, and the town of Yobain is no exception.

After all the gifts were handed out, I sat around with Jorge, his father (also named Jorge), his Uncle Mike, Uncle Tony, Aunt Elsy and cousins Isis, Yaresbi and Damaris. Uncle Mike, one of the youngest in the family, spent the next hour telling us about some of the run-ins their family has had with Yucatan’s spirits, and I found myself with chills running down my spine.

This week, I’ll be telling you several of the stories Uncle Mike told us that night.

First of all, you should probably know a little more about the culture. The jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula are believed to be inhabited by “aluxes” (The “x” is pronounced like an “sh”… “a-loo-shes”). You’ll hear different stories about their appearance or where they came from, but everyone agrees that they have a child-like mentality. They love pranks, and will quickly get even with you if you insult them.

The first story took place years ago when brothers Mike, Jorge and Tony were walking through the streets of Yobain at night. Back when they were kids, this small town had no electricity and the streets were dark. They were walking along when they heard movement among some nearby trees. Startled, Tony calmed his brothers by saying it was probably just some other kids.

The three brothers continued walking until they reached the town’s central plaza. Here, they heard noises behind them but didn’t see anything, and began to feel frightened. Suddenly, Jorge was lifted up into the air by both arms by some invisible force, and the brothers could hear laughter. When Jorge reached a nearby corner, an older gentleman stepped out of his home. The invisible forces dropped Jorge back to the ground and left.

After hearing this story, I asked my father-in-law if he remembered this happening to him. He said that yes, he did.

More alux stories to come this week!

18 thoughts on “Yucatan Folklore Part 1

  1. Very Carlos Casteneda stuff, huh? tee hee. Actually, in Hawaii we have a similar legend about little dwarf-like tricksters called Menehune. This is old Hawaiian superstition. Thehy like to play pranks too but they are also good workers and sometimes help people build rock walls for their houses.

  2. Hey Laura! Aluxes can “live” in houses if they were built over a cavern, you know those are plenty around here. 😉 I actually have a friend who is supposed to have one on her house. As far the stories go, you need to ask them permission to build something, using the farmland or entering the jungle and offer them some sweets to show respect to them. There’s an interesting story about the the Hotel Zone and aluxes, I can tell you later if you want. 😉

    • Never heard of them living in houses! That would be pretty cool 🙂 I do have a friend who got into trouble for not asking them permission for something (I’ll tell that story later this week) I’d love to hear the hotel zone story!

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