My First Alux Encounter

When I first moved to Mexico, I was fascinated by all the stories about run-ins with ghosts, hauntings and mythical creatures. Being the skeptical American that I am, I brushed it off as a cultural difference for several years.

But now… I’m starting to realize that Mexico is just filled with some crazy, crazy stuff.

Long-time readers may remember the stories about the mythical Yucatan alux (pronounced “ah-LOOSH”) that friends and family had told me. The stories made me start to think, “Maybe there’s some truth to this.”

And then on New Years Eve, I’m pretty sure I saw one.

Jorge and I were riding in a 15-person van from Cancun to Chabihau for his cousin’s wedding. During the 4-hour drive along the highway, we pass through mostly jungle with a few small villages along the way.

Around 7 pm, it was already dark. We were just leaving one small Yucatan village and entering the jungle again, going slowly because of the village’s speedbumps. Up near the driver, I saw the head of a black figure standing right by the van, in the middle of the road. From the height, the shape of the head and the way it moved, I immediately thought it was a child, except it was … blacker than black? As in I couldn’t even make out features or anything, just an outline filled in with entirely black. I was unsettled and wasn’t sure why.

As we passed the thing, I turned back and saw that the figure was actually hunched over and huge. It was shaped more like a dog than a child, but at the same time the street dogs in the Yucatan aren’t giant or black (at least none that I’ve seen!) Plus… dogs just don’t move like that.

I later told Jorge and his family that I’d seen an alux, and they didn’t seem the least bit surprised.

Yucatan Folklore Part 3

Another alux story from the town of Yobain!

To read my previous stories on Yucatan’s mystical pranksters, the aluxes, check out the following:

Yucatan Folklore Part 1

Yucatan Folklore Part 2

Uncle Mike told us another story about an alux encounter from when he was a kid. Mike was walking through Yobain at night with his older brother, Eduardo. Mike looked behind him, and suddenly saw two bright red eyes following them down the road. He told Eduardo, who replied “Don’t look at it, just keep walking.” They got home quickly, and once they were inside the house, Eduardo said “I can’t believe that thing was following me again.”

To answer some questions from previous posts, aluxes aren’t considered violent or evil. They love playing tricks on people, and if you deny their existence or mock them they will get even with you! (I actually have a pretty good story about aluxes getting even… ya’ll will read it next week!)

Yucatan Folklore Part 2

For those of you just joining in, this week I’m writing about aluxes, a mystical creature that haunts the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula. Many of Jorge’s family members live in a small town in the Yucatan called Yobain, and on New Years Eve they told me about some of their run-ins with the supernatural.

Last summer, my brothers-in-law (Darwin and Jair) were staying the night at Uncle Mike’s house in Yobain. They were hanging out one evening with cousin IsisĀ  by the window.

Isis saw something moving on the neighbor’s roof. She pointed it out to Darwin and Jair. They climbed out onto the 2nd floor patio to get a better look. By then, it had crossed the street to a thatched roof home across from the house. Isis described this “alux” as being about 3 feet tall, sometimes moving on all fours and sometimes moving on two legs. It had “eyes that burned red like coals” and the only way she could describe it’s body was as a white, glowing shadow.

The three of them got so scared, that they went back inside and closed all the curtains.

Street in front of Uncle Mike's house (the yellow wall on the right is their house, and you can see the thatched roof home on the left) Sorry about the blurriness.

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!