Cuca – The Brazilian “bogeyman”

Some girl power legend now! Just kidding, sort of. This is the story of the female version of the bogeyman, and it also comes from Brazil.

Cuca is represented by an old alligator faced character, that lives in a dark cave where, like a witch, creates making magic potions. With a scary voice, she sleeps only one night every seven years and scares and handle children who do not obey their parents.

When she gets mad, she loose her angry roar that can be heard 10 leagues away. The character also gained visibility in the works of Brazilian writer Monteiro Lobato.  In the “Yellow Woodpecker Site”, turned into television series in the late ’70s and early’ 80s, Cuca came to be known in the four corners of the country. On TV, Cuca was kind of bipedal alligator with yellow hair and a terrifying voice, and she also had the help of Saci Pererê.


Cuca and Saci Pererê

Because of her popularity, one of the best-known Brazilian lullabies was created:

“Sleep baby, otherwise the Cuca comes to catch you,
Dad went to farm, Mom went to work.
Bogeyman, get out of the roof and
leave (name) sleep peacefully”

Well, now you know how to put your kids to bed also!

Gabriela Sacilotto


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