I have an idea for next Halloween (2018, not 2017) that I’m currently refining and pitching to various groups and people to see if I can actually make it happen. I’ve already briefly announced it publicly on my own Facebook page and within a few groups I’m a part of but it’s basically a haunted/”spooky” exploration of tales involving the supernatural taken from the various cultures and societies that live in Latin America and Spain.
Not every haunted house aims to be particularly scary or even to frighten people at all. Some haunted houses exist to showcase various types of supposedly supernatural beings and to get people interested in mythology, religion, and the supernatural. The inspiration for this is not any particular thing or any specific haunted house or other similarly spooky thing but rather a desire to get children interested in the supernatural and folkloric creatures that many believed and believe exist in Latin America and to go beyond the typical portrayals of Hispanic and Latino/a/x monsters, spirits, deities, and other assorted supernatural beings which are generally limited to the tales of La Llorona, the Chupacabra, and maybe a tale or two involving some creation story like the story of the Maya contained within the Popol Vuh wherein mankind is created from corn.
How This Haunted Trip Might Work:
In a perfect world this would involve a decently sized collaboration between artists, performers, researchers, and more creatives who have a physical space to create a “museum” like-area wherein there can be both performers who portray various spirits, monsters, and more, and places for artists to put up pieces of art which show things that cannot be recreated, such as the various ways in which humans were once created according to various cultures in Latin America, or other really neat images corresponding to specific folkloric tales, such as the moment when Nakili (one of the main characters in a mythical journey told by the Miskitu people of Honduras to explore what they believe happens after death as well as explaining how they know this) had to jump over a massive pot of boiling water, to stay with his wife while her soul journeyed to the afterlife after she crossed over a supernaturally thin bridge. Other specific moments that could deserve representation from more conventional artwork (and wouldn’t be that great for performers) could include two humans being transformed into a hummingbird and a flower (from the Taino myth about the origins of the Hummingbird), and the great flood myth of the Shaur people wherein a massive storm and an army of snakes wipes out most of mankind, leaving behind the husband of a spirit and his daughter. It would involve both a short guided trip, possibly for some of the creation myths, and then gods, monsters, ghosts, and more would be visible in a free-roaming area.
For the first year, next year, I’d love an opportunity to create a small and basic version of this but I’d love to create a bigger and more ambitious version of this which gives up and coming Hispanic and Latin-American creatives a chance to shine.
There are all sorts of amazing myths, legends, and folkloric tales from Latin America that deserve to be far more known than they currently are. The purpose of this, while currently rough due to its infancy as a concept, is to create memorable and evocative tributes to that often forgotten folklore and to show our children that it’s not just myths, legends, and other folkloric tales from Europe or Asia that deserve to be remembered, and celebrated in this and other ways.
I’d love to know what you think and if you’d be interested in such an event or something similar to it coming into existence. If you have any recommendations or questions let me know!