The Peuchen (also known as Piuchen, Pihuchen, Pihuychen, Pihuichen, Piguchen, or Piwuchen) is a creature from the Mapuche mythology and Chilote mythology pertaining to southern Chile, a much feared shapeshifting creature which could instantly change into animal form.
It has often been described as gigantic flying snake which produced strange whistling sounds, while its gaze could paralyse an intended victim and permit it to suck its blood. It has often been reported as the cause of sucking blood from sheep.
The creature can be eliminated by a machi (Mapuche Medicine Woman).
In Chile, this word "Peuchen" also designates to the Common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus); so some cryptozoologists believe that "Common Vampire Bat" is the origin of the legend, however other cryptozoologists believe that the "Peuchen" could be related to the Chupacabra or be the same cryptid.
- Martinez Vilches, Oscar (1992). Chiloe Misterioso: Turismo, Mitologia Chilota, leyendas (in Spanish). Chile: Ediciones de la Voz de Chiloe. p. 179. ISBN 0-19-451308-4.
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