A strange panic has swept over a city in Mexico as residents have taken to painting white crosses on their front doors in order to ward off what is believed to be a supernatural shapeshifter. According to a local media report, the peculiar situation began around two weeks ago when multiple people in the community of Cocoyoc heard series of mysterious sounds which did not seem to have come from a person nor an animal. Shortly after that, more residents began hearing the puzzling noises and many came to believe that the cause of the commotion was a particularly pernicious entity from Mexican folklore.
As Cocoyoc is a community where traditional beliefs are still strongly held, residents have come to suspect that a supernatural being known as a nagual is the source of the noises. Legend has it that such mischievous entities are able to shapeshift into different animals at night and can cause great misfortune to any humans they encounter. In response to the possible presence of the sinister spirit in their city, several people have painted white crosses on their doors as a measure of protection against the entity and residents are refusing to leave their homes after 10 o'clock at night, lest they cross its path.While those who have modified their front doors to fend off the naqual are quite serious in their beliefs, news of the furor unfolding in Cocoyoc has caused the community to become the subject of ridicule on social media in Mexico with many people making memes mocking what they consider to be silly superstitions. Reflecting on the unfortunate online response to the situation, historian Gustavo Garibay stressed that "Cocoyoc is a cultural stronghold where until relatively recently there were still practices of magic and healers" and, as such, he called for greater respect from those who have made a mockery of the odd affair.