Chaos as armed mob hunt mythical shapeshifter which can ‘turn into animal’

A group of villagers in Mexico caused havoc when they took to the streets with guns and sticks to hunt down a mythological shapeshifter.

The 'hunt' was reported in the municipality of Soledad de Doblado, in the south-eastern Mexican state of Veracruz.

According to national newspaper Zocalo, a crowd of men, women and children took to the streets with sticks, stones and guns searching for the 'nahual'.

The mythological creature nagual – or nahual – from the folk region of Mesoamerica is believed to be a human shapeshifter that can magically transform into animals, most commonly donkeys, turkeys and dogs, but also jaguars and pumas.

According to Zocalo, the villagers were looking for the creature for around an hour and even fired shots into the air, before police arrived at the scene and told them to go home.

A video shared on Facebook by one of the villagers shows the chaotic hunt.

The images are blurred and lit lanterns can be seen moving around as the people can be heard shouting and running.

One woman says: "Careful because it could do something to you, I don't know what can happen."

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The man filming the video can be heard shouting: "It's over there, I saw it! Over there, it's a mother, she's grey, shoot over there."

Another voice can be heard saying: "It flew, it flew," whilst another voice says: "Over there!"

According to international newspaper Infobae, during the chase, shots were fired numerous times, prompting a group of people to beg for the shooting to stop, fearful that a stray bullet could injure or kill someone.

One recording shows a police officer who says he received a report from his superior about the presence of people with sticks entering houses in the Paso Pedregoso neighbourhood, where the sighting apparently occurred.

A live Facebook broadcast by a netizen identified as "Erick R. P. Velazquez" indicated the nahual was said to be grey in colour and flew away at the behest of some of the people who even prayed for it to move on.

According to Infobae, the municipal police arrived and asked the villagers to not shoot their guns and to go back to their homes, not least because of the measures still in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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