Argentinian "gnome" scaring the bejezus out of kids

A gnome is walking the streets of Salta, Argentina at night, and he scaring the town's children.


A town in South America is living in fear after several sightings of a "creepy gnome" that locals claim stalks the streets at night. The midget -- which wears a pointy hat and has a distinctive sideways walk -- was caught on video last week by a terrified group of youngsters. ... "One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital."
We believe these kids when they say it's not a prank, right? Link (Via Arbroath)


  1. that’s no “pointy hat”… that’s his head! his… head!! (com’on folks – ockhams motorola razor and all)

  2. does it look like this?

    I could see the problem with that. maybe someone there could fashion a robot from a chicken smoker and shoot the gnome with a water cannon.

  3. I can understand the kids being frightened. I wonder if he lives in the village why no one knows him? Maybe he’s from a nearby village.

  4. lessee, the local kids are smart enough to run a video camera but too dumb to dress up a three year old brother and hose the gringos…

  5. I have no doubt they believe it’s not a hoax. I feel agnostic about the possibility it’s “real” (whatever that means). Stories about gnome like creatures have been around for ages.

    Why do these guys run away screaming? I bet from the Gnome’s perspective we are these screaming monkeys that scatter whenever they try to approach us.

  6. I know this is like totally a far out crazy idea, but just suppose it was some human being with a deformity that included some hip problems. Accustomed to being laughed at, stared at and generally not accepted, said individual goes out of their way to avoid people. Anyone ever seen Elephant Man?

  7. “I wonder if he lives in the village why no one knows him? Maybe he’s from a nearby village.”

    Maybe there are hominids that we know nothing about who have survived for centuries by studiously avoiding contact with us? It’s a big world out there. Big deep oceans with big sparsely populated (until recently) land masses.

  8. The video really is creepy looking.
    I wish there was more of it.
    I dunno!- kind of ‘Blair Witch’ like, Spooky.

  9. That is some Lynchian nightmarish stuff right there. I have no doubt it’s just some kid pulling a prank but it looked creepy as fuck.

  10. This was to be expected, what with D&D moving the gnome from the Player’s Handbook to the Monster Manual for 4th Edition.

  11. i can’t believe nobody’s made a “world of warcraft” reference yet! so, here i go:

    clearly, he’s a low-level rogue, and he was spotted trying to stealth in and crit on a backstab, or sap someone. run away, little rogue! run away!!

  12. I call viral marketing on that!
    Coming this summer: BLOCKBUSTER GNOME MOVIE
    or a video game or a soft drink or something.

  13. also: it’s obviously david. don’t be afraid, david is a benevolent gnome, although he hates trolls.

    also: how in god’s name can being scared warrant a hospital visit?

  14. So this group of 3-5 teenagers (from the look of it) is terrified of a funny-walking little man in a pointy hat? Yeah, I’m not buying it…

  15. Travel Myth 2847:

    You will not get mistaken for a menacing monster in South American towns when wandering drunk at night!”

    Am I going to die?

  16. It’s clearly (not actually “clearly” since it’s such low quality video) just some dude crouching and ambling about sideways.

    Try it yourself: it’s actually not that hard to move around like that, and certainly not for the like 2 seconds that were taped. With bad lighting conditions, it makes for a creepy profile, but it’s just some kid mostly hunched over.

  17. Is it someone crouching? No, I downloaded the flv file and it’s clear enough to reject that theory. It doesn’t move like a child either. Stepping through the frames it is either a midget or….

    There are quite a few videos on YouTube of Mexican, Latin American kids getting spooked by some shadowy and presumably alien figure reaching out and grabbing them. Most likely someone is pranking these kids.

  18. I was waiting for Harry Potter.

    But are people really creeped out by the video? Way too short for me . . .

  19. It’s in South America. What are the chances that it’s somebody’s pet monkey? If it’s human, it’s tiny. Wait, Marsquatch is tiny. Oh, shit! They’ve landed.

  20. I would say prank, too. Creepy though… The way the kids screams…. But it also reminds me of “Behind the Mask: the Rise of Leslie Vernon”, which we recently saw, turning the creepy supernatural mass murderer paradigm on it’s head, by asserting that anything that Jason Vorhees (and the like) does can have perfectly logical, non-supernatural explanations. Anyone else seen that yet? It’s really good and worth the time. Go check it out, if you haven’t.


  21. Being frightened by one’s own prank is quite normal. You scream at the movies even though you know that it’s not real, don’t you?

  22. I love these types of movies. They are just weird, and it doesn’t really matter if they are ‘real’ or not. Another one that just really freaks me out is this one:

    It could be just a homeless creep, but the way his eyes catch the light and the camera jerks away are just so perfectly timed. Another one:

    So what’s the deal with these movies. Is there a movie genre called “South American Phone Clips of High Weirdness”?

  23. Creepy. As. Fuck.

    If I have to be rational, I’d think some modded remote-control radio shack-type robot. the side-to-side swing has a cheap-toy feel to it, once the heebie-jeebies subside. IF they subside. My personal heebies are still pretty jeebied.

  24. This isn’t exactly news, here is an older version, this time from Catamarca, south of Salta, from Cronica TV:

    By the way; Cronica TV, an Argentinian newschannel ( ), is the source of hilarious news.

    You can see Cronica TV videos here:

    A good compilation here:

    And a compilation of “Placas Rojas” here:

    They are all in Spanish.

  25. It’s a hoax done by the kids themselves – the Sun ran one version that Fox picked up, but El Tribuno in Argentina used a different one! They show two different takes of the same gnome shuffling out but with different dialog, props and movement.

    Here’s the one from Argentina:
    and here’s the one from the UK Sun:

    Not the smartest way to do a prank by releasing two versions of themselves pretending to run in terror!!

  26. Here’s the perfect audio accompaniment for this story, “The Gnome” from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition:

    If you like creepy gnomes, be sure to watch Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now.

  27. It looks to me like it’s dragging its right side. So if it is a gnome, I think it’s one that has had a stroke. Perhaps this made it lose its natural wariness towards humans, or its camouflage ability. (These are apparently left-hemisphere skills for a gnome.)

    I’ll take the hoax-by-teens explanation, especially after seeing the second take from El Tribuno, but the kids should get some credit for the high creepiness factor.

  28. To me, there’s only one reason why this is fake. If that was me and my friends, or anyone for that matter, back in high school or even middle school and we saw that? I know for a fact we would have realized that there were like six of us that could all beat the shit out of that little gnome and we would chase it’s hobbling ass down and catch it.

    For science, of course.

  29. I got no problem with the “gnome.” Teenagers, on the other hand, give me the heebie-geebies.

  30. LOL it is clear that it is a monkey from the movement patterns. Just look at it when the first images of that monkey appears on the screen. Well done kids ^^…

  31. Oh come on people. Its not a gnome, its not a midget in a costume, its not even a remote control robot. I know for a fact that what they captured on video is the rare and elusive Argentinian Pointed Fire Penguin.

  32. Oh c’mon people… Why always blame the terrified teens? It’s obviously a garden gnome who came to life on a full moon night… and he’s out there hunting for innocent kids. Instead of making fun of these helpless children HELP THEM!!! Start accepting the inexplicable.

  33. We looked at that gnome video several times. It looks like the gnome was walking away, maybe even scared of the teens. We have a better course of action for the gnome…..

    If we saw that little gnome, we would have offered some assistance. We would have given him “Hip Hop Attitude Training.” This type of training consists of listening to various hip hop rap songs until you find a song with just the right combination of “choice words” to get your point across in a matter of seconds.

    For example, there is a hip hop rap song called, “What You Looking At”

    Here are a few of the lyrics from the song….

    “…What You Looking At…..What You Looking At…..Why you always staring at me….Why you acting shy…Boy come over here so I can punch you in your eye….You don’t want none of me, I’m gonna scare you to you pee!”

    The next time that little gnome faced those teens the gnome should start spitting out a few of the “What You Looking At” lyrics. The teens would have had no choice but to give respect (smile).

    If the gnome decided to take our “Hip Hop Attitude Training” seriously, the gnome would learn every lyric in that song “What You Looking At!” The next time the gnome saw those teens the gnome would be prepared to “spit game.”

    After the gnome’s skillful delivery of these hard hitting lyrics, the teens would respect the gnome. The teens would begin to dress like the gnome. The teens would begin to walk like the gnome. That pointy gnome hat would be a fashion statement.

    If anyone can get in touch with that gnome, tell him to holla at us and give us a shout out at

  34. @47- Sure. It’s a neat movie…

    We sooo need to get a netflix account. They closed the video store we used to rent from here recently.

    Still find the gnome creepy, but I still think it’s a prank of some sort.


  35. Oh come on people….everyone knows gnomes are extinct thats just an elderly immegrant leprechaun from the land of the blarny stone, cabbage and beef, come to south america to retire. Wouldn’t you act that way when going home drunk. Thank god he was walking cause drinking and driving is not the best choice.

  36. I find the idea that this kid is filming his buddies at 1 in the morning talking about his last fishing trip with his cell phone creepier than a gnome walking around at night in south america. I mean, the only thing normal about this whole thing is the gnome itself. Shouldn’t those kids be out tagging walls or drinking beers?

  37. I hate to cause any hard feelings among all the cynical, skeptical, nay-sayers, but this thing is REAL. I know, because my dog told me, and he got the word straight from Elvis, and the King always knows what is shaking. I would have gotten an opinion from Jimmy, but the Hoffmeister is still pissed about that movie about him that Jack Nicholson made. I keep telling him to get over it, but he can be just a tad obsessive; of course, being dead doesn’t help. I would have gotten Bigfoot’s thoughts, but he was busy scratching his crack and then sniffing his fingers, and I was not even going to get CLOSE to that.

  38. Hey, this was finally proved false (duhhhhhh). It was a local kid trying to make himself popular.

    I would prefer a real gnome, but we know the real ones are not living in Argentina, but in The Shire, the Enchanted Forest and so.

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