In the novel
Brave New World, the Penitentes are shown in a video at a school, which causes the class to laugh at their rituals.
 They are also compared to savages in the 1946 foreword by
The 1936 roadshow exploitation film
Lash of the Penitentes combines old footage of the Penitente's ritual flagellation with new footage about a murder.
The novel Dayspring (1945) by
Harry Sylvester depicts an anthropologist who studies the Penitentes and eventually joins them.
Angelico Chavez titled his book on New Mexico My Penitente Land.