You can hear a woman’s wails echoing as you pace your way through the forest. Unsure of how to escape the piercing shrieks, you find yourself glaring at an enchanting manifestation. There she stands, with perfectly smooth black hair, in a white mesh dress and a tattered lace veil, hauntingly luring you in with her gaze. Suddenly, without hesitation, you’re running for your life as she floats in your direction because she wants to drag you to hell with her.
You should have listened to your mother when she said staying out past your bedtime would lend you some heavy trouble. You never want to be confronted by La Llorona (The Weeping Woman).
Yes, we’ve all been plagued by the familiar stories of the boogie man finding its way to get you because you’re out past your curfew. These stories have paved the way for discipline and some scary movies. However, there’s nothing more frightening than knowing the one thing you shouldn’t fear, you do: your mother.
“Mommy Dearest” anyone? We think La Llorona might be scarier…
Believe it or not, there are many variations of La Llorona. The 500-year-old ghost story typically starts with the most beautiful women in the world or Mexico—where the story originates. Otherwise known as Maria, this enchantress loves to flaunt her assets and use her charm to obtain what she wants. It’s no wonder she landed herself the most eligible and wealthiest bachelor in town.
After birthing two boys, Maria’s husband grew bored of her. He would leave her months at a time, and never hid the fact that he was ultimately choosing to live his life as a womanizer. With time, Maria grew tired of his games and blamed her two boys for the end of her marriage.
One night, Maria took a stroll down the river with her children. Suddenly, her husband appeared with a younger woman in his carriage. He was upset to find that Maria had taken the boys to such an unsafe place. With conviction, Maria’s husband demanded that the boys get on the carriage and leave this place at once. It was then Maria noticed her husband was officially leaving her and taking the kids too. She became enraged as she realized her two boys had the love she yearned for.
Anger took over, and she seized the boys and threw them into the river. Realizing what she had done, Maria went running along the stream in hopes that she could rescue her boys. It was too late.
According to legend, Maria roamed the river banks for months. With time, her white gown began to soil and deteriorate, gaining her the horrifying signature look. Maria also refused to eat and spent the rest of her days weeping. Hence her name, La Llorona, “The Weeping Woman”.
Pop Culture Phenomena
Rumor has it that you can sill hear her restless spirit weeping and still mourning the loss of her children around the banks of the Santa Fe River.
Other’s claim to see her spirit in a creek between Mora and Guadalupita, New Mexico.
Without a doubt, this story has become a legend throughout the Hispanic culture. It’s mostly been used to warn children not to stay out late or wander off.
La Llorona has been interpreted in some movies and even haunted houses during Halloween Horror Nights.
It’s been said that you can hear La Llorona screaming for her children near the famous island “La Isla de Las Muñecas“. Locals insist Maria killed the young girl that was found floating along the river by Don Julian Santana who created the doll shrine for the child.
It looks like La Llorona folklore might be inspired by ancient Greek mythology. Remember Zeus’ affair with Lamia? It was said that when Hera discovered them, she forced Lamia to eat her children, condemning the demigoddess to devour any child she could find.
“At the age of seven, I was attending the new Pajarito School in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I loved attending the Pajarito School, especially when it was time to play outside in the schoolyard. Surrounding the playground was a high fence to keep the children from wandering off. Behind the fence was an irrigation ditch that fed an alfalfa field on the other side of the trench. In the high, arid lands surrounding Albuquerque, it seemed as if there were ditches everywhere, watering the fields beyond the city.
Soon, we met a little boy who was not yet old enough to attend school. He would often come and play by the fence and watch as the older children frolicked in the schoolyard. But, one day our play was interrupted by a big commotion near the schoolyard fence. As we ran towards the fence, we soon discovered that the little boy had fallen into the irrigation ditch. Though one of our teachers pulled the boy from the muddy water and began resuscitation efforts, it was too late. That was the first time I had ever experienced the loss of a friend.
The next day at school, one of the children told me that La Llorona had gotten the boy. I could only stand there speechless, having never heard of La Llorona. They explained that she was the “ditch lady” that wandered up and down the ditches looking for little kids to “steal” because her children had drowned in a terrible accident. That frightened me because right outside my back door were two of these muddy trenches. On cloudy days we could imagine her ascending from the heavens to take her place along the irrigation ditches.”
Submitted By: By Reverend Elizabeth Kirkwood via Legends of America.
“When I was in the seventh grade, I had a frightening dream. I saw myself standing on a dark road with the only illumination coming from a dim streetlight. The ground was wet, and in the distance, I could hear the sound of rain falling and the tap, tap, tapping of footsteps coming toward me. Peering into the darkness, I could make out a woman, dressed all in black with a dark lacy veil covering her face, moving toward me. Strangely, as the mysterious woman grew closer, so did the rain.
When the woman was about 15 feet in front of me, she looked over my shoulder. When I turned around to see what she was looking at, I saw a young child dressed in a white nightgown playing with a doll in the middle of a puddle of water. When I turned back to her, she was right in front of me. The veil was lifted, her eyes were abnormally wide, and her face was no more than three inches away from mine. Her terrifying eyes stared into mine dead on until I awoke in a panic. I looked toward the window – it was raining. As you can imagine, I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.
The next day, I shook off the dream and thought nothing more about it, until a year later. On that night, I was spending the night with my friend Veronica, who had also invited another friend named Sarah. In the course of the evening, Sarah, who is Hispanic, began to tell us some of the legends and ghost stories of the Mexican culture. When she began to tell the tale of La Llorona, I didn’t think anything of it at first. Then she began to tell of how the legendary spirit travels by water, dressed all in black or white and is almost always seen wearing a veil. Sarah continued by telling us that La Llorona lifts her veil only to her “victims,” that in their afterlife, she has chosen to help her find the bones of her lost children.
Now, I constantly wonder if, in my afterlife, I will be forced to help her find the bones of her lost children.”
Submitted By: Tonia Apelar of Eureka, California via Legends of America.
Have you seen La Llorona? Let us know in the comments below. We are dying to know!
I never saw her. She wouldn’t know who she was dealing with if she came to me.
No, I never saw her in my life, but to be honest with you, judging by a lot of what la llorona has gone through, and it sounds like she did not have an easy life at times, but I think what seems more true is that la llorona’s sons may have been kidnapped, according to a more recent story. Also, really the best thing for her at this point is that she needs to be able to cross over into the spirit world and be at rest. Her spirit has suffered to long. Being trained in the paranormal and trying to be an advocate for spirits to cross over, the above would be my suggestion in this case. But the tricky part in this is to be able to get la llorona to trust you and listen to you, and not try to scare so she could cross over.
Feel free to contact me if you wish. La llorona has had my interest for a while.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I saw her! I was about 7 or 8. We lived in a trailer park on 2nd st behind St. Therese church, next to the church in Albuquerque. (this trailer park is no longer there) So myself and all my little friends where playing kick ball after dark and someone kicked the ball over the fence to where the ditch was. We where all too small to jump the fence so we climbed on something to see where it went. I saw an old woman walking along the ditch Bank with a purple scarf tied on her head looking down on the ditch like if she lost something. We shouted at her to see if she saw our ball. That’s when she looked at us and started walking toward us and then screamed, rose up into the air and transformed into a young beautiful woman with long black hair and a flowing white dress. She was floating towards us. We all where like paralyzed with shock or idk what, maybe like hypnotized.. then the closer she got she turned scary. Her eyes turned black and she reached her hands to us and then I saw like a heart with a dagger through it on her chest of her dress. Maybe a patch or something. When she was really close my dad came outside and started calling for me and my sister to come inside. She stopped looked up and then made a left and disappeared behind a tree under the moon. After that I was a little confused, I asked some of the kids what they thought. The weird thing was that some remembered and some didn’t… I kept thinking about it. Then about a week later I was getting ready to go to sleep and my bed was next to the window. I was on the top bunk of the bed next to the window, i rolled over to get comfortable facing the window when I saw her laying on her back on the little shed outside the window with her head dropped down and hair hanging looking in my window! And it was the scary version of herself… I yelled for my mom and it left or disappeared. Now I’m 42 years old, I never forgot those encounters. I have been living in New York for the past 25 years and recently moved back to NM. I live in Rio Rancho off 528 now. I have been back for 4 weeks and today I woke up at 4:30Am for no reason. I fell asleep on the couch with my PitBull last night. So when I woke up I was going to go to my bedroom but my dog needed to pee so I took him outside to do his business. It was really dark outside, while we where in the yard we heard a weird shriek. Which I recognized because it’s different from a human scream. Then I shook it off like I was crazy then I heard it again.. it was at a distance but closer than the last. So me and my dog started running for the house. My dog was so scared he kept tripping Up the stairs to my porch. I know it was her again, the llorona… I thought she only bothered kids… very creepy and these are true stories. Keep your kids inside after dark. I think it’s weird that in Rio Rancho off of Franklin Rd. They built a play ground some what at the bottom of a park right next to a huge arroyo… creepy.
creepy freaked out
i saw her at the city of new mexico
but where is the river?
what the heck she is not real
It was Monsoon Season in Tucson Az. 1975. I was a Junior in High School. A friend of mine and I had just left a school event about 9 pm. It was raining pretty hard as we drove home in his jeep. On our way, we both really had to go to the restroom, so we decided to stop at a local park to use the facilities. On our way from the middle of the park back to the parking lot, we both heard what sounded like a deep, guttural cat cry. The way they do sometimes that sounds scary. Thinking nothing of it, we continued. We soon heard it again. This time it was closer. It came again, this time sounding more like a woman’s screams. We looked at each other and started to run to his jeep. As we ran, the cries came again and this time they sounded like they were coming from not far above us. We made it to the jeep and jumped in. “Drive” I yelled! “What was that”? He asked. I told him of the legend of La Llorona and I believed that was what we had heard. He became an instant believer! On our drive, I kept looking into the backseat hoping she would not join us. The stories of this ghost were no stranger to me. I grew up with them. This only verified her existence to me. It wasn’t till many years later when several family members and I had another encounter with her in which my elderly Aunt and I actually saw her. But that’s another story.