Legends, Culture, and Parenting Tips with La Llorona

This will definitely be more of an editorial and opinionated post on what is one of Hispanic culture’s most popular legends. If you’re reading this post, then you most likely already know the story of La Llorona, or ‘The Weeping Woman’ who seeks out and drowns unsuspecting and mischevious children.

The short version is easy to understand: Poor woman wants to marry a rich man but she has kids. He refuses to marry her due to said kids. She drowns the children in a nearby body of water. After still being rejected, she goes mad and drowns herself to be reunited with her children. However, instead of eternity in heaven, she is doomed to wander the Earth looking for her lost children.

Here is the long version, for your viewing pleasure:

 

The Best Babysitting Tool Ever!

Growing up in San Diego as a Mexican child, you hear a lot about the legend of La Llorona. Either she lives in the swampy area behind your grandmother’s house, or she wanders the beaches at night looking to snatch up unsuspecting children.

These were the legends that you heard, and as a child, you best believe they got you back in the house before nightfall. I can still remember my grandmother scaring me and telling me about the time that she ‘saw’ the crazed spirit waiting outside my window ‘just in case I woke up and made too much noise.’

Yes, these scare tactics worked as a child and to this day, I am still terrified of this particular legend. So kudos to all of the Mexican parents out there that are using this story as a way to keep children in check. It works and is relatively harmless.

She Is Everywhere in the Southwest

Depending on where you hear the legend, the story of La Llorona comes from many origins, and it may seem like her spirit is capable of being everywhere. After moving out of Southern California, I still heard stories about her in Arizona during college and even Texas as an adult. I even have a family friend who swears that they saw her on a drive through a rural Colorado town.

Real or not, the fact that this legend is able to take on so many forms is fascinating. Ghost culture seems to revolve around the spurned woman and when approaching the legend from this angle, La Llorona is the most tragic tale of them all. While not all of these supposed sightings and stories of her may be the same spirit, it is not a surprise to see various ghost stories across the nation take the shape of this famous legend over time.

Llorona in Pop Culture

Surprisingly, there have been very few films made about this legend, and I’ve yet to see one that was a good one. The most accurate and fun depiction of the ghost can be seen in a backlogged episode of Grimm, and that’s barely even a good show! As a Mexican-American, it would be awesome to see one of my favorite terrors truly hit the big screen. Come on, Hollywood, we can get The Grudge, Slenderman, and Samara, but no Llorona?! I’ve personally been sitting on a spec script that I wrote for years, but I don’t have the guts to send it out. Maybe if you readers give this post a little love I’ll take the leap and even give you a sneak preview in the process.

Now, to Hollywood’s credit, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights  gave our ghostly mistress a fair shake. For a couple of years, she got her own original haunted attraction. Sadly, it was done after I moved away and all that is left of my personal living nightmare is some great walk-through footage.

Have You Heard This Woman?

Mexican culture seems to be one that uses lots of sound in its ghost stories. I’ll explain this more later in the week with some additional, less popular legends. With so many supposed sightings and encounters with this wailing spirit, it is no surprise that this is where Mexican Legend week begins. If you have heard her cries in the night for her children, Metroplague would love to know your story. Until the next tale, stay creepy mi amigos!

 

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