The Legend of La Llorona


Cristina Zarate

La Llorona was cursed to roam Latin America haunting everyone with her cries.

Known all throughout Latin America for her daunting cries, La Llorona, which translates to “The Weeping Woman,” is said to be heard weeping along the streets of Latin America mourning her dead children. Her ghost tale is most notably told throughout Spanish speaking cultures and countries in order to scare misbehaving children.

La Llorona’s story is one of the most well-known spoken scary tales. Although her story has been reinterpreted and adjusted among storytellers, the most commonly known version, and the version I grew up with, tells the tragedy of a woman who drowned her two young children in a river and cries over their death. She then drowned herself but was cursed to roam the streets of Latin America, yelling and crying for her dead children.

To go further into her story, a Don Quijote article says that, “Her children drown, and many versions of the tale suggest their death was deliberate and at her own hands, prior to drowning herself. When Maria is refused entry to heaven without her children, she is forced to search the waters for their remains during the afterlife.”

Generally, the tale of La Llorona is told by parents to scare their misbehaving children into behaving by saying, “La Llorona will kidnap you and drown you in the river.”

Folktale Today’s article reveals more variations of encounters with La Llorona: “La Llorona sees you from afar and pursues you, terrifying you as you flee toward your home. Sometimes she appears riding a horse;sometimes she appears in your horse-drawn wagon or in your car, warning you against bad behavior, before disappearing.” This makes it an even more chilling horror story because of many witnesses that have encountered her.

Whichever version you may or may not believe in, La Llorona’s story has and will continue to be told for a little scare. So watch your back and stay safe this Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos!