This week’s creature was a suggestion from Danielle La Paglia. I’d never heard of La Llorona before now, but I lived in fear of the Lady in White, which may or may not be the same legend. La Llorona is yet another reason to stay inside at night.
La Llorona is the apparition of a weeping woman, who appears near water, crying “Mis niños, donde están mis niños?” (my children where are my children?). It is said that she may snatch children who go out after dark thinking that they are her own, or may cause harm to adults in a fit of rage, mistaking them for her unfaithful husband. Those who hear La Llorona’s cries are also sometimes said to be marked for death. There is no consensus on the origin of La Llorona, but most stories are variations on the same theme.
In one story, Maria is beautiful but proud woman, who marries a handsome ranchero husband, but soon after they are married, he stops paying attention to her and dotes only on their children. In a fit of rage she throws her children into the river to get his attention, then realizes what she has done, and dives in after them, and drowns. She cannot enter heaven until she finds her children, so she searches endlessly for them.
Another story traces the origins of La Llorona to the beautiful Aztec Goddess Cihuacoatl during the time of the conquistadors. Her husband is unfaithful, and leaves her alone with their two children. One day she sees her husband across the river with another lover. She takes one child in each arm, and tries to get his attention. She weeps, “Take your children then!” but the boys slip out of her grasp and fall into the river. Anguished she dives in after them, and still searches the riverbanks for her children.
- The Weeping Woman – Folktale about Maria and her ranchero husband
- La Llorona – More variations on the origins of La Llorona
Region of Origin: North America, Mexico