Author Archives: ryanprod

Haunted by a Shadow man

Background: the informant was my roommate and we had already been discussing supernatural occurrence during the Halloween season, just before this interview was conducted. They agreed to share a few for submission into the archives as we bonded over our similar experiences with superstitions in hispanic culture.

Me: Have you had any supernatural experiences, or general freaky things happened to you? 

Informant: I have 2 stories, one time was at my cousin’s house in Mexico, and recently their grandfather passed. She’s pouring out the soda and the cup just moved. (moves water bottle as an example) We all just froze. She then stood up and pointed behind us saying “guys there’s a shadow behind you!” We tried to calm down and I left soon. Later my cousin called and she said that one of the dishes fell off her drying rack, like randomly. And that’s something that doesn’t happen naturally, especially since the timing was close to her Grandfather passing. 

This next one is me telling what my Mom told me. I was around 5 or 6 and I would fall over, and she described it as a shadow always behind me when that happened. Then when I was about 10, I would wake up every morning and in the mirror, I would always see a tall man looking straight at me in the mirror, dressed in a long coat. Like something out of a detective movie. I would also wake up in the middle of the night and see this shadow right next to me. Almost as if the shadow was waiting for me to wake up in the morning. 

But the reason why we think this happened is that apparently someone committed suicide in that apartment before we moved in. And my mom fully believes that it was that man who for whatever reason was watching over me. I don’t know for certain if someone actually did die in that apartment, or if it was just a rumor, but for me it’s just too much of a coincidence. Like, my mom tells me that a shadow always followed me when I was younger and then when I was 10 I also saw that shadow of a man. 

In Hispanic culture too, you ask like any grandparent and they will tell you thousands of stories about witches and curses and things like money being buried in the grounds. They go on and on, haha.

My Father’s version of La Llorona

Background: Just after my father ate dinner coming back from work, we were sitting on the couch watching a movie and I brought up the subject of La Llorona. With so many variations of the legend all over the Hispanic and Latin American diaspora I was curious about the version he was told growing up and how that might differ from what I was told.

Dad: I can tell you what I was told

This lady was in love with this man. She was jealous of her children’s affection for her husband, so as to keep them from taking too much attention from him. She killed them. But after realizing what she had done she went crazy and wandered the streets up and down wailing. And she would kill any children that crossed her path as revenge for her own being dead. That’s why they tell kids to run away from La Llorona. 

Me: Did she die in that state? (referencing her state of insanity)

Well she did spend the rest of her life being crazy, but her spirit came back as an angry ghost to haunt the streets. 

-What happened to the husband?: 

He disowned the wife after what she had done. And that made it doubly worse.   

-Where did the legend take place?: 

Back in Mexico just outside of Mexico city around the 1700’s.  But she can roam anywhere on earth. 

-Was it used to make you behave as a kid?: 

Yeah if you didn’t behave you were told that La Llorona would come and get you. Sometimes we were told that she would be summoned if you weren’t behaving properly. 

-I was told that she drowned her kids in the river?: 

(Dad looked up La Llorona online) there are different stories, (referencing wikipedia) this one says it dates back to the colonial era. 

-What’s it say?: (referring to the article he was looking at) 

There are all sorts of takes on it. Some say she was an indian (indigenous) woman and the husband was a Spaniard…She was not allowed to enter Heaven and had to remain in Purgatory for what she had done. 

It seems like it came out during the colonial period and it was to warn women from hooking up with the conquistadors otherwise this would happen.

She would be a disgrace to the other indian women. Basically becoming a servant to the spaniards. 

-I then talked about the various versions that I was told growing up and the ones discussed in the reading for this class. What seemed to be consistent amongst the two of us was that punishment from heaven was involved and that the legend dates back to colonial times. 

What is interesting is that Dad pointed out the racial element of the legend. Himself having indigenous blood, being a 1/4th and myself 1/8th. The tribe of my great great grandmother was from Northern Mexico although the two of us don’t know the specific tribe. 

Maybe there’s some sort of personal connection to that element within my family. Or some sort of remnant of generational trauma that lingers.