La Llorona

“La Llorona is a tragic story about a mother that went crazy because of love. La Llorona used to be a beautiful woman who married the man she loved. They later had children and she was very happy, until it began to be apparent that her husband was no longer interested in her. He would be gone for long periods of time and only come back like once in a while to see the children. This drove her crazy and made her start to feel resentment toward her children. Then, one day she ran into her husband with her boys on the street. He was with some other woman, who looked beautiful and ric. Once again, he only talked to the children again and completely ignored her, walking past her as if she didn’t exist with the other lady. She went into a fit of rage and murdered her children by throwing them into a nearby river. Then she realized what she had just done and so she went after them and drowned in the river herself. After her death, she floated up to heaven, but wasn’t allowed in. The angels asked her where her children were and told her she could not enter without her children. So she was destined to come back down to earth, not alive nor dead, searching for her children. People say you can still hear her cries as she walks all over the earth, looking for her kids.”

My informant read this story during Dia de Los Muertos in her school. She was very shocked by it then, especially as she was a child. Because part of the legend that has become attached to it is that as La Llorona stalks the earth, she snatches children who are out in the dark and drowns them like she did her children, my informant became very afraid of the dark, especially to go outside at night. Her friends would tell her of people they knew who had actually seen La Llorona at night floating along a river and vanishing. Because of this, this legend was something that terrified her at night and gave her nightmares, although now it just seems like a legend to scare children into behaving.

This story is quite terrifying, and as it seems to target children especially, I can definitely see how my informant would have been shocked after reading this story. I would have reacted in much the same way if I had read the story as a child. In the story it seems as though she greatly regretted murdering her children, being forced to haunt the earth because she did not have her children with her when she went to heaven, may have turned her hostile once again to children. Although frightening stories like this may scare children into obeying, I personally do not think such scare tactics should be used. I can still remember frightening stories I was told as a child that would basically immobilize me because I would become so scared.