La Llorona

Transcription: “In Mexico, there was supposedly a woman who drowned her own kids in the river and then regretted it. Her name is La Llorona. She wears a white dress with a veil–wedding attire–because her husband left her. She appears at all the rivers, crying “ay, mis hijos.” When I go to Mexico, there is a river down the street from my grandma’s house and they say that she appears there late at night. All the kids go down there to check it out, but I have never gone because I was scared.”

For another version of this legend, see

This collection is a variation of the La Llorona legend. The Spanish word llorar means “to cry.” Therefore, La Llorona is the feminized variation of crying. The most common structures of the legend are present. The story takes place at a river and involves a woman who drowned her children. However, the version I collected has more specific details. She includes La Llorona’s clothing, a white dress and veil. At first, my informant did not remember the story line that La Llorna’s husband left her, but after mentioning her clothing, she remembered the meaning behind her attire.

My informant likewise mentioned the words La Llorona is said to be weeping. The phrase, ay, mis hijos, means “oh, my children” which relates back to the idea that La Llorona drowned her children then regretted her actions. I assume that variations of the legend that provide different motives for La Llorona would have her call out different words.

My informant’s variation of the legend was unique to others I have heard since she had personalized the legend. The river by her grandmother’s house in Mexico is rumored as a site for La Llorona. The purpose of the legend is to act as a safety precaution that scares children away from rivers at night. The legend fulfilled its purpose with my informant since has never ventured down to the river at night out of fear. Nevertheless, my informant claims that the legend has had the opposite effect on the those who are fascinated by the supernatural and investigate its validity.