Legend – Hispanic

La Llorona

Story about a mother who supposedly lost her three children (or died, I don’t know) and she keeps calling them. Her spirit is not at rest so she haunts them [people]. Men especially. She appears to them pretty, like the fantasy I guess, a pretty lady. They’re usually drunk. It’s easier to fool men than women, I guess. My mom told me the story, because my grandpa saw her. He was walking home and it looked to him like my grandma but my mom says it wasn’t because my grandma was at home with her. But he still went home and beat her up. And supposedly my aunt saw her, too, but it was someone she had just finished dropping off on her way back home.

Olga said that her mother would scare them with this story to make her and her siblings go to sleep at night. Her mom would say that if she didn’t go to sleep then, the llorona would come and take her away. Olga believes that the story of La Llorona is simply a legend of a mother who didn’t exactly go in peace. She also added that certain deaths can haunt you, which is what she thinks this story most strongly conveys.

The legend of La Llorona has diverse manifestations and emphasis, but Olga’s family rendition most clearly highlights the tension between gender roles. This conflict is present not only in the basic tale of la llorona, but also in her grandfather’s supposed vision of la llorona and subsequent violence toward his wife. It also directly speaks to the ideals many hold regarding women. La llorona appears to men especially as the ultimate fantasy or vision of a pretty lady as Olga said. She lures them, fools them, and then haunts them. Olga’s grandfather’s story of his experience with this woman is one that unnerves him and sparks his violent physical explosion later that night. This seems to illustrate men’s attempts to free themselves of the women who haunt them in some way, an image and a conflict that does little to empower the female’s role in this legend.