Occupation: USC Viterbi Masters Student
Residence: currently: Los Angeles; born: Guanajuato, Mexico
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/29/19
Primary Language: Spanish
Other Language(s): english
H: “This guy in our town would always tell the story of La Llorana and he died in his house in a weird way. It looked like someone choked him.
My cousin invited us to play Mario kart. So we played and then were like let’s go outside and talk to my uncle. His name was Miguel. We asked him questions about his stutter. We were kids, so some ppl were born that way, but some other people they become that way with a stutter. When I was young he used to speak fluidly. So we asked him why he started talking that way.
This woman who lost their children, it dates back all the way to when the Spanish ppl came to the first time to America and they invaded the Mayas. There was this girl who was trying to be a Maya and her husband put her in a hole with her children so they could escape the killing of that the Spanish people were doing. But it started to rain, and she was able to survive but her children died.
You can see her ghost and hear her voice asking for her children. The way she said, “Ayy chicos.” It’s just that in there, that there are a lot of people who are able to replicate her voice and they sound like her. I was with my mom and my sister and you started to hear someone in the house, I was looking at the window and was trying to see what it is. And I was scared. She looked at me weird and was like, “Oh, it’s probably someone.” It sounded so real, it was a woman’s voice, when I heard it – my skin got like chicken skin. People use it so people would get scared in communities, so people would get scared and get inside their houses. So people do it so they can steal your animals like cows and pigs. So you get scared and you lock yourself in your house so those people can get your things.
Anyways, back to the original story I was telling you. He used to have a parcel, a small land where he farmed corn. The thing is, is that the places where I lived in Mexico, you have the place where you live and the place you farm the corn is far away. So his parcel was a mile away from where he lives. So he had to walk there. people in my town used to work very late, they wouldn’t get to their house until 8pm. So he used to tell us one day he was working there in his parcel, on his way home he realized he forgot his bag with tools, on his way back to the parcel to his farm. First, he started feeling someone was following him. The weather started to get really windy, and then, how do you say it, when you have a lot of mist?”
H: “Yeah it started to get a little foggy. Being a kid he was 12 he started realizing something was moving in between the trees and he actually felt someone threw a rock at him. He saw this girl in a white dress. That’s how a lot of people describe La Llorana – this woman in a wedding dress. When he saw her he started to run, he tripped and when he tried to get up, La Llorana touched him on the lips. So that’s why he stutters, because he was so scared.”
The informant told me this story when I asked him to tell me some ghost stories from his childhood because he grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico. He told me about the main experiences he’s had with La Llorana. The context of how my friend heard the story is included in the main piece.
It almost feels like these stories came from a documentary or movie. It follows so many creative tropes like the typical old man in the village who has a quirk because he was touched or saw a ghost. Plus, how people will pretend to be ghosts to scare people into their homes so they can steal their livestock. I have heard the story of La Llorana before, but not so many stories that came from one person to where, while my friend was telling me the stories, I started to really believe all of it was true. I don’t actually know if it is true or not, but I was definitely convinced while he was telling them to me.