The woman in the window

Text (urban legend): 

“There was said to be a book called “The Woman in the Window” and if you opened it the woman in the window would alway be watching you in a window.”


A is my little sister who is 9 years old. She is in the fourth grade and loves to read. She recalls this story being shared around school by classmates of hers.”

Q: “Do you only need to open the book for this to happen?”

A: “No, if you open the book and read the pages out loud, then the woman will haunt you.”

Q: “Where did you hear about this book?”

A: “I heard it from one of my friends at school. We don’t know if the book is real or not (quietly)…”

Q: “What does the woman look like?”

A: “I have never seen her but my friend says she has long black hair and wears a white dress.”


The text is an urban legend as its truth value is unknown and it was shared between two people who both belief it to be true. The fact that the truth value is unknown likely plays a role in the nature of my informant. She heard it from another classmate in primary school and I find that children’s folklore is more likely to be based on fiction rather than actuality or fantasy versus reality. As the story was told and shared between two children, I also view this as a cautionary tale in a sense that the narrative cautions readers to be wary of what they read and a general warning against the unknown as my informant didn’t know if this book actually exists but she was fearful regardless as her voice tended to lower when speaking about the instance in which the woman in the window may appear. I also notice a connection or similarity between the woman in the window and the story of La Llorna such as the white dress, long black hair, and possible feelings of revenge fueling their actions. As described by Carbonell, a variation of the story of La Llorna involves her acting out of revenge on a lover that wronged her. In a male dominated society, I find this common that children’s horror folklore, specifically in young girls, is center around this notion of the volatility and frightening nature of women’s emotions. Ideas of male versus female distinctions in children’s folklore by Meechling also supports my ideas in interpreting this legend in terms of young girls where the stereotype is perpetuated that a female figure fueled by emotions is something of which to be afraid of.