I first heard of La Llorona from a reader named Ace, who wrote in the comments of the Slender Man Story:
Hey, have you done a story on “La Llorona” yet? It would be a nice nod to my heritage. :-P lol
Turns out that La Llorona is similar to Slender Man because she is a scary spirit that is known to go after children. But while nobody seems to be quite sure why Slender Man goes after children, in the case of La Llorona it’s clear, she does it from a sense of intense guilt and madness…
THE STORY OF LA LLORONA
There are many versions of the La Llorona legend, but most are careful to mention that her name was Maria and that she was the most beautiful woman in town.
One day a wealthy man came into town and as soon as he saw Maria he began to lavish her with gifts and attention far beyond anything she’d ever experienced before. He was a skillful sweet-talker and Maria soon fell head over heels in love with him. They started to live together and she bore him two children, twin boys.
But despite all his sweet talk the rich man eventually lost interest in Maria. His father had recently been pressuring him to marry a woman of his own status, and on top of that, he didn’t like to stay in one place very long.
He never even said goodbye to Maria, she just woke up one morning to find a coldly written letter on the table. He was gone, and it was over between them.
Maria was out of her mind with grief for she really did love him dearly, but there was nothing she could do. The rich man had completely left town so she couldn’t even try to get him back. She did her best to put her life back together and care for her two sons, but wherever she went people were always whispering behind her back. Since the man had left her, everyone now saw her as tainted with scandal.
TRAGEDY BY THE RIVER
Some years later Maria was walking with her two sons on the road into town, which was next to a river. She was thinking about all the food shopping she needed to do when a fine carriage rode up and stopped right in front of her.
She looked up and her heart jumped to see that it was none other than the rich man! But then she saw that next to him sat a woman of high status wearing silk gloves and expensive clothing, and her heart sank lower than ever.
Nothing could prepare Maria for the things that happened next though. The man smiled a warm smile and cheerfully talked to the two boys, asking them how their life was going and explaining how he was now moving back to town. Each boy was holding onto one of her hands but the whole time the man talked he made a big point of ignoring her and not even so much as looking at her.
Eventually the conversation was over and the rich man waved to the boys and promised they would talk again later. Then he smiled at them one last time, making a big show of ignoring Maria completely, and drove the horses forward down the road.
Well something snapped in Maria right then. She was so brokenhearted, humiliated, angry, and about a thousand other feelings all at once that she could hardly think as she watched the carriage disappear down the road, leaving her standing in the dirt holding the hands of her two sons.
The events of the last few minutes played over and over in her mind, every little humiliation magnified and every second that he smiled lovingly at them and not her. Before she knew it she had walked to the edge of the road and hurled her two innocent boys down into the raging river.
She stood there at the edge, still in a daze but feeling strange with her hands so free. When she realized that the boys were no longer next to her anymore she looked around frantically, screaming “Mis niños! Donde están mis niños!” (“My children! Where are my children!”).
It wasn’t until she saw the two small figures floating far down the river that she realized what she had done.
Unable to live a moment longer Maria threw herself into the river, hoping desperately that she would soon be able to see her children again. But it didn’t work out that way at all.
GHOST OF LA LLORONA
People talked of seeing the eerie ghost of Maria, standing there with her jet black hair and white dress. They now called her La Llorona, The Weeping Woman, because she would wail in a haunting voice for her children “Mis niños! Donde están mis niños!”
The worst part was that once a person heard La Llorona she would later appear behind them and put her hand on their shoulder. And when she saw that they were not one of her children her face would become twisted with murderous rage. An adult might be able to run and escape with their life, but if it was a child La Llorona would throw them into the river or simply take them away, never to be heard from again.
You see, because of the horrible crime Maria committed she became stuck in between the world of the living and the dead, cursed to wander the Earth until she can find her children.
As time went on different towns along the river started to have La Llorona sightings. And through the generations people from all over learned to fear the weeping ghost by the river as she searches different rivers for her children.
So if you’re ever by a river at night stop and listen for a second, and if you hear a faint voice crying “Mis niños! Donde están mis niños!” then it just might mean that La Llorona has come to your river. Also …run :D.