• Carmen Medrano

Have You Seen La Llorona

Don't stay out too late or La Llorona will take you away.

If you grew up in the southwest or Mexico you know the story of La Llorona. She strikes fear into the hearts of children. There are many variations of the story, but the main theme is a beautiful woman who became jealous when her husband began to pay more attention to their children and began to belittle her. In one version, she became enraged when her husband didn't acknowledge her and gave all his attention to their children. When her husband left to work, she grabbed them and out of jealousy and rage, drowned them. Once she realized what she had done, she decided to take her own life. Her soul could not accept what she had done. So now her spirit walks around crying and looking for her children and will continue to do so for all of eternity. When she sees a child, she mistakes them as her own. She becomes enraged once again and drowns them. That is why you shouldn't be out at night, or La Llorona will carry you away and drown you.

Growing up in New Mexico and having Mexican parents, the tale was repeated at school, home and amongst friends. My father told me about his run in with La Llorona when he was 14 years old. One night he and his buddies were hanging out at the school yard late at night. When they decided to go home, they all went on their separate ways. As he was walking home he heard a woman crying out into the night. At first he brushed it off and was not afraid of the noises. As he continued to walk, he noticed the wailing began to get closer and closer. It happened to be a full moon that night and he was able to see for miles. But he could not see where the wailing was coming from. He felt the wailing get so close, that the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end; his fear and panic set in. His instincts said to run. So he ran, went straight to bed and threw the blankets over his head. He didn't sleep, because throughout the night, the wailing was so close ,that he heard it circling his house. After what had seemed like hours of listening to the wailing, he finally heard it going away from the house and towards the well.

The wailing finally stopped when day broke. It is strange to hear this story from my father. Because when he talks about it, you can tell that he had genuine fear. It‘s strange because my father is not afraid of anything.

My mother's story is even creepier. It's creepy, because she can not recall what happened. When my mom was 6 years old, she walked to school up hill both ways. JK. On her way to school there was a abandoned house where people claimed that La Llorona would show up. She feared it so much that she would take the long way to school in order to avoid the house, except in the middle of the night. The first night my Abuelita was awakened by the front door unlocking. She woke up in a state of confusion. She went to her children's bed and my mother was gone. She ran to the front door and it was open. Panic set in, her daughter was missing. She ran outside looking for any signs of her daughter. She began scouring the streets until she found my mom standing in front of the house. As soon as she was going to open the gate to the abandon, house my Abuelita grabbed her wrist. My Abuelita noticed that her daughter wasn't responding to her and was sleep walking. She didn't want to wake her up so she walked her home. This happened for months, so my Abuelita had to sleep with one eye open, because my mother had trouble resisting the call of La Llorona.

Can you imagine growing up hearing these stories? Especially when a ditch is only a few feet away from your front yard? I never saw her, but I did hear her once. It only took 39 years. Last Halloween my husband and my brother-in-law decided to take the kids on a ghost tour of Taos, since trick-or-treating was not happening due to the Corona Virus. At the end of our adventure we were standing at the end of a long porch and out of no where her scream echoed from the other side of the porch and nothing was there. Our entire group heard her and we were all standing together. We took that as a sign to go home.


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