La Lloronais a weeping woman.
A light white dress, thick black hair, and a bitter cry coming from the rivers, hiding a terrifying mystery. This is LaLlorona, the inconsolable ghost of a woman whose legends have been known in Spanish and Mexican cultures since the time of the conquistadors. The territory of the legend covers the whole of Latin America.
The first references to the Weeping Ghost were found in the works of the Franciscan monk Bernardino de Sahagún in the 17th century. However, it was impossible to establish precisely how and when the legend of the Weeping Woman was born. The origins of this legend have long fallen into oblivion, and in different countries it is told in their own way. However, there is one tragedy that runs through all these numerous stories: A woman drowns her children. Her doomed spirit knows no rest and wanders along the rivers, weeping and looking for her children in the watery grave.
One legend says that LaLlorona in her lifetime was a beautiful woman, born into a family of peasants and who loved the merry life. She was popular with men and spent long hours partying in their company. Her two sons were often left home alone and were once found dead – drowned in the river by the grieving mother’s negligence or with her help.
Another legend has it that the weeping woman’s name was Mary and she was a devoted mother, the wife of a wealthy man who loved her at first and gave her exquisite gifts. But soon after her sons were born, he stopped paying attention to her and left her alone for long periods of time, occasionally going somewhere on business. Then he told her that he had married a noblewoman and that he would only come and visit his sons from now on.
One day, when he came with his new wife to see his children, he did not even notice their mother. After he left, Mary, in a fit of terrible resentment and anger, drowned her children in the river. Only when the boys disappeared beneath the water column, farther and farther downstream, did she realize what had happened. Weeping and screaming in terror, she ran along the river bank trying to save them, but it was too late. Every day that followed, she wandered along the bank and cried, hoping that one day her boys would return. Legend has it that Mary died in grief by the river. She has been mourning her children ever since, wandering near the waters.
Some legends claim that LaLlorona drowns her children by dragging them behind her into the river, while others say that she only kills men who do not appreciate domesticity. Either way, the legend of the Weeping Woman’s Ghost has been passed down from generation to generation for many years, and since the 19th century the inconsolable image has found its embodiment in fiction and on the screen, along with similar female characters such as Medea, Lilith, Banshee and other unfortunate women whose sorrowful lament has remained for centuries.