Mythical Creatures

The Lowdown On The Legend Of La Llorona

Every culture in the world has its own unique stories of lore and Mexican culture is no exception. The ghost story of La Llorona [translated to mean "The Weeping (or Wailing) Woman"] is well-known within Mexican and Mexican-American cultures. Believed to have originated hundreds of years ago before the Conquest in Mexico, possibly from the Aztec, the story has been kept alive by parents and grandparents who retell it to their children and grandchildren.

If you didn’t grow up with an abuela (grandmother) who reminded you nightly to be kind to your family lest you incur the wrath of La Llorona, you might not know the story. It's the tale of a beautiful woman who, after suffering heartbreak, drowns her children in a river and then, in a fit of regret, drowns herself. She then wanders about aimlessly as a ghost weeping and wailing in search of the children she has killed. In recent times, the growth of Latinx populations in the United States has helped to introduce the story to mainstream society. Artists and writers have created books, poems, plays and movies based upon the tale. Hollywood adapted the story into the 2019 movie The Curse of La Llorona

As most legends do, the story of La Llorona has taken on many different variations. The following are just a few of the creative versions shared amongst communities today.