La Llorona – Weeping Woman of the Southwest

Readers Stories: 

La Llorona woke me up once when I was camping at Indian Falls rapids on the Yampa River in Colorado when I was fifteen. I walked with her to a cabin and there was a man in the bed. All I saw was his foot but, when she yelled at me to run, I did. If I didn’t smash my toe on a rock, I would have run off the cliff into the Indian Falls rapids. I saw an article in this months Mountain Gazzete about her and looked her up on the internet. My experience was  21 years ago.- Bryan, Colorado, October, 2008


A Kansas Tale

Recently while working as a copy editor for a newspaper, I came across a wire story about the La Llorona. That brought back memories of what happened to me while I was a student at Kansas State University in the early 1980s in Manhattan, Kansas, and led me to your Web site where I read more about the legend.

One evening I went to a mobile home that I seem to remember being near a creek or river to visit a couple of my friends who also were attending K-State. As I walked into the door, I found them sitting on the sofa looking somewhat freaked out. They explained that just moments earlier one of the bar stools was spinning and hopping around. As they were Mexican-Americans, they wondered whether the La Llorona had anything to do with that incident. They explained the legend to me as I had never heard about it before.

They would invite me to stay the night in a spare bedroom, which I did. Later in the night a woman appeared to me, laying next to me in bed, and asked if I would know where her children were. It seemed that, while I may have been dreaming, I was half-awake. Then I fully awoke and looked up toward the doorway just in time to see a dark figure seemingly looking at me and then quickly ducking back out the doorway. Right then that left me too scared to go check and see if that was one of my friends checking in on me, perhaps to see why I was talking in my sleep or something. I went back to sleep and waited until the morning to ask them if either one of them looked into my room during the night. Neither one did.

So to this day I do not know whether I really did experience a supernatural visit or if my dream and mind played tricks on me.

Submitted By: Name and city withheld, August, 2006


A Bizarre Coincidence of La Llorona

When I was in the seventh grade, I had a frightening dream. I saw myself standing on a dark road with the only illumination coming from a dim streetlight. The ground was wet and in the distance I could hear the sound of rain falling and the tap, tap, tapping of footsteps coming toward me. Peering into the darkness, I could make out a woman, dressed all in black with a dark lacy veil covering her face, moving toward me. Strangely, as the mysterious woman grew closer, so did the rain.

When the woman was about 15 feet in front of me, she looked over my shoulder. When I turned around to see what she was looking at, I saw a young child dressed in a white night gown playing with a doll in the middle of a puddle of water. When I turned back to her, she was right in front of me. The veil was lifted, her eyes were abnormally wide, and her face was no more than three inches away from mine. Her terrifying eyes stared into mine dead on until I awoke in a panic.  I looked toward the window – it was raining. As you can imagine, I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.

The next day, I shook off the dream and thought nothing more about it, until a year later. On that night, I was spending the night with my friend Veronica, who had also invited another friend named Sarah. In the course of the evening, Sarah, who is Hispanic, began to tell us some of the legends and ghost stories of the Mexican culture. When she began to tell the tale of La Llorona, I didn’t think anything of it at first. Then she began to tell of how the legendary spirit travels by water, dressed all in black or white and is most always seen wearing a veil. Sarah continued by telling us that La Llorona lifts her veil only to her “victims,” that in their afterlife, she has chosen to help her find the bones of her lost children.

Now, I constantly wonder if, in my afterlife, I will be forced to help her find the bones of her lost children.

Submitted By:  Tonia Apelar of Eureka, California, November, 2005


La Llorona in Texas

Texas-San Bernard River

San Bernard River courtesy Texas Watch Website

As we noted above, La Llorona doesn’t limit her travels to New Mexico. Seemingly, she follows Hispanic people wherever they go, as evidenced by the story that Pete Sanchez shared with us about crossing the San Bernard River Bridge in East Bernard, Texas. East Bernard is southwest of Houston in Wharton County. This old community built its first residence around 1850 on the east side of the San Bernard River. Today the San Bernard Bridge spans the river.

Several years ago, Mr. Sanchez was driving along in East Bernard with the radio blaring. As he was crossing the river bridge he was startled as he looked to the right to see a semi-transparent woman sitting in his passenger seat.

Dressed all in black, the spirit’s face was covered by a lacy black veil. Obviously frightened, Sanchez hit the gas hard, speeding past the bridge, and not looking back into the passenger seat. It wasn’t until he was past the bridge that he found the courage to look again. The spirit had vanished. Mr. Sanchez readily admits that he is still freaked out today by that ghostly image. When Mr. Sanchez read the story above, about the Garcia brothers encountering a tall woman wearing a black tapelo and a black net over her face, who appeared on the wagon seat between them, he obviously saw similarities. We agree!


La Llorona in Mexico

My story of La Llorona takes place in Mexico. When I was eight years old when my abuelita (grandma) told me to go to the store to buy soda. This was during the evening as we were getting ready to eat supper. My brother and I left for the store and along the way we heard wailing but we didn’t pay much attention to it.  However, as we continued on we saw a young woman walking toward us. All of a sudden my little brother started to cry and the woman ran toward him, acting as if she was going to get him. When we saw that she was floating instead of walking we began to run back to our house and told our grandmother and mom what  had happened. We just locked the door and started to pray to God to help us and make La Llorona go away.

Submitted by Daisy Calderon. Daisy is now 12 years old and truly believes that La Llorona is real.


An Attack by the Weeping Woman

When I was about 8 years old, I had just started becoming interested in all things paranormal. I was researching La Llorona when all of a sudden I heard a noise, so I decided to check it out. Then I heard it again. It sounded like it was coming from the bathroom so I walked in and stopped at the sink. Then all of a sudden my head was pushed into the sink and the water started to run. The sink finally filled all the way and I was trying to breathe. Then I couldn’t breath anymore. I thought I was going to die of lack of oxygen. So I screamed and my mom came in. She pulled my head out after a struggle and hugged me tightly. She knew I wouldn’t drown myself, so she started thinking. Then she froze and her face turned white. She screamed and almost fainted. I asked her what was wrong and she said with a stutter, “La-La-La Llorona.”  – Emily Ortiz


My Story of La Llorona

South Valley Abq

South Valley Albuquerque New Mexico

At the age of seven, I was attending the new Pajarito School in the South Valley of AlbuquerqueNew Mexico. I loved attending the Pajarito School, especially when it was time to play outside in the schoolyard. Surrounding the playground was a high fence to keep the children from wandering off.  Behind the fence was an irrigation ditch that fed an alfalfa field on the other side of the trench.  In the high, arid lands surrounding Albuquerque, it seemed as if there were ditches everywhere, watering the fields beyond the city.

Soon, we met a little boy who was not yet old enough to attend school.  He would often come and play by the fence and watch as the older children frolicked in the schoolyard.  But, one day our play was interrupted by a big commotion near the schoolyard fence.  As we ran towards the fence, we soon discovered that the little boy had fallen into the irrigation ditch.  Though one of our teachers pulled the boy from the muddy water and began resuscitation efforts, it was too late.  That was the first time I had ever experienced the loss of a friend.

The next day at school, one of the children told me that La Llorona had gotten the boy.  I could only stand there speechless, having never heard of La Llorona.  They explained that she was the “ditch lady” that wandered up and down the ditches looking for little kids to “steal” because her own children had drowned in a terrible accident.  That frightened me because right outside my own back door were two of these muddy trenches.  On cloudy days we could imagine her ascending from the heavens to take her place along the irrigation ditches.

Submitted By:  By Reverend Elizabeth Kirkwood

About the Author:  Reverend Elizabeth Kirkwood lived in AlbuquerqueNew Mexico as a child.  Today she is a practicing Methodist Minister in Oklahoma and Kansas.  She and her husband Cody have been married for 14 years and love to tell stories to their girls that help them to embrace their Hispanic heritage.  Elizabeth is currently attending the University of Northwestern Oklahoma in Alva, majoring in Social Work.  Enrolled in a Mythology class at the moment, she was assigned to a write a paper and has chosen La Llorona.


My Mom’s Bedroom Window

My mom lived in the same house in Santa FeNew Mexico for almost 50 years. When she was about 12 or so, she and her cousin were sitting in her bedroom (which was later to be mine) at night, in the middle of winter. It had been snowing. At one point they heard a noise outside the window.   When they looked, there was a woman standing there, dressed all in white, and crying.

My mom and her cousin were obviously a little freaked out and they ran out of the room to tell her mom.  Her parents went outside to investigate but found not footprints in the freshly fallen snow. They came back inside and told her what they found, or rather, what they didn’t find.  That scared my mom even more and she was afraid to go back in her room.

When I was about eleven I was sitting in my bedroom (in the same house my mom grew up in) by myself, at night, in the middle of winter, and it had been snowing. I heard a noise outside my window. I’m afraid of the dark so I didn’t check to see what it was, I just left the room and did something else for awhile. When I told my mom about it, she told me this story. She said it was La Llorona outside the window both of those nights.

Submitted by Brandi, June, 2005.  Brandi has lived in Santa FeNew Mexico for her entire life and loves ghost stories and the paranormal.  She is also afraid of the dark.


Cries in the Night

When I was 12 years old (1991), my parents separated and my mother moved me and my brother to Monterrey Mexico.  In the winter all three of us would sleep in the same room because there was no central heating — only electric heaters. There were two beds for my mother and brother. I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag, next to my mother’s bed.  One night around 2:30 in the morning, I woke up because I had been dreaming about my great grandma.  She kept calling my name — three times to be exact. Just a few minutes later I heard the scariest screams coming from down the street.  It was horrible!!!  The cries continued, each time coming closer.  I was so horrified that I could not even wake my mother who was laying right next to me! I was so scared, I did not even blink. It was the most evil cry I have ever heard!  Finally, it passed my house and slowly faded away! The next day I told my mother. You know, I didn’t believe in stuff like this, especially not La Llorona.  After that night, I do.

Submitted by:  Adriana of Houston, Texas


Did I Really See La Llorona? — A California Version

I don’t think anybody has ever heard of the city that I live in – in the suburbs of a small valley town called Lompoc, California.

Well, the story of La Llorona that I know, was that she was a prostitute and every time she would have a child she would take it to a creek and drown it.  Before long, she was murdered by one of her customers and sentenced by God to wander the rivers and streets of the world looking for her children.

La Llorona became so upset that she cried and cried, eventually drying her eyes out — leaving two black holes where her eyes once were.  And, her mouth grew incredibly large, resembling that of a horse.  The legend continues — that if she heard a child crying she would come for them thinking it was one of her own.

When I was a child of eight children, my family would warn us that La Llorona was outside waiting.  During the day, we might cry when we heard this, but as the sun started to die, we were too scared to even walk alone through the house, thinking she might have heard us and was waiting in a dark corner.

One night when I was about 8 years old, I was terribly angry at my mom and she made me sleep with her that night.  However, I was so upset that I couldn’t sleep and La Llorona was the last thing on my mind.  However, as I tossed and turned, I looked to the foot of the bed and there stood a lady in a black dress with purple trim.  She had two black holes where her eyes should have been and an enormous grin on her face.  She had long, straight black hair that looked like it was blowing in the wind.


The weird part was that I wasn’t scared, I just sat up in bed staring at her for a good five minutes.  When she wouldn’t go away, I finally got tired and fell asleep.  It wasn’t until the next morning that I got scared and strange things seem to happen to me in that house ever since.

This house is said to buried over and an old Indian/Spanish cemetery.

Submitted by:  Nisi of Lompoc, California


Readers Comments:

I just read your interesting articles, relating to the Weeping Woman, aka: La Llorona. Many of these stories I read on your site appear to coincide with the many “events” our town has experienced back in the early to mid 80s in Manor, Texas, a once small quiet town of 840 population, before the big population explosion. My family and many others in the area heard what appeared to be the wailing of this mean spirit. My father has claimed to have seen her and I have seen what appeared to be remnants of a gown floating near the old Forest Creek by our house. At present, due to the heavy growth in the Manor area, she has not been seen or heard from since. Thank you for your information to this spirit, I truly believe this is a real spirit and for the record — yes, I do believe in ghosts. — Carlos, Austin, Texas, June, 2010.

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8 thoughts on “La Llorona – Weeping Woman of the Southwest”

  1. In Needles. Ca on the Colorado River it’s pronounced La Herona (erona) She was a mother who lost her children by drowning. At night we can hear her calling and crying for them. And yes we’re Hispanic

  2. i know where that thing lives. shes about 50 feet tall and moves through the air very fast. she probably the most exciting thing ive ever encountered. Shes thunderous when she cries. I would like to know what that thing really is before i die.

  3. I was a Recon Team Leader in the Marine Corps. While out on patrol with a Philippine Marine, we stopped in the jungle, not far from a beach, with a swampy area between us and the rising inland. I was up at the witching hour, on listening/observation post, when I saw a raven-haired lady in a white gown standing on what I thought was water, about 25 meters away. She didn’t look like NPA or a Huk, but I called out a challenge. This brought the attention of the Philippine Marine who turned toward her and freaked out. He dumped a full magazine at her and she seemed to disappear into the ether.

    This, of course, woke everyone else up and our Platoon Leader tried to figure out what had happened. I told him what I saw, and the Philippine kept screaming “La Llorona! La Llorona!”

    I had to back his hand on what I saw, though I didn’t put a name to the apparition. Anyway, the whole platoon searched for a body and there was nothing but water, about 1 to 2 feet deep.

    Now the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish for 333 years. This makes me wonder if the legend might have Spanish roots?

    Regardless, I know what I saw, and I know what I heard that guy screaming.

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