La Llorona – Wailing Lady


1502 – present  

There are many stories of La Llorona (the wailing lady).  The first mention was in 1502 when the goddess Cihuacoatl went out into the streets dressed in white, and crying and keening about the death of the Maya.  There is a belief that this was the first warning of the coming of the Conquistadors.  A meaner Central American specter without the good intentions of the Irish Banshee.

In the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize, there was a beautiful young woman.  She has long, straight black hair, and so alluring that she attracted the attention of many men.  On the downside, she is selfish and vowed she would only marry a wealthy, handsome man.  The legend goes that she did meet that man, and she played him by ignoring him and refusing his gifts.  Well, Darling, she is just a “Rules” kinda girl, and she won her man. Oblivious to the fact, he also had some negative tendencies.  It seemed to be a good marriage, and she became pregnant with their child. 

Here is the twist one legend says he left her for another woman.  The second story says that he rejects her, maybe for getting fat, and only then his mother made her life miserable and drove La Llorona to the forest.  She felt there were minimal options, either a support group at the women’s center and some community college classes, or the route less traveled. Misses La Llorona picked the second option and drowns her newborn child in the river. Then she killed herself in anger, pain, and humiliation.  

As a result, she was cursed to eternally search for her lost baby. From then on, she sits by the river, keening for compassion.  La Llorona haunts areas where children play and swim. As time passed, she became even more bitter and is known to lure children to the forest, never to return.  She specializes in the capture boys, but on a rare occasion, a few sassy girls have disappeared. 

A village usually knows when La Llorona is around by her loud wailing. Often, she is spotted in the trees on moonlit nights.  If she appears to you, she will stop crying and becomes sweet and gentle.  She opens her arms and welcomes men or troublesome boys to her caress. Only then are they trapped and taken to their demise.  Struggling doesn’t help; often, the victim will strangle in her long black hair. 

La Llorona is known to take the form of a mother, auntie, or whatever it takes to lure a man to his death.  She is also known to transform into a snake that wraps around the victim for the kill.  The few children have escaped but are often mute for the rest of their lives. 

There are three ways to protect against La Llorona. The surest one is to be home when you promised. Second if possible, the victim should pray, and she will move away. The third is to shine a light; our girl doesn’t like direct lighting.  So, if you are a man stumbling- er- wandering through the forest, near a river late at night, sincerely try to find your way home. If you should meet a lovely lady waiting and crying, remember you have a slim chance of escape. It is best to run to a clearing and shine that flashlight; hopefully, she will not follow. If you choose her open arms, there is a price to be paid. It may be even more expensive than the toll for staggering home so late in the night. 

Image by Karen Smits from Pixabay