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Monday, October 31, 2011

La Llorona

 I first heard about La Llorona (pronounced "LAH yoh ROH nah") back when I was teaching junior high school English in Corona, California. Every Halloween we would read some Edgar Allan Poe, hear a few ghost stories, and share our own stories. The Mexican-American kids would tell of La Llorona, Spanish for The Weeping Woman, looking for her children along the railroad tracks. In the stories I heard, La Llorona would snatch any kid she found, crying, "Oh, my children, oh, my children!" The moans and wailing were audible to many people living in the Railroad barrio in Corona. You didn't mess around with La Llorona.

Here in New Mexico, La Llorona pretty much says the same thing, but in a more natural setting.

Local legend says La Llorona walks along a creek between Mora and Guadalupita. This must be our own Coyote Creek which runs through the Nickel and Dime. 

In the 1930's a man named Patricio Lujan saw a thin woman first walking, and then floating in the air near the creek.

Then she vanished. There were no footprints.

According to many of the locals, the Mora Valley is La Llorona's home and children are still warned to behave so they are not taken away by The Weeping Woman. 

Why this warning? Maybe it's to keep kids from wandering near dangerous places like rivers and railroad tracks.

Or maybe the wailing and moaning of La Llorona reminds them of the danger that lurks just outside the door.


  1. Here in Norco, it was Gus Quintana, part of the large family that owned the land back in the day~~ Legend says he was riding the hills at night ,chasing down strays, when his horse slipped in a creekbed and he was decapitated by a barbed wire fence.. You could see him on the skyline if you were out in the hills at night. Well, I grew up in those hills on night rides. I have seen his silhouette. And even better then that!!!! I was riding through a wash (on a really foggy night) and SOMETHING grabbed my pantleg. (Pinched & pulled) away from my leg.. That scared the CRAP outta' me & my horse~~ And I can't remember ever riding there again at night.. (can you hear all the spooky ghost sounds in the background??) ;0) But honestly, true story...

  2. Love that story, Secret Squirrel! I was definitely scared, but I bet you were even more so. And yes, I can hear the spooky music.

    If the horse was scared, too, there must have been something there.


  3. Another story: I learned while teaching Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima that La Llorona also inhabited the bosque along the Pecos River. Then while studying Jimmy Santiago Baca's Black Mesa Poems we found another one who haunted the bosque along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. As we discussed the two different versions, several of my Hispanic students spoke up to talk about La Llorona who haunted the orange groves. They said their parents would tell them to behave, or La Llorona would get them - like the boogeyman of my childhood. (Like you, I'm a retired English teacher.) I love all the connections we make with literature!

  4. very very cool post! and so appropriate for the day! theer


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