La Llorona (The Weeping Woman)

lallorona2-1024x682

While growing up in Albuquerque, NM; the fear of La Llorona (pronounced “LAH yoh RoH nah”), also known as The Weeping Woman, was a fear instilled into me to the point where you would never see my happy little monkey butt playing by rivers or arroyos (ditches) at night as a child.

There is no established date of when the legend of La Llorona took place.  However the origins of the story came from Mexico and has spread all over the southwestern parts of the United States with many variations to the Legend.

Folklore

The retelling that I still remember from my childhood of the La Llorona starts in a small village in Mexico.  In this village lived a very attractive woman named Maria with vanity over surpassing her beauty.  All gentlemen suitors were rejected when trying to court Maria, until one day a very handsome man, son of a very wealthy ranchero, rode into town on his horse.  When this man first laid his eyes on the very beautiful Maria, he was convinced that this was the woman that he wanted to marry.  For awhile at first, Maria played hard to get by ignoring this handsome wealthy gentleman.  She would refuse to speak to him by not giving him the time of the day.  She also rejected all of his elaborate gifts that were presented to her to win her affection.

Long story short, they were married and had two children together.  They were perceived to be the happiest family in the area.  Then after a few years after the children were born, the ranchero started to leave home more and more to suit his embedded wild frontier lifestyle.  When returning  on occasions the man started to ignore Maria and would only spend time with his children.  On the last visit home the wealthy ranchero came back with another woman in his carriage.  The man told Maria that he was leaving her for this woman who was from a wealthier class.  As the newlyweds rode off Maria became furious and grabbed her children and took them for a walk to a nearby river.  While they were walking down the bank of the river, Maria’s anger was festering from within and boiled over.  Out of rage she grabbed her children by the arms and threw them into the river.  Maria stood by the river watching the strong currents pulling her children away to their watery deaths.  After realizing what she had just done, Maria started running down the river bank crying out to her children.  Maria ran as fast as she could but could not keep up with the speed of the currents.  While running and trying to shorten the gap to her children, she tripped and fell face first hitting her head on a rock and died.

la-llorona-arrepentida-evangelina-portillo

To this day, if children dare to play near any form of rivers they might hear the sounds of a crying woman in white yelling out for her children.  And if these foolish young souls stay long enough, she will take them as her own.

La-Llorona-v02

Other variations of the La Llorona portray her children to be spoiled little brats and after her husband left her the little monsters misbehaving is supposedly what triggered Maria’s rage that caused her to kill her children.  Another version of the La Llorona tale states that she married a conquistador and when she was dumped for another woman of higher status her Aztec blood threw her into madness and she killed her children.  After killing her children she went on a mission to rid all European colonists by killing men, women, and children as an act of vengeance against the intruders of her land from overseas.  She was portrayed to be wearing black clothing, a blank expression on her face, and having long fingernails.  She would carry out her conquests of eliminating European colonists at night.

maxresdefault

Like any other ghost story, the La Llorona legend is used as a scare tactic to keep children from danger.  Whether it is to keep them from playing around bodies of water or to get them to come home before it gets dark.  The story is also used to get a child to behave.  If a child acts like a brat, La Llorona would be the threat used to redirect the child’s behavior.

References

La Llorona – A Mexican Ghost Story | donQuijote. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.donquijote.org/culture/mexico/society/customs/la-llorona

Challenging and Redefining the Myth of La Llorona. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.csusm.edu/news/topstories/articles/2012/10/tsLaLlorona.html

Fuller, A. (n.d.). The evolving legend of La Llorona. Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.historytoday.com/amy-fuller/evolving-legend-la-llorona

LA LLORONA. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lxl01

Weiser, K. (n.d.). La Llorona – Weeping Ghost of the Southwest. Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/gh-lallorona.html

Hayes, J. (n.d.). LA LLORONA – A HISPANIC LEGEND. Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.literacynet.org/lp/hperspectives/llorona.html

 

Advertisements

The Mothman

John A. Keel, a paranormal researcher and author, was visiting Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1975 to investigate and write an article for Playboy magazine about UFO sightings in the area. He interviewed people of the area about weird events such as mysterious lights moving across the sky, people’s pets and cattle being found slaughtered and mutilated , and sightings of a mysterious part-man part-moth like creature.  His findings led to his book, The Mothman Prophecies, which inspired the movie in 2002 starring Richard Gere.

The Mothman Prophecies book cover

The Mothman Prophecies

The legend of the Mothman started on November 15, 1966.  When two couples, Steve and Mary Mallette and Roger and Linda Scarberry, reported to police, that while driving through the McClintic Wildlife Management Area, 6 miles north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia; a creature flew over their car.  The group got out of the car to investigate and saw a six or seven foot man with a ten foot wingspan and it had red glowing eyes.  The creature started to walk on what appeared to have two sturdy legs with a shuffling gait towards the group.   The scared couples quickly got into their car and drove away from the mysterious man-like bird.  However, while driving away this  creature took off of the ground and started following them while flying in the air without flapping it’s wings and was making high pitched squeaking noises.  After filing a report with the local authorities, the local media picked  up on the story and gave the creature the name, Mothman.  One of the witness’, Mrs. Scarberry stated that the creatures eyes didn’t start glowing red until their lights hit the creature’s face.  Three days later,  two Point Pleasant firemen visited the same area of the first sightings of the Mothman, near the TNT compound within the wildlife refuge.  They also reported seeing the huge creature but stated that it was just a bird.

mothman new article 1

mothman new article 2

In 1967, during the holiday season, the Silver Bridge collapsed killing 46 people who were commuting over the Ohio River.  The bridge was built in 1928 and connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio.  Days before this tragic event, sightings of the Mothman were reported near the top of the bridge.  Some of the locals believe that the Mothman was to blame, while others interpreted the appearance of this mysterious creature as a warning sign of impending doom.

silverbridge news article 1

mothman bridge

Wildlife experts and other skeptics claim that the description of the Mothman fit the description of a few types of birds that are common in the area of where the sightings have been reported.  A barn owl, a horned owl, or the sandhill crane were suggested to be the culprits of the many sightings of the Mothman.  All three species of birds have eyes that will glow red when light is directed to them.  However, the locals of Point Pleasant celebrate the Mothman every September by holding a Mothman festival.  A Mothman statue was erected in the middle of the town in front of the Mothman museum.

Point Pleasant welcome sign

References

Mothman Revisited:
 Investigating on Site – CSI. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/mothman_revisitedinvestigating_on_site
Mothman Prophecies True Story – John Keel, Silver Bridge, Indrid Cold. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://www.chasingthefrog.com/reelfaces/mothmanprophecies.php
Mckendry, D. I. (2015). The REAL Story of THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES: Part One. Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://www.blumhouse.com/2015/12/01/the-real-story-of-the-mothman-prophecies-part-one/
Who Is The Mothman? (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/mothman-legend3.html