La Llorona

Date of Discovery

The first publication that came out about La Llorona was in 1883 when Manuel Carpio wrote about her tale in the form of a sonnet.


La Llorona is Spanish for “the Weeping Woman,” which she is also commonly referred to–along with this, she is also called the Wailing Woman, the Cryer, as well as La Malinche.

She bears a likeness to the White Lady, although she is not directly associated with that legend.

Physical Description

In her oldest origins, she has been linked to a pre-Conquest Aztec goddess–Ciuacoatl, or snake-woman, who appeared in white, but other versions describe her as, “the ugliest and dirtiest that one could possibly imagine. Her face was so black and covered with filth that she looked like something straight out of Hell.”

The modern version of La Llorona is that she is the spirit of a Mexican woman who appears to be wearing a white dress.


Folklore about La Llorona is common knowledge in Mexico, where the claim is that she wanders the banks of rivers crying for her lost children.

Weeping women wearing white is an international phenomenon–the details of the lives of these weeping women, or White Ladies are unique for every different culture or individual haunting, it is safe to say that they are related.

Mythology and Lore

The poem that was written by Manuel Carpio was the first written account of this wailing spirit.

La Llorona

Sonnet – Manuel Carpio (1883)

Pálido de terror contar oía
cuando era niño yo, niño inocente,
que dio la muerte un hombre delincuente
en mi pueblo a su esposa Rosalía.

desde entonces en la noche umbría
oye temblando la asustada gente
tristes quejidos de mujer doliente,
quejidos como daba en su agonía.

Por algún rato su lamento cesa;
mas luego se desata en largo llanto,
y sola por las calles atraviesa.

A todos llena de mortal espanto,
y junto al río en la tiniebla espesa
se va llorando, envuelta en su manto.

The Weeping Woman

Sonnet – by Manuel Carpio (1883)

Pale of terror count heard
When I was a child, an innocent child,
That gave death a criminal man
In my village to his wife Rosalia.

And since then in the night Umbria
Hey shaking the scared people
Sad whining of a grieving woman,
Whining as she gave in her agony.

For some time her regret ends;
More then she unleashes in long cry,
And alone in the streets go through.

To all full of deadly horror,
And by the river in the thick darkness
He goes crying, wrapped in her mantle.

The oral legend usually tells of a young woman named Maria, living in a rural Mexican village. She marries into a wealthy family after she’s swept off her feet by a nobleman; after a few years of marriage, Maria and her husband have two children, but her husband was rarely home preferring to travel on his own. When he did come home, he ignored his wife, only spending time with their two boys and eventually, Maria realized that her husband no longer loved her.

After living in a neglectful and lonely marriage for so long, Maria was horrified when her husband returned with a new, younger bride to tell Maria that he was leaving her for good. In the depths of her despair, she took their sons down to the river and drowned them. When horror finally found her in remorse, she tried in vain to recover their bodies so she took her own life. Her body was found several days later on the riverbank, but the bodies of her sons were never recovered.

To this day, she wanders the world of the living, haunting rivers and lakes, doomed to search for her dead children forever. Be wary, if you hear her near to you, she is far away, attempting to lure you in, but the closer you get to La Llorona, the farther away she will sound. If you hear her crying out, “ay, mis hijos!” it’s best to just run in the opposite direction–to this day, when a child goes missing by a river in Mexico, you can be sure that the name La Llorona will be uttered.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature


Television Series

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Lafittes Bar – New Orleans Louisiana

This haunted bar dates back to 1803 around the time of the Louisiana purchase. Jean Lafitte was a famous French pirate who plundered vessels at the mouth of the Mississippi river and proprietor of the bar. The bar is claimed to be the first bar in New Orleans and it started off as a meeting place for pirates, smugglers and other criminals in the area. It was known to be a rough place where more than one murder may have occurred.

The haunting is said to be the spirit of a young man who had his mind set on becoming a pirate in Jean Lafitte’s crew.

This young man had stolen a silver necklace and had taken it to Lafitte’s bar to both sell it and gain recognition for his skills as a burglar. His hope was that Lafitte himself would catchword of his deeds and bring him aboard his ship. As word spread in the bar that he had a stolen necklace to sell he was approached by a pirate. this pirate asked to see the necklace. After sharing his prize the pirate let the young man know that he had stolen that necklace from his very own sister. It is rumored that the pirate brutally murdered the young wannabe shipmate right there in the bar.

Since that murder occurred many people have sighted the spirit of the young man over the years. He is said to be seen holding his neck and stomach where he may have been stabbed. He has been reported staggering around the bar only to vanish when interacted with.

Lafitte’s Bar is considered one of the most haunted bars in the United States.



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Lalaurie Mansion – New Orleans Louisiana

The Lalaurie Mansion is considered one of the most haunted houses in the United States. It is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Delphine LaLaurie inhabited the mansion with her third husband Dr. Louis Lalaurie. Delphine had a mysterious past being that her first two husbands both mysteriously died. She inherited a great fortune from those marriages and her wealth only grew when she married Louis LaLaurie. They moved into the mansion around 1831 and it was known as a high brow spot for entertaining and parties. Delphine was known to abuse the house slaves with a very short temper and it seems possible she got pleasure out of the torture.

On one occasion during a party at the house, Delphine became enraged at a slave girl and allegedly pushed her over the stair rail to her death in the courtyard. She was later accused of barbarism for how she treated her slaves which at the time was illegal. Due to the Lalaurie’s status though they were quickly able to regain their slaves and continue with little re-corse. On April 10th, 1834 during another party the house experienced a kitchen fire. It was discovered that another slave had set fire to the kitchen on purpose as she would rather die than remain chained to the kitchen stove where she had been shackled for days.

When the fire brigade arrived and began investigating they found a chamber upstairs with as many as seven deceased slaves that had been tortured, possibly experimented on in a medical fashion, and all were chained to the walls or floors.

After the gruesome discovery and angry mob formed but Delphine, Louis, and their two children escaped justice in a carriage. They were never again found so the mystery of what happened in that torture chamber continues on to this day.

This haunted house has reports of liquid leaking from the walls, banging and screaming coming from the upstairs chamber and a history of being cursed. No one who has owned the house has kept it for more than a few years and several experienced financial ruins while owning it. At one-time actor, Nicholas Cage owned the house, but he also quickly turned it over.

Due to the hideous activities that occurred in the house, it is often considered one of America’s most haunted mansions. This paranormal story still has gaps though. Where did the family escape too and did they continue torturing and killing people?



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