La Llorona (Spanish for "The Weeping Woman" or "The Wailer") is a bogeyman-type spirit found in Spanish folklore, specifically in Latin America.
According to legend, La Llorona was a beautiful woman named Maria who drowned her children in order to be with the man that she loved, but was subsequently rejected by him. (In some versions of the story, he was the children's father, and left Maria for another woman.) Then, after being rejected by her lover, she killed herself. When Maria reached the gates of Heaven, God asked her, "Where are your children?" and she replied, "I don't know, my Lord." She was not permitted to enter Heaven until she found her children. She now wanders the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring. Her constant weeping is the reason for her name, La Llorona. In most versions of the story, she kidnaps wandering children or children who disobey their parents.
Some legends say that she is the ghost of La Malinche, a real Nahua woman who was the translator for Hernán Cortés and gave birth to his children. Eventually, Cortés left her for a Spanish woman, and, according to legend, she killed her children in a fit of rage.
In Chumash mythology from Southern California, La Llorona is a maxulaw, or a creature from another world. The cry of the maxulaw, and, by extension, La Llorona, is said to be an omen of death.
Main article: La Llorona (disambiguation)
- She is similar to the Paparrasolla, but this creature originates from Iberian mythology. Both creatures are depicted as threats to children.