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La Llorona (Spanish for "The Weeping Woman") is a bogeyman-type spirit found in Spanish folklore.

According to legend, La Llorona was a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who killed her children by drowning them in order to be with the man that she loved, but was subsequently rejected by him. (He might have been the children's father who had left their mother for another woman.) Then, after being rejected by her lover, she killed herself. When Maria reached the gates of heaven, she was asked, "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 some cases, according to the tale, she will kidnap wandering children or children who disobey their parents.

Other Legends

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 out of anger.

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.

Adaptations

  • La Llorona
    La Llorona Ánima Stuidos

    La Llorona in the 2011 animated film by Ánima Estudios.

    appears in the 2011 animated film adapted by Anima Estudios as the main antagonist, but had a more symphatetic backstory as the death of her children was the result of a tragic accident. Having been responsible for incidents in her hometown and kidnapped many children out of grief, her actions attract Leo and co. who just have destroyed La Nahuala.
  • La Llorona appears as a summonable demon in Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. In this game, she is a Femme demon with a kind personality.
  • She appears in the 2019 horror film The Curse of La Llorona, portrayed by Latina actress Marisol Ramirez.

Trivia

  • She is similar to the Paparrasolla, but this creature originates from Iberian mythology. Both creatures are depicted as threats to children.

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