L is for La Llorona


32451089Texas’ most famous ghost is La Llorona, the weeping woman. Oh, she’s said to lurk along waterways in the borderlands to California and deep into Mexico, too, but we know her true haunt is south Texas.
Every town has it’s own version of the story: why she drowned her children, how many children there were, on which nearby river she has been spotted.

Whenever I tell the story, several children wave their hands urgently. “Miss! Once when my uncle was about 12 , he went to see his grandmother. She lived near this river, see, and one night he went outside . . .”

Are any of these books haunting your shelves?

Anaya, Rodolfo, La Llorona: The Crying Woman, bilingual edition translated by Enrique la Madrid and Illustrated by Amy Cordova. University of New Mexico Press, 2011.

Cisneros, Sandra, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Vintage, 1992. (Also available in School and Library Binding and in Spanish.)

Hayes, Joe, La Llorona/The Weeping Woman, illustrated by Vicki Trego Hill and Mona Pennybacker. Cinco Puntos Press, 2006.


“La Llorona” is on my Storytelling World Gold-Award-winning CD, Ghostly Gals and Spirited Women. If your Texas Library does not have a copy, send me their address and I’ll make sure they get one.

6 responses

  1. Hola. . . I enjoyed reading your post. I am always so happy to find posts by people who are interested in La Llorona. I invite you to visit my blog and read about my life with La Llorona and how she called me to be a Curandera/Spirit Medium. Feel free to share you impressions or ask a question. I look forward to an exchange.

  2. La Llorona also inhabits southern Colorado especially the San Luis Valley which has a large Spanish as well as Hispanic population.

  3. What a generous offer to libraries! I love the story, and especially love your telling of it. I don’t tell it often, but one fall I prepared a version for a Halloween event, and my ESOL students helped me. I think they enjoyed teaching their teacher. 😉

    • Oh, Mary! My telling has evolved over the years to include many student submitted additions. Did you know that in far south Texas, along the Rio Grande, where they have irrigation canals, she appears along the canals. Lately, too, she has been known to come into houses to get kids who won’t go to sleep! It is truly a living story!