Horror Stories: The Legend of La Llorona
This is the most popular Mexican legend, and versions abound, but three are the most widespread. If you think you’ll be able to sleep tonight, we challenge you to read them.
In the first version, an indigenous woman falls in love with a Spaniard, and they have three children but keep their relationship under wraps. Some time later, the Spaniard marries a wealthy woman. The indigenous woman gets so angry she kills her three children, and then immediately regrets it and throws herself in the river. Ever since, her spirit has been wandering nearby crying out painfully, “Aaaaaaaay, my children!”
Another version, recorded by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in the General History of the Things of New Spain, says that La Llorona is actually the Aztec goddess Chihuacóatl, who since before the arrival of the Spaniards, bemoaned the imminent Conquest. Her cries warned the Mexica about the tragedy looming ahead of them.
The third version says that La Llorona is actually Doña Marina, better known as La Malinche, Cortés’ lover and interpreter, considered a traitor to the Mexica (and the origin of the Spanish term malinchismo, used to describe people who prefer anything foreign to the homegrown variety).