Name: La Llorona
Title: The Weeping Woman
Origin: Central America and South America
I was somewhat surprised to learn how many of my friends of Hispanic descent are genuinely terrified of La Llorona. Perhaps it’s because her backstory isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. There are several tales about La Llorona throughout Central America and South America, but the one I’m most familiar with is a Mexican/Aztec version of the story. La Llorona makes her start as a woman by the name of Maria. She had fallen in love with a rich man, but the problem was that he didn’t want children. She had two. To make herself more appealing to the rich man, she took her little boys down to the river, where she drowned them. She went to the man after committing her crime, but instead of loving her, he rejected her in disgust. Heartbroken, she launched herself off a bridge, but because of her crime of infanticide, she was unable to enter the afterlife. Now she roams the earth, haunting waterways and crying for her children. She’s not particular about whose children she takes, either. She’s known to snatch kids who wander too close to the water and drown them, just like she did her own little boys.