Baked into my childhood is a certain deep-seated fear. It’s a fear baked into every young kid in most parts of New Mexico, parts of Texas and Arizona, and plenty of Mexico. Any kid raised in the Hispanic culture.

The deep fear was brought to me by my APS teachers, of all people. Every fall, around Halloween time, actually, they would darken the classroom, crack open a book, and regale us with the tale of….

La Llorona.


Scares the you know what out of me every time.

It seems that some folks have been trying to portray the weeping woman in a better light lately. There was that commercial seen only in California that had her weeping over an empty milk container. Every time it came on, I either turned my head away or turned the channel. : shudder :

And whatever creepy feelings I have, for some people, it’s even way worse. The mother of my ex was born and raised in Mexico. She was a traditionalist and you couldn’t say “La Llorona” around her or she would start praying and crossing herself and yelling at you for saying that out loud. She thought saying her name brought her near.

There is a restaurant in San Francisco’s East Bay that serves all manner of margaritas, one of them called, you guessed it, La Llorona. Now why would I take a nice activity like drinking a marg and use it to scare the crap out of myself? Huh? : shudder :

For a while in the early 90’s, in a bid to increase awareness about safety around arroyos, the City had a campaign featuring the “Ditch Witch”, ostensibly to scare us back.

And boy, did La Llorona scare me off of rivers and streams and such. Tho not enough that I didn’t ride my bike and skateboard through the dry concrete arroyos near my childhood home. I did always keep an eye on the sky, especially over the mountains, and if it got one bit ominous, I was OUTTA there.

By the way, in case you don’t know the legend of La Llorona, here it is, in a nutshell (or at least the way it was told to me….other versions vary widely):

“Many of the legends portray a woman who is abandoned by her husband or lover and who then drowns her young children in despair, because she cannot support them, or for revenge…she is stricken with deep remorse, doomed to eternally wander near the Rio Grande or other bodies of water, looking for her lost children.” The story I heard went further. Not only was she looking for her lost children, she would abduct and in some cases drown any OTHER little children she found wandering on the ditch banks. : shudder:

I cut and paste that story from an article in today’s Las Cruces Sun News titled La Llorona’s stories to be told at Saturday festival

In regards to attending such a festival, I just have this to say: Oh hell no.

Actually, it sounds like a fun festival and I love the folklore of passing down stories from one generation to the next. But I think the “Honk if you’ve seen La Llorona” bumper stickers are going a *bit* too far.

: shudder :

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  • Natalie

    Oh, man, no kidding. Between La Llorona and chupacabras, I was scared to death of rivers, creeks, definitely of the ditches (Ditch Witch!), farms, (I was afraid a chupacabra was going to take me instead of a chicken or a sheep or something.), and coyotes used to really freak me out ’cause they were so, you know, sneaky.

    We used to go up to the Red River area and go camping right next to the river and tell ghost stories about La Llorona. Scared the crap out of me.
    That dumb Blair Witchcraft story didn’t even faze me… but bring up the Ditch Witch and I’m outta there!

    That is so totally a New Mexican thing.
    Glad to hear your mom is better and ya’ll enjoyed some Zingers. Once in a while those gross things are kinda good. I like the Hostess cupcakes with the white curly-Q thingy on it.
    Once a year… lol.

  • Anonymous

    I thought those stickers were hilarious! still laughing…

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