She will take any child that vaguely resembles her own, and then drag them into the water in the hopes she may finally be admitted to what awaits us after death.
A Warning for Children
This particular legend is told in the southern parts of the United States, but mainly hails from Mexico and South America. It is told as a warning to children to be good, not venture far after dark or else they will meet their doom.
The legend begins with a beautiful woman by the name of Maria. Maria was well known due to her famous beauty, but she had a flaw - her vanity and need to be the focus of all attention. Maria ended up with her love, a rancher who was quite wealthy, and the two were married and had two children.
As time went on and the children began to be the focus of their fathers eye, Maria grew quite jealous. When the rancher began to completely ignore his wife, taking to long stays out in the fields around the house, Maria grew wild.
It was one evening, while walking out with her children that Maria realised what her husband was up to. They were walking along the path by a river when a horse drawn carriage came along side and stopped. There was Maria’s husband in the arms of another woman!
Rage and Despair
As the children’s struggles gave way to stillness, and their little bodies started to be carried away down stream, Maria instantly regretted what she had done. She dove into the water, but of course it was too late, the children were beyond saving.
Out of despair Maria took her own life down in that same river, no-one knows how she went about it, except that her drowned body was discovered on the river bank the following morning. Many believe that the husband may have come back to talk to Maria and, seeing what she had done, had killed her. Although accusatory words were quietly discussed, it was not right to point the finger until the bodies were interred into the ground.
The funeral was held and Maria was buried in a long white gown. However it was not even one night after the funeral had taken place when the cries were heard by the river...
"Where are my children? Where are my children?" were heard long into the night, and for many nights since. Those brave enough to search out the source will find Maria walking the river banks, attempting to find her children.
Stay Away from the Water at Night
Many missing children around Mexico and South America have been blamed on La Llorona.
As with any legend such as this details change over the years. Other versions have Maria and her love never marrying, yet having two children who are murdered when Maria continually presses for marriage. In this version La Llorona appears in a long, white, blood stained dress.
The legend of La Llorona has appeared in many movies and television series.