Mexican Folklore

The Wailing Woman

A Mexican Ghost Story

retold by

S.E. Schlosser

Once a Spanish soldier married a beautiful native woman and they had two children whom the soldier loved very much. However, the soldier came from a rich family. His parents and relations disapproved of his wife and threatened to disown him unless he married a Spanish woman. Not wishing to lose his inheritance, the soldier put away his native wife and sent for a bride from Spain.

The soldier's wife was filled with a terrible, jealous rage. To revenge herself against her unfaithful husband, she drowned their two children in the river. The soldier was horrified when he heard what she had done, and tried to have her arrested. But his wife, driven insane by rage, jealousy, and guilt, escaped into the wilds. She roamed through the land, searching the waterways for her children. But she could not find them. Finally, in agony of body and mind, she drowned herself in the river too. 

But the woman's spirit could not escape to heaven because of the weight of her terrible crime.  And so La Llorona, the Wailing Woman, spirit still wanders the earth, wailing in guilt and grief.  She is condemned forever to search in vain for her children.  But she will never find them, for they are no more. 



wow cool i been searching for this story thanks

Mexican Ghost stories are the best

awesome story but that ony happens in mexico good thing too

yupp dis is a really gud tale............nd a creepy 1 too!!!!!!!!0!0!0!

la llorona!

It is said that if you see a woman dressed in black by a river in mexico, it is the wailing widow & you will die if she see's you.

reminds me of another ghost story is this one weeping lorania?

scary story but short

there is also one in texas ive seen her

this is very similar to a story I read on the same subject but the soldier was Cortes and the woman was an aztec woman


Heard this story a bunch of times and is still scary when I visited my family in mexico it was late in night and I heard somebody say mis hijos!

I have heard of this story so many times. but, they all have differnet beginnings. In one that i have read, the woman, La llorna, was already married to her lover but he wasnt a soldier. She was in the "mood" and her husband said no because they were outside and the children were in front of them. Upset, she drowns her kids. After finding out what happened, her husband called her crazy and tried getting away. Mad that he didnt approve, she takes a knife and kills herself. then she roams mexico looking for her chidren. But, in my opinion, i don't think she is real. Yeah, there is cray people out there, but i dont think shes real.

I beleive all Mexican Ghost Stories I think this story is true I have heard since I was 5yrs old now I am 45

Wow that was sad

wow tough love

Wow.thatt was really weird for me cause i have actually heard this story before when i lived in colorado. our town was right next to the arkansas river.

i heard this and evrysingle time i here this i'm scared bcuz i keep remembering the story it scares me alot

The folks I grew up with in AZ used this story to keep the kids away from the irrigation canals and ditches at night....

I have heard of this story too but, in Puerto Rico don't remember the details. Ghost stories are always good. Makes you think of your own life situations.

I was one of the sceptics. I heard the story often but not until I heard her wail myself was I a believer. It sent chills up my spine! It seems like you can be anywhere in Mexico and you can hear her. We were in the mountains of Morelia.


that is so scary

Great story!

My cousin has heard the llorona at night when he whent to mexico

this is my favorite mexican ghost storie

This is one of my favorite stories as a small girl. Although thier are many variations on how the story begins and details, they usually all end the same. For example the one first told to me by aunt stated that 'the wailing woman' was a widowed and wanted to remarry a man that she grew to love but he would not raise three childern that were not his and she killed them to be with but he turned on her and claimed her to be insane so she finailly realized what she had done and went to go look for her childern's bodies to bury them properly and ask forgiveness but could no longer find them and died of greif.

this was a good story and i hope it captivates evry reader that reads it.


My daughter wanted to hear a scary story so I read the story of La LLorona. She couldn't sleep that night.

its pretty scary, but its just a spanish myth to scare the natives.

My dad is from Mexico. We use to live in Texas. He never told me the story until one night we heard her ourselfs. Scariest experience ever. So... that night we were night fishing outside of a town called Center Texas. We were at Lake Pinkston around midnight. Moon was full. Foresty area. First i heard the sound of dogs barkin and then houling then a woman moanin. I fled to my dad he heard the same thing. He was freaked out. My dad is full blooding mexican and im half. After we left he told me the story of the lady who drowned her kids and still looks for them.

oh it isn't fake. i'm from mexico and yeph all the beginings are diferent, but the story is real. She won't kill u if u see her. if u hear her cries loud she's far and if u hear soft well she's near. she says hay mis hijos that means oh my kids

There are so many versions of La Llorana. This one is a bit different than the one I'm more familliar with.

im only a kid and it scares me ill tell this to my kids

thats what she gets


I love this story! =D

best story =)

i havent gone to mexico but i think she does not wail in my country.

i heard this story be fore but they never said that she was married and she had more than two children and drowned them all for the people that killed that killed her and she awas a skelition wailing to bring back her children but mexican floktales are the best lol ttyl

wow now i am shaking jk

this is awesome butttttttt its too short :)


Just..the best!!

I go to Mexico A lot...And my nephew said his aunt stays up everyday making torillas until 4 a.m. And at 3 a.m. La Llorona passes by (Passing by the canal of course ) In search of her kids.(She only passes by bodies of water.)

Shutter island!

that is a good story but you know she sounds like la llarona and you hear alot in the rio grande and there is no way of blocking her cry out!!!

i have not herd her is it scary

my mother use to tell it to me when ever i missed behaved

Wow that is scary but I heard another story of la llorona. The wailing woman and I'm from Mexico so Ive heard alot of her stories

Good Story...and a scary story...its a good thing that happened in Mexico and not in America.(: I feel bad for the dad...):

wow i hear this storymy boyfriend from mexico told me that story one nigththis is so cool.

the story is all wrong it goes like this:
there once was a beautiful woman who was very picky about who she married so none of the boys were good enough for her. when the spanird came she imedeatly tried to trick him into marrying herand it worked. so they got married and had to kids. the spanird started to ignore he woman.he loved his kids alot though. then one day the woman was walking by the river with her kids when he came by with another women.he stopped and said hi to the kids ingnoring the woman. the woman got so mad that as soon as he left she threw her kids into the river later on she felt bad so she ran after them. but while runing she tripped and hit her head on a rock killing her instantly. from this day on she is seen along the river calling mis mihos. if she sees you she will take you away as her own.

I know this my dad and my mom told me about it when i was little

my dad saw her when she was little and it is true i priomes

this story is awesome i never heard of this one yet

my mom and dad heard her once if you want more info ask or comment and ill comment

She is weird. Make a choice Find them or drown them. Why is she looking for them in the lake if she did it? They are up in hevan

this story takes me back to when i was little

I really love this site and this story i read the not so scary one to my little bro ans sis and they love them <3

i herd at the end when she throws her kids n the river she starts to freak out and starts scratching her face with her nails

This is the original full version of la llorona de mexico .
Long years ago in a humble little village there lived a fine looking girl named Maria Some say she was the most beautiful girl in the world! And because she was so beautiful, Maria thought she was better than everyone else.

As Maria grew older, her beauty increased And her pride in her beauty grew too When she was a young woman, she would not even look at the young men from her village. They weren't good enough for her! "When I marry," Maria would say, "I will marry the most handsome man in the world."

And then one day, into Maria's village rode a man who seemed to be just the one she had been talking about. He was a dashing young ranchero, the son of a wealthy rancher from the southern plains. He could ride like a Comanche! In fact, if he owned a horse, and it grew tame, he would give it away and go rope a wild horse from the plains. He thought it wasn't manly to ride a horse if it wasn't half wild.

He was handsome! And he could play the guitar and sing beautifully. Maria made up her mind-that was, the man for her! She knew just the tricks to win his attention.

If the ranchero spoke when they met on the pathway, she would turn her head away. When he came to her house in the evening to play his guitar and serenade her, she wouldn't even come to the window. She refused all his costly gifts. The young man fell for her tricks. "That haughty girl, Maria, Maria! " he said to himself. "I know I can win her heart. I swear I'll marry that girl."

And so everything turned out as Maria planned. Before long, she and the ranchero became engaged and soon they were married. At first, things were fine. They had two children and they seemed to be a happy family together. But after a few years, the ranchero went back to the wild life of the prairies. He would leave town and be gone for months at a time. And when he returned home, it was only to visit his children. He seemed to care nothing for the beautiful Maria. He even talked of setting Maria aside and marrying a woman of his own wealthy class.

As proud as Maria was, of course she became very angry with the ranchero. She also began to feel anger toward her children, because he paid attention to them, but just ignored her.

One evening, as Maria was strolling with her two children on the shady pathway near the river, the ranchero came by in a carriage. An elegant lady sat on the seat beside him. He stopped and spoke to his children, but he didn't even look at Maria. He whipped the horses on up the street.

When she saw that, a terrible rage filled Maria, and it all turned against her children. And although it is sad to tell, the story says that in her anger Maria seized her two children and threw them into the river! But as they disappeared down the stream, she realized what she had done! She ran down the bank of the river, reaching out her arms to them. But they were long gone.

The next morning, a traveler brought word to the villagers that a beautiful woman lay dead on the bank of the river. That is where they found Maria, and they laid her to rest where she had fallen.

But the first night Maria was in the grave, the villagers heard the sound of crying down by the river. It was not the wind, it was La Llorona crying. "Where are my children?" And they saw a woman walking up and down the bank of the river, dressed in a long white robe, the way they had dressed Maria for burial. On many a dark night they saw her walk the river bank and cry for her children. And so they no longer spoke of her as Maria. They called her La Llorona, the weeping woman. And by that name she is known to this day. Children are warned not to go out in the dark, for, La Llorona might snatch them and never return them.

My mom is from Mexico, and we grew up hearing this and other freaky stories. We have a vacation cabin on a river now, and this story is a MUST around the campfire whenever we are there...always brings the campers in closer!!!

Freaky story and yes Mexican story's are da best!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG that is sad I'm from mexico and herd that story many times but they alway start diffrient one is that she killsd her two children becauace her husban sment more time with them so she drowned them in the river at they're summer house the husban was furious so he killed her and left in house and he was gone so if anyone staed the summer in that house she will kill them for the blab of her kids exacepet for one who will become her in search of her husband. Mis higos

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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