Category Archives: Urban Legends

Stephen King’s Rose Red

In yet another case of the general public’s apparent desire for fiction to become reality, a rumor that Stephen King’s miniseries Rose Red was based on a true story spread around the time of its release. Although the story was “inspired” by Sarah Winchester of Winchester Mansion fame, King invented the plotline for Rose Red and all its characters (including the house) himself. The story of Rose Red is “completely fictional and has no basis in actual Seattle history.” (Source:HistoryLink.org) The mini-series was shot at a place called Thornewood Castle, which was selected to match the building in King’s script… not the other way around. (Source: Thornewood Castle Inn and Gardens) Although Thornewood Castle is rumored to be haunted, none of the story of Rose Red was based on or inspired by Thornewood itself.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 movie based on a Bell Witch style mythos invented by the film’s director/writers Dan Myrick and Ed Sanchez. To make their movie, which was shot in pseudo-documentary style, seem more real and thus scarier, Myrick and Sanchez created a legendary figure called the “Blair Witch.” They even crafted an elaborate history to surround the Witch. They then gave this invented legend to some hired actors, set them loose in the woods with a minimal supply of food, and filmed the actors (who ad-libbed all their lines) as they reacted to scary surprises set up by the two directors. The result is a quite frightening, and quite fictional film.

As word of the movie and its mythos spread, however, many people began to believe that the Blair Witch was a real legend and that the film footage was an actual documentary shot by students doing a real project. This is not the case. The actors starring in The Blair Witch Project are alive and well. There is not and never has been a Blair Witch legend in or around Burkittsville, Maryland. A town called Blair has never existed in that spot.

This is an interesting urban legend because it unfolded before our very eyes. It was both frustrating and amusing to watch it happen. There is no doubt that the popularity of the Bell Witch legend (see FAQ 3.3) has contributed to the spread of the Blair Witch story. It is probable that the two mythologies will become intertwined in the future; indeed, some believers have already concluded that the Blair and Bell witches are “related.”

A SPECIAL NOTE: I have been contacted by several people who live in and around the town of Burkittsville, Maryland. For pity’s sake, PLEASE don’t go milling aimlessly around the town, as there is nothing to see there! And if you really can’t stop yourself from visiting, please refrain from vandalism, littering, and other unsavory activities. The people of Burkittsville would REALLY appreciate it!

Haunted Traintracks

Occasionally a reader will tell the following story, usually attributing it to a local site. Once, there was a tragic accident on a set of traintracks:

A busload of children was crossing the tracks, and could not get out of the way in time to avoid the approaching train. Now, if your car stalls out on the tracks, it will be pushed over the tracks to safety before the train hits you. The ghosts of the children have saved you, and sometimes you can see their small handprints in the dust on your car.

The most well-known example of this urban legend are the haunted traintracks in San Antonio, Texas, but it occurs elsewhere as well.

A reader writes the following about the San Antonio traintracks:

From: “Griselda Holguin” (Gholguin@theholmesgroup.com)
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: San Antonio myth
Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 1:20 PM

I lived in San Antonio TX, from 1993-1997. Here we heard of an old story where a school bus was run over by a train. This occurred in the 1920’s. It is said that a school bus filled with students was having trouble and the bus came to a stop on the railroad tracks. As the driver tried to start the bus up again the train had whistled announcing the passing in a few minutes. The bus was not able to start and the train came in at full speed killing everyone in the bus.

The story now is that if you are having car trouble and your car stops on the railroad tracks, the children’s spirits come from out of the bushes and they will push your vehicle over the railroad tracks. Being curious my ex-husband and I, alike others, went to the railroad tracks and proceeded to turn off our car and place it in neutral. The tracks are uphill. Not even five seconds pass when you begin to feel the car moving forward. Now, this can be confused with some type of scientifical explanation. Here’s the catch. The car will go over the tracks at a pretty good speed. If you place any dirt, flour, baby powder on the car, you can see the hand prints all over your car. I have done it, and even though it is a relief to know you will never have any problems at the tracks there is still an erie feeling when you see all those innocent handprints on your car. If you ever go to San Antonio try this I can assure you, it never fails.

[end quote from Griselda]

This legend is often merged with ghostlight legends.

For an explanation of how things can appear to move “uphill”, see the Ghost FAQ.

FAQ EXTRA: Another story about the San Antonio traintracks in the Story Archives.

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

This legend is probably familiar to most readers. It is a dark and stormy night. A person driving sees a forlorn figure at the side of the road and decides to give him or her a lift. Usually the hitchhiker is a young woman in some sort of trouble… her prom date dumped her, or her car broke down. The driver gets to her house only to discover that his passenger has disappeared without a trace from the back seat of his car. He knocks on the door to the house, maybe to make sure the girl is ok, and the door is answered by the girl’s parent. Eventually it comes out that the girl died some years ago, and every year on the anniversary of her death (or her birthday), the girl hitches a ride back home with a stranger.

There are many variations of this legend. Sometimes the girl appears to make it home safely, but the driver finds something the girl left behind in his car, and goes back to return it, thus lear- ning the truth about the girl. Sometimes the driver lends the girl his jacket or sweater, and goes back the next day to retrieve it. Often, he finds his jacket hung over the grave of the dead girl.

It is interesting to note that this legend has made it into many regional folklores. In Hawaii, for example, the hitchhiker is often said to be the goddess Pele. It has already been mentioned that La Llorona has also been connected with the story. In the Chicago area, the vanishing hitchhiker takes the form of Resurrection Mary.

Bloody Mary

This is a popular legend that you may remember from your childhood. The Mary Worth story–also known by such names as Bloody Mary and Mary Margaret–is popular at sleepovers. As the story goes, a beautiful young girl named Mary Worth suffered some sort of terrible, disfiguring accident (or occasionally the wounds are inflicted purposely by a jealous party). From then on, other people shun her due to her ugly face. In some versions she becomes a witch.

Now for the scary part. Supposedly if you say Mary Worth’s name three (or five, or ten… it varies) times while looking into the mirror, Mary Worth will appear and scratch your face off or kill you. She is exacting a hideous revenge on the undeformed people who made fun of her in life.

The great Clive Barker movie Candyman is based on this sort of legend.

Following are comments I have received from readers over the years.

Bloody Mary (1)

From: Alejandro Gonzalez (agonza59@encina.pntic.mec.es)
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.ghost-stories
Subject: Bloody Mary, Veronica and the Scarlet Woman
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 01:55:03 +0100

When I first saw the movie _Candyman_ I was struck by the urban legend who was the leit-motif of the plot: if you say “Candyman” three times in front of a mirror, then Candyman will come and get you. The protagonist, a young lady who’s doing her D.Th. on urban legends, goes too far in her investigation and ends on the other side of the liminal surface as Candyman’s bride.

Surfing some time later some newsgroups on Usenet, I discovered the script was based on a short story by Clive Baker (the one who did _Hellraiser_); but his story was, in turn, a development of an older urban folk legend, concerning Mary Worth or Bloody Mary.

I became interested then in that urban legend, and read a lot of personal testimonies of people who did the test (or who faked; who can tell?) in their teen years. Trying to stablish which the main trait swere of the multiformous thread (the name of the phantom varied from one version to another, including variants as Lady Donkey or Mary Willarth), I isolated several elements which I found meaningful:
# The people who tried to cross the border (the mirror) were always teenagers, so people who were really crossing a critical boundary in their lives.
# The purpose for doing the test was, at best, blurred. Some extremely interesting versions said that Bloody Mary was the Virgin Mary, and so the experience could be termed as mystical; other said she was the daughter of the devil. Others, still, stated that the experience could end in extreme bliss or in gory death, though the way to choose one or another ending wasn’t clear. Anyway, most of the testimonies gave no reason at all to do the test, but showing one’s courage.
# There was a tendence that people trying were female, more than male, teenagers.

So, a Freudian reading of the story could perhaps suggest that Bloody Mary and unexpected occurrence of menstruation to small ladies were close enough to stablish a firm link (though I have not read this interpretation, it struck me as obvious at one level). Elaborating this, one could say that Bloody Mary is some kind of innocent character who represents girls’ innocence lost forever after menstrual blood appears: the inmaculate white of Virgin Mary is stained by the unavoidable agreement with daemonic forces that menstruation implies.

The theme is not exhausted by that level of interpretation, though. The idea of potencial bliss associated to the scary experience may be seen as a archetypal form of initiation, rites de passage: in fact, in a society without stablished initiatory rites, the Bloody Mary story may be seen as a psychical ersatz of that need. By the traumatic experience of shedding blood, the girl access to a world of bliss and pleasure: sexual natural high. This is the same as death, as orgasm is a petit mort, and sex is always a bloody/chthonic drive.

In that way, Bloody Mary would be near to what Spanish culture names ‘la Virgen Puta’, or what Crowley named the Scarlet Woman: in fact, the classical ambivalence of numen and ‘sacred’ as contamminating and purificatory, largely ignored in secularized Christian religion, resurfaces in this way from the collective unconscious.

I had already leave all the thing forgotten when, asking my students about the etymology of their names, we came to Veronica. Saint Veronica was the woman who gave Christ a piece of cloth to dry his sweat and blood when he was going to be crucified; this piece of cloth became later known as vera icon > veronica, ‘true image’, and so did the nice woman too

One of the children in the class mumbled almost for herself: ‘oh yes, and Veronica the one of the ouija’. I asked her what she meant, and she told me the story; many of children (15-6 years old) nodded as she told me Veronica was a girl who played with the ouija board, using scissors to point out the letters. She was driven mad by spirits and killed herself burying the scissors down her throat.

But she is not gone; if you play with the ouija board without taking the issue seriously (or if you play with it at all, maybe) she will come and kill you with her scissors. And if you say her name in front of the mirror three times at midnight you will see her in the glass, with the scissors still in her neck.

I was struck once again by the paralelism with the Bloody Mary plot, and also by the fact that I had heard of Veronica and scissors when I was a child, though I couldn’t remember anything clear of the story.

The kids asked me: ‘but this is all bogus, isn’t it?’. I told them: ‘if you ask me if this is true, I’ll tell you it’s not; if you ask the people who told you the story, they’ll tell you it is. I haven’t ever made such a test myself, and the people who told you the story surely haven’t either. So, who knows? Why should you believe me?’. This was the least manicheistic answer that came to me at that moment, though certainly insufficient. Then I added:

‘If you ask yourself if it is true, you’ll say it’s not. Yet, if you have to do the test, you’ll find one or another excuse, you’ll persuade yourself it’s ridiculous or nonsense, and you’ll give up. And if you finally do, you’ll see you have to overcome a strong resistance inside yourself, and your heart will beat fast, though nothing will happen outside. I have no answer as why it is so, and surely neither do you. End of the class’.

End of the post. Any clue, magickal or historical or folkloristic, will be welcomed as necessary. Good night by now.

Regards,

Alejandro

Bloody Mary (2)

From: “Kilt Thief” (KiltThief@cox.net)
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: Re: Bloody Mary, Veronica, and the Scarlet Woman
Date: Monday, March 01, 2004 3:29 AM

When I was very young, I heard of the legend of Bloody Mary. I asked my mother about it, and she told me this version:

Mary Tudor, Queen of England, had several miscarriages, and suffered the pain of the bereaved mother. She still, however, wishes to be reunited with her dead children. If you stand in a darkened room, in front of a mirror, and repeat “Bloody Mary, I have your children” five times (five being the number of her dead children), she will come out of the mirror to attack you, in revenge for teasing her.

My mother, with a slight smile, explained to me that it was just a story, and that if I wished to try it, I shouldn’t allow myself to be too disappointed. So, of course, I tried it. And nothing happened. I came to the somewhat regretful conclusion that the story must be entirely fake. It didn’t even occur to me that I wasn’t doing it right – after all, at that age, I knew with all certainty that my mother was the original fountain of all wisdom and knowledge. (Oh, ok, I still believe she was.) I was prepubescent at the time. During my teen years, I attempted the experiment more than once, with a variety of giggling, anxious friends. Female friends, always. I have no idea if Mary Tudor did suffer miscarriages, and if she did, was it only five. It wasn’t an important detail at the time.

Many years later, as a grown woman, two 13 year old girls came to me with the story of Bloody Mary, asking me what it was all about, and if I’d ever done it. I told them what my mother had told me and that it hadn’t worked; they told me the version they’d heard. Their story went along the lines of “Polly heard it from Megan who heard that her cousin tried it and something bad happened to her, but Megan’s mom wouldn’t tell her what.” They wanted to know every detail of my own attempt, so instead of explaining it over again, I volunteered to try it with them. We stood in my bathroom with the lights turned off and facing the over-sized mirror – I was elected spokeswoman by default, as the two girls immediately tried to make themselves disappear behind me. Trying not to laugh, I dramatically intoned “Bloody Mary, I have your children” five times, waited a heartbeat – and in an age-old instinct, spread my arms out in front of the girls to make of myself the target of any repercussions, at the same time experiencing a deep and momentary longing that I had never done such a stupid thing. After a few moments of nervous tremblings and giggling bravado, the two girls regretfully concluded that I must have been right – nothing would ever happen and the story must be false. I have no idea if either of them ever tried the experiment again, with other girls.

After reading Alejandro Gonzalez’ article in your website, I remembered these instances from my own experience and it struck me as odd that both times, relief and regret were the girls’ dominant responses. Shouldn’t it be odd that, despite the fact that harm might come of such a reckless taunting of fate, one might feel regret that nothing happened, even disappointment? It seems almost psychotic to me.

I, personally, feel that it has nothing at all to do with menstruation, or sex, or the loss of innocence in the passage to womanhood. It might, however, be a rite of passage. It seems true, that I cannot recall any males who have spoken of trying the “Bloody Mary” test. Yet I know many boys who were once upon a time, dared to sleep overnight in the local haunted house, or dared to ride their bicycle through the graveyard at night, or otherwise dared to a variety of stupid stunts designed to test their manhood. To answer Freud, if sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, then sometimes a dare is just a dare.

Mr. Gonzalez wrote, “If you ask yourself if it is true, you’ll say it’s not. Yet, if you have to do the test, you’ll find one or another excuse, you’ll persuade yourself it’s ridiculous or nonsense, and you’ll give up. And if you finally do, you’ll see you have to overcome a strong resistance inside yourself, and your heart will beat fast, though nothing will happen outside. I have no answer as why it is so, and surely neither do you. End of the class.”

I tend to call this the What if reaction. It comes hand-in-hand with the fear of the unknown. We have these legends and myths that terrify us, yet even though we are adults who tell ourselves, “No, it isn’t true,” there is some deep part of us asking, “But what if it is true?” Even I, a grown woman, knowing from experience that nothing would come of the challenge, responded blindly to the need to protect “my” children from any consequences I might have provoked. I knew nothing would happen – but I was afraid of the possibility that something might.

I very much suspect that this is part of why we, as human beings, continue to terrorize ourselves with horror movies, ghost stories around the campfire, the passing of urban legends, and the fear of things that go bump in the night. Most often, it’s likely the cat that is knocking something over downstairs, or sleep paralysis that prevents us from moving even when we’re awake.

But what if it’s not?

Bloody Mary (3)

From: Hampstergirl247@aol.com
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: Bloody Mary, literally.
Date: Thursday, January 27, 2005 10:17 PM

This story was told to me by one of my best friends, named Ashley. I’m not positively sure this story is true, because Ashley didn’t have any actual proof… although she is not a liar, and by the way she was telling the story, (with shock) I could tell that she was most likely telling the absolute truth.

Well, here it goes…

Ashley went to a church in Myrtle Beach, S.C. At her church there was a little playground surounded by a short fence. Across the street from Ashley’s church, there was a small neighborhood, and beside the neighborhood, there was a broken down house with a mud-covered, old pick-up truck that was rammed into a huge weeping willow tree, crushing the front part of the truck.

Everyone at her church was making up rumors about how an old, creepy woman lived at the house. They would say that the truck belonged to her husband. One night, when her husband was coming home from work, and when he was about to park his truck in the drive way, a squirrel jumped up onto the hood of the car. He didn’t know what it was… for all he knew, it could of been a simple leave. So, not knowing what it was, he swerved his truck to side to side, until the squarrel jumped in the truck through the open window, crawled down through the guy’s pants, and bit him on the ankle, (causing a horrible pain) his foot felt paralyzed. He couldn’t get his foot off of the gas pedal… and he ran right smack dab into the tree. A few hours later, he died. When the wife found out, she went crazy. First, she tore up her house, making it look like a horrible, haunted house. The she tried to kill herself, so she started to cut herself with one of the biggest knives she could find in her kitchen. Although she didn’t die from all of those cuts, she never washed the blood off, because she was too sad and lonely to do anything. That’s how she got her name: Bloody Mary. She can’t even cook for herself. All she eats is the dirt and dust surrounding her rocking chair that she would sit in all day and night long rocking away… “screeeeech, screeeeech,” is the only thing you could hear.

(Remember, that’s only the made-up rumor, and no one knew if it was the true story, or not.)

Ashley was at church one day, when one of the baddest kids there decided to hop the playground fence, and go knock on the door of “Bloody Mary.” So he did.

Everyone watched as he knocked at the door. No one could clearly see who it was, but someone answered. The next thing they saw the boy, (named Billy) go into the house.

He stayed in there for quite some time. Then, finally, he came out of the house smiling the biggest smile I have ever seen!

He crossed the street, not even bothering to look if any cars were coming, and hopped back over the fence. From that day on, Billy never spoke one single word for the rest of his life. Not to his mom. Not to his dad. Not to his brothers, sisters, teachers, family. Not to anyone.

I don’t know what or who did whatever they did do to Billy, but it must of been a mighty big something.

About three years later…

…Billy still was a non-talker, and people say he will never talk again.

One night, right before the the sky turned dark, Billy was walking along the side of the church road, when “Bloody Mary” called him, or did something to catch his attention, and sure enough, Billy went over to her, and into her house. No one knew how or why, but the next morning, the builders, (who, by the way, was about to make a new building there) found Billy sitting in “Bloody Mary’s” Lap. Both of them were dead. The builders found “Bloody Mary” and Billy in a certain pose. “Bloody Mary” was holding Billy like a baby, and she was kissing his forehead, and Billy was holding “Bloody Mary’s” neck.

………………………………………..What a Happy Ending………………………………………..

Sorry for that spine-tingling story being too long. 🙂

Bloody Mary (4)

From: “Bernice” bengot88@yahoo.com
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: own bloody mary experience
Date: Saturday, May 15, 2004 2:55 AM

I’m now 16 yrs old and will be entering 4th year HS. This story I will tell you is true and is witnessed not only by me.

When I was in 2nd year HS, I was then 14 yrs old, I read of a version of the bloody mary legend. It said that when a girl repeats the name “bloody mary” in front of a full-body mirror, mary will appear in the mirror and will either scratch your face or kill you.

It was already nearing our vacation, around March, so it’s nearing summer and the weather was sunny and perfect. No winds or dark clouds whatsoever. We just had our lunchbreak and I told my classmates about the bloody mary legend. Out of curiosity we tried it in the ladies comfort room where a full body mirror is on the wall. There were about 10 of us there. At first, my friend tried the chant. Nothing. Second, another friend. Nothing again. Maybe because we weren’t serious enough. So I myself tried it and chanted for about 12x. We were quiet then. Suddenly we all heard a thunder. We all ran out of the comfort room.

This event didn’t actually scare me, but it’s weird. There’s a storeroom above the comfort room but nobody was there. And we’re very certain that it was thunder. We even closed the door so that no other sound can be heard, and no one can enter. That’s me story. Feel free to give your comments. Email me at bengot88@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading my story.

 

Three Men and a Baby

There is a scene in the 1987 movie Three Men and a Baby in which some people claim to have seen the ghostly figure of a small boy who was killed in the house in which the scene was filmed. In some variations, the boy’s parents are said to have sued the movie studio, or the owners of the “house,” for letting their boy’s name be released to the press. There are also tales of other ghostly objects being seen throughout the movie, most notably a rifle pointing at the head of the “ghost boy.”

That is the legend. Here are the facts. The scene in question was not shot in a house, but on a soundstage in a Hollywood studio. The “ghost boy” is in fact a life-sized cardboard cutout of Ted Danson (who stars in the film), which had been left in the background, presumably accidentally, by a crew member. This cutout is seen in full view in another scene in the movie.

There is no ghost boy. No boy ever died on the set, and no one involved with the movie was ever sued by the mythical parents of said ghost boy. No one appears to know how the legend started. Some have suggested it was a promotional scheme perpetrated by the producers of the film to get people to buy/rent/go see it. Most likely the flub was simply noticed by one or more innocent movie goers, who told a friend, or perhaps a newspaper…

La Llorona

La Llorona is the legend of a woman who has lost her children, and who can be heard, and sometimes seen, weeping in the night. La Llorona (the name means “She who weeps” in Spanish) is in most stories said to be Mexican, although sometimes she is a woman who lived in the American Southwest. As with most urban legends, there are many variations of La Llorona, but the central plot remains intact: The woman has lost her children, usually because she herself has killed them because she wants to marry a man who doesn’t want any children. She is so anguished over the depressing circumstances that she kills herself as well, and is thus doomed forever to roam her native land, weeping and wringing her hands. Sometimes she is said to be searching for her children, and sometimes she is said to appear only as a warning to those who see her.

Here is a typical version of the La Llorona legend by Proserpina (proserp@duckmail.uoregon.edu):

“Sightings abound throughout the Southwest. Supposedly she drowned her children in the acequia (irrigation ditch,) and now she roams the ditches looking for her, or any, children. Usually the story is told with the intentions of keeping kiddies away from the ditches, so they won’t drown.”

The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Guiley tells a more traditional Mexican version, which occurs in Mexico City around 1550. According to legend, an indian princess fell in love with a Mexican nobleman. The nobleman promised to marry her, but betrayed her and married someone else instead. The ultimate result of this bit o’ treachery is that the princess murdered her children in a fit of rage, with a knife given to her by the nobleman. Afterwards, she wandered the streets crying for her children, and was eventually hanged for her sins. Since then her ghost has been searching for her children.

Another interesting feature of the La Llorona legend is that it appears to have merged with the Vanishing Hitchhiker legend. La Llorona is reported by some to hitch a ride on a road near to the place where she drowned her children.

Following are reader comments I have received over the years.

La Llorona (1)

Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 08:27:48 +0200
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
From: stella (stellar@internet-zahav.net)
Subject: contact

Hello, I’ve been lurking quite a while. I am usually shy, and it’s hard for me to start talking with new people; but I have heard a story about La Llorona, different from your versions. It keeps bothering me. So I wonder if anybody of you knows it and can some details. It goes like this: It all happened in Mexico. A beautiful girl called La Llorona fell in love with a wealthy Spanish gentelman. He owned a factory on a river. The factory polluted water and killed the fish.La Llorona was from a poor family. She drank the water from the river – no filters at home. La Llorona began to live with her beloved but things didn’t go too well. She got pregnant and gave birth to twins who were blind and deformed hands. She was in despaire and drowned her children so they don’t suffer. When the children were dead she committed a suicide and every night her ghost is seen on the banks of the river looking for her children.

Stella Rozhinsky

La Llorona (2)

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 14:49:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ligeia (inebrigoth@yahoo.com)
Subject: la Llorona
To: obiwan@ghosts.org

Hi,

I was just reading your ghost stories FAQ and wanted to share a version of the La Llorona ghost story/urban legend that you have posted. The La Llorona story is one that I have heard before in several versions, always involving a woman of Spanish/Mexican/Hispanic/Latino/Native Amercan heritage. While reading your faq, I made realized that I’ve read a version of the La Llorona story in which the woman is German.

The story I read was about the haunting of a particular building or palace in Germany (I don’t remember which one) where a white lady is supposed to roam. The story of the white lady is that some 400 years ago she was a beautiful widow wtih two small children, & a member of the Royal Court. She and the eldest son of a very important and titled family had fallen in love, but he told her that he could not marry her because there were two pairs of prying eyes constantly watching them. She assumed he ment her two children.

So that night she took a long golden pin and killed both of her children, pushing the pin through the ear and into their brain. When her lover found out, he recoiled in horror, and explained that he was talking about his parents, who didn’t approve of their relationship. When she found this out, she went completely insane and killed herself.

Ever after, her spirit roams the palace halls, looking for her children & her lover. That’s the story as I heard it. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. 🙂

La Llorona (3)

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 12:29:17 -0700 (PDT)
To: stories@ghosts.org
yourname Kathryn O’Neil
email koneil@panam.edu

Since I live very near the border between Texas and Mexico, I have learned many of the local legends from both sides of the border. One of the most popular is the story of La Llorona (pronounced La-yeh-roh-na). According to legend, La Llorona was a local woman who had many many children, but no husband. (This is typical of the area) She had a lover, but he did not want her because of her children. He did not like children. In order to please this man, La Llorona drowned all of her children in one of the drainage canals in the area. I have never heard what happened to this unhappy woman in the end, but they say that if a child is walking alone at night near a canal or other source of water, that she will take him away and drown him. Supposedly, several young children have dissappeared in this manner. While I am not really a believer in ghosts, this story told by a friend of my younger sister gives me chills. She is a very Christian girl (as am I) and had no reason to make this up.

Her name is Julia, and this is her story. Julia is 18 or 19 now, but when she was younger (maybe 7 or 8) she and a friend had been playing together at the house of another friend. Well, they had played for a while, and when it was time for them to go home, they walked together since it was evening, and Julia was not allowed to walk home alone at night. Well, the girls got to the place where they had to separate. Julia begged her friend to walk all the way home with her, and have her mom drive the girl to her house. Unfortunately, the girl refused, and Julia was left alone to walk the remaining block or two in the dark. She went very fast, hoping to get home before the sun set completely and she got into trouble, but it was too late. As the last rays died on the horizon, Julia was right next to a canal. From the canal, she heard a high pitched, unearthly voice shreiking HER NAME. Terrified by a voice calling her that did not sound human, Julia took off running as fast as she could. She told me that she could hear something running behind her, and something heavy hit her on the back. She almost fell down, but managed to keep her feet, and got home safely.

Julia never said that she thought it was La Llorona, in fact, she never drew any conclusions about the experience except that it was terrifying. This could be explained as the overactive imagination of a little girl alone in the dark, but maybe it was not. Maybe something did come out of that canal that night. Anything is possible, but I would not want to walk past a canal late at night alone…

La Llorona (4)

From: “Connie Huante” (cmhuante@earthlink.net)
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: Here’s another version of La Llorona…
Date: Thursday, October 09, 2003 10:49 PM

Here is a nother version of La Llorona, as told to me by my grandmother when I was a small child…

La Llorona was a beautiful and vain widow, whose husband died unexpectedly when he left old Mexico on business, leaving her with two very small children to care for. However, being left with virtually little to survive on, she ended up working nights at a local tavern. One eveninng, a black carriage led by several black horses drew up to the entrance of the Tavern. Everyone turned toward the door, waiting to see who would come into such a humble town in such a luxurious carriage. La Llorona, who had been talking to one of the locals felt her heart stop beating when in entered the most handsome man she had ever seen. He had piercing blue eyes, fair skin and black goatee. He removed his tall black hat and silk cape, revealing underneath an evening suit made of the finest cloth, and thick mane of jet black hair. He turned in her direction and their eyes locked. It was instant heated attraction. He smiled seductively, revealing glorious white teeth, and beckoned her over to his table. The music became thunderously hipnotic and the room spun as she felt herself float toward him.

He told her he was a nobleman on visit from Spain and would be returning within a few weeks. He asked that she come to him each night — exclusively — at the tavern. She agreed.

The continued to see each other each evening. She became completely seduced by his looks, manner and wealth.

One night he informed her that he would be returning to Spain in a couple of days. She was devastated. He took her face into his hands and said, “I want you to come with me and live like a queen, as should be.” She instantly agreed, but then he raised his hand and said, “There is just one thing. Your children cannot come. Bringing a woman with children into my life would be a questionnable stain on my prominent position. I cannot afford to have people start gossip.” She didn’t know what to think. He rose to his feet and told her he would give her the night to think about it. If she agreed to come, then he would meet her at 9PM in the tavern the next night, and they would be married the following day.

La Llorona went home that night and lay in bed not knowing what to do. However, she knew in her heart she could not let him leave without her, thus denying herself the chance of living like a queen. A glorious dream she had longed after. After all, why else would God have made her the most beautiful woman in Town, if not to marry into nobility some day. She had thought of dropping off her children at the church, where they might be raised in the orphanage, but then it occurred to her that everyone in town knew her and her children well, and feared that word of her abandoning her children would find its way back to Spain and cause her and her love problems. She knew what she had to do. She took her two infant children in bundled blankets, walked out to a well a distance from her house, and there, mercilessly let their bodies fall into the well. She walked away at first as if nothing had happened. But then the wind began to blow quite strong and she thought she heard the loud wails of a baby. She covered her ears and ran back down to her house.

The next night, she met with the nobleman in the Tavern. She whispered to him what she had done, and seemed somewhat anquished, but the nobleman gently raised her from her chair and merely said, “You did what you had to do. Now let me keep my promise. You will come with me tonight and we will be wed in the morning.” So La Llorona entered his beautiful carriage and they travelled to the mansion where he was staying. When she entered the huge palace like house, she was curious to see that there were no other people there to tend them. It was only dimply lit in some parts, but dark for the most part. He turned to her and said, let’s go upstairs to my chamber. They climbed several flights of stairs, and once in the chamber he turned to her and asked her, “Before I marry you, will you promise me that you will give yourself to me completely? All of you… your mind, heart, and soul?”

“Why yes, of course — anything for you” she replied.” They embraced, and kissed, but as they kissed, she noticed he was starting to laugh. It got louder, and louder as he held her closer and tighter, and the room seemed to spin swiftly and go red… then she looked into his eyes — and they too were as if lit by fire.

“You have given yourself to me completely and there is no turning back.” He said with a menacing smirk. Then she heard clicking sounds on the floor, and when she pushed herself away, she saw that he had hoolves for feet, and a tail… and on his head horns. It was him. She had given herself completely to Satan himself. She began to lose her mind and screamed a horrifying scream, then turned to the nearest window and jumped out, shattering the glass and falling several stories below. She died instantly. Her soul was lost for all eternity.

…And it said that late at night in that part of old Mexico, you can still hear the loud screams and sobbing of a woman, followed by sinister laughter, and then the faint wailing of a small baby…

La Llorona (5)

From: petey002@comcast.net
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: another version of La Llorona
Date: Thursday, July 08, 2004 8:14 PM

La Llorona is one Luisa Marquesa Del Llano, who bore children, one boy one girl to one Nu o De Montesclaros. He tried to take the children with an order from the viceroy of New Spain (now Mexico) instead of turning them over she stabbed (not drowned) them.

My question is those involved were members of the nobility, early spanish settlers. Hasn’t anyone tried to search for records (since they were nobles some mention of them should be available in Spanish archives) to at least verify whether these people existed. Also she was hanged for her crime, there should be records of her trial and excecution.

Peter Gomez
Woodbridge NJ
U.S.A

La Llorona (6)

From: “Alberto Ruis” (AL_7_9_6@msn.com)
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: La Llorona
Date: Monday, October 18, 2004 8:38 PM

Another version of La Llorona is that La Llorona fell in love with a handsome man and they loved each other and married each other and had 3 children. Later on the husband fell in love with some other woman and left the family to go off with this woman. When La Llorona heard she was so sad she had nothing to live for so she was going to kill herself and take her children with her. When she did she went up to the gates of heaven but her children weren’t with her. She met god and god told her that she could only enter heaven when she comes back and finds her children. So she goes weeping and searching for children.

From: Parroquinm@aol.com
To: obiwan@ghosts.org
Subject: La llorona
Date: Sunday, May 30, 2004 10:51 PM

Many people here in the U.S. believe in La Llorona. December of 2003 I went to go visit my family in Zacatecas, Fresnillo its in Mexico. I kind of believed in La Llorona, IM a 14 year old girl who believes in those stories. When I was over in Mexico I asked my cousin Christina about La Llorona, she is also 14. She told me that she was real. She said that the reason why La Llorona wanders around in the middle of the night is because she is looking for her children. The story is that she drowned her children because she loved this guy but he wouldn’t be with her because of her kids, so she killed them. So now she wonders around in the night looking for them. My cousin, and my aunts and grandparents say that if a child sees her and La Llorona sees the child she will think that the child is one of her kids and then she will kill them. My cousin says that she heard and thinks she saw la Llorona and she closed her eyes and she started to pray. She said that La Llorona disappeared and nothing happened to her. But in times she says she hears her crying for her kids, saying “o mis hijos” (Oh my children). I also heard her once in the middle of the night, or it might have been my imagination, I doubt it. I started to panic and then cried. That’s the only time I heard her and I hope no one ever comes across her.

Sincerely,
Trini Parroquin