Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hunting La Llorona

The first time I heard the story of La Llorna I was ten years old. If you are Hispanic American and live in the Southwest I’m not sure you can grow up without hearing the story from someone in your family.  I’m told the legend exists so parents can frighten their children with the threat of the ghostly figure to keep them from staying out at night, and I believe that part of the story.

It was a warm summer night and we all wanted to stay outside late. One of my  12-year-old brother’s friends was visiting, or perhaps he had run away from home. Being without a mother and having only a busy working father, he used to do that every so often.

So my mother decided it was time we all learned about the legend of the Weeping Woman. She told us La Llorona was a female ghost who roamed the banks of rivers or sometimes the banks of ponds, looking for children who were alone or away from their parents. The story she told was that the woman had drowned her own two kids and could not rest until she found them or replaced them. And sometimes if La Llorona found children who were alone and they weren’t hers, she would throw them into the river in anger. And that was why kids shouldn’t be out alone at night.
As a ten year old living near a pond and with the Arkansas River less than a mile away, I decided I was no longer wandering around in the dark anymore. That story sure kept me close to home.  In time I decided that was just a crazy legend my mother made up.
Fast forward ten years to life in college in the small southern Colorado town of Trinidad, that sits along the Purgatory River. My friends (who were from cities back East or Denver) and I spent a Saturday afternoon with one of our Hispanic friends and we got to talking to his mother about ghosts. She began to tell us about La LLorona.  The story was much the same as my mother had told, but this woman said she had actually heard her. I’m not sure if I believed her, but the fact that the Weeping Woman might roam the banks of the Purgatory (or River of Lost Souls) made perfect sense.  Unlike that ten year old who chose to stay inside at night, this college freshman decided – along with my friends—that  we needed to check out her ghost story and go down to the banks of the  Purgatory, looking for The Weeping Woman or any other lost souls.

 We drove along  the roads east of Trinidad, where she said she’d seen the ghost, in the valley of the Purgatory. The prairie land there is very dark at night.  And very silent. It’s ranching land. The only light comes from the moon and the only sounds are the winds blowing through the trees. And those trees are none too friendly looking. They are short, squat pinon and junipers that are shaped like the monsters of your dreams.  For two nights we wandered, feeling only a little spooked.  The third night we heard something rustling behind a tree and then we heard a distinct footstep.
Well, that settled it. The only sound we heard then was not weeping but all of us running like hell toward the car, which seemed to be parked a lot farther than we remembered. When we got to the car we turned to look behind us.  A big hulking shadow came around the tree.  And then we heard its cowbell.  We were probably trespassing on some rancher’s cattle grazing territory.
Since then I’ve never gone searching for La Llorna again. But when I’ve camped near rivers or streams in the Southwest, I’m always careful to stay inside after dark. And listen closely at night. No weeping and no cow bells so far.

 I’ve used some of that Southwest experience in my Dead Man series  -- the first book is Dead Man’s Rules, now available on Amazon and at The Wild Rose Press.
Tomorrow I’ll have more on the various legends about La Llorona. Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on our Halloween Blog Tour, and leave a comment to be entered in the Rafflecopter giveaway.

 

1.

The Snarkology

2.

Sheryl R. Hayes

3.

de Hart's List

4.

Wild About Romance Naomi Bellina

5.

Dena Garson Real...Hot...Romance

6.

Musings from the Keyboard

7.

Romance on the Edge - Anita Kidesu

8.

Kathryn Knight books

9.

Elizabeth Rose Novels

10.

Tricia Schneider

11.

Brandy Nacole's Books

12.

Author Zoe Forward

13.

Diane Burton - Adventure and Romance

14.

Believing is Seeing (Sandra Sookoo)

15.

Daryl Devore

16.

Dylan Newton...Romancing the Paranormal

17.

Quill or Pill

18.

Margo Bond Collins ~ Words, Words, Words

19.

Mia Downing

20.

Melanie Karsak ~ Chasing Steampunk

21.

Read, Write, Repeat

22.

Janice Seagraves, Author

23.

Brenda's Blog

24.

Romance by Beverly

25.

Sarah Bella

26.

My Writing Corner

27.

Bad Girls Need Love Too...

28.

Rose Anderson's Calliope's Writing Tablet

29.

JoAnne's Postings

30.

Patricia Preston

31.

ShapeShifter Seductions

32.

Beth Caudill - Author

33.

Journeys With Jana

34.

Shauna Aura Knight

35.

JM Stewart

36.

Author Sydney Katt - The Home of Sarcastic Sexy Suspense

37.

Karen McCullough

38.

The Bestiary Parlor

39.

Sexy Is As Sexy Does

40.

Things that thrill

41.

Romance That's 'Out Of This World'

42.

Lisa Rayns

43.

The Fantastic Imagination of Jax

44.

Do You believe in Demons?

45.

Cheryel Hutton - Dragon Whisperer

46.

Sydney St. Claire

47.

Melissa Fox

48.

Reading, Writing & Romance

49.

Maureen L. Bonatch

50.

Abigail Owen

51.

Sophia Kimble

52.

Karyn Good

53.

Barbara Edwards Comments

54.

Castle of Spirits - DW Adler

55.

My Writing Corner

56.

Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics

57.

Janice Seagraves, Author

58.

Author Amanda Young


a Rafflecopter giveaway 
 

12 comments:

  1. I loved this story! Thanks for sharing the legend of La Llorona :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, J. C. It always makes me smile to think about it and that was why I wanted to tell it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice story

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I really enjoyed the opportunity to tell it.

      Delete
  4. Neat post!! Love that you brave college girls went off to find her only to find...a cow LOL But If I were a 10-year-old, I'd have believed the story. I was afraid of the dark, anyway LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Barb. That story and the spooky movies I used to go to really made me frightened of the dark.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing. Fun story. I enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Judy. I am glad you enjoyed it. The thought always makes me smile.

      Delete
  6. Rebecca,
    The idea of looking for a ghost that drowns children just gives me the creeps.

    Thanks for the great post. I enjoyed learning more about La Llorona. Thank you also for taking part in the Halloween Hop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa, thanks for the comment. Isn't it creepy? That was why I never forgot the story and wanted to research it when I got older. I really enjoyed being part of the blog hop and reading the other blogs. Thanks for being a great hostess!

      Delete
  7. Very creepy story. Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sheryl, thanks for commenting. I agree that it's creepy. It always frightened me.

    ReplyDelete