South Texas Haunted Folklore: The Tale of La Llorona

Written by Michael Mayes; Adapted by David Elder

SAN ANTONIO – The tale of La Llorona is a pretty common one, not only in San Antonio but across the state of Texas.

It’s been dominant in Latin culture for hundreds of years, and some even say it goes all the way back to the Aztecs from central Mexico.

There are many variations of the story, but there is always a central theme.

Here is the story of La Llorona that author Michael Mayes heard as a young man:

Once there was a beautiful woman who lived in San Antonio in the early 1800s.

She married her true love, had a couple of children, and was very happy.

Sadly, her husband became ill one day, and he later died of a fever, leaving her to raise their two children all alone.

Being a single parent is never an easy task, and it was especially difficult in frontier Texas.

Months later, her eyes fell upon a rich young man-about-town.

He was very handsome, very well off financially, and seemed to be the answer to her problems.

She struck up a conversation with him one day, and he took a liking to her as well.

The relationship progressed nicely until the day the man found out she had two children.

At that point, the man told her he was not ready for fatherhood, and he broke the relationship off.

Brokenhearted, the woman went home to her two children.

As days and weeks passed, her sadness grew and so did her depression.

Then, she began to see the young man, the object of her affection, arm-in-arm with other women in town.

This enraged her. She was furious.

Eventually, she turned her rage against her children.

She realized that without them he would’ve loved her.

One morning she gathered her children and told them they were going on a picnic, but that was not her intention.

She took them out to a river and drowned them one at a time.

When she was drowning them she thought, "Once they’re gone, the young man will love me again."

After she was done, she realized she had committed a terrible sin.

She began weeping and threw herself into the river, drowning herself in the process.

It is said that the spirit of the weeping woman still walks the banks of waterways across South Texas and that you can hear her crying out for her children.

In some cases, she can be heard luring other children to the river.

This rendition of La Llorona was written by author Michael Mayes of Texas Cryptid Hunter.

About the Author:

David Elder is the host and executive producer of the food and travel show Texas Eats on ABC KSAT 12 and NBC KPRC 2.