Last weekend we spent our date night watching the film ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ suprisingly not a course of my own . I left the cinema wondering if the film was based on some kind of Real Legend and yes it is!
The film is actually inspired by hundreds of years of Mexican and spanish Lore and is known to many as ‘The Weeping Women’.
Over the years thousands of Mexican and spanish cultures children have grown up scared of the legend that is known as ‘La Llorona’.
The story varies across who you ask about it but the general story goes:
A long time ago, a woman named Maria married a rich man, with whom she eventually had two children. Then their marriage hit a rough patch and her husband spent less and less time at home. Whenever he was home, he paid attention only to the children. Eventually, she sees him with another woman. Enraged beyond reason, some versions claim Maria drowned her two children—but she immediately regretted it, crying out, “Ay, mis hijos!” (Translation: “Oh, my children!” or “Oh, my sons!”)
Maria is sometimes said to have drowned herself afterward. But when she arrived at heaven’s gates, she was denied entry, banished back to purgatory on Earth until she could find her lost children. She’s now known as La Llorona, which translates to “the weeping woman.”
Now, the legend says, she floats over and near bodies of water in her white, funeral gown, forever weeping as she searches for her lost children.
Some versions of the story say she kidnaps or attacks children and others say she attacks cheating husbands. Regardless, when you hear her cries, the directive remains the same just RUN AWAY.
A haunting on Set!
The main house featured in the film had some creepy occurences while the cast was there filming, half the cast thought the house was haunted and some even joking that it may have been the legend herself.
Is there any truth in the legend?
Im a big believer that, where there is a legend or a tale, there is normally a base for some truth behind it and this legend is no different.
According to anthropologist Bernadine Satisteven, the earliest reference to a ”Weeping women” or La Llorona withing the Spanish culture goes back to 1502 and the Spanish Conquistadors in Mexico.
Santistevan found that people told the story of a young Aztec girl named La Malinche who had fell hopelessly in love with the famed conquistador Cortez. Their relationship blossomed and they had two sons. But then Cortez made the executive decision to travel back to Spain, and he intended to bring his two sons back with him. La Malinche was not invited to go back and she refused to let Cortez leave with her children.
To ensure Cortez didnt take her children, she headed down to the river, where she killed them. The story goes that she spend years searching and grieving over her children.
In history, La Malinche (also known as Malinalli, Marina, or even Malintzin which referenced both Cortes and La Malinche together as one) was one of twenty slaves given to conquerer Hernan Cortes and the other Spaniards in 1519. This means that at some point the dates were switched through time, as it’s believed La Malinche was not even born until c.1496-1501.
La Malinche and Cortes’ relationship was not designed to last from the start and she acted as his interpreter to the other people of the Tabasco area as she spoke both Mayan and Nahuatl, as well as a political adviser. she did gave birth to one of Cortes’ sons, but it is unlikely that La Malinche drowned her children.
After helping Cortes left to stave off a rebellion in today Honduras, as well as to set up current-day Mexico City, La Malinche was married off to Juan Jaramillio, a Spanish hidalgo. With him, she gave birth to a daughter, and historians generally agree that they do not know what happened to La Malinche after this. It’s thought that she may have died in 1529, just ten years after the conquest of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
So the story dont exactly match up with the one we hear of today but could this have been where the legend was started?
A TRUE HAUNTING?
In 1986, in the Buffalo Bayou surrounding the San Antonio region, a murder took place that Scared the people to their core.
After years of suffering abuse at the hands of her husband, Juana Marie Leija refused to deal with the abuse any longer. One morning she brought her seven children down to the dark, murky waters of Buffalo Bayou and attempted to drowned them – she threw six of her seven children into the river.
Two of her children, Juana and Judas Dimas, did not make it. The rest were saved by rescuers who were called to the scene. As can be expected, Juana Marie Leija protested her innocence by claiming that she’d had no choice and that her husband was violently aggressive, to her and the children and they all needed to get away!
The court ruled that Juana Marie Leija would receive ten years of probation because of the deaths of her children and the attempt to drown her other children.
But, there was one thing that struck the police officers as strange. When they asked Juana Marie Leija why she had committed such a terrible crime, yes, she claimed it was to escape her husband, but, there was also one other reason, however, and that reason?
Juana Marie Leija claimed to be La Llorona herself.