Welcome back to Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today is the continuation of the spooky tales of La Llorona, the woman who haunts the Southwest.
The first documented appearance of La Llorona after La Malinche’s death occurs in Mexico City in 1550 where she is said to wander the streets in a white dress on nights with a full moon, wailing and looking for her children. Sightings of La Llorona spread throughout the Americas, with each town or city claiming she is local to their area.
Other tales claim that La Llorona was a woman named Maria who fell in love with a nobleman of Spanish descent and had two children by him. When it came time for the man to marry, his family would not accept Maria, so he refused to marry her. He would often visit with his new wife to see his children, but he would pay no attention to Maria. Angry and jealous, Maria drowned her children in the river and then drowned herself, full of grief and regret for her act. Since then, she wanders the banks of the Rio Grande crying for her children.
I grew up with this tale. Our house was built next to the main irrigation ditch that flanks the Rio Grande. When I heard wailing cries in the night, I’d run to my parent’s bedroom, terrified of the legendary ghost. My father would gently explain that the sound came from the packs of coyotes that ran the ditch banks, but to this day, I’m convinced it was La Llorona crying for her lost children.
Come back tomorrow to hear about more of New Mexico’s ghosts.
In the meantime, I have some exciting news to share with you! I am releasing a new novel. It’s a bit of a departure from my other works featuring the iconic Annie Oakley as a crime solver, and 1920’s Broadway ingenue, Grace Michelle, as a reluctant amateur sleuth, but it features a badass female protagonist all the same—archaeologist Ruby Delgado. In 1952, while on a dig in Northern New Mexico, Ruby finds herself entrenched in the mysteries of an ancient secret society–whose members are curiously dying. Can Ruby find the killer or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is scheduled for release November 3rd, but it’s available for pre-order right now on Amazon.