Just in time for Halloween

One of the many myths and legends that are told in Belize is the story of “La Llorona”

Though several variations exist, the most basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of María who drowns her children in a river as a means of revenge because her husband left her for a younger woman. She then drowns herself in the river when she realizes her children are dead.

After she is challenged at the gates of heaven over the whereabouts of her children, she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she has found them. María is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring. She constantly weeps, hence her name “La Llorona.” She is caught between the living world and the spirit world.

Parents often use this story to prevent their children from wandering out at night. In some versions of this tale, La Llorona will kidnap wandering children who resemble her missing children. She asks them for forgiveness, then drowns the children to take the place of her own. People who claim to have seen her say she appears at night or in the late evening by rivers or lakes. Some believe those who hear the wails of La Llorona are marked for death but those who escape in time are not so marked. She is said to cry, ¡Ay, mis hijos!, which means Oh, my children!

And here we thought all the animals roaming around at night were scary enough. Now we have to watch out for some crazy screaming ghost woman. This just keeps getting better and better.

This story is also shared throughout Mexico and Central America.

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