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La Llorona is a well known Latin folk tale that originated in the 1800s to early 1900s.
Although several variations exist, the most basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who drowns her children in the river out of rage because her husband left her for a younger woman. She soon comes to her senses and regrets her decision to kill her children, so she drowns herself in a river in Latin America. She then becomes stuck between the physical and spiritual world on an eternal search for her children, not permitted to enter heaven without them. Her incessant weeping throughout the night gives her the title "La Llorona" (The Weeping Woman).
Parents often use this story to prevent their children from wandering out at night. In some versions of this tale and legend, La Llorona will kidnap wandering children who resemble her missing children, asking her children for forgiveness and drowning these other children to take their place but they never forgive her and she keeps trying.
People who claim to have seen her say she appears at night or in the late evenings from rivers or lakes throughout Latin America Some believe that those who hear the wails of La Llorona are marked for death. She is said to cry,"¡Ay, mis hijos!" (Oh, my children!).
A movie about the folk tale titled The Curse of La Llorona was released in April 2019.