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Ghosts & Hauntings

The Legend of La Llorona: The Wailing Woman

La Llorona is New Mexico’s most famous legend, and the state’s most famous ghost. It is centered along the Rio Grande south to Juarez, Mexico. There is scarcely a child in New Mexico that has not been told the story of La Llorona as a youngster.

The legend of La Llorona (pronounced “LAH yoh ROH nah”), Spanish for the Weeping Woman, has been a part of Hispanic culture in the Southwest since the days of the conquistadores. The tall, thin spirit is said to be blessed with natural beauty and long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers and creeks, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave.

With the story of La Llorona, tales of the imagination begin. (Fergregory / Adobe)

With the story of La Llorona, tales of the imagination begin. ( Fergregory / Adobe)

No one really knows when the legend of La Llorona began or, from where it originated. Though the tales vary from source to source, the one common thread is that she is the spirit is of a doomed mother who drowned her children and now spends eternity searching for them in rivers and lakes.
Although there are many variations, the legend goes something like this:
In the early 1700s, there was a young woman named Maria living in Juarez, Mexico. As Maria blossomed into a young woman, her striking beauty attracted the charms of many local men. Coming from a poor family, her mother encouraged her to marry one of these dashing young men for a good life. However, Maria refused, stating her beauty would one day attract the charms of a very rich man.

Before long, the handsome young man of her dreams rode into town. He was the son of a well-known wealthy ranchero west of Juarez. He wore nice clothes and had a handsome, well groomed horse with a fancy saddle — all the signs of a man of wealth. Maria would follow him around, trying to catch his eye, but he seemed to only notice the young women who were fairly “well to do.” At night, he would charm the local ladies with his guitar and golden voice, breaking Maria’s heart.

One day, the young ranchero came into the tienda (store) where Maria was shopping. She blushed from embarrassment, as she was wearing an old, dirty, tattered dress. However, the blushing beauty suddenly caught the eye of the young ranchero. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. After a short courtship, the ranchero paid her father a large dowry and they were soon married, in spite of the objections of the ranchero’s father. After all, it was frowned upon for a wealthy man to marry a woman from a lower class.
After their marriage, they moved to Mesilla, where it is said he worked his own ranch and worked as a merchant along El Camino Real. Others say he moved to Mesilla to avoid the scorn of his father for marrying a woman from such a poor family. Regardless, over the following years, Maria bore him three children. As the years went by, Maria and her wealthy husband grew apart. He was often gone for months at a time on the ranch or shipping goods along the Camino Real. He had little interest in Maria or the children. Maria suspected he was frequenting the company of other women during his travels.

One day, Maria was walking along the street with her three children when her husband’s buggy approached. Sitting close was another woman — a beautiful young woman. He passed her and the children, pretending not to notice them. Maria’s heart was torn in two. Her anger exploded into a jealous rage. If only she didn’t have the children, she thought, then her husband would love her again.

The tale of La Llorona includes malevolent actions toward children. (Petro / Adobe)

The tale of La Llorona includes malevolent actions toward children. ( Petro / Adobe)

In her rage, she dragged her three children to the Rio Grande and held their heads under the water until they were dead. Maria had committed the ultimate sin — deliberately killing her own children. Returning home later that night, she explained to her husband what she had done to please him. He was horrified and ordered her out of his life. It is said Maria roamed the streets of Mesilla for many nights, calling and crying for her children, which earned her the name “La Llorona” — the wailing woman.

Over 2,500 eyewitnesses of La Llorona were interviewed, to recount what they encountered. (captblack76 / Adobe)

Over 2,500 eyewitnesses of La Llorona were interviewed, to recount what they encountered. ( captblack76 / Adobe)

Realizing she had lost everything in life, she went down to the river and cried for her children one last time. When there was no answer, she drove a dagger deep into her chest, and fell dead into the Rio Grande. The people of Mesilla, after finding her body, buried her in the town cemetery. It is said, even today, La Llorona can be seen roaming the cemetery and the river, crying for her children. It gives the Mesilla cemetery the reputation of being haunted.

Another version

Another popular version has the ranchero leaving Maria for a younger woman. In time, Maria killed her children when she could no longer support them, supposedly as a misdirected act of mercy. Other versions have Maria getting pregnant by a wealthy ranchero, who refused to marry her, and she killed the child at birth to hide the sin. And yet other versions, more common in northern New Mexico, tell of the husband killing the children.

In Mexico City La Llorona began haunting a toddler’s bedroom. (Chainat / Adobe)

In Mexico City La Llorona began haunting a toddler’s bedroom. ( Chainat / Adobe)

In Santa Fe, Maria, of course, is from Santa Fe and roams the Santa Fe River. Even in 1700, Santa Fe thought the state revolved around them!

Was La Llorona deserted by her husband? Wronged by a lover? Or, the victim of a cheating husband? Regardless, most versions of the legend have La Llorona killing her children in the river, then herself.

¿Dónde están sus niños?
It is said when Maria appeared before God, he asked her, “¿Dónde están sus niños?” (Where are your children?).
Maria replied, “No sé” (I don’t know).

God then disfigured her to punish her selfish pride and then damned her to prowl the rivers forever in search of her children. Horrid to look at, she roams the deserts, particularly along the Rio Grande, looking for her dead children to this day. It is said if she encounters children, she drags them into the river and drowns them, hoping to present them to God as her own.

Over the centuries, many claim to have seen, or heard, La Llorona. Many describe her as being a beautiful, alluring woman dressed in a white dress with long black hair. Others say she is dressed in black. Only up close do people see her old, contorted face, and realize who she really is. Her spirit walks the rivers at night — often during a full moon — calling for her children or luring the children of others into the river.

Some say she carries with her an evil aura. Anyone who survives an encounter with La Llorona will soon be followed by tragedy. Others believe she is a bruja (a witch) casting spells of death or misfortune on those who clash with her. Her eerie spine-chilling cry is said to be an omen of death. Many believe La Llorona is the cause of so many children drowning in the ditches and rivers of New Mexico. Others claim it is contact with La Llorona that causes the occasional mother to kill her own children.

In interviewing many Socorroans, there are few that did not know one version or another of La Llorona. The legend was taught to them at a young age. Some remember the story scared them to death every time the wind blew, or they heard mysterious sounds in the night. A few shuddered when La Llorona was mentioned, often followed by a personal experience with the wailing woman of the river.

One might question, “Then why write a history article on a story that everyone knows?”
Well, because not everyone in Socorro had the good fortune of having a Spanish-speaking grandmother to forewarn you of the evils of the river. If you’ve ever caught an image of something in the corner of your eye, or heard an unexplained scream in the night — now you know. It was La Llorona. She is the most enduring legend of New Mexico in both story and song.

Not long after her death, her restless spirit began to appear, walking the banks of the Santa Fe River when darkness fell. Her weeping and wailing became a curse of the night and people began to be afraid to go out after dark. She was said to have been seen drifting between the trees along the shoreline or floating on the current with her long white gown spread out upon the waters. On many a dark night people would see her walking along the riverbank and crying for her children. And so, they no longer spoke of her as Maria, but rather, La Llorona, the weeping woman. Children are warned not to go out in the dark, for La Llorona might snatch them, throwing them to their deaths in the flowing waters.

Though the legends vary, the apparition is said to act without hesitation or mercy. The tales of her cruelty depends on the version of the legend you hear. Some say that she kills indiscriminately, taking men, women, and children — whoever is foolish enough to get close enough to her. Others say that she is very barbaric and kills only children, dragging them screaming to a watery grave.

When Patricio Lugan was a boy, he and his family saw her on a creek between Mora and Guadalupita, New Mexico. As the family was sitting outside talking, they saw a tall, thin woman walking along the creek. She then seemed to float over the water, started up the hill, and vanished. However, just moments later she reappeared much closer to them and then disappeared again. The family looked for footprints and finding none, had no doubt that the woman they had seen was La Llorona.

She has been seen along many rivers across the entire Southwest and the legend has become part of Hispanic culture everywhere. Part of the legend is that those who do not treat their families well will see her and she will teach them a lesson.

In an attempt to explain the origin of La Llorona Aztec goddesses Chalchiuhtlicue has been referenced. (Giggette / Public Domain)

In an attempt to explain the origin of La Llorona Aztec goddesses Chalchiuhtlicue has been referenced. (Giggette / Public Domain )

Another story involved a man by the name of Epifanio Garcia, who was an outspoken boy who often argued with his mother and his father. After a heated argument, Epifanio, along with his brothers, Carlos and Augustine decided to leave their ranch in Ojo de La Vaca to head toward the Villa Real de Santa Fe. However, when they were along their way, they were visited by a tall woman wearing a black tapelo and a black net over her face. Two of the boys were riding in the front of the wagon when the spirit appeared on the seat between them. She was silent and continued to sit there until Epifanio finally turned the horses around and headed back home, at which time she said “I will visit you again someday when you argue with your mother.”

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the tall wailing spirit has been seen repeatedly in the PERA Building (Public Employees Retirement Association), which is built on land that was once an old Spanish-Indian graveyard, and is near the Santa Fe River. Many people who have been employed there tell of hearing cries resounding through the halls and feeling unseen hands pushing them while on the stairways.

There is support that the traditional La Llorona narrative is incorrect and an abusive unscrupulous father, NOT the mother, drowns their children. (alexey_arz / Adobe)

There is support that the traditional La Llorona narrative is incorrect and an abusive unscrupulous father, NOT the mother, drowns their children. ( alexey_arz / Adobe)

La Llorona has been heard at night wailing next to rivers by many and her wanderings have grown wider, following Hispanic people wherever they go. Her movements have been traced throughout the Southwest and as far north as Montana on the banks of the Yellowstone River.

Thought-provoking and incredible new perspectives on La Llorona redefine her legend in a monumental way. (Lario Tus / Adobe)

Thought-provoking and incredible new perspectives on La Llorona redefine her legend in a monumental way. ( Lario Tus / Adobe)

The Hispanic people believe that the Weeping Woman will always be with them, following the many rivers looking for her children, and for this reason, many of them fear the dark and pass the legend from generation to generation.

Ghosts & Hauntings

Reality show to be filmed in medieval “haunted castle” in Wales

British celebrities will take part in a reality show at the medieval castle of Grich in the city-county of Conwy (Wales), which, according to legend, is full of ghosts. It is reported by The Sun.

According to data from open sources, the castle was built in 1283-1289 by order of Edward I of England. For four years one and a half thousand people erected the fortress and walls. The castle is surrounded by a stone wall with round towers and loopholes. 

According to local residents, the ghost of the previous owner, Countess Dandonald, who died in 1924, wanders around the castle. According to legend, the woman’s spirit is angry because her husband took the valuables out of here. 

About ten years ago, a mysterious silhouette appeared in the photo, which was noticed on the first floor of the castle in the former banquet hall. In addition, it is rumored that objects are moving mysteriously in the castle. Also, fans of everything mystical believe that there you can meet the ghosts of gamekeepers and a maid who died after falling from a horse.

The creators of the reality survival show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Became interested in the legends of the ancient castle, in which celebrities perform creepy tasks. 

The producers are delighted with Greich Castle. It is planned to spend almost 1 million pounds and six weeks to prepare the location for filming.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Loftus Hall is the most famous haunted house

Almost any house built 150 years ago is tempting to think of ghosts. Of course, if it was not restored beyond recognition. But a special pleasure is to visit, or at least look at photographs of a house in which ghosts are definitely found. Well, exactly: in the opinion of its owners and those who live nearby.

Loftus Hall is one of those. Even if, in the opinion of the locals, ghosts were not found in it, they would be worth inventing again – this is how the atmosphere of this gloomy house located on the windswept and washed by waves of the Hook Peninsula in the Irish County of Wexford has to do this.

But, before we tell you what is so paranormal in this Loftus Hall, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with real historical events related to the house. Moreover, they are worthy of attention without any devilry.

Photo # 2 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

We can say that the history of the house began in 1135, when the Norman knight, Raymond Le Gros, landed on the peninsula. To assimilate faster, the knight renamed himself the more familiar to the Irish ear by the name Redmond.

The castle, built by the knight, stood for two centuries, until in 1350 the descendants of Redmond built a new house in its place. It is interesting that they were building right during the Black Death – a plague pandemic that arrived in Ireland by ship from Bristol a year earlier. The new house, Redmond Hall, was named.

Photo # 3 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photo: Shutterstock

Three centuries later, in 1650, the house became the site of one of the fiercest sieges of the Irish Uprising. The owner of the house, 68-year-old Alexander Redmond, with his two sons, a couple of local activists and a tailor who happened to be in the house at an unfortunate time, barricaded himself and bravely repulsed the attack of almost 90 British for several days. 

In all fairness, most of these Englishmen have crawled into neighboring villages, indulging in robbery and violence, instead of laying siege to an impregnable home.

The attack was repulsed with the help of the Irish forces arrived in time, which attacked the British under the cover of a thick fog, which in time fell on the Hoek Peninsula.

According to local chronicles, Alexander repelled several more attacks. When the British nevertheless conquered Ireland in general, and Redmond Hall in particular, Cromwell even let Alexander die in peace in his own house – for his courage.

Photo # 4 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Well, after the death of Redmond, his relatives were evicted from the house and soon the house was sold to a family of Englishmen named Loftus, who live nearby. 

Subsequently, the Redmond repeatedly tried to sue Loftus Hall back, but to no avail. But as compensation, they were given land in the neighborhood.

The Loftuses moved rapidly up the court stairs. If in the 18th century the head of the family was called Baron Loftus of Loftus Hall, then already in 1800 the title of Marquis of Eli was created especially for the Loftus.

Actually, the 4th Marquess of Ely gave the modern look to Loftus Hall. A major renovation was undertaken by the Marquis in the second half of the 19th century: he very much hoped that Queen Victoria would come to visit. After all, the Marquis’s mother was her maid of honor!

Photo # 5 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

The Queen never came. But the 4th Marquis of Ely became the owner of a luxurious house with such unprecedented conveniences as flush toilets at that time. And, alas, the owner of huge debts. Soon the house had to be sold and its wanderings began among different owners.

In 1917, the house was sold to the monastery order of the Sisters of Providence. In 1983, the house was converted into a hotel. Well, in the early 2000s, it was acquired by the Quickly family. In 2020, it became known that the house was again put up for sale. Moreover, Quickly emphasize that they will not choose a new owner, but “the house will choose him.” And that’s why…

The story of how the devil sailed to Loftus Hall and what happened after his visit dates back to the 19th century. It sounds like this.

On a cold rainy night, a dark-robed rider rode up to Loftus Hall on a dark horse. He said that his ship was caught in a storm and had to dock in a nearby bay. The Loftuses were away, the family of their distant relatives, the Tottenham, lived in the house. They sheltered the rider and offered him shelter and bread.

Photo # 6 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Tottenham’s daughter, young Anna, immediately fell in love with a mysterious stranger. A couple of days later, in the evening, everyone sat down to play cards. During the game, Anna dropped the map and, bending down to pick it up, saw that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of legs.

The stranger realized that he had been discovered. He immediately soared up, surrounded by devilish flames – and, as expected, made a huge hole in the roof.

It would seem that the devil is expelled, you can live on. But Anna, after the disappearance of the stranger, became not herself. She went crazy by leaps and bounds. The family, frightened by this development of affairs, locked the girl in her favorite sewing room.

There Anna sat, almost motionless, clasping her knees with her hands and soon died. 

According to another version of the legend, before her death, she managed to give birth to a child – that is, the devil did not lose time during two days in the house. 

Anna was not buried in an ordinary coffin: they could not straighten her and buried her in a sitting position, in which she spent the last months of her life.

Since then, according to numerous testimonies of guests and owners of the house, ghosts of a girl have been walking around the house. And the house itself has become a place of attraction for lovers of everything paranormal and creepy – excursions, especially popular on Halloween, are regularly conducted in Loftus Hall.

If you consider yourself a mystic, but do not have the opportunity to visit Loftus Hall yet, we recommend watching the gothic horror film The Lodgers 2017. It is filmed entirely in the luxe and eerie interiors of Loftus Hall, and has received excellent critical reviews. Here’s the trailer:

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Ghosts & Hauntings

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building

For decades, the Haycock Manor Hotel, located in the small English village of Wansford, has attracted tourists by claiming to be the home of the ghost of Queen Mary Stuart.

Mary of Scotland, aka Mary Stuart, according to legend, visited the Haycock Hotel on the way to Fotheringay Castle, where she was executed. Why, in this case, she chose a hotel in a small village as her last refuge , and not a stone castle, is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, visitors to the hotel claimed to have seen the ghost of Queen Mary, the Mirror writes.

The last resting place of Mary Stuart

Because of her intrigues against Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart was put on trial and sentenced to death, which took place at Fotheringay Castle. On the way to the castle, Mary of Scotch stopped at the Haycock Hotel.

Mary Stuart

Despite the fact that the woman spent only one night in the hotel, this is the place she, for some reason, decided to choose as her last home. At least that’s what those who encountered her ghost say.

Manifestations of supernatural powers

Many of the hotel guests, who ventured to spend the night in the last refuge of Mary Stuart, complained about strange things that happened to them.

Some guests claimed to have seen a ghost, which they identified as Mary of Scotland. Why they were so sure that the ghost was exactly Mary Stuart is not clear, because the history of England has a large number of women rulers, and it is simply impossible to remember them all.

Other hotel guests recall seeing an obscure ghostly cloud-like figure in the oldest part of the hotel. They also shared that they often encountered the feeling that there is someone else in the room – someone who cannot be seen, but can be felt.

Hotel Haycock

Guests also reported that they heard quiet voices and footsteps, although there was no one else in the rooms.

Despite the fact that such stories can scare ordinary people, they are not of interest to real seekers of the paranormal, since they can easily be explained by the dilapidated state of the building.

haycock hotel

Haycock Manor is currently closed for renovation, which means that if the phenomena of supernatural forces could be explained by the state of the hotel, then after the renovation they should disappear.

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