Mamá I’m scared


La Llorona in a river looking back Photo credits: Amazon Prime Video

Estrella Ponce De Leon, Staff Writer

Have your parents ever told you “Be good or the Cucuy (the Boogeyman) is going to get you” or that “The duendes (goblins) will get you in your sleep”? 

In many different Latin American countries there are different myths and legends embedded into different cultures. These myths and legends consist of different creatures and spirits. 

La Llorona

La Llorona is Spanish for ‘the weeping woman’, which originated throughout Mexico and the American Southwest. There are many different stories about how she came to be.

Some legends say La Llorona drowned her two sons in a river out of jealousy and rage due to her husband leaving her and only giving attention to the two sons. She quickly regretted drowning them, but it was too late.

Others say she was a beautiful woman who had caught the eye of many men. She would regularly go out with these men, leaving her two sons by themselves.

Later it was discovered that her children drowned in a river due to her neglect as a mother. She mourned the passing of her children so much that she would not eat or drink and soon passed herself. 

It is said that you can hear the cries of La Llorona’s spirit when she is near, weeping “Where are my childreeeeeeeeen?” Some stories say that she would kidnap children who wander by themselves. 


Duendes are elf-like creatures who originated in the Iberian peninsula. The stories of the duendes were spread throughout the Philippines, Latin and South America, and Guam.

Duende sitting on a rock
Photo credit: Owlcation

Some say that duendes are evil creatures, but others say they are harmless. Evil duendes are believed to lure children out of their homes and harass women, especially those who are pregnant. The nice ones are said to be protectors for children.

Another myth surrounding these creatures is that they are protectors of the forest and will throw rocks at people who wander where they are not supposed to. 

It is reported that these duendes braid the manes of horses and sometimes will sneak into peoples houses at night to braid their hair in a way that is difficult to unbraid.

Different countries and cultures have different legends about duendes, but are ultimately similar.

This mythical creature and spirit are only two of many other legends shared in different Hispanic cultures.