La Yarona (La Llarona, La Llorona)
Contributed by Jaime Burvato

  La Yarona (the cryer)

       There is an old mexican folktale around
       where I live that has some similarities to
       the Donkey Lady, and in some senses your
       story might be a variation of the Yarona. In
       the story no specific towns are named but,
       it was supposed to happen in the Castroville
       and Hondo area.

       Well as the story goes a young woman marries
       a man she does not love. He loves her and he
       is rich so she decides she will marry him to
       make her family happy.

       As the years went on she gave birth to 2
       sons that this man loved dearly. As so it
       happened the woman met a man in a nearby
       town. She fell in love with him and began an
       affair.

       Well her husband found out and threatened to
       leave her with the two boys. In a fit of
       anger she slipped out one night with the
       children she went to her lover with the
       children.

       As the months went by the lover who was
       seeing another woman as well became annoyed
       and fearful the children would find out
       about his other lovers. So he finally told
       her to get rid of them. Send them to their
       father or grandparents. He was fed up with
       their fighting and breaking things in his
       house.

       She returns home to find that her parents
       are dead. Her husband remained at their side
       until their deaths for he still had a
       respect and love for them. After they died
       he began to search for his children. He was
       said to have set off looking for them and
       never finding them he settled down in
       another town in Texas, another version has
       him moving to Mexico.

       Another version has him leaving never to
       return because of the pain he went through
       in the town.

       His wife is confused to find her world so
       changed. She had no sisters or brothers to
       leave her children with. She loves her
       children and her lover yet she can't choose
       between them.

       As it so happened she stopped to have a
       picnic with the children near a river. This
       is the only specific location, what would
       later become the Regional Park and the
       Medina River. Well as she went over in her
       mind what she could do something snapped.
       She smiled and calmly plucked up one boy,
       the youngest. This boy was said to be 3 or
       4. She walked to the edge of a cliff and
       gently tossed him into the river. This boy
       didn't know how to swim and drowned quickly.
       As her other son rushed over to try to save
       his brother she promptly grabbed him under
       his arms and plopped him into the river as
       well.

       It was said she was truly insane at that
       moment. She rushed to her lover and told him
       that the children where with their
       grandparents. A week after the drowning her
       lover was bored with her and dissappeared.
       It was at this point that she realized what
       she did to her children. Screaming she ran
       out into the night howling. It was said that
       people saw her after that as a woman who was
       wearing all white, crying as she wandering
       along the river. If approached she would run
       away screaming "I did it for him! They were
       my children!"

       Several reports were made of this woman and
       the police began a search for her. The
       bodies of the children were never found. Two
       years passed, and she somehow made an
       amazing journey around Texas' rivers and
       streams, looking for her murdered children.
       She found herself at the same spot where
       they had their little picnic. She could see
       the children playing about in the sun. She
       remembered them having so much fun that day.
       In all her grief she calmly leapt off the
       same cliff she tossed her children from. 2
       years to the day she killed them.
       It was said that a week later, to the day
       that the lover abanndoned her, her body was
       recovered.

       People thought that this was the end to this
       tale of great sorrow. But, to this day
       people still claim to see a woman dressed in
       all white dress that is outdated. She cries
       out to the streams looking for her children.
       It is said she is cursed to walk the rivers
       until the bodies are given a proper burial.
       There are various endings to this tale, one
       begining she came back as a woman dressed in
       black a symbol of her guilt for her crime.
       She is in red to symbolize her adultress
       ways and as the blood of her children soaked
       into her dress. It was also said that she
       was very pretty and as a punishment for her
       sins she was given the face of a white horse
       with sunken in features.

       My grandfather is one of those people who
       have seen her. He was walking home one night
       with his brother. They were tired from a
       hard day of work in the fields of the local
       farmers and could not think of anything else
       but, getting home to sleep. They were headed
       to the house that my grandfather and
       grandmother to this day still live in. This
       house is but, a few blocks from the river.
       As they walked across a field in front of
       the house they realized a woman walked just
       ahead of them. She was wearing all white.
       She began to cry. They both ran up behind
       her asking her what was wrong. She was
       headed towards the river.

       Again and again they asked her but, she only
       answered them back with her cries. As they
       got closer to her my great uncle began to
       realize something. He yelled to my
       grandfather to look at her feet. As he did
       so he saw she was floating two feet off the
       ground. Both ran away to the house locking
       it tight and my grandmother was confused
       about it all until he told her what they
       saw. She whispered to them Yarona?
       I believe him to this day, because I've seen
       ghosts myself.
 

Thanks, Jaime, for this amazing contribution! Jaime will soon have a web site that explores Texas ghosts and even stranger things.

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This page was last updated on November 16, 2000.
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