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La Llorona is a well known Mexican 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 Mexican River in means of revenge because her husband left her for a younger woman. She soon realizes that her children are dead, so she drowned herself in a river in Mexico City. Searching in vain for her drowned offspring, with her constant weeping giving her the name "La Llorona".
She is trapped in 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 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 in Mexico. 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!").