The legend of La Llorona is quite popular in Mexican popular culture. The story of La Llorona, or the weeping woman, is often told in southwestern states, in particular Texas. The story usually involves a poor, working-class, young woman who becomes involved with a wealthy, married man. When the man discovers she’s pregnant, he leaves in a fit of rage, leaving her to suffer alone. As abortion is a sin in her culture, she carries the baby to term only to discover that she cannot handle the life of a mother. In disgrace, she murders her child and spends eternity trying to make amends for her decision. www.ghostsofamerica.com/4/Indiana_Gary_ghost_sightings.html
The La Llorona legend sometimes involves a young married couple. The couple struggle through life, fighting with each other and their children. Eventually the husband finds comfort in the arms of another, and the woman murders their children as a payback. Some weeping woman stories place the woman and wife in the role as a cheater. The young woman cheats on her husband, and then kills her children in a depressed state. In all cases, she roams the earth in her ghostly form, trying to make amends, and find the children she murdered.
While the La Llorona legend is highly popular in the southwest, the story occasionally appears in the Midwest as well. The town of Gary, Indiana has its own version of the La Llorona story.
The La Llorona in Gary, Indiana is often spotted near the area known as Cudahee. Cudahee was once a highly popular neighborhood for recent Mexican immigrants. The neighborhood was close to Chicago, where the workers could find jobs in the steel mills, and had an inviting feel that made most feel right at home. It was there in Cudahee where a young Mexican girl became the legend of La Llorona.
The young woman arrived in Cudahee with her husband, full of hope for the future. Not long after they arrived, the husband went to work in the steel industry, and she set about making their home a pleasant one. The two lived together for a number of years, and began raising a small family. After her husband perished in a mill accident, she tried her best to feed her family.
Not long after her husband passed, the young woman found herself involved in a tumultuous relationship with a wealthy white man. The man knew that her social standing was not on par with his, but continued to string her along with promises of a marriage and future. Rather than tell her when he planned to marry another, the man lied and told the young widow that he could never marry a woman with children. Grief stricken, the woman went directly home and smothered her children. She quickly returned to her lover with the news that they could now marry. Disgusted and afraid, the man made her leave and promise never to return to his home again. The woman couldn’t return to her house as she was too afraid to face her children, and wandered the streets crying. A few hours later, her body was discovered.
There are some that claim the story of a weeping woman in Gary is simply an already existing ghost story that the Mexican immigrants adopted as their own. A young widow was in a car accident during the 1930s just outside the area known as Cudahee. The woman survived, but her children all perished. Out of despair, she kept returning to the spot where they died, crying and weeping for her children. Even in death, she is unable to move on.
For those hoping to see La Llorona for themselves, she is often spotted near the corner of Fifth and Cline Avenue in the Cudahee neighborhood of Gary, Indiana.