The Legend of La Llorona, the Crying Child Murderess

Countless threats exist deep in the jungle. But it's not just poisonous, candy-colored frogs or fish with rows of razor teeth that trouble intrepid explorers—the jungle is home to a host of wild, unexplained happenings and folklore that all carry real, bone-chilling consequences.

So, to celebrate the series premiere of The River, ABC's new documentary-style show about the horrors that lurk within the Amazon, here are some of the most ancient and scariest jungle legends known to man.


La Llorona

Mexican legend has it that la Llorona, or the Wailing Woman, was a beautiful young mother with a seemingly happy family. But after being abandoned by her husband for another woman, La Llorona fell into a fit of despair, and in a cruel act of madness, drowned her son and infant daughter in the nearby Rio Grande. Quickly realizing the terrible act she had committed, the grieving woman then flung herself into the swirling depths. However, her body was never recovered.

Now, a tall, thin specter with flowing black hair supposedly haunts the shores of the river, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag screaming to a watery grave. Local kids are warned away from the riverbanks and cautioned from playing at night because even if La Llorona's wretched lurking among the muddy reeds is a fantasy, the dangers of the river are very real.


The tale of la Llorona is just one of the strange stories that originated in the depths of the jungle. Check back over the next few days for more mysterious happenings in the wilderness, and don't forget to watch the 2-hour series premiere of The River, this Tuesday, February 7 at 9/8c—only on ABC.