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La Llorona—Latin America's Most Famous "White Lady"—in la Plaza de Santa Catarina, Coyoacán, Mexico. Photo: Sandrajd01

La Llorona—Latin America’s Most Famous “White Lady”—in la Plaza de Santa Catarina, Coyoacán, Mexico. Photo: Sandrajd01

What Is A White Lady?

White lady ghosts appear to people in cultures all over the world. White ladies are a type of traditional ghost—always female—that is invariably connected with a local legend of great personal misfortune. As the name suggests, they are almost always dressed in white.

Most stories that explain the appearance of white ladies involve romantic tragedies of one sort or another, with betrayals by a husband or lover being the most common, and the untimely death of a betrothed or other lover, or of the young woman and future white lady herself, running a close second.

White lady ghosts are almost exclusively rural manifestations, and they are known to haunt castles, houses, cemeteries, and even entire landscapes that are associated with the terrible loss they suffered in life.

Latin America’s most famous white lady is La Llorona, or the Crying Woman, a ghost legendary throughout all of Mexico. According to the legend, a young woman was betrayed by a man with whom she had several children. In order to avenge herself against her faithless lover, she drowned the children—and then immediately regretted her terrible act. Her ghost now wanders along the edges of rivers and lakes, searching for the lost children, and nighttime travelers sometimes hear her weeping. . . .

Other nations where white ladies have appeared include Britain—which seems infested with them—the United States—particularly in New England and along the East Coast—Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil, the Philippines, and throughout Eastern Europe.

RE: The above photo of La Llorona: We’re not sure how it was created.

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