You’ve probably heard of La Llorona, the legendary phantom woman who weeps for her lost children. While researching La Llorona for my next story, I made an amazing discovery, one that connects her to the same street in Boyle Heights, East L.A. where I spent most weekends at my grandmother’s house.

The street is South Fresno. The house with the picket fence on the left belonged to my grandmother. It’s where Grandma Chata scared the heck out of me with stories about La Llorona and El Cucuy (the Mexican boogeyman).

Mind you, this is the heart of the notorious White Fence gang territory. She knew most of those guys, and their families, so they never troubled her. Still, she didn’t want me wandering in the back alley that served as their neighborhood short cut, so she said La Llorona or El Cucuy would get me if I went back there. She also swore La Llorona was real.

Yesterday, I came across this account in the book, “La Llorona: Encounters with the Weeping Woman,” edited by Judith Shaw Betty: “…a friend of mine who tried to be a pachuco but could never really carry it off because his dad was too strict, said he spotted La Llorona walking on South Fresno Street toward Euclid Avenue one Friday evening. Many of the pachucos of that day were constantly looking for her, checking out 38th Street, La Washington, California Street, the whole city, in fact. I never saw her myself. The old-timers used to see her a lot more often. They said it was because they were believers, while us younger kids were not.” ~Eduardo Garcia Kraul.

My next story is The Haunting of Chavez Ravine and will first appear in my author newsletter in serialized chapters beginning in April 2024. You can sign up on the homepage of my website.