“La Llorona” legend featured in two spooky Halloween TV episodes

I had been unfamiliar with the Latin American legend of “La Llorona” (“The Weeping Woman”) until compiling our list of this year’s Halloween programming. In doing so, I came upon two episodes of TV series that will feature this ghost story that apparently has deep roots in Latino culture.

The legend of La Llorona tells of a distraught mother who drowned her children and then herself. The ghost of the mother emerges from the water and is forced to return to haunt and terrorize the living — mainly children, from the sounds of the descriptions of these two episodes featuring her.

“In our research of all things horror, we found that Latinos have vivid memories of the story of La Llorona from their childhood,” said Xiomara Wiley, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Universal Studios Hollywood.

Wiley was explaining the creation of the La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños (Weeping Woman: The Child Hunter) maze at Universal Studios, which is part of its “Halloween Horror Nights” event. As a tie-in with this, the NBC series Grimm will feature the character of La Llorona in an upcoming Halloween-themed episode (NBC is part of the Universal family of networks). Two Hispanic networks in the NBCUniversal family — Telemundo and mun2 — will air that Grimm episode as well.

In the episode, detectives Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) take on the other worldly predator, believed to be “La Llorona,” which has abducted some of Portland’s children on Halloween. Kate del Castillo — star of Telemundo’s hit miniseries La Reina del Sur  — guest-stars as Valentina Espinosa, a mysterious detective from New Mexico on an obsessive mission to uncover the truth behind the bizarre disappearances. She joins forces with Burkhardt and Griffin to intervene before it’s too late.

The “La Llorona” episode of Grimm premieres on NBC Oct. 26 at 9pm ET. It will then air, in Spanish, on Telemundo late-night Oct. 26/early-morning Oct. 27 at 12am ET. Its third airing will be in English on mun2 late-night Oct. 26/early-morning Oct. 27 at 1am ET.

La Llorona also rises from the depths in the “The Weeping Woman” episode of this kids’ series on The Hub. Rico Rodriguez of Modern Family (pictured) stars as a boy who learns the scary folk tale of the child-stealing river witch (La Llorona herself). He soon comes face to face with the terrifying creature and must defeat her in order to save his friends.

R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series: “The Weeping Woman” premieres Oct. 27 at 6pm ET, and re-airs Oct. 31 at 5:30pm ET.

For more scary shows, check out our list of this year’s Halloween programming.