The ghost story of the Woman in White has haunted children and parents for decades. The origins of the world-renowned ghost story are unknown but reach across continents and cultures. In Brazil, the Woman in White is called Dama Branco. The story goes that a young woman died in childbirth while another version declares the ghost to be the vengeful spirit of a wife murdered by her husband in an honor killing. In Canada, the Chute De La Dame Blanche (white lady waterfall) is the ghost of a heartbroken young woman who committed suicide when her husband to be was killed in combat by throwing herself over a waterfall.
The Wittle Wieven(white Woman) roams the moors in the Netherlands. Ireland, Malta, and several other countries harbor tales of an otherworldly beautiful woman dressed in a long white gown with long, dark, sleek hair tormenting the living. The name and country may change, but essential details of the Woman in White’s features stay the same, and the fact that she is always found near water never changes. Texas does not have one story of The Woman in White. We have several because you know we go full throttle with the supernatural here in the Lone Star state!
I descended into the story of the Woman in White while researching a creek called Woman Hollering Creek east of San Antonio. The creek is etched in legend and connected to the Hispanic doppelganger of the Woman in White, La Llorona. Woman Hollering Creek is located off of Interstate 10 between Sequin and San Antonio. Reports of wailing and moans have been reported in the area of the creek.
One version of the story explaining the wailing is that a woman drowned her children in the creek to please her lover. Another story states that the hellish moans are the ghost of a pioneer woman calling from help after being stranded at the creek. A logical story that circulates about the area is that the wailing of Woman Hollering Creek is not a ghost at all but is the loud hollering of a robust farmer’s wife calling her family to meals. The connection of water and a mourning ghost, however, has a sinister connection to the battered stories passed through time of the Woman in White.
La Llorona, the Weeping Woman in English, is a popular legend with several movies regarding the ghost story. It was born of rich Hispanic culture, and it carries a dark and merciless fate for the victims that fall prey to La Llorona.
The legend of La Llorona begins with an exceptionally bonita chica (beautiful girl.) By day she lived the humble life of a poor village maiden, but at night her life was quite different.
She would put on a beautiful white dress and go into the village to be worshipped by the men there. She craved their praise and attention, and to get it, it is said, that she murdered her two young boys to free herself of her motherly duties so she could continue with her nightly escapades.
Of course, like all stories, the details get muddled as they are passed along, and some say that she did not murder them directly, but the poor boys died of neglect from their mother. There is even a third form of the story. That La Llorona was never the poor maiden of a village at all but the neglected wife of a wealthy man who had turned his favor to another. She drowned her sons out of spite and was doomed forever to roam, looking for them bound to the waters of her great sin.
Children of Hispanic culture are warned to stay away from unknown water because La Llorona could be waiting to drag them to their watery graves. Truth Or Legend? I believe perhaps the legend is an elaborate fabrication to steer clear young children from the dangers of water. La Lorona is the most famous story of the Woman in White.
Texas is dotted with similar stories of women in white. Such as the ghost of Woman Hollering Creek, but there are many more within the state, including the San Bernard River in the Houston area and even Dallas.
The White Rock Lake Park in Dallas holds its own Woman in White story. In the 1930s, a beautiful young woman died in a boating accident, and until this day, her beautiful ghostly silhouette is spotted throughout the park wearing a white 1930s style evening gown. She is always searching and always wet as if she had just stepped out of the lake.
The details change from place to place, but the tragedy and horror remain of the Woman in White. The stories all embody great pain, regret, and death, and for me, this was a hard story to research. Beauty wrapped in pain and despair, crowned with black flowing hair, clothed in white and bound by water, the Woman in White perhaps is one entity bound to the waters of the Earth wandering for all eternity.
Now there will be no sleep for me tonight. Think twice before taking a swim! Happy Fall ya’ll!