History

Spooky Tales of Woman Hollering Creek

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Woman Hollering Creek is located outside of San Antonio; it intersects with Interstate 10 in one place, between Exits 591 and 593. The creek empties into Martinez Creek just northeast of St. Hedwig. While the origin of the creek’s name is not documented, it is widely believed to be tied to the legend of “La Llorona,” or “The weeping woman.” Maps dating from the 1830s give the name “Arroyo de la Llorona.” Sometimes traced to the times of the Aztec Empire, this ancient story has multiple variations: the basic outline is about a woman who has murdered her child or children in the name of romantic love, and upon realizing the gravity of her actions, is doomed to wail in agony forever. Each version contains additional details such as method, the response of her partner, and the woman’s ultimate demise. Cautionary legends such as these often include a personal risk element, such as getting too close to the water’s edge may evoke the spirit of the hollering woman to drag you under the water’s surface.

Alternatively, an origin story of the creek’s name is themed around a pioneer woman along the water being attacked by foes and “hollering” for help. Whichever version of the story is preferred, visit this area after dark only if you dare as people have reported hearing unsettling screams, moans, and other noises.

La llorona

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The unusually named landscape feature has found its way into popular culture; it is the subject of the song “River Called Woman Hollering” by the Electric Boy Rangers and author Sandra Cisneros penned a collection of short stories entitled “Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories” in 1991. The legend of “La Llorona” herself is a widespread story of tragedy and grief, passed down through many generations. Give yourself a fright with cultural insight today!

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