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Saturday, Jun 10, 2023

La Llorona Haunts Universal

With Halloween just around the corner, the ghost of murderous mother La Llorona will return to Universal Studios. Part of the theme park’s Halloween Horror Nights, the themed maze “Weeping Woman: The Child Hunter” pays homage to the 500-year-old legend that has scared Latin American children for decades. This year, Universal also will partner with Latino celebs, including Wilmer Valderrama and L.A. Dodger Luis Cruz, to bring the fear of urban legend “La Llorona” to fans through a video diary on its YouTube channel. “At its core, La Llorona is a ghost story so we’re building off the very successful elements of last year’s haunted attraction by adding brand new special effects that speak more to the paranormal side of the story,” said John Murdy, creative director at Universal Studios, in a statement. “It’s like tapping into a child’s imagination and creating physical manifestations of those fears, leading to an even more terrifying experience.” La Llorona is the story of a woman who drowns her three children in order to be with her lover. After he rejects her, she kills herself, but cannot be admitted to heaven because of what she’s done to her children, so she wanders the earth snatching children who look like hers. Murdy said last year he talked with park visitors at the maze about the legend. Many of recalled stories of being terrified as children that La Llorona would take them away in the night, he said. “I found this to be a particularly compelling perspective and created this year’s maze to tell the story of La Llorona through the eyes of a child,” he said. The video series features Latino stars talking about their own recollections of dreams haunted by the ghost story, with a new video being posted each week through Halloween. Halloween Horror Nights runs through Oct. 31 on select dates. – Kelly Goff

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