Tales from a Curandera (Folk Doctor)

On the heels of the post on my scary ass house, I thought I would share some stories from my childhood. I see them as interesting now but as a kid they scared the crap out of me...ok, they still scare me. During the time I lived in Fennville both of my grandmothers lived with my family. I loved having them there because of their love, warmth...and their stories. What interested me the most about them was the fact that they were both Curandera's or Folk Doctor's. I didn't get to see a lot of what my fathers mom did but my moms mom performed stuff that I cannot explain. I remember families would bring their children to see my grandmother every now and then. The kid would be screaming and acting out. There would be a high fever and my grandmother would take them into the room and after a while they would come back and the kid would be fine. I always wanted to know what went on in her room and when I got older I finally got my chance. A family had come over with a little boy who was completely out of it. He was running a fever and crying uncontrollably. My grandmother brought me into the room with her and the child. I was excited to finally see her in action but I was also scared. She laid the kid down on the bed and pulled out a cross made out of palm leaves and she had an egg. I watched as she did the sign of the cross over the child and said a prayer. After several minutes of this the child calmed down and then stopped crying all together. His fever had vanished and my grandmother took the egg, cracked it, and emptied it into a bowl she had near by. She then broke toothpicks in half and made crosses out of them. She placed them onto the egg and I shit you not, the egg began to fry. I can't explain it and I don't remember her exact explanation but she said that whatever it was that was bothering the child was transferred to the egg and cooked out. Now I know this sounds weird but it did happen and if you ask any Mexican family they probably have similar stories.

Along with this, there were stories that my grandmother used to tell my siblings and I growing up. They are stories that have been past down and they were probably told so that we could behave because we used to get rowdy around our grandmother. Whatever the reason, it did the trick. One story that has stayed with me is the story of La Llorona or The Crying Women. Grandma used to tell us that if we did not behave that La Llorona was going to come out and get us at night. I didn't know the entire story when I was younger, but it sounded scary as hell. I mean, The Crying Woman? Hearing someone crying in the dark and seeing no one in the immediate area is creepy! So the story goes that a beautiful women named Maria killed her children by drowning them to be with the man she loved and in the end rejected her. It's possible that the man was the father of her children but had left her for another women. Maria was devastated by the rejection of her man and killed herself. At the gates of heaven Maria was asked where her children were. Maria replied that she did not know and was told that she could not pass through the gates of heaven without her children. She now wanders the Earth for all eternity, searching for her drowned children. Her constant weeping is how she received her name. It has been said that she will kidnap wandering children or children who disobey their parents. People have claimed to see her at night or in the late evening searching around rivers, lakes, and oceans.

It's pretty creepy if you think about it. There are more stories but this one is the one I remember most. What my grandmother did for families was unbelievable but it happened and it worked. The next time you are out on the river or wandering close to a lake, listen for the weeps. It's possible to hear it during the day but at night is when the show happens. If it's night time watch out for her and listen but be careful because La Llorona might just kidnap you.