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TE Photo, April 2001
The term "Woman Hollering" is probably a very loose translation from the Spanish.
The widely-known legend of La
Llorona, "the weeping woman" or "she who weeps" is told to children all over
Mexico and the Southwestern U.S.
(see forum below) offers another (more
plausable) source for the name.
creek does actually flow when there is sufficient rainfall although it may be
reduced to a mere trickle. It flows toward New
Berlin and St. Hedwig.
is a fixture in the Mexican pantheon of restless spirits. The tale dates back
to the Aztecs and like "urban legends" - it possibly arose from more than one
source. Like proverbs - but more wordy - it's a morality story. Variations are
A girl, young woman / married woman finds herself "with child."
The father of the child is:
A. not interested in fatherhood
off with another woman or
C. He's a new man that comes into her life who
doesn't want children.
After giving birth, she then drowns the baby
(your choice of gender)
A. out of despair and her inability to face parenthood
B. For revenge, or
C. to gain the new man's attention by being
unencumbered by child.The man:
A. still runs off with the other woman
B. wins the lottery and runs off with the other woman or
C. graduates from
medical school and runs off with the other woman.
The only consistent
facts in all the variations we've heard are: the child is drowned - it's the girl
who is pregnant, never the man and she almost immediately regrets her act. She's
always haunting the scene of her horrible deed; weeping, sobbing, wailing, bellowing,
In some cases she has been said to appear headless - the
wailing coming from her detached head.
Hollering Creek |
TE Photo, May 2001
The sad, truth
is that this does happen in real life - even today. A woman in Houston was seen
throwing her 5 children off the Shepherd Drive Bridge into Buffalo Bayou
not too many years ago (one died, 3 were rescued from the water and one was prevented
from being thrown).
And of course, we all remember the Susan Smith case
from not that long ago. Nearly every woman who spends her girlhood in Texas has
heard the story.
Charley Eckhardt, of Seguin - author, raconteur,
folklorist and Grandfather of the Decade, related that he knew of a sighting on
the banks of Walnut Creek in Seguin,
where the witnesses were totally and convincingly shaken by their encounter. Seguin's
Walnut Creek isn't far from Woman Hollering Creek.
The late Ed Sayers
included the tale in his excellent Ghost Stories of Texas. He mentions
sightings on the Rio Grande in El
Paso and on the Brazos at Waco.
Docia Schultz Williams, the ghost authority of San
Antonio, has at least one mention of La
Llorona in each of her numerous ghost story collections.
So that's all we know - hope it helps. Now, when you see the sign - you'll know
the story for your children or your traveling companion. Use whatever variation
you like, but please, don't bother Leon Hale. (See Editor's
We apologize if our version(s) differ from your grandmother's.
© John Troesser
Versions - Woman
Hollering Creek Forum
Woman Hollering Creek Forum
Hollering Creek as it flows southeast from its source ponds toward FM 1518 and
further down where it crosses under I-10. Woman Hollering Creek empties into Martinez
Creek just northeast of St Hedwig. - Ruben R. Hernandez, June 2007|
Hollering Creek: Another Version of the Colorful Name
I have contributed stories and photos for Mackay
and Falfurrias in the
past. I came across your coverage about Woman Hollering Creek and since I live
about three miles from the source of this creek, I'd like to add some additional
information, and the attached photo. (See photo above)
I have lived in
Universal City, just outside the front gate to Randolph Air Force Base, for over
45 years. I take my grandchildren fishing on the small ponds / lakes just south
of the base golf course. These ponds are the source of Woman Hollering Creek.
A map found on page 137 of Rand McNally's San Antonio and Vicinity shows its source,
although the small ponds are not shown. The ponds shown on the map are within
the golf course; although the creek's source ponds are outside the golf course
boundaries. The attached picture shows Woman Hollering Creek as it flows southeast
from its source ponds toward FM 1518 and further down where it crosses under I-10.
Woman Hollering Creek empties into Martinez Creek just northeast of St Hedwig.
As I understand it, Webster's Handy College Dictionary defines "holler" as
the verb/noun "yell". I would not confuse "hollering" with "weeping" as the legend
of La Llorona implies. The legend of Woman Hollering Creek is totally different.
The old folks in the Universal City area have told me that the woman "hollering"
was actually a pioneer woman who went to the creek to either get water or to wash
clothes and was attacked by indians, thus she "hollered" or yelled for help. A
friend whose family owned a ranch for many years on Lower Seguin Rd, about 1/2
mile from the creek's source, vouched for the story several years ago. I passed
the legend on to my grandchildren as we netted minnows at the source of the creek.
- Sincerely, Ruben R. Hernandez, Universal City, June 28, 2007
Woman Hollering Creek
At one time, back in the early '80s, the Highway Department sign at Woman Hollering
Creek actually did read Woman Hollow Creek. It stayed that for about a year until
somebody got through to the folks who put up the signs & told them what the name
of the creek actually was. This was when there was an effort to identify the names
of all the rivers, creeks, & draws in the state & put road signs with the names
on them. There are a lot of 'Five Mile Creek,' 'Fifteen Mile Creek,' & similar
signs, because some of the creeks didn't have actual names. They were called "that
creek you cross five miles out of town on the County Seat road."
State 16 below San Antonio there's Macho Creek. This has nothing to do with the
modern usage of the word 'macho.' 'Macho' is the Spanish word for a gelded mule.
There's a creek in Seguin, tributary to the Guadalupe, that apparently
has never had a name. At any rate, when the state tried to find out the name of
the creek so a sign could be put up, no one--not even the oldest folks in town--could
remember the creek ever having a name. - C. F. Eckhardt, September 06, 2006
Woman Hollering Creek
The local story I was told about Woman Hollering Creek dates back to the period
of the Republic. Supposedly a woman from a local settlement--which settlement
wasn't named in the story I heard--was kidnapped by Indians, possibly Comanches.
Her husband and other men from the settlement pursued the Indians, but were outnumbered
and couldn't rescue the woman. She was raped, tortured, and then murdered on the
banks of the creek. The husband and his party could hear her screaming but were
unable to help her. Supposedly her screams can still be heard on occasion. Be
that as it may, on old Republic-period maps the creek now known as "Woman Hollering
Creek" was called "Arroyo de la Llorona." - C. F. Eckhardt, Seguin, September
WOMEN HOLLERING CREEK: SAN ANTONIO
The Myth Is: A Women drowned her childern
and she was crying because she killed them. I've heard that you can hear her calling
their names and weeping, I guess you'd say.
The Indian Myth Is Not True.
- Crystal Martin, July 08, 2008
Maps dating from the 1830s give the name 'Arroyo de la Llorona' to the stream
now known as Woman Hollering Creek. - C. F. Eckhardt, Seguin, April 30, 2006
I enjoy reading
your website. In regards to Woman Hollering Creek, here is some information for
The creek itself starts at Randolph Air Force Base, in the
back part of the base near the golf course. Randolph is 2 miles west of Schertz
Once years ago, when we first moved here in 1971, I saw it
on a map, but swear at that time it was called Woman Hollow Creek, though I could
be wrong. The Texas Highway Dept. has county highway maps dating from the 1930s,
so it would be easy to check the creek's original name.
In any case,
the creek was used by both settlers and Indians for water. Probably one day, a
woman came to get water, and saw some approaching Indians, and began yelling a
warning, hence the name Woman Hollering Creek. Or perhaps, one of her children
fell into the creek, again hollering for help. This is probably as good as any.
... .- Holly Hilpert, July 10, 2002
Woman Hollering Creek is a real and sentimental story to those of us that are
true to our South Texas roots. Get your stories correct, for the sake of Texas
History. I just came across your website. After reading the info on WHC, I did
not care to read more of your site. Sorry!! My loss. .....HA!! - Belinda Bell,
July 05, 2005
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We received a letter from a young reader asking about Woman Hollering Creek. Her
alert and informed teacher suggested she contact us. This letter came not long
after we read a piece by (Houston columnist and author) Leon Hale. In his
column Hale complained that he's been asked about this particular creek scores
of times, if not hundreds. His complaint was (and probably still is) that people
expect columnists to know these things - when it's nowhere in the columnist's
job description. He said something to the effect that he wished the Texas Highway
Department wouldn't post such curiosity-piquing signs.
The reader mentioned
that she was unable to find an answer anywhere - including the Handbook of Texas
- Online or otherwise. So, in hopes that it will prevent letters, email and questions
to columnists around the state - here is what we've heard.
Llorona: Does She Seek Your Children? by Maggie Van Ostrand
of the tragedy of La Llorona (Weeping Woman) exist, but the basic premise is the
Many Legends of La Llorona by C. F. Eckhardt
"I've been digging into
La Llorona for nearly forty years. This article pretty much sums up what I've
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