The Curse of La Llorona explores the well-known Latin American folklore of La Llorona, the ghost of a woman who murdered her children and now stalks the Earth looking for new children to steal.
Inside a creepy cabin in "The Jungle" area of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, SYFY FANGRRLS had the opportunity to ask the cast about some of the spooky things that happened to them while working on the film.
Raymond Cruz (Rafael Olvera): So, I'm in the middle of a scene in the living room, and I'm wearing a bracelet for protection. Coming into the movie, before I even did it, I did research and everything that I could use to protect my own soul in the event that something attaches to you. Because when you're dealing with the supernatural, you're calling on dark entities to appear.
Poltergeists, exorcists, you know, the reason that they make movies about the supernatural is because it's real. Whether you believe it or not, it's real. You know? So I'm a big chicken. I had different crystals in every pocket, I had a bracelet that was made out of this really hard stone for protection against negative energy. In the film I have a Bible in one hand and I have my hand up to the door and I'm saying a prayer. In the middle of the scene, the bracelet tore off my hand. Just all the beads —
Michael Chaves (Director): — shattered.
Cruz: — in like every corner. And Chaves was like, "What the hell was that?" "What the hell was that? Cut." And I'm like, "Oh, my god, my bracelet." When went and picked up the beads, we were on a wood floor in an old house. Three of the beads of this really hard stone were split perfectly in half. As if you cut them. So I picked them all up, I put them in a bag — I still have them, I should have brought them — I have 'em in my house. And then I had another bracelet in my dressing room. I went in and I put it on and replaced it with that.
But I wasn't touching anything. I was just reciting a prayer, and we were in the middle of the battle with La Llorona when that happened.
And you can't explain it. I took several of the beads outside on a concrete porch, and I tried to break 'em. I slammed it. I had boots on. I could not break one. And they were split, I'm telling you, perfectly in half.
Patricia Velasquez (Patricia Alvarez ): On set, I told this story before about sometimes we did this little exercise as actors where the day before you write down on a piece of paper, you write this note right before you go to bed, and you say, "Dear inner self, if it is your will, please allow me to see in a dream tonight the struggle of the character Patricia in this case, so I can get closer to you." And then we say, "With love and respect," and you sign it, and you put a date and you put the time. I went to bed, and went to sleep, and then all of a sudden I hear a massive cry. It was a scream with so much pain that it sounded like the most horrible thing I've ever heard. I still think about it constantly; last night I thought about it.
When I heard it I woke up, and I screamed the name of my daughter, and I went to her room and actually hit myself on the door, then I rushed to her room and I fell on my knee, and it was the noise of falling on the wood that woke her up. Here I am on the floor kneeling, and she's like, "Are you cold?" I didn't know what to say.
So I go, I lay down with her, and just as suddenly I start feeling all the pain going to my knee, and then I started bleeding on my knee, and I'm just waiting for her to fall asleep, pulling the sheet out so it won't get stained with blood, and thinking about what just happened, but not really understanding. So I go back to my room, I sit down, I started cleaning my knee and then I look and then I see the note. Then I went to work the next day and I understood what I needed to do as a mom who fights for her children, and I understood how present [La Llorona] was, that this was not a joke.
Linda Cardellini (Anna Garcia): I felt very lucky that I have not had any weird things happen to me on set, although I heard her story and Ray's story and I was like, "Uh, I'm glad it didn't happen to me." I've lost a people in my life, and I would love to know that there's some kind of proof afterward.
When we were Austin, for South by Southwest, we were in this old hotel that they said was haunted, and that's where we had some kind of a reception, and they put us in this suite that had this beautiful old claw tub in a giant bathroom, and I was in there and the light started flickering. So I got out, and several other people were there and I said, "Was the lights flickering in there for you?" And they said, "No, the lights aren't flickering at all."
There's a huge bathtub scene [in the film]. Later that night, we went till like 2 in the morning or something like that by the time we came home, and I couldn't sleep, and I was in my room and I heard this terrible slam of a door. So I ran out to see if it was maybe somebody who worked at the hotel who came in my room accidentally, but there was nobody there. I looked out in the hall, and there was nobody there.
So I turn on all the lights, 'cause I was going to go to bed. I didn't want to go to sleep in the dark, and I had a sliding door, and so I left a sliver of it open so that the light could come in, 'cause I was getting a little creeped out, even though I don't believe in that stuff. When I turned around, the door closed. I don't think I even told you this story. It happened the night before we left. The door closed.
Velasquez: Oh my god.
Cardellini: And my heart stopped, and I thought, "Okay, well, maybe the hotel is on an angle." So I open all of the doors and I sat in my bed, and through the doors I could see the drapes, and I thought I saw the drapes moving, so then I checked the room, I checked every inch of the room, 'cause I thought maybe there was just somebody in my room playing a joke on me, and there was nobody there. But I don't really have those kinds of experiences, and that night in Austin I had several.
The Curse of La Llorona appears in theaters April 19.