Woman Hollering Creek: The Weeping Woman of Saint Hedwig, TX
Located In Saint Hedwig, TX
In Central Texas, between Seguin and San Antonio, there’s a small city called Saint Hedwig. One of the most unique things about highway I-10 running through Saint Hedwig is that it has a rather distracting traffic sign off the highway – a sign for Woman Hollering Creek.
Well. That’s a dramatic name for a place, for sure. It certainly piques people’s curiosity, and if you have any sort of an imagination, it fills your mind with a disturbing image of a screaming woman.
The area where the valley and creek are located was settled back in the 1830s according to historical records, but the city of Saint Hedwig dates back to 1852. It was founded by John Demmer, a Roman Catholic who emigrated from his native Silesia (now Poland). Demmer and four of his Silesian countrymen built the Church of the Annunciation in the area in 1856, and so the area was called Saint Hedwig, after the patron saint of Silesia.
When I started researching and reading about Woman Hollering Creek, I thought for sure there must be a definitive story that spawned the creepy and colorful name of this place.
Alas, I was disappointed; there are actually many stories surrounding the name of this creek.
First, we have the version that Docia Schultz Williams wrote about in her book When Darkness Falls: Tales of San Antonio Ghosts and Hauntings (1997). In this version, Woman Hollering Creek is named for a pioneer woman whose family allegedly settled on the banks of the creek in the early settler days. In this account, the woman’s family was attacked by Native Americans, and in an effort to spare her children a fate worse than death, she drowned her children herself. The story goes on to say that when the Native Americans found this woman in the creek, her incessant, terrifying screaming drove them away.
This account of the Hollering Woman in Woman Hollering Creek maintains that the woman is still grieving and searching for her murdered family along the banks of the creek, screaming out her agony for eternity.
Other accounts of the story state that the screaming woman of Woman Hollering Creek was a lady whose lover or husband didn’t want their baby, or that he ran off with someone else, and in her crazed grief she drowned the poor child – and then drowned herself.
There’s even a version of the story that says she was denied entrance to Heaven until she could find the murdered infant and return with it.
Some say it’s not just grief that makes her scream – they say she’s also enraged, and that if you get too close to the water, she’ll try to drag you under.
Whether or not any of this is true, it’s really, really heavy stuff. It hurts my heart, to be honest.
Added to everything already discussed here, my research for this haunted topic revealed that the idea or story of a screaming woman haunting a particular place really isn’t even all that rare.
That’s right. This isn’t even CLOSE to being a unique kind of story, ghost fans.
Apparently, this story of La Llorona (loosely translated to wailing or screaming woman in Spanish) dates back to archaeological finds in Aztec Mexico, y’all.
What the heck does that say about us as people, that we have an established tradition of telling stories about victimized women who die horrific deaths and end up screaming out their trauma for the rest of infinity?
*deep breath, shaking my head*
Indeed, one source I found said that variations of this story are found all over Mexico and the Southwest United States. And when I read that, I thought about Woman Hollering Creek being at the site of a body of water … my mind made the jump to certain similarities between this La Llorona/Hollering Woman story and the well-known story of the banshee (Bean Sidhe in Irish Gaelic; Ban Sith in Scottish Gaelic).
It seems there might be a certain global identification with this archetype of screaming women … why is that?
What does she symbolize to the human psyche, the human spirit, the collective human experience?
Something to ponder. I feel it’s something to do with the archetype of the Divine Feminine, but that’s a discussion for another time and place.
As for Woman Hollering Creek … I don’t know if I want to hear that poor woman’s screams. I just don’t know if I could live with that sound in my head, in my heart. Maybe if there were some way of helping her, I might be able to stand it.
Otherwise … I don’t know.
What do you think?
Stay haunty, my friends
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