I love this story. I love this story because it’s relatively new, I love this story for the meta-mythology of it, I love this story because of its ties to already fluid folklore.
I asked on Facebook the other day what I should write about on this column, because even with the world full of folklore I know nothing about I sometimes run into walls about what I should feature in any given entries. Someone suggested this story, in part because it’s so sketchy (in the lack of sources sense, not the morally ambiguous sense).
I love it for the lack of resources surrounding it. There is some debate about authenticity, but now it’s in the folk way. It’s like a real world creepy pasta. Did the journalist make it up? I don’t know, and I’m not sure there’s ever going to be a sociologically definitive answer-but while I can’t talk for other social sciences I’m not sure that sociologically speaking it’s such a bad thing if she did. She’s not publishing it as social science, and the pathways surrounding it are interesting in and of themselves.
Anyway, before I ramble too far away from the actual story of the story, this is what is said to be said (heh) about the Blue Lady of Miami. According to folk stories told among homeless children living in Miami, there is a war ongoing between the angels and the demons. God has gone…somewhere else and those of us caught in the crossfire are in a very dangerous location indeed. However, those caught without the safety of home are in the most dangerous place of all.
These children do however have an ally in the form of a sea-angel called the Blue Lady. Dubbed this for the color of her skin, she lives in the oceans near the city and is capable of a great many acts of protection including stopping bullets. However, the devil and the demons have made her powers limited based on the knowledge of her true name. If you have that true name she will guide and protect you, but without it she is limited in what she can do for you.
The Blue Lady does sound a lot like Yemana and La Sirena, orishas and loas of the sea respectively. In both cases they can be called on as protectors, associated with water and the color blue-and require a certain amount of knowledge for successful interaction. And it would not be out of line to think that the folklore of traditions such as Santeria and Vodou entering into Miami folklore, being that both are heavily Afro-Carribean religious practices. Is that what is at play here? Children modifying relatively complex mythology into something that’s useful for them? It’s a powerful image regardless.
But is it happening at all? Spurred on by Reddit, there’s been debate about the authenticity of the legend. There are questions surrounding the Blue Lady as apparently the rights to the story have been sold to Disney. Does that sale really make the whole thing suspect though? Does Cinderella stop being part of folklore because Disney got involved? I would like to see more research into this one, because I really would be interested to see if this is a case of evolving folkways. And frankly, even if as Reddit suggests this is a modern urban legend, the meta-ness of an urban legend about an urban legend is interesting by itself.