They are ghosts of deceased beautiful women, who wear white dresses and kidnap people they interact with. When they were alive, they all had children and, when they suffered from a temporal alienation after being rejected or being deceived by the men they loved, they drowned them. Then, they commit suicide and, subsequently, they must spend the rest of eternity on Earth looking for their children, crying and suffering, until they find them.
They roam in rivers and roads, and when they find a man who cheats, they kill them and the men are never seen again. If the man they find does not already cheat then they try to make them cheat by seducing them. They get angry when someone does not want to obey them, so they attack them while taking their true form.
Even though they can appear as normal and beautiful women in white dresses, they have another form they hide. Their true form bears resemblance to a corpse, grey skin, sunken eyes and no lips. Also their hands become claw-like in this form.
As ghosts, they possess a lot of supernatural abilities:
- Super Strength - They possess superhuman strength.
- Super Speed - They are able to move at superhuman speed.
- Invisibility - As spirits, they can become invisible at will.
- Telekinesis - As spirits, they have the ability to move objects with their mind.
- Electronic Manipulation - They can manipulate nearby electronics, notably causing lights to flicker.
- Iron - As any other ghost, they are weak to iron (being hit by a weapon or thing made of iron can make them disappear briefly).
- Salt - Which can be used to stop them temporarily and protection circles. However, it's not effective to destroy them.
- Ghosts - Bringing the Woman in White to the house where she drowned her children frighten her to confront their spirits and never went 'home'. The children's spirits can overpower her and drag her back to the afterlife.
- Burning their bones - Salting and burning the bones of their corpse will permanently defeat a Woman in White.
The Woman in White could have been taken from La Llorona (sometimes called the Woman in White), a ghost of a woman crying for her dead children from Mexican folklore, that has extended over Latin America's other folklores.
"La Llorona" ("The Weeping Woman") is a popular legend in Mexico, with many versions extant. The basic story tells that La Llorona was a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who killed her children by drowning them in order to be with the man she loved, but was subsequently rejected by him. (He might have been the children's father who had left her for another woman.) Then, after being rejected by her lover, she killed herself. When Maria reached the gates of Heaven, she was asked, "Where are your children?" and she replied, "I don't know, my Lord." She was not permitted to enter heaven until she found her children. She now wanders the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring. Her constant weeping is the reason for her name. In some cases, according to the tale, she will kidnap wandering children who look like her lost children or children who disobey their parents.