Bloody Mary

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True Bloody Mary Stories | LoveToKnow

Supernatural stories have a psychological appeal in humans to seek for minimally counter-intuitive information. Folk physics are referred to common intuitive beliefs, if incomprehensible concepts interrupt these assumptions, then it is counterintuitive. Ancient folklore and legends have few supernatural elements, such as a talking cat, introduced in a normal manner or everyday events, such as cleaning the house. The case of the Bloody Mary ritual takes place in a bathroom being interrupted by a counterintuitive supernatural element, such as a vengeful presence. Folklorists address the Bloody Mary ritual as a fear experiment and with the darkness, candle and summoning spirits has reverberation of a Victorian-era séance.

220px-Halloween-card-mirror-2
A girl sees her future husband in the mirror while Bloody Mary lurks behind her.

Dating back to ancient times, mirrors are regarded as a form of divination and communicate with unearthly spirits. Bloody Mary ritual is linked with the beginning of menstruation and an initiation ritual to womanhood for many young girls who feared the approaching physical body changes during puberty. This practice was prominent in the 1700s for pubescent girls who would stage using a mirror in a dimly lighted room while holding a candle, brushing her hair, and biting out of an apple. Supposedly, the face of their future husband would materialize in the mirror. However, if the face of a skull appears, this signified death before getting the opportunity to marry. During the 1800s, other superstitions emerged that immense vanity in front of a mirror resulted in a manifestation of the devil himself. Broken mirrors represented misfortune and whenever a person passed away, mirrors in the room were covered to prevent the soul of the deceased from being confined in the house. In time, the matrimonial mirror ritual transformed into a fear test with frightful consequences. Initial versions of the ritual suggested fingernail scratches on the body, eyes being scratched out or decapitation, would befall if the girl committed any sins. 

EVIL QUEEN Snow White Mirror Mirror Original Painting | Etsy
Snow White by the Brothers Grimm made use of a magic mirror.

The Bloody Mary ritual takes place in a darkened room after midnight in front of a mirror, holding up a lighted candle and chanting “Bloody Mary” three times and other versions include spinning around, throwing water over the mirror or flushing a toilet, reciting, “I believe in Bloody Mary” or even “I killed your baby, Bloody Mary.” Rarely, Mary only materialises after a toilet has been flushed or a candle is extinguished. Afterwards, Mary appears in the mirror drenched in blood. Since she is a revengeful spirit, she may scratch, strangle, curse, kill, steal souls or pull the participant into the mirror. There are ways of shielding presented, such as switching on a light or drawing a protective ring of salt. 

Mary I of England - Wikipedia
Mary Queen of England

Bloody Mary is the controversial supernatural ritual based on the Mary Queen of England, a Roman Catholic ruler from the 16th century who was recognised as being brutal because she persecuted Protestants, often scorching them at the stake for their religious crime. The account of Mary Tudor’s numerous miscarriages and two phantom pregnancies resulted in the participants to harass the spirit by reciting “I stole your baby” before chanting “Bloody Mary” three times as usual. 

Mary Worth - Bloody Mary by Witch-Haze on DeviantArt
Mary Worth

Other versions of the Bloody Mary legend stems back to a shady moment in American history. During the Salem witch trial hysteria of the 17th century, Mary Worth participated in the dark arts, kidnapped young girls and exploited their youth to sustain her own beauty. Around the time of the Civil War, locals took the matters into their own hands and hauled her outside and burned her at the stake. Her body was buried on her own property because of this the land is damned. Mysteriously, her spirit was trapped in a mirror and now conjured whenever the ritual is carried out with a candle which represents the fire of her death. 

Elizabeth Bathory Raises the Bar for Sickos Everywhere
Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess. 

Another version included Bloody Mary as being the vampiric Elizabeth Bathory. During the 16th century in Hungary, Elizabeth kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, and slaughtered young virgins so she could rejuvenate by bathing and even drinking their blood in a deranged pursuit to maintain youthfulness. 

La Llorona | La llorona, Art
La Llorona

Bloody Mary can be associated with the La Llorona legend, the wailing woman of Hispanic myth who drowned her babies and scouring endlessly for their souls in the darkness.

Mary Worthington

In modern times, Mary Worthington is represented as Bloody Mary, she is a ghost of a charming but immensely narcissistic woman who was unpleasantly disfigured in a local car accident. After losing her former beauty, she killed herself in the 1960s. When summoned she materialises to the chanter in white attire, with blood covering her face.

bloody mary

Legend of Bloody Mary is a perceptual illusion due to lack of information over-interpreted by the cognitive system by staring at the reflection under poor lighting results in the terrifying appearance of strange monstrous or stereotypical faces or visions of deceased relatives. Sometimes, the image of Mary appears in the mirror, seeping with blood, then scratch their face, leaving heavy bloody claw slashes or the participant’s hair turns white, or they disappear without a trace. Others firmly believe that Mary will not hurt you immediately after appearing but she will follow the chanter home and haunt them.

A face in the mirror, Bloody Mary appears Source https://pixabay.com/en/art-portrait-human-old-antique-3084798/

Whatsoever in regards to the origins of historical or psychological aspects to Bloody Mary legend, the ritual has sustained itself for centuries across the world and persevered till this day.

Thank you for reading, fellow humans!

51 thoughts on “Bloody Mary

  1. I am very interested in supernatural things, although not quite sure I believe in the stuff. But it is always fun to hear the stories. This is such an interesting piece behind “Bloody Mary” because I think most everyone has heard about her.

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  2. I have not heard of bloody Mary before. I don´t like reading supernatural things and some of the terrifying appearance of strange monstrous faces of deceased relatives would give me a heart attack!

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  3. I was never brave enough to do this, lol. I didn’t realize there were so many stories behind it, and worldwide at that. Very interesting folklore. Thank you for putting this together.

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  4. This was really cool to learn about. I remember in elementary school we would perform the Bloody Mary rituals in the school bathroom. It’s cool to read about all the different suggested origins of the tale.

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  5. I remember being terrified of Bloody Mary, and then Candyman as a kid. I had know idea there were so many Mary’s the story could have referred to.

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  6. And here I thought Bloody Mary was just a cocktail! I actually am quite interested in supernatural stories, myths and legends, but I didn’t really know much about the Bloody Mary superstitions. Often superstitions from home are in Japanese myths and folklores too, but I haven’t heard anything similar to Bloody Mary here in Japan either. I am curious now though, so will do a bit of research later. Best, Lynda

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  7. Those are some very grim stories. I knew before that there are a lot of stories about mirrors and certain hours of the night. I didn’t know about Bloody Mary though. Interesting.

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  8. OMG! I learned so much in one post. Thank you! I am amazed by all I am missing not knowing it all. I am passionate about stories and learning new things. I definitely learned something new today.

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  9. A very thorough write-up on something from my childhood! I didn’t realize there were many different versions of the Bloody Mary story, and how steeped in history they were. The thing about the ritual being connected with menstruation was particularly interesting.

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  10. Oh gosh we used to do Bloody Mary when I was a kid but never really knew the information behind it. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!

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  11. I nearly had a Bloody Mary experience the other day. I was in my hot tub looking at the back of my house. I thought I saw my dog looking out the window in a strange position. Then I realized it was merely smudges on the glass! I really thought I saw my dog.

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  12. I would not even dare try doing this. OMG, I would not even encourage anyone to try it. I never knew the story of Bloody Mary thing. Now I know, and I believe I don’t want anything to do with it. It scares me to even think about what may happen.

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  13. Interesting write-up. I’ve always been afraid to say these words in the mirror. Didn’t know about the history of it either.

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  14. A girl sees her future husband in the mirror while Bloody Mary lurks behind her. Aww sounds creepy I remember my childhood days about the calling bloody Mary for making a wish. My classmate told me that before.

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  15. How crazy that there are so many variations to the story of Bloody Mary. I find the Mary Tudor stories to be the most interesting especially with the idea of stealing or killing her babies. How gory and tragic. If I was a ghost, I will be vengeful if punk children where harassing me about my dead or lost children too!

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  16. My sister and I used to play the Bloody Mary game when we were younger. We didn’t know the history behind it and after reading this I would be scared to play that game again knowing what I know now. LOL

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  17. This story has been into our movies for quite a while now and gave me some scare esp when I was a kid. Thankfully I already got over them now.

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  18. Hells naw I never did this as a kid lol. Reminds me of the Candyman horror movies. Same chant in mirror. What an interesting story. I had no idea it dated way, way back and had to do with puberty lol.

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  19. I did not know the story behind all this. I just know it was scary and I never tried doing this. That would totally freak me out. I would rather have the drink though. Haha.

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  20. I find it so interesting how different cultures have developed similar urban legends, the bloody mary legend right through to candyman and now slender man, these are always growing and evolving

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  21. I remember hearing stories like this growing up, I lived in a Scottish town with a long history of witchcraft and all sorts of amazing stories about what they got up to, we used to go on field trips with our teachers to see the places the witches would meet and as you can imagine as school kids we loved it!

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