Bloody Mary (folklore)


Bloody Mary (folklore)

Bloody Mary is a ghost or witch featured in English folklore. She is said to appear in a mirror when her name is called three times or sometimes more while in a dark room, depending upon the version of the story, often as part of a game or dare.

Contents

Overview

One of the more common ways participants attempt to make her appear is to stand before a mirror (usually in the dark) and repeat her name 3 times, though there are many variations including chanting more than 3 times, chanting at midnight, spinning around, rubbing one's eyes, running the water, or chanting her name thirteen times with a lit candle. In some versions of the legend, the summoner must say, "Bloody Mary, I killed your baby." In these variants, Bloody Mary is often believed to be the spirit of a young mother whose baby was stolen from her, making her mad with grief, eventually committing suicide. In stories where Mary is supposed to have been wrongly accused of killing her children, the querent might say "I believe in Mary Worth." This is similar to another game involving the summoning of the Bell Witch in a mirror at midnight. The game is often a test of courage and bravery, as it is said that if Bloody Mary is summoned, she would proceed to kill the summoner in an extremely violent way, such as ripping their face off, scratching their eyes out, cutting their head off, driving them insane, bringing them into the mirror with her or scratching their neck, causing serious injury or death. Some think if she doesn't kill the one who had summoned her then she will haunt them for the rest of their life. Other versions tell that if one chants her name thirteen times at midnight into a mirror she will appear and the summoner can talk to a deceased person until 11:08a.m., when Bloody Mary and the dead person asked to speak to will vanish. Still other variations say that the querent must not look directly at Bloody Mary, but at her image in the mirror; she will then reveal the querent's future, particularly concerning marriage and children.[1]

Divination rituals such as the one depicted on this early 20th century Halloween greeting card, where a woman stares into a mirror in a darkened room to catch a glimpse of the face of her future husband, while a witch lurks in the shadows, may be one origin of the Bloody Mary legend.

Bloody Mary Worth is typically described as a child-murderer who lived in the local city where the legend has taken root years ago, somewhere in the west. There is often a specific local graveyard or tombstone that becomes attached to the legend and a destination for legend trips.

On the other hand, various people have surmised that the lore about taunting Bloody Mary about her baby may relate her tenuously to folklore about Queen Mary I, also known as "Bloody Mary," whose life was marked by a number of miscarriages or false pregnancies.[2][3] Speculation exists that the miscarriages were deliberately induced. As a result, some retellings of the tale make Bloody Mary the queen driven to madness by the loss of her children.[4] The mirror ritual by which Bloody Mary is summoned may also relate to a form of divination involving mirrors and darkness that was once performed on Halloween. While as with any sort of folklore the details may vary, this particular tale encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards, holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband's face. There was, however, a chance that they would see the skull-face of the Grim Reaper instead; this meant that they were destined to die before they married.[1][5]

Cultural references

The legend of Bloody Mary has served as inspiration for a number of movies and television shows dealing with the supernatural.[2]

  • The 2006 film Bloody Mary is based on the legend.
  • In Clive Barker's Candyman films, the Candyman is summoned in a similar way.
  • The 2006 film, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary is part of the Urban Legend film series
  • In 2008 film, The Legend of Bloody Mary by director John Stecenko, the character Amy goes missing for good after playing the game "Bloody Mary"
  • In 2008, for its annual "Halloween Horror Nights" event, Universal Studios Florida developed a new variation of the legend. In their version, "Mary" was a doctor who studied fear by exposing her patients to it. [6]
  • The legend was parodied in the South Park episode "Hell on Earth 2006" with Bloody Mary replaced by Biggie Smalls.
  • In the season two episode of Charmed named "Chick Flick" a demon makes killers from different horror movies come to life, one of these killers being Bloody Mary.
  • A first season episode of the paranormal TV series Supernatural was called "Bloody Mary".
  • The legend was featured in the third season of TV series Ghost Whisperer, in the episode called "Don't Try This at Home".[7]
  • In the Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, the title character is summoned to and from the living world by saying his name three times.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Jinx", a demon came out of a mirror after Rigby said his name three times in a dark bathroom.
  • Lady Gaga also released a song named "Bloody Mary" on her 2011 album Born This Way. She sings the title three times on the song.
  • In the Robot Chicken episode "Robot Chicken's DP Christmas Special", Composite Santa Claus drags a child away after the child said "Ho, Ho, Ho" while looking into a mirror while standing in a darkened room (presumably a bathroom).
  • In the trailer for Paranormal Activity 3, the main characters recite the chant.

See also

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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