Published in Ciao
I have been seeing the legend of Bloody Mary showing up a lot lately in TV programs. First it was the producers of Medium who did and episode on Bloody Mary. I didn’t pay too much attention to it but then I saw a different variation of Bloody Mary on Supernatural. So, of course being the person that I am who enjoys legends, I wanted to know the original of this scary ghost story.
It appears that the Bloody Mary Legend is your campfire scary story or your classic Halloween story. Bloody Mary is a ghost, witch or evil entity that can be summoned by calling her name anywhere from three to one hundred times. In Supernatural it was three times, but apparently thirteen times seems to be the most popular. It is always done in a dark room, most often the bathroom, with a candle, while looking into a mirror.
Bloody Mary will appear after being summoned; sometimes appearing mysteriously and sometimes escaping from the mirror. She will then attack the summoner by scratching out her eyes. In another version of the legend, Bloody Mary is said to drive her victims insane. Some tales have it that Bloody Mary will suck the victim back into the mirror with her.
Hollywood’s fascination with Bloody Mary did not start with Medium, apparently the 1992, the movie Candyman used the premise of the Bloody Mary Legend to produce the Candyman who appeared when summoned five times. Candyman would then kill you with his hook.
Although a great ghost story who in the right mind would want to conjure up such an evil creature and then die because of it? The whole premise is totally mind boggling to me. Also, who is this mysterious Bloody Mary, especially since so many seem to know about her? For the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t this legend until I saw Medium. Of course I had to do a little research and find out what I could for myself.
The most popular legend is that Bloody Mary was a woman by the name of Mary Worth who was disfigured and killed in a terrible car accident. Bloody Mary, or Mary Worth was also known as Mary Worthington, Mary Wales, or Hell Mary (to conjure up the demonic version of the legend).
This particular Bloody Mary legend is believed to have originated from a widow who had killed her children or was wrongfully accused of killing her children. Other variations have that her children were stolen from her whereby she eventually went insane.
The popular parlor game played by young girls summons the ghost. Often the girls claim to have killed Bloody Mary’s son, or her baby. The summoner might also chant, ” I believe in Mary Worth.”
Still another legend claims that Mary Worth was a witch who lived over a century ago and was executed for practicing the black arts.
There is a similar game called The Bell Witch, which was said to have originated from the Adams Tennessee family called the Bells. The popular movie the Bell Witch Project was fashioned from this witch legend. According to folklore, the first haunting occurred in 1817 and was said to be the result some kind of mixed genus animal with a head of a rabbit and the body of a dog that was shot but disappeared. Afterwards there were weird noises and sounds haunting the family and one of the daughters, Betsy Bell, claimed to be assaulted by an invisible entity.
Later on, John Bell Sr. died of seizures. They found a strange liquid by his body. The liquid was fed to the cat (it is not determined why) who also died immediately afterwards. The rest of the liquid was thrown in the fireplace and the Bell Witch could be heard laughing and taunting the minister presiding over the funeral. Legend has it that the Bell Witch retuned to the Bell family home in 1935 and haunts the house to this very day.
Bloody Mary, or the Bell Witch? Who was the ghost summoned in the Bloody Mary game? Was Bloody Mary really a witch burned at the stake as some legends foretell, if so she could be the same Bell Witch – or not? There is some speculation that the name Mary Worth was a name of one of the women burned at the stakes during the Salem Witch Trials.
Others believe that the legend is older than American Folklore and actually dates back to the famous Bloody Mary of history, Queen Mary I of England of the Tudor period who never had the opportunity to bear children or heirs to the English throne. Queen Mary I was given her nickname, Bloody Mary due to her ruthless rule and myriad of executions during a five-year period. It is said that Mary had several miscarriages or phantom pregnancies. It is also said she was driven insane because of it. Queen Mary I is sometimes mistakenly interchanged with Mary Queen of The Scots.
As the legend of Bloody Mary trickled down through time, the mirror image added the Halloween style touch, along with the candles and divination rituals typical witchcraft myth and folklore. During Victorian Times, mirrors were believed to be the gateway to the other side.
Another variation of the legend and the Bloody Mary game has the young girls walking up dark stairs backwards looking into the mirror in hopes of catching a glimpse of their future spouses or maybe even the devil himself. Also spinning and chanting has long been associated with the Bloody Mary game and also the game of young girls wishing to find out whom they would marry. Add covering mirrors during funerals and you have the seedlings of the Bloody Mary game as well as a good Halloween tale.
Is this the answer to my question asked above, young girls throughout time have been so curious or so desperate to find out who they would marry that they were willing to conjure up an evil spirit? Perhaps today’s girls just do not have anything better to do at a slumber party on a Saturday night than to scare themselves to death with utter nonsense.