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True Story behind the Legend of Bloody Mary

Ashmeet Bagga
Nobody can forget the spine-chilling story of Bloody Mary. People claim that she lives inside the mirror, and anybody who goes inside a dark bathroom with a lit candle, stands in front of the mirror and chants 'Bloody Mary' thrice gets a glimpse of her. It is believed that the bathroom is the place where this ghost shows up. Find out if it was fake or real..
On a Similar Line!
The movie Candyman released in the year 1992 follows the same storyline. Candyman was summoned by chanting his name five times in front of the mirror.

Unless you have never had a sleepover with your friends or gone for an overnight trip in the forest, you must have heard many urban legends.
An urban legend is a tale discussed in modern times, but the origin of the story is still unknown.
The main thing about an urban legend is there is hardly anybody to vouch for the story. Mostly an urban myth starts with 'a friend told me about this horrifying story' and thus passed down by many people with their variations, while the overall plot of the story is the same.
There are many urban legends, some are humorous, lighthearted; and some can be easily categorized as fake upon listening them. The main aim of any legend is to scare the hell out of you and especially if you are at a sleepover, then it is not a good idea to call it a night without sharing a creepy or frightening tale.
One such urban myth and my personal favorite is : The Legend Of Bloody Mary. She is known by many names such as Mary Worth, Mary Jane, Mary Lou, Mary Worthington, Mary Whales and Mary Johnson.
So the ritual or the process of calling the so-called 'Bloody Mary' is fairly easy yet spooky. You are supposed to light a candle, preferably a black one and carry it in your left hand. Go inside the bathroom and place the candle right in front of the mirror.
Chant the name Bloody Mary from three to hundred times, you are supposed to spin as many times as you take the name looking at the mirror at every turn. Some variations say that when she appears she will either scream at you, scratch your face, claw your eyes out, or worst even drag you into the mirror.
Sometimes maybe when she is tired of people calling out her name she will stare at you lovingly with her blood shot eyes, creepy eh?
The house had to be darkened, making sure candle was the only source of light. While looking into the mirror they could see their husband or sometimes a skull or a grim reaper. If the later was the case then bad luck was stored for that poor woman.
Where did the Bloody Mary legend come from is still a hot topic of debate among the researchers. There are various stories developed to support this legend. People are still unsure if the Bloody Mary legend is for real or not. But for now let's dive deeper into the topic and find out the story behind the urban legend Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary Legend - History

  • There are various speculations that the Bloody Mary legend started with a historical figure. However, researchers have discovered three ladies that fit the identity of the person due to the gruesome acts they have committed.
Queen Mary Tudor I of England was queen Elizabeth I's half-sister. This story has a certain twist to it. When Mary took over the reign (1553-1558), she tried to reinforce Catholicism in England which was opposed by many people under her rule.
In fact her own father was a protestant and his half-sister too. People who did not follow her religion, mostly the protestants were executed under her order.
She is famous and responsible for the death of many protestants, hence she earned the name, "Bloody Mary."
Another theory suggests that Queen Mary never had a child, she claimed to be pregnant twice, but they later turned out to be false pregnancies. In medical term, it is known as 'Phantom Pregnancy'. Many legends suggest that if you really want to see Bloody Mary say the following sentence, "I stole your baby Bloody Mary".
Countess Elizabeth Báthory-Nádasdy (1560 - 1614) is another famous woman to be associated with Bloody Mary legend. According to the sources, Countess was an insane woman and was infamous for the murder of many innocent and young women. She was obsessed with her beauty and was ready to do anything to retain her youthful look.
She was of the belief that if she killed young girls and bathe in their blood, this would help her to look young and beautiful always. To implement her plan she would often hire women in the form of servants, would butcher and drain off their blood and take her bloody bath.
Eventually her acts were exposed and she was kept in isolation by her family until her death.
Another folklore suggests a woman who was tried and executed on accusations of practicing witchcraft. Girls suddenly started disappearing in a small village. Village people suspected the lady who used to sell herbal medicines for a living. They confronted her about the situation to which she said she was not aware of the girls.
Village people claimed she looked a lot younger and were sure that she was behind the disappearances of the girls. They took the witch and named her Bloody Mary. They set a bonfire and set her ablaze. As she burned she cursed the villagers, whoever will take her name in front of the mirror would be dead.
There was a famous Salem witch trial held in February 1692 and May 1693 in colonial Massachusetts. Twenty people, mostly women were executed accused of practicing witchcraft. The Bloody Mary legend is believed to be started from there.
Many people now practice Ouija board, witchcraft upon these dead women's graves. They believe in summoning them, so that she fulfills their wishes.
Earlier people used to cover up mirrors when somebody was sick or was about to die, they thought mirrors were the portal to the spirit world. And the dead one's soul would be trapped by the mirror in the house if it was not covered. Just because you go in front of the mirror and chant her name, she won't show herself.
You need to have inner faith and belief. Whether the legend is real or not, it is advisable not to play around with it because you tend to open doorways that are better left closed.
Despite its origin, this particular legend has spooked and terrified many children and individuals who believe it to be true. Also it is still one of the most scariest urban legends of all time for an overnight party.