#69: BLOODY MARY

bloodymary.jpg (12509 bytes)
PHOTO (c) Dan Norder of Mythology.com

Go to your bathroom at night, shut the door, and turn out the lights. Stand in front of the mirror, clear your mind, then close your eyes.  Repeat the following chant 3 times:

"I DON'T BELIEVE IN BLOODY MARY"

"I DON'T BELIEVE IN BLOODY MARY"

"I DON'T BELIEVE IN BLOODY MARY!"

And when you open your eyes again, you'll see her ugly bloody face!

Millions of kids have tried this trick for many years.  Though it's unclear how many have actually seen the horrifying face of BLOODY MARY, it's certain that many were happy that they didn't.

According to Dan Norder, author of Mythology Web (site and article linked below):

About 100 years ago or so there was a woman named Mary. One day she had a terrible accident and her face was scratched so badly that she bled to death. But her spirit could not rest. Bloody Mary roams the world as an evil ghost. If you stand in front of a mirror in the dark and say her name three times, you will see her horribly mangled face appear. If you don't turn on the light and run away as fast as you can she will try to scratch your face off.

Though there isn't many documented cases of kids actually getting their faces scratched off, many have run away to avoid that fate.

How did such a legend start?  According to Norder,

The name Bloody Mary was linked to a number of different people, including a historical Bloody Mary (Queen Mary Tudor of England), Mary Queen of Scots (probably mostly due to confusion with the other queen), the Virgin Mary (in these cases she generally does not display any menacing qualities), Mary Magdalene, a witch burned at the stake, an axe murderer, a child killer and "the crazy woman who lived down the street," among others.me name but a completely different temt.

The influence of BLOODY MARY is evident in BEETLEJUICE (say his name 3 times to make him appear, or leave), and Clive Barker's CANDYMAN as well.

I tried this quite a few times as a kid, and never did see BLOODY MARY, but there's always a small part of me that felt I just might right before I opened my eyes.  And a much larger part of me was incredibly thankful that I didn't see her.

Now if someone could only tell me the secret to making BLOODY MARYS appear at the bar after I close my eyes, I'll pay them $100.


WEBSITES

DAN NORDER'S EXCELLENT ANALYSIS OF BLOODY MARY

A 16 year old GIRL'S TAKE ON BLOODY MARY


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