Home legends The Legend of Bloody Mary

The Legend of Bloody Mary


That of Bloody Mary is a legend common in the United States and the United Kingdom, but it is also quite popular in other parts of the world. It is said a candle and a mirror are enough to invoke her.

How to summon Bloody Mary

Everybody, or almost everybody, knows that Blood Mary appears in a mirror, but how can you evoke her?

There are many versions, the most common of which is to get into a bathroom with the lights off and a lit candle, look intoa mirror and repeatthe name Bloody Mary three times.

Once this is done, the spirit of Mary should appear in the mirror kill those who called her upon by using a white weapon.

Other versions claim that in order to invoke her one must say, always turning to a mirror, “Mary, I stole your baby” or “Mary, where is your child?”

Then Mary would scratch theeyes out of those who dared to provoke her. Some variations use the name of Mary Worth.

The origins of the ritual

Bloody MaryThose mentioned above are modern rituals, but are nothing more than the evolution of previous rituals that date back to at least the beginning of the last century.

These early rituals had a girl walking up the stairs backwards with a candle in one hand and a mirror in the other.

Staring at the mirror she would have seen the face of her future husband. If instead of her husband, however, they saw a skull or the image of death thatmeant that they would die before marrying.

This rite is definitely originated from ancient divination practices done by starting into a mirror.

Today we know that looking into a mirror in a dimly lit room can lead to a kind of hallucination, that helps us see our face like that of a stranger or as that of a non-human creature.

This phenomenon has been observed by Giovanni Caputo, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Urbino, who thinks that mirrors have a key role on the psyche and the unconscious.

This phenomenon seems to be caused by low light that doesn’t allow the brain to distinguish well the contours of our face. This, coupled with pareidolia (the tendency to recognize faces or known objects within random shapes), would explain the strange phenomenon.

Did Bloody Mary really exist?

Many bring back the legend of Bloody Mary to Mary I of England, known as Bloody Mary. We can deduce so from one of the variations, which claims one of the ways to summon her by saying “I stole your child.”

We know that Mary I of England had many miscarriages and two false pregnancies.

Bloody Mary in the world

There are versions of this myth in other parts of the world, for example, in Spanish-speaking countries where it is possible to summon a spirit from a mirror by calling it several times with a lit candle in a dark room.

The name varies from area to area but it is mainly known as “The Ghost Mirror,” “Veronica”, “Maria the paralytic” or “The elderly of the fifth.”

According to these versions the evoked spirit would the one of a girl who died after a séance and got trapped into the mirror.

In Japan, there is a well-known legend called toire no Hanako, I talk about this in another article, according to whom the bathroom on the third floor of every school is haunted by the ghost of Hanako, a girl who committed suicide or was perhaps killed by her parents.


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