By Charlene Lowe Kemp
The Bloody Mary legend is an old legend, that has a child you may have heard stories of friends or family trying it or may have even tried it yourself. The history of Bloody Mary is a mysterious one and no researcher can prove conclusively exactly where the Creepy Bloody Mary legend began….
So what does the game involve today
Locking yourself in a bathroom or a dark room with no other light then a candle, standing in front of a mirror and calling out ‘Bloody Mary’ continuously, it is said that an apparition of bloody Mary will appear and it can be either friendly or evil. She will sometimes be seen covered in blood, screaming at them, cursing them, strangling them, stealing the person’s soul or scratches their eyes out.
Historically, the ritual involved a young women walking up a flight of stairs backwards, holding a candle and a hand-held mirror in a dark house. As they gazed into the mirror, it was said that the women would be able to catch a view of their future husband face. There was however, a chance that they would see a skull or the face of the grim reaper, if this was to happen it was an indication that they were destined to die before they had chance to marry.
It became increasing popular in the 1700’s in Britain for young girls to sit in front of a mirror with a candle while brushing their hair as again it was thought by doing this ritual they would be able to see their future husband in the mirror or as above if they seen a skull they would not make it to married life.
But who is BLOODY Mary…..and did she ever really exist?
There are various theories to who the women is behind the Bloody Mary legend? it is fair to say that the Bloody Mary history is long, So let’s have a look into some of the theories behind her……
MARY WORTH / MARY WORTHINGTON / MARY BLOODWORTH
Many believe the legend is based on the true person named Mary Worth / Mary Worthington or Mary Bloodsworth. To keep it simple I will name her Mary Worth in all the theories people believe in.
Many believed that Mary Worth was a witch, some believe Mary Worth may have been a victim of the Salem Witch trials….but there is no such evidence from the trials to support this.
There are a few tales to Mary Worth’s story…..and I’m still not convinced myself if Mary Worth or if any of the named above was in fact a true person.
One story tells that Mary Worth was thought of as a witch simply because she lived in a forest, in a small cabin and was known to locals for selling tinctures and herbal remedies. Locals was very weary of her and never got too close, in the fear that if they did she may curse them or their animals. Those that tried her remedies was sometimes shunned by the very religious for the partaking in the ‘Wicca’.
Soon young girls started to go missing from the village, after checking everywhere the locals could not find the girls and ventured into the forest to speak to Mary, who denied all knowledge, but their families was still suspicious. Marys usual haggard and elderly appearance had changed and she was starting to appear more youthful and feminine.
The Millers Daughter
The story continues with the Miller’s daughter who one night was captivated by a mysterious noise that only she could hear. The Miller’s wife was up nursing toothache, with a remedy she had got from Mary. The Millers’s wife became scared and shouted her husband, to come and help and follow their daughter. It appeared that the Millers daughter was following an unspoken and unseeing force. They got help from the locals and the town farmer noticed that there was a light at the edge of the woods. When they got closer they noticed that Mary Worth was standing in a clearing, next to a huge oak tree. She was holding a wand, pointing it towards the Miller’s home which it was glowing and giving off an unnatural light. It appeared that the Miller’s daughter was heading straight for the light. It is hard to say what Mary Worth was has witches didn’t tend to wands which gave off unnatural light but its fair to say that the villagers did see Mary has a witch or some other type of supernatural being. Once the farmers and the Miller’s father realised what was happening they set upon her with pitch forks and guns. When she realised that everyone from the village knew what she was, she broke the spell and made for the forest.
The farmer quickly loaded his gun, he fired and manage to catch her on the hip. She was caught, kicking and thrashing and screaming and tied to a stake. A bonfire was quickly made and she was burnt to death. As she burnt it is said she put a curse upon the villagers and told them if they ever dared to utter her name in a mirror she would come back for them – her spirit would return to wherever they summoned her from to exact her revenge.
When the villagers investigated Marys home, they found what they was looking for, rows and rows of unmarked graves. It seemed she had been using their children’s blood to make herself more youthful.
Another story tells that Mary Worth lived on the Old Wagon Road in Chicago during the Civil war. It is said that she would kipnap runaway slaves, keep them chained up and would use them for ritualistic sacrifices inside a barn on her land. Locals discovered there was a witch in their midst and decided to drag Mary to a stake and burn her. Many believe her body was buried on her own farmland and now the land is cursed.
A farmer and his wife brought Mary’s land some years later, while cleaning it out the farmer found a stone, he moved it up by the house. This is when reports of violent paranormal activity begun and the farmer decided to move the stone back to where it was but couldn’t remember the exact spot. It is said the activity plagued the couple for years until the house finally burned down.
It is said that in the 1960’s, there was a beautiful lady named Mary Worthington, She was very vein and looked to take care of her appearance in the mirror. On day Mary was involved in a car accident leaving her face badly scarred. She could not bare to look herself as well as others and sadly ended up committing suicide.
Bloody Mary is also associated to a particular graveyard. According to Helen Chappell in The Chesapeake Book of the dead, tombstones, Epitaphs and oddments of the Region 1999, a spirit called Bloody Mary has become attached in local legend to an old cemetery in Maryland.
Many others believe that Bloody Mary may have been a royal figure, Known later in life as Queen Mary I, The first queen regnant of England, who ruled in the Tudor period. The catholic queen was actually nicknamed Bloody Mary during her lifetime because she had always seemed to be surrounded by blood. She had an unusual amount of miscarriages and she was always quick to order executions.
With the history of Mary Tudors multiple miscarriages and two phantom pregnancies is where the variation of the game comes from ‘ In this version, you call Bloody Mary three times as usual and add the taunt ‘ I stole your baby’ or ‘I killed your baby’ at the end.
Hanako – san is a Japanese version of Bloody Mary. Hanako- san is said to be a spirit if a world war II era girl, who haunts girls bathrooms. According to the legend, if one goes up to the third stall of a girls bathroom on a third floor and you knock three times and say ‘ are you there, Hanako-san?’ she will answer ‘I’m here’ if you chose to enter you will see a small girl with bobbed hair in a red skirt waiting for you.
Some say, after summoning her, Hanako-san’s white, blood stained hand will emerge from under the door.
So who was the Real Bloody Mary? Nobody knows…there seems to be so many stories suggesting who it was and who it could have been, but in the terms of evidence there is none, the only real person that is known to exsit is Mary Tutor…..but the ritual goes back further then that….so is it a made up myth or do you think there may be some truth to the tales of the witch………?