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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bloody Mary (folklore)

Bloody Mary (in folklore), is a legendary ghost or spirit conjured to reveal the future. She is said to appear in a mirror when her name is called multiple times. The Bloody Mary apparition may be benign or malevolent, depending on historic variations of the legend. The Bloody Mary appearances are mostly "witnessed" in teenage group participation games, often as part of a game of truth or dare.

Ritual

Historically, the ritual encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards while holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband's face. There was, however, a chance that they would see a skull (or the face of the Grim Reaper) instead, indicating that they were destined to die before they married.
In the present day, the summoning ritual requires that the lead participant must not look directly for Bloody Mary, but at their own image in the mirror. Variations of the incantation ritual involves: the number of times Bloody Mary's name is called; spinning (or not) after every repetition of the name; and the adding of the phrase "I've got your baby." The modern ritual addition of taunting Bloody Mary regarding her baby indicates the legendary figure's tenuous connection to Queen Mary I, also known as "Bloody Mary", whose life was marked by a number of miscarriages or false pregnancies.

Results

Bloody Mary allegedly appears as a corpse, a witch or a ghost; sometimes covered in blood. The lore surrounding the ritual (if she is summoned properly) states that participants may endure the apparition screaming at them, cursing them, strangling them, stealing their body or soul, or drinking their blood.
Troxler's fading, self-hypnosis, and the Caputo Effect have been posited as explanations for the Bloody Mary phenomena.

In popular culture

The legend of Bloody Mary has served as inspiration for a number of movies and television shows dealing with the supernatural.