Bloody Mary is the children's game of summoning an evil and vengeful witch of the same name. This is done by standing in a bathroom, with one candle lit and calling the name "Bloody Mary" into the mirror three times in a row.
It is only the bravest of children who would attempt to participate in this game.
It is believed that by taking part in this game, and summoning the witch, it would have one of the following terrible consequences:
Variations of the game are:
There are also variations on the name Bloody Mary:
These names are not so commonly used. The main name used is Bloody Mary.
The history of the children's game Bloody Mary is a difficult one to extract from the large amount of mixed up legends and history that over the years has become the main basis for the story surrounding the game.
The most common story told is that Mary Worth was a witch that lived over 100 years ago who dabbled in the black arts. She was found out and executed. However this does not tie in with a child or baby which is often mentioned in the ritual of summoning her.
The other story accompanying the ritual is a local woman was involved in a fatal car accident nearby, her face horribly mutilated. She reappears in the mirror when summoned with that same horrific face.
It is largely believed that the origins of the names "Mary Worth" and "Bloody Mary" came from a slight mix up of characters from history. There is a lot of speculation as to the names being taken from Mary I, Queen of England who reigned during the Tudor period. Mary Tudor was also commonly known as "Bloody Mary."
Her nickname of "Bloody Mary" became attached to her when she violently executed and burnt people at the stake for heresy throughout her reign of a little over 5 years.
She also was unable to bear children and suffered two phantom pregnancies, this is where it is speculated that the Bloody Mary game involving chanting "I stole your baby" or "I killed your baby" became tangled up with the now known Bloody Mary game.
There is another suggestion that the name "Mary Worth" was derived from a victim of the Salem Witch trials. There was no person involved in these trials by the name of Mary Worth.
Other surrounding additions to the "Bloody Mary" game are derived from the legend of Elizabeth Bathory, who it was rumored bathed in blood and took part in other atrocities to save her youthful beauty, of course her name was not Mary but somehow the stories of this cruel woman have been inserted into the Bloody Mary game.
However this game came about and whenever this game was first invented the one thing we do know for sure is that the ritual of spinning and chanting has evovled from quite a long time ago, when young girls participated regularly in rituals such as this to find who they would marry and when they would marry. There is also the addition of mirrors which were known as being portals to another world, especially during victorian times. Add in a little more of the olde time spiritual beliefs including covering mirrors while in the presence of a dead person or at a funeral, some spooky ghost stories told at bedtime, and it seems to have all somehow combined over the years to form the now famous game of Bloody Mary.
After all the explanations and tales of the supernatural I expect if you've read this far you are dying to try out the game.
What you need is one candle, a strong heart and a big bathroom with lots of mirrors.
LIGHTS OUT in the bathroom.
Place your candle in the bathroom and light it, stand and look into the mirror, chant slowly "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary". And see what happens!
Its up to you to believe what you may or may not experience. If nothing happens try spinning around three times and then look into the mirror - see anything yet?
Its believed that most people see something after spinning around furiously which is usually the result of over indulgence of sugary, high-energy foods, and lots of friends standing outside a darkened bathroom. As for those reports and stories you hear from all your friends... those stories that involved dark figures, violent slashes, cuts and bruises- well before you believe anything... ask for the evidence and then decide for yourself.
Until then try the game if you dare... but push one of your friends into the bathroom first!
A little Bloody Mary Humour, courtesy of XKCD.com: