Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The story was further embellished by the teller who claimed that she knew a girl who had said it and her mirror had turned red with blood.
Of course I could not resist flirting with danger. “I don’t believe in Mary Worth!” I said and went right on to do the forbidden deed no other young child dared to do. At night I could not sleep and was indeed terrified that the avenging spirit would come to me. The next day my mother took me to school and got the older girls to confess it was a prank.
So imagine my surprise when I found out that “Bloody Mary” is one of those urban rituals that have been around since forever with various variations.
The research into Bloody Mary goes back to 1978 when folklorist Janet Langlois published her essay on the legend. Mary is said to be a witch who was executed a hundred years ago for plying the black arts or a woman of more modern times who died in a local car accident in which her face was hideously mutilated. Some confuse the mirror witch with Mary I of England, whom history remembers as “Bloody Mary” as she was a murdering British queen who killed young girls so she could bathe in their blood to preserve her youthful appearance.
So many years have passed and young ones are still initiated into the terrifying childhood ritual...