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Bloody Mary,Legend Begins has it that if you stand in front of a mirror in a darkened room and chant 'Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary' several times, a terrifying ghost will appear.
The Bloody Mary legend and its several variants date from the 1960s. Like so many folk rituals and traditional tales, its origin is impossible to pin down with much specificity. Folklorists didn't begin collecting versions of the text until 1970 or so.
A superstition that lingered from the eighteenth century well into the twentieth held that mirrors must be covered or turned to face the wall in the presence of a dead person. Some said this was to signify "an end to all vanity.What connects this quaint superstition to the Bloody Mary ritual is the motive of the apparition in the looking-glass, the critical difference being that in the former the ghost appears because someone forgot to cover a mirror. In the latter, the ghost is purposely summoned.
Make no mistake, when a gaggle of adolescents stand in front of a mirror chanting Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary or I believe in Mary Worth, I believe in Mary Worth,"they're uttering what they believe to be or hope to be, or fear to be a magic spell to conjure up a ghost. The notion that ritual incantations can be used to achieve supernatural ends derives not only from folklore and fairly tales, where in remnants of so many age-old myths and superstitions are retained, but also from the childhood mindset itself, which is subject to a variety of forms of magical thinking wherether they affraid or not. Resulting in the belief that words and thoughts can influence real-world events.
The ghost story
The malevolent spirit called up by the Bloody Mary ritual is always said to be a female — in particular, a female whose face was disfigured as the result of a violent death, usually in an automobile accident. Often, as in the second "Bloody Mary" variant reproduced above, she is said to have been a very beautiful woman in life who was proud of her beauty to the point of self-obsession (hence her ghostly ire at being summoned to appear in a mirror). In some variants she is said to have been a hitchhiker whose spirit has also been seen haunting roadsides and being picked up by unsuspecting drivers before vanishing inexplicably . In other tellings the character is reminiscent of La Llorona, the "Weeping Woman" of Hispanic folklore who is said to have killed her own children and wanders eternally.
In most versions there is no evident connection between the Bloody Mary whose ghost haunts bathroom mirrors and the historical figure of the same name (though exceptions have been recorded). Her name just happens to be Mary, and she's bloody because she died in a terrible accident.