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Wonder: Ghost Stories–Bloody Mary

When I was in grade six, one of the popular stories going around was about Bloody Mary. According to a close friend who claimed to have attempted this herself, what you had to do was go into a bathroom, close the door, and turn off the light, then say “Bloody Mary” three times while looking into the mirror. She’d tried it once on her own and once with friends and both times she’d seen some sort of blurry image that had freaked her out so much that she ran right out of the bathroom shrieking.

She tried to convince me that we should give it a shot, but being somewhat more timid than her, I figured that I’d rather let this Bloody Mary person rest in peace.

Apparently this tradition of calling Blood Mary (or Mary by other names) in the mirror had been going on for quite a while: see articles at Wikipedia and Snopes.

How about you all–have any of you ever called Bloody Mary? Did you see anything?

What other ghost “games” have you played or heard of?

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Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
My (guy) cousin and I did this once. I remember totally freaking out and screaming and running out of the room, but i dont think we actually saw anything. It still freaks you out! In our version I think you had to flick water onto the mirror while doing it, so I suppose the water rippling down the mirror could make you THINK you saw something.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think a lot of those games have built in elements for tricking the eye... I mean, even standing in front of the mirror in the dark, your own (or a friend's) reflection could look like someone spooky!
Jun. 17th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
My character in CROSSED OUT plays Bloody Mary with creepy results. When I first wrote the scene three years ago, no one knew what I was talking about. Then Supernatural and even Ghost Whisperer mentioned this game.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised people wouldn't have known--it was a big thing for at least a couple years when I was in my preteens (so, early '90s). But maybe not everywhere.
Jun. 17th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Totally, we did the Bloody Mary thing. And had a seance.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oooh, what happened at the seance? How did you set it up? Details! :D
Jun. 17th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
As a kid growing up in New Orleans we had a lot of these games. One that I remember most was not exactly a ghost game but somehow scary nonetheless. It was a levitation game.

A person, usually the biggest person in the group, would sit on the floor, legs outstretched. Four of us would gather around her and using only two fingers on each hand, we would brace her and try to lift her. It was impossible.

Then we'd hold our hands in a line over her head, each hand several inches apart. One by one, we'd feel "the energy" come from the girl's head into our hands. I remember it so clearly, like a soft cloth brushing across my palms. As soon as every hand felt the energy, we'd try lifting the person again and, honestly, it was like there was no weight at all. Using just two fingers we were able to lift her higher than our waists.

I guess it worked just because we believed it would. Or maybe it was the bayou spirits...
Jun. 18th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
Oh wow, I remember playing this game! It was pretty amazing how it somehow worked . . . and pretty creepy.

This thread is bringing up all sorts of grade school/middle school memories!
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
It's funny how a lot of these games seem to come up around that age, isn't it?
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I remember that! I never played it, but I heard about it (from people I knew or from books I don't remember). It's called "Light as a feather, [something] as a board", I think? Very cool that it really worked.
Jun. 17th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Well for about half my non-adult life I lived next door to the town's original cemetery (it dated back to like the 1600's or something in the original part, its been added to since then). First night we moved in the local kids all came to greet my brother and me and to warn us that the townhouses were built on top of part of the cemetery that had been dug up and constructed over. I forget the official line they gave us, but it had something ot do with the town being tired of acres of land being used up and wanted it developed. Since they had all lived there since they were really young(I was 7, my bro was 6) the ghosts never came for them. Only for new kids like us.

They warned us that if we saw flashing redlights at the far corner of the cemetery at night and heard a howling sound it was the ghosts coming to get us and we had better hie ourselves off to a church or something. That night sure as rain there were red lights in the corner and a howling sound--my brother flew into our parents' room and was sobbing.

I wasn't particularly worried, sounded kind of awesome to me, but my brother got so freaked out that its left a lasting impression to this day 19 years later. Even after our parents explained to us that it was legally impossible for such a thing to happen he still freaked out. Apparently the redlight we saw was the gate being locked at the front of the entrance and the howling sound we heard was the huge doors of the gatekeeper's place being shut.

In 8th my not so much friends as enemies now friends and I tried a seance--it got ruined when my mom called down to see if we wanted any s'mores. Apparently my 'oh so dire' friends could be pulled away from their 'mystic rites' if chocolate was involved.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, your poor brother. :( But I think it's pretty awesome that you thought the idea of ghosts was awesome, heh. :D And yes, I think more often than not the kids who were most enthusiastic about these sorts of games mostly liked the idea of them, not so much having them actually work... so distraction via chocolate at the crucial moment might have been welcome!
Jun. 18th, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)
Ah! Calling (or attempting to) Bloody Mary in the bathroom was a hugely popular thing to do at sleepovers when I was in grade school and middle school. I don't remember if I ever made it through three repititions of her name, and I distinctly remember one time a group of us were in the bathroom and just before someone said it the third time I freaked out and flipped the light switch on. Hee. :)
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah, on one hand I didn't really believe it would work, but on the other hand it seemed rather careless to me to just be randomly calling on ghosts, just in case it *did* work.
Jun. 18th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, this used to give me nightmares. All the kids at school were doing it and I hated going into the bathroom because it never failed some one would turn off the light while I was in there and start that Bloody Mary crap!

It terrified me and I never tried it myself . . . I saw enough weird stuff in my time without having to invite more. ;-)
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Weird stuff? Tell more! :)

Thankfully it was only a few girls in my school who were into it, so I didn't have to be worried about being taken unsuspected--I think if they'd been doing that sort of thing in the school washrooms they'd have gotten into trouble pretty quick.
Jun. 18th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah maybe I'll have to tell you about the weird stuff sometime. ;-)

The principal made announcements every morning that Bloody Mary was not allowed and anyone caught doing it had to go to the principal's office. Those brave girls who did turn others in were made miserable so the rest of us were too scared to turn anyone in. =)

But after a month or so of nightmares, my parents made me tell them what was wrong and then it really hit the fan. For a while they had teachers assigned to the bathrooms during recesses. Eventually it died down, but for a while there it was pretty bad.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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