Bloody Mary the Scary Urban Legend with Royal Roots

posted: 01/10/17
by: Kelly McClure
A woman with a book and a ghost in a mirror
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At one point or another, probably in your youthful past, you've most likely found yourself crowded around a mirror in a dark room, being egged on by your friends to summon the spirit of Bloody Mary by calling her name three times. Seems like a strange thing for a kid to do, but we've all done it. As widely known as the game is, the story behind the actual Bloody Mary might not be.

The origins of this particular bit of folklore have very regal roots. Mary I of England, who reigned from 1553 until her death in 1558, was a staunch Catholic during a time when they were heavily at odds with the Protestants. She had so many of her opposers put to death, often using very inventive methods, that she was given the name "Bloody Mary." Her bloody past mixed with the fact that she suffered a series of failed pregnancies led to the game of taunting her in the mirror, either by repeating her name, or by saying "I've got your baby, Bloody Mary," at which point she's said to appear covered in blood.

As with most urban legends, there are many variations to this story, but this is the one most deeply rooted in fact. Knowing this now, maybe the next time you play "Bloody Mary," you should end it with a "your highness..."

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[via: biography.com]