The Real Story Behind the Bloody Mary Legend

The Bloody Mary Legend

Considered one of the most macabre adolescent party games, the urban legend of Bloody Mary has been a scary staple for spooking children since its emergence long ago. One alleged incident occurred at a slumber party, where several school girls decided to try to conjure Bloody Mary — or “Mary Worth,” which was the version of the story they had been told — by turning the lights off in the bathroom and repeating the mantra “Mary Worth, Mary Worth, I believe in Mary Worth” According to the report: “About the seventh time we said it one of the girls that was in front of the mirror started screaming and trying to push her way back away from the mirror. She was screaming so loud that my friend’s mom came running into the room. She turned her around to see what the problem [was] and saw these long fingernail scratches running down her right cheek.”

Origin of Bloody Mary the Game

The urban legend has evolved into different versions where it has been titled “Mary Worth,” “I Believe in Mary Worth,” “Mary Worthington,” “Mary Jane,” “I Believe in Mary Whales,” “Mary White,” “Hell Mary,” and others. Despite the differentiation, threading all of these stories together is the ritual of enclosing oneself in a dark bathroom and repeating a phrase over and over (often while spinning) until a ghost allegedly appears in the mirror. In some versions, it is expected that the face of a disfigured woman with glowing eyes will simply appear; in more grisly versions, conjurers can be expected to have their “eyes ripped out,” may be found dead and scarred by claw marks, may become “trapped in the mirror with the ghost for eternity,” or “be driven insane or drop dead on the spot.”

Some people wave off these testimonials as fiction, while others continue to profess that Bloody Mary is real. By looking into the origins of the urban legend, we cannot fully prove that the spirit of a woman who has been coined Bloody Mary (among other things) has actually ever made her presence known inside a mirror, but there are several stories that show a real woman was, in fact, the inspiration for this creepy slumber party game.

Who was the Real Bloody Mary?
The Mary Tudor Story

Many have speculated as to who Bloody Mary could be, but the urban legend is most likely based on the late Mary Tudor. Tudor was the daughter of King Henry the VIII and her life was marked by bloodshed. While her father notoriously put several of his wives to death, he disowned Tudor, leaving her fraught with resentment and loneliness. Although she gleaned an opportunity to halt the violence that surrounded her life when becoming the Queen of England at 37, Tudor proved that apples — even the disowned ones — don’t fall too far from the tree, as she quickly took to burning people at the stake. The townspeople found Tudor’s behavior abhorrent, which led to Tudor garnering the nickname, “Bloody Mary.”

The story doesn’t end there. Tudor was suffering from immense stress over being unable to conceive. She needed an heir to her throne, so getting pregnant was imperative. Tudor was elated when she finally began experiencing all the familiar symptoms of pregnancy: early morning sickness, weight gain, and the like. In a strange twist of fate, her due date came and went without Tudor giving birth. Mary’s stomach shrank and her symptoms disappeared, leading some to believe that her baby was nothing but a ghost.

After Tudor’s death, murmurs became rampant about the “frightening secrets” of the late Queen’s life, which eventually became what we know today as the urban legend of Bloody Mary. There were many stories of Tudor being consumed by vanity, which may be one of the reasons her spirit is said to be trapped in a mirror. Some people who partake in the legend will also say “Blood Mary, I stole your baby,” which seems to be directly correlated to the story of Tudor.

Is Bloody Mary Real?

Is there truth to the legend of seeing Bloody Mary in a mirror if one turns off the lights and repeats one of the legend’s mantras? Concrete proof remains elusive, but the stories continue. One claim on Unsolved Mysteries tells a story of the author’s friend, “Sam,” going into a bathroom and repeating the name “Bloody Mary” only to emerge claiming that nothing had transpired. “Then out of nowhere, a huge cut started appearing down her forehead. Me and ‘Natalie’ screamed and told her to go look at it in the mirror. She didn’t see anything, but every other person we asked did. She still even has the scar.”

Would you be brave enough to try and conjure the ghost of Bloody Mary?

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