Bloody Mary Legend: Popular Halloween Game Has ‘Very True Story’ Behind It

The Bloody Mary legend is based on a “very true story,” according to Refinery29. Variations of a game called “Bloody Mary” become popular at Halloween when groups or individuals try to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name into a mirror. Bloody Mary has always been considered a folklore legend, but really has a true history behind it involving British royalty that’s sad, strange, and very true.

Castle of Spirits calls Bloody Mary a children’s game that’s been mixed up in a lot of history and legends over the years. Individuals stand in front of a dimly-lit mirror while chanting “Bloody Mary” three times. This ritual is popular around campfires, during slumber parties, or at Halloween gatherings, and supposedly makes the Bloody Mary apparition appear in the mirror. Bloody Mary allegedly appears most often during group play, sometimes with terrible consequences.


Movie Pilot calls Bloody Mary an urban legend, but Bloody Mary is based on a true story about the historical figure who was the Queen of England in the 16th century, Queen Mary I. Also known as Mary of England, Queen Mary I was an unwanted child born to Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in 1516 at an English palace in London. Described as a precocious child, Mary was sent away by her father to preside over her own court at Ludlow Castle at the young age of nine.

The website Scary for Kids says that Queen Mary I earned the nickname Bloody Mary because, as a Catholic, she executed almost 300 Protestants during her five-year reign as Queen of England from 1553 to 1558. Bloody Mary was also unable to have children but suffered what was believed to have been a false pregnancy in 1554, at the age of 38, stemming from her overwhelming desire to have children. Some variations of the game Bloody Mary even include chanting “I stole your baby.”

The legacy of Queen Mary I was filled with bloodshed and humiliation, as described by Refinery29. Bloody Mary allegedly appears to players of the game as a witch or a corpse covered in blood. Some say Bloody Mary’s ghost can appear as friendly or evil, and the legend states that Bloody Mary participants have reportedly been screamed at, cursed at, clawed at, strangled, and even taken into the mirror to live with Bloody Mary for eternity. Other alleged terrible consequences of playing Bloody Mary include dropping dead on the spot or going insane.


One Reddit user, who reportedly had heard several different versions of the Bloody Mary legend, told the story of laying awake at night as a child and wondering what would happen if Bloody Mary just happened to slip out of the mirror and into the bedroom. The unidentified storyteller goes on to say that after quietly doing the Bloody Mary ritual one night in a bathroom mirror, a dark figure of a lady appeared in the doorway, saying that looking at her made “my insides hurt.”

“I wanted to scream, but I was also afraid of waking up my parents. I simply closed my eyes, and tried to imagine puppies, flowers, and the celebrations that would take place in the afternoon. I drifted asleep, with the feeling that Bloody Mary was still watching.”

Queen Mary I died from natural causes at the age of 42, after again thinking she was pregnant. Legend says that Bloody Mary probably died from ovarian cysts or uterine cancer. There are several other mixed-up legends surrounding the story of Bloody Mary, including one that claimed she was a witch named Mary Worth, who lived over 100 years ago and was executed for practicing black magic. Another legend claims Bloody Mary was a local woman who died in a car accident with a horribly mutilated face.

Critics of the Bloody Mary game say the legend of Bloody Mary isn’t true, while some say that it’s an eye-opener to hear the true story behind Bloody Mary. Others say they had never even heard of Bloody Mary until the Bloody Mary episode of the popular TV show Supernatural in 2005. IMDB describes that episode as “a game of Bloody Mary unleashes a ghost who lives in mirrors and kills by gouging out the eyes of her prey.” That one episode alone had nearly six million viewers, which is proof enough that while some don’t believe in Bloody Mary, there is still plenty of curiosity surrounding the old legend.

“You know, you should always keep a flashlight next to the bed, or put a nightlight in the bathroom and hall. That keeps it from being pitch dark, and also prevents you from succumbing to the temptation to play Bloody Mary.”

[Featured Image by PLashawn/Twitter]