My daughter came home from a play date last night with a adamant declaration, “I am sleeping in your bed tonight. I’m scared of Bloody Mary.” Of course, the Broadway musical lover in me started a rather rollicking version of South Pacific’s “Bloody Mary” song, and my daughter glared at me with a “that’s not funny” hands-on-the-hips pose.
What in the world was this Bloody Mary nonsense? It was explained to me that Bloody Mary is ghost story going around the kid’s school, so I decided to investigate. Well, I guess it’s not just a song from South Pacific. Bloody Mary is a folk legend that has been around for many years.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:
Bloody Mary (in folklore), is a legendary ghost or spirit conjured to reveal the future. She is said to appear in a mirror when her name is called multiple times….Historically, the ritual encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards while holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband’s face. There was, however, a chance that they would see a skull (or the face of the Grim Reaper) instead, indicating that they were destined to die before they married. In the present day, the summoning ritual requires that the lead participant must not look directly for Bloody Mary, but at their own image in the mirror.
Goodness! No wonder my little 8-year-old is so scared. Poor thing. I would have been scared of that at her age, too. She tells me the older kids at the school have been telling the legend to the younger kids. That is so mean! The website, Urband Legend, has a lot of information on Bloody Mary, too. Here’s the link to read about it: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/horrors/a/bloody_mary.ht
I guess kids are just kids, and there will always be ghost stories. That, my friends, is just one more reason Mommies get restless nights of sleep….for when their children crawl into their beds on “scared” nights and when we constantly get kicked and rolled on all night long. Lord help us!
Of course, what kind of music blogger would I be without pulling out the obvious song today? Yep, it’s been in my head since last night. “Bloody Mary” is one you can all sing along to. Click HERE to hear it on Youtube, as I pay homage to the ghost stories that spooked us in our childhood. Boo!