Who can forget the scary story of Bloody Mary, the evil spirit who will scratch your eyes out when summoned? Most people heard the Bloody Mary legend when they were children, listening to spooky ghost stories around the campfire. The tale is still told at slumber parties, campouts, and late-night bonfire parties.
The legend claims that the evil woman can be summoned by chanting "Bloody Mary" into a mirror anywhere from three to one-hundred times in a darkened room lit only by a candle. (Thirteen seems to be the most popular number of chants, appropriately so.) The bathroom is the most popular setting to test out the legend, but other dark rooms seem applicable.
After the given amount of chants, the spirit will then appear in a mirror to claw your eyes out. Death will follow. Other variations have her driving you insane or pulling you into the mirror, never to be seen again.
Who Bloody Mary really is remains a mystery. While there are many versions of this story, many accounts point to a woman named Mary Worth, who was horribly disfigured in a car crash. Some are adamant that it's Queen Mary I of England, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Some people still tell of a witch who was burned at the stake and has returned for revenge, or it may be the devil himself who comes for your soul.
The Bloody Mary Legend saw some rising popularity with a variation of the story in the 1992 movie "Candyman" that used the idea for it's plot. When the characters chanted "Candyman" in the mirror 5 times, he would appear and murder them with his hook hand. I found this movie terrifying! Although I can say that as an adult I generally don't have any nightmares from horror movies, this one I remember vividly -- waking up in a cold sweat, and trying not to fall back asleep.
The movie "Urban Legend" was released to theatres in 1998 and borrowed the Bloody Mary myth once again, for one of it's stories. As if that wasn't enough, 2005 brought us "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary," which was released directly to DVD. There's no doubt, the horrific tale will appear again, perhaps in yet another version with a different twist.
While you may think you're safe from mean, old Bloody Mary, think again... Legend has it that if you are near a mirror in total darkness, she can still come for you, regardless of whether or not you're trying to call for her.