I'll start with the one that still makes me tremble--aftershocks from sleepless sleepovers. I'm only going to say the full name once. You got it. Once. Because in this techno world she could manifest in the computer monitor instead of a bathroom mirror. It is reflective when powered off.
Here goes... Bloody Mary.
Probably 95 percent of the female population in America is familiar with this legend and have tried the ritual at one time or another. I'm definitely a multiple offender.
I don't know how I originally heard about B.L., but I do remember my mom and aunt telling my cousins and me that she was a real, trying to scare the snot out of us. Of course we laughed at them too-cool-for-school then screamed our heads off when not five minutes after the conversation we tried the ritual and they banged and rattled on the door.
So wrong of them. How could they?
The legend is supposedly of a woman named Mary Worthington. There's a whole heap of different versions of the twisted tale, most involving her stealing or murdering children. One particularly gruesome story is about a young woman who gave birth to a fatherless child in the 1700's. The townspeople sliced and diced her with glass while she watched in a mirror. Another claim said she was actually the ghost of Queen Mary I who suffered from multiple miscarriages.
All accounts offer a chilling demise of the woman, leading to her hair-raising hauntings.
This is the part most of us are familiar with if not experts. There are variations, but this is the one I remember.
You go into a bathroom, light a candle, say B.L. three times, and blow out the candle. You wait for her to appear and she's supposed to scratch you.
In hindsight it sounds pretty freaking sadistic, but when you're young you get your thrills where you can.
One other version I remember is the same as above, but you hold a fork to your chest and say, "I've got your bloody baby," and she's supposed to appear and stab you with it.
I never liked playing that one.
Most scientist chalk up any actual sightings of her in the mirror as hallucinations brought on by the flash of the candle going out and staring at your reflection too long... some crap about your eyes playing tricks on you. Blah. Where's the fun in that?
So... that is a little about the legend of B.L. Hope you enjoyed. And if you're brave enough maybe on a dark night you should try the little ritual. Just don't be surprised if the deranged chick shows up and plays you like a scratching post.
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net