Bloody Mary

Date of Discovery

In 1553, Mary Tudor came into power as Mary I, Queen of England and within five short years became known as Bloody Mary due to all of the Protestant Christians that were executed during her time in power, before she died.

Many researchers claim that Mary I, Queen of England is not the same Bloody Mary represented in the Urban Legend–a more interesting link to the Bloody Mary legend is when it was first officially studied and documented in the 1970s, where it was impossible to conclude exactly when and where this legend originated but suggested the actual Bloody Mary was a witch that died in the 1800s after being found practicing black magic.

Name

Bloody Mary is a fairly vague figure in historical context–originating from various tales about Mary Whales, Mary Worth, Mary Worthington, and Mary Tudor. Due to the widespread nature of the urban legend bearing her likeness, she also has many other nicknames aside from Bloody Mary, which include Bloody Bones, Hell Mary, Mary Johnson, Mary Lou, Mary Jane, Sally, Kathy, Agnes, Black Agnes, Aggie, and Svarte Madame.

Vaguely related to the modern Japanese lore of Hanako-san.

Physical Description

Bloody Mary’s visage is not consistent among the different resources that are available, wherein some cases she is a young woman with blood streaming down her face from an open wound on her forehead, to a demonic-looking witch who reaches out from the mirror to slash the individual chanting her name, the only real consistency is that Bloody Mary is always a female specter.

Origin

In 1978 the first documented case-study was done of Bloody Mary, by Janet Langlois a folklorist–the consensus was that the legend was based on a witch who had been caught practicing black magic.

Mythology and Lore

Summoning Mary requires the individual to stand in front of a mirror and chant “Bloody Mary,” between three and thirteen times—the number has never quite been decided upon—in a darkened bathroom while staring into a mirror. This urban legend is associated mostly with adolescent slumber parties, which has caused the legend to come under scrutiny, but it hasn’t caused the legend to cease, nor for any that have experienced her to be any less sure of what they have seen.

Variations upon the legend, include that the ritual must take place at exactly midnight, that the participant must twirl while chanting her name, that water must be splashed with water (some cases, specifically ocean water), or red candles must be lit during the ritual. Descriptions of the event also vary from case to case, including that Mary’s face will appear in place of the participant, that she appears with bloody tears streaming from gouged-out eyes, that your own reflection will be covered in blood, that Mary will reach out of the mirror and scratch you, she blinds you, drives you insane, or leaves you comatose, or comes out of the mirror entirely and kills the participant. Considering there have never been any cases of people being killed in this circumstance, it cannot be confirmed that she will kill the participant. In less creepy or horrifying accounts of encounters with Bloody Mary is that she appears after three chants of her name, appears in the room with the participant, not through a mirror, just as a manifestation of her spirit to truthfully answer questions asked about the participant’s future.

Bloody Mary is popular in the realm of scary entertainment and she is often the source of inspiration for popular movies, television series, and scary stories. While the story may seem extravagant and overtly scary, it is said that horrific details could have been added to discourage people from taking part in what may seem to be, “satanic rituals,” while many that may have performed this ritual as a child can report that it’s likely nothing will happen.

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La Llorona

Date of Discovery

The first publication that came out about La Llorona was in 1883 when Manuel Carpio wrote about her tale in the form of a sonnet.

Name

La Llorona is Spanish for “the Weeping Woman,” which she is also commonly referred to–along with this, she is also called the Wailing Woman, the Cryer, as well as La Malinche.

She bears a likeness to the White Lady, although she is not directly associated with that legend.

Physical Description

In her oldest origins, she has been linked to a pre-Conquest Aztec goddess–Ciuacoatl, or snake-woman, who appeared in white, but other versions describe her as, “the ugliest and dirtiest that one could possibly imagine. Her face was so black and covered with filth that she looked like something straight out of Hell.”

The modern version of La Llorona is that she is the spirit of a Mexican woman who appears to be wearing a white dress.

Origin

Folklore about La Llorona is common knowledge in Mexico, where the claim is that she wanders the banks of rivers crying for her lost children.

Weeping women wearing white is an international phenomenon–the details of the lives of these weeping women, or White Ladies are unique for every different culture or individual haunting, it is safe to say that they are related.

Mythology and Lore

The poem that was written by Manuel Carpio was the first written account of this wailing spirit.

La Llorona

Sonnet – Manuel Carpio (1883)

Pálido de terror contar oía
cuando era niño yo, niño inocente,
que dio la muerte un hombre delincuente
en mi pueblo a su esposa Rosalía.

desde entonces en la noche umbría
oye temblando la asustada gente
tristes quejidos de mujer doliente,
quejidos como daba en su agonía.

Por algún rato su lamento cesa;
mas luego se desata en largo llanto,
y sola por las calles atraviesa.

A todos llena de mortal espanto,
y junto al río en la tiniebla espesa
se va llorando, envuelta en su manto.

The Weeping Woman

Sonnet – by Manuel Carpio (1883)

Pale of terror count heard
When I was a child, an innocent child,
That gave death a criminal man
In my village to his wife Rosalia.

And since then in the night Umbria
Hey shaking the scared people
Sad whining of a grieving woman,
Whining as she gave in her agony.

For some time her regret ends;
More then she unleashes in long cry,
And alone in the streets go through.

To all full of deadly horror,
And by the river in the thick darkness
He goes crying, wrapped in her mantle.

The oral legend usually tells of a young woman named Maria, living in a rural Mexican village. She marries into a wealthy family after she’s swept off her feet by a nobleman; after a few years of marriage, Maria and her husband have two children, but her husband was rarely home preferring to travel on his own. When he did come home, he ignored his wife, only spending time with their two boys and eventually, Maria realized that her husband no longer loved her.

After living in a neglectful and lonely marriage for so long, Maria was horrified when her husband returned with a new, younger bride to tell Maria that he was leaving her for good. In the depths of her despair, she took their sons down to the river and drowned them. When horror finally found her in remorse, she tried in vain to recover their bodies so she took her own life. Her body was found several days later on the riverbank, but the bodies of her sons were never recovered.

To this day, she wanders the world of the living, haunting rivers and lakes, doomed to search for her dead children forever. Be wary, if you hear her near to you, she is far away, attempting to lure you in, but the closer you get to La Llorona, the farther away she will sound. If you hear her crying out, “ay, mis hijos!” it’s best to just run in the opposite direction–to this day, when a child goes missing by a river in Mexico, you can be sure that the name La Llorona will be uttered.

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