Bloody Mary: Origins and How to Play

Bloody Mary: Origins and How to Play

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary is one of the most prevalent and scary urban legends to circulate in Western culture. Being able to summon her into any mirror means that many have attempted to interact with Mary, some even claim to have been successful in doing so with terrifying results. Those who manage to summon Bloody Mary will be greeted with a nasty, blood-covered spirit that could potentially scream at them through the mirror or worse, attack them. Some say that Bloody Mary has the power to kill and injure those who dare disturb her, with scratching out her victim’s eyes being a common theme. So, is there any truth behind this legend and just who is Bloody Mary?

Bloody Mary in a mirror
Bloody Mary appearing in a mirror after being summoned.

Who is Bloody Mary

Although Bloody Mary is well known in pop-culture, she remains in a way elusive. Many have pondered who the inspiration for this mirror dwelling dark spirit may be. With a number of theories about Bloody Mary’s identity existing.

The obvious choice is that the spirit of Bloody Mary is related to Mary Tudor or Mary I of England. This Mary gained infamy during her short but ruthless rule of England in the mid-1500s. During this time she even acquired the nickname Bloody Mary for burning hundreds of people at the stake in her religious motivated murderous decisions. Other than sharing the name of Bloody Mary, there is not much else tying Elizabeth Tudor to the Bloody Mary legend.

Mary Tudor Bloody Mary
Many consider Mary Tudor to be the real-life Bloody Mary. Image: Antonis Mor / Public domain

Another historical figure who has accumulated ties to Bloody Mary is that of Elizabeth Bathory, more famously known as the Blood Countess. Elizabeth is represented in the pages of history as a maniacal and murders noblewoman who killed hundreds of young, virgin women from her surrounding village. She would supposedly kill in order to drink and bathe in the blood of her victims, thus retaining her own youth. Although these crimes are likely sensationalized and not true accounts of what transpired during her life in the 15 and 1600s, she does remain known as one of the most sadistic and prolific serial killers of all time. It seems the most likely ties to Elizabeth and Bloody Mary are those forged in blood, in fact, this seems to be the only tie they share.

Elizabeth Bathory Blood Countess
Could Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess, also be Bloody Mary?

Finally, many people consider a woman by the name of Mary Worth to be Bloody Mary. Mary Worth’s past and history is blurred by the many versions detailing who she was, where she existed and what actions led to her infamy. These stories all seem to suggest that Mary Worth was a witch and was suspected of kidnapping young women from the village that she lived near. Though her origins are vague, many suspect that Bloody Mary could be a witch.

Bloody Mary screaming
Bloody Mary screaming into a mirror.

How to Play

The rules of how to play Bloody Mary are simple and easy to complete. It should be noted that there are many variations to these rules present and they have likely been twisted over time to fit into different communities and areas. Below are the most widely reported steps.

1. Find a room that can be darkened and which contains a mirror.

2. Enter the room, closing the door behind you. Proceed to light no more than a few candles as the ritual works best in low light.

Lighting candles to perform a paranormal ritual or game.
Light just a few candles to keep the room dimly lit.

3. Stare at the reflection of your own eyes in the mirror and do not break contact with them. Then repeat “Bloody Mary” out loud, without interruption, three times in a row.

4. Now the summoning ritual is complete. Many reports of different phenomena occurring after this exist. It is widely believed that completing these steps will summon Bloody Mary into your mirror. She may appear covered in blood behind you and has been said to attack some people, either scratching out their eyes, their faces or necks.

Playing one of the scariest paranormal games.
Playing Bloody Mary in front of a mirror.

Anyone playing paranormal games should always take caution. Whether you believe the legends of Bloody Mary or not, you never know when you might receive a response from the spirit world when calling on it! Always be prepared for an answer.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also find interest in the Hosting Game and the Closet Game.

Thanks for reading!

Amy's Crypt Signature

About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (10)

  • Lew Windsor

    Posted by Lew Windsor on July 15, 2020

    I have played and experienced the bloody Mary
    Playing in my bathroom I summoned bloody Mary the response was spooky but surprisingly overwelemed. She was not covered in blood like the tails say however she was weeping and moaning with her hands on her face and within a instant she disappeared.
    I can describe her an old Victorian lady with long grey hair pale face with abit of black shade surrounding the hands on her face.
    I never believed in the paranormal before hand but it’s true


      Posted by Amy on July 17, 2020

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Lew. That sounds really creepy.

  • Am

    Posted by Am on January 2, 2021

    To scary


      Posted by Amy on January 5, 2021

      Spooky! Thanks for reading.

  • Ella-Marie

    Posted by Ella-Marie on March 18, 2023

    I never tried, and I don’t want to cause you never know what could happen. But a friend of mine said that she played it once with a friend. She would have seen the door behind her open and Bloody Mary should have standed in the opening. But after they screamed she disappeared. Idk if she was lying but it sounds creepy…


      Posted by Amy on April 7, 2023

      I would take the game with a grain of salt. I haven’t found any proof of any confirmed cases of anyone being caused harm by playing this game.

  • Kayden

    Posted by Kayden on June 19, 2023

    I have never played but a friend of mine said him and some of friends said they seen her behind them but she was saying random words and he said that he was scratched multiple times in the ches and his back and face

  • Kayden

    Posted by Kayden on June 19, 2023

    Some of my friends said they played it and she was they said she was behind them saying random words and was bloody he said she scratched him multiple times in the chest and face

  • Dusk

    Posted by Dusk on May 14, 2024

    How many candles do I need and do they have to have a specific scent to them? Would I be able to ask Mary any questions before she disappears? Also, how would I convince her to stay if I do manage to summon her?


      Posted by Amy on May 27, 2024

      I don’t believe you need a specific number of candles.

Leave a Reply