Bloody Mary

Informant: Female/23/Korean-Portuguese ancestry
Location: Kaimuki, Oahu

It was a children’s game; something that you played at slumber parties, or birthday parties. In fact, that’s exactly where I read it. In the “games to play at a slumber party” section of The Daring Book for Girls that I got for Christmas. My friends were recalling things we enjoyed doing as kids, and I suddenly remembered. 

“Did you guys ever play Bloody Mary?” Everyone was silent in thought for a second, but the general consensus was, yes, but nothing ever happened. 

There were different variations of the game, depending on who you played with or where you were from, I guess. Some people said to say her name three times, some said 10. The book that I had said 13 times. The instructions said to go into a dark room with a mirror, like a bathroom, and hold a flashlight up to your face and say “Bloody Mary” into the mirror 13 times, and she would appear. 

We were a bunch of 20 somethings who no longer believed in these silly children’s tales, but we were feeling nostalgic for our childhoods, and were excited to try this game. Maybe this time it would work, who knows? 

Me, my friend, my roommate, and my boyfriend shuffled into the bathroom. We elected my boyfriend as the one to stand in the mirror and summon Bloody Mary, mostly because we know that weird shit has happened to him in the past, and he would be most likely to illicit a response from the dead. He stood in front of the mirror with the flashlight, while the three of us sat at the edge of the bathtub, facing the door, and facing him. 

The light from the hallway outside glowed under the bathroom door. I focused on it while my boyfriend chanted “Bloody Mary” into the mirror as my roommate counted them off dramatically. When he got to 13, he put the flashlight under his chin and yelled to scare us, and of course nothing happened. But then my roommate said, “Wait. just wait. Shhh…”

We all fell silent. And then, as I looked at the light under the bathroom door, it went black. 


I’d never seen my boyfriend move so fast. In the blink of an eye he was in the corner of the bathtub behind me, clutching the flashlight like he just won his first Oscar. 

We all heard it. We all heard the banging on the door. I clutched my friend's arm so hard I was certain I drew blood with my fingernails. The light under the door went black, but not like a black out. It went black as if someone was walking in front of it, but someone wearing a long dress, because there was one long stretch of black that passed across the door. In my mind, it was someone in a gown. Queen’s wear gowns. 

My roommate locked the bathroom door and turned on the light. We sat there in utter shock, trying to digest what had just happened. Naturally, our first reaction was to hiss accusations at my boyfriend, screaming that he hit the door on purpose to scare us. He sat in the tub, barely able to get a word out, still clutching the flashlight, shaking his head vigorously denying it. But then we realized, even if he had banged on the door, that doesn’t explain how the light outside went out. 

Finally we realized that we couldn’t stay in the bathroom forever, and we opted to leave. I unlocked the door, and my roommate held the flashlight behind me like a bat. 

We checked the entire apartment, but nothing was there. We checked closets, under the beds, cabinets, even the fridge. But there was nothing there. Nobody else was in the apartment at the time. We just could not explain what happened. 

After a while my boyfriend decided to walk back to the dorms. He was fine before he left, and it was only about a five minute walk from my apartment. He called me after he got there and said, “Hey, so, I don’t want to freak you out but...there’s a mark on my arm that wasn’t there when I left your apartment.” He snapped me a blurry picture, and I saw shallow red scratches. He said, “I don’t know, it kind of looks like a W.” 

But I knew that it was really an M.


Vix Tsug said...

i still remember that night.... and ill never play that again...

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