fear of the dark, monsters hiding under your bed, getting into trouble...
then there are those fears that find deep roots in our childhoods and grow strong.
that is the case with this fear.
its one that im seldom likely to admit
because when i say it aloud it seems
for me this all goes back to the bloody mary game.
im sure everyone's played the game at some point in their lives
or at least is familiar with some version of it.
some versions say her origins came in 1892
about 4 years after the jack the ripper killing spree ended
mary conolly a well known alcoholic and prostitute
was brutally murdered by one of her clients
her throat was slit ear to ear and she was left to bleed to death
her murder confessed and was justly hanged
but according to legend she was troubled in death just as she was in life
and still seeks vengeance for her troubles
those who call her spirit are doomed to meet the same fate by her hands
but legends of "bloody mary" existed at least 3 centuries before
queen mary I "bloody mary" upon her ascension to the throne
made it her life's goal to return the church of england to roman cathloicism
she carried this out through lethal force.
she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake
at least 100 of which were protestant leaders.
it's said that the rage she unleashed on them
is rooted from her anguish of being unable to bare a child.
she suffered several miscarriages
and ultimately died from ovarian cancer at the age of 42.
queen mary I is also believed to be the origins for the
nursery rhyme mary mary quite contrary
with the line "how does your garden grow?"
referring to her lack of heirs.
the game calls her spirit by her name three times
taunting it with things like "i've got your baby"
she is said to appear in the mirror in a distorted form
full of rage and the ability to continue her bloody reign
starting with your death.
i was probably around the 7 years old, i couldnt have been older than 8
when a group of kids at my daycare convinced me to play the game with them
i had goosebumps before we even started
all of us piled into that tiny bathroom
my heart raced as they called her name
it was pitch black in there you could scarcely see your hand in front of your face
they ran screaming and laughing from the bathroom upon the 3rd time
promptly locking and barricading me in there alone.
the power of imagination is quite strong, i dont believe i actually saw anything.
the story alone was beyond frightening
i truly believed that mary was coming to get me.
i screamed and pounded on the door for an unknowable stretch of time
before one of the workers finally came along and let me out
never mind the group of kids who locked and barricaded me in there
i was harshly scolded and punished
for yelling and not using my inside voice.
i didnt tell my mother for fear i'd be in trouble for getting in trouble.
till this day the fear of mary prevents me from
walking into rooms with mirrors while the lights are off.
and as such i dont spend much time looking in a mirror
just a quick glance to make sure my hairs laying flat enough
or to see if i have any food stuck in my teeth.
rather silly, i suppose.
kid stuff ya know?