Red areas show where the myth can be found, blue spot is the episode location.

Bloody Mary

The Main Legend

The "Bloody Mary" game: Rather a step down from their usual standard in my opinion, but I do have to admit the episode was probably scarier than all but Pilot so far.

Bloody Mary is a folkloric figure, primarily in the USA, with a few cases in the UK. As was said early in this episode:
If you say her name three times in the bathroom mirror she appears, and scratches your eyes out.

This is the most common form of the legend, although often it is told with 13 times repeating, or one hundred. The use of candles and having to spin around in circles is common too.

The subject of the Mary Legend is much debated. But in my opinion Supernatural got it just right by setting her as a normal person. There was a queen of England (Mary I) called Bloody Mary, but since this legend is mainly found in the USA, English roots seem unlikely.

Other Minor Legends

Mirrors - The main backup legend to this episode is the folklore surrounding the mirror: (Much more interesting and authentic in my opinion, it has to be said.)
Sam: Right. I mean there’s a lot of folklore about mirrors-that they reveal all your lies, all your secrets, that they’re a true reflection of your soul, which is why it’s bad luck to break them.

In fact, it could be said he doesn't go far enough here. In old mythology mirrors were keys to the otherworld. People could scry through them, to see events far away, but more than that, because they gave you an image of what was around you, but slightly different (reversed) they were like dimensional gates. They showed you yourself, but from the outside, and thus they were very powerful.

With spirits in particular, the brothers tell of the mirror's significance:
"Dean: Isn’t there an old superstition that says mirrors can capture spirits?
Sam: Yeah there is. Yeah, when someone would die in a house people would cover up the mirrors so the ghost wouldn’t get trapped."

This lore gets quite complex so I'll try to go through it slowly. For vulnerable spirits, becoming stuck in a mirror was very easy to do. This is because of the lore surrounding of binding spirits into objects (usually gems). It involves finding a natural resonance between the vibration (read:energy type/aura) of the gem, and the vibration (aura) of the spirit to be bound. Naturally, because a mirror exactly reproduces the appearance of something, if the thing is not already bound to the material plane (read: has a body,) it can very easily become sucked into this new object, which vibrates in almost exact sympathy with it.

For the purposes of this episode, it's possible that as Mary died she could have become caught in her mirror, if she was spending her last energy trying to write something on it. Also, since we have the folklore of mirrors being portals to the otherworld, the idea of her coming out of one makes some sort of sense, although her having a body still seems strange.

Got something to add? Did I get it wrong? Email me
Page created: 19/11/07.
Last page edit: 19/11/07.

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