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You might have heard about Bloody mary, the woman behind the mirror. But is Bloody Mary real? She has a scary reputation for haunting in the mirror, but the story of the woman is sadder than being scared. Many have tried to see her and there is a way of calling her. Light a candle in front of your mirror with the lights off late at night. Look in the mirror and say her name three times in a row. 

If you do this, you will find a ghost appearing, sometimes holding a dead baby, or will promise to come after yours. Many people might not want to try this by calling her name three times. But why and where does the tale come from? Who is she? And why do people say that she would appear as a ghost? Is bloody mary real? 

Bloody Marry

She is actually Queen Mary I, the first woman to rule England in her own right, and she didn’t simply come to the throne.  She seized it in a way that was never done before from the ones who thought to defeat her. The story of bloody mary seems to be somewhat innocent until you find out how violent the tale is. 

Why is bloody mary considered scary? 

No one really knows how long people have been telling the story of Bloody Mary and some historians have traced the roots of the story back to the 1970s. But the details of the bloody Mary game tend to vary. The participants will enter a dark room with a candle lit, and look into the mirror while chanting the name of Bloody Mary or the phrase 3 times. 

If the ritual is performed correctly, bloody mary will appear in the mirror, reach out of the mirror, and the person who called her name will have scratches on their face. Some believe that she will come from the afterlife to haunt the person forever. 

On the other hand, some say that dripping blood will be found in the mirror, and the participant’s hair will turn white or they will disappear without a trace. Sometimes the ritual involves saying “Bloody Mary”, “I believe in Bloody Maty”, and “I killed your baby, Bloody Mary”. 

Is bloody mary real? 

Is Bloody Mary real?

There are several theories suggested behind this horror. A folklorist called Alan Dundes suggests that the story is an initiation ritual into womanhood. The bloody mary legend is said to revolve around blood suddenly appearing and it takes place in the bathroom with girls who are right on the edge of puberty. 

Other theories show a historic perspective on the origin of the story. There are stories involving Mary I of England as the bloody mary who put many Protestants to death for heresy and gave her the nickname. 

Another story involves Mary worth a witch executed in the Salem witch trials. Bloody Mary provides and still provides many a night of haunted feeling for anyone who tries the game. Other than that, she is remaining a popular legend for years to come. 

The true story of blood Mary

Mary was born on February 18th, 1516, at Greenwich Palace of Placentia to her parents Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.  Both of them waited for a son to be born,  but ended up with the daughter Mary.  She survived infancy and grew up in the eye of the public as a beloved princess until her teenage years. But her lifetime of shame of being born as a female began at the young age of 17 when her father broke his marriage with her mother, due to his frustration with the lack of a male heir to the throne. And he broke with the Catholic Church. 

she was left in total separation from her mother and got forbidden from ever visiting her. Her father remarried his ex-wife’s maid of honor Anne Boleyn. But she too disappointed him with another daughter Elizabeth. 

Anne worried that Mary may interfere with the succession of Elizabeth and so she pressed parliament to declare her illegitimate. 

The execution of Mary by Anne in 1536, made her childhood of Mary highly strained.  She was declared to be illegitimate by her father and spent her time largely confined at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. He got married for the third time to Jane Seymour who promoted a reunion.  And that was when Mary started to spend time at Greenwich again along with the Royal palaces.  Under the encouragement of henry’s last wife Catherine Parr,  he restored  Mary to the line of succession in 1544. 

But this was somewhat uneasy,  because remained a loyal Catholic,  and her capitalism became the guiding principle of her reign. 

Mary’s appearance and health

Mary was described as thin and frail with a low-bridged nose, red hair, and a fair complexion with a light-colored lip.  She had a loud and deep voice and was extremely short-sighted like her father with grey eyes.  She was stubborn and did not like to be crossed. Moreover,  she had a quick temper. 

There was no problem with her health of Mary until she reached puberty.  Although she was healthy, she had an unusual childhood illness. When Mary entered puberty at the age of 14,  she began to suffer from pains in the head and stomach.  Sometimes,  she could not keep down her food for 8 or 10 days. 

In those instances, her mother’s physician was called to treat her.  And then she was diagnosed with strangulation of the womb,  covering a wide range of symptoms including amenorrhea,  which is the irregularity of menstrual periods.  The other symptoms were a depressed mental state, heaviness,  sorrowfulness, fear,  difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the abdomen.  She also had to suffer headaches, vomiting, nausea,  lack of appetite,  fainting, and fearful dreams. 

The Love of her life 

Mary I of England and philips

Apart from all the odds and struggles she faced, she eventually took the throne in 1553 at the age of 37. She got married to Philip of Spain son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles in the hopes of conceiving an heir. Her husband was ten years younger than her. 

Before their marriage, the portrait of Philip was painted by Titan and it was sent to England. He was a young man with prominent eyes, shapely legs, and black and gold armor. The picture pleased the lonely queen very much, and she was impressed to find Philip’s Catholicism. Mary hoped to undo the recent protestant reforms and restore the old methods of worship in England. 

Queen Mary I and Philip II married on the 25th of July 1554. She became the first queen regnant in England. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles wanted to elevate his son to Mary’s rank and wanted to create an Anglo-Spanish alliance against France. 

Mary was pleased and looked devoted to Philip and intended to be a good and dutiful wife. Philip although generous and attentive to her, never loved her. He didn’t interfere in most of the English state affairs. He did not find his wife to be appealing and interesting and he was worried about the age gap. 

The reign of Mary I of England

When Mary came into power, she issued a royal order that she will not compel anyone to deny the Protestantism. Being a loyal Catholic and not wishing to believe in her kingdom. She ordered arrests of the leading Protestant churchmen who declared Catherine of Aragon’s marriage to King Henry VIII. 

Philip’s role in restoring Catholicism in the country cannot be diminshed and together Mary and Philip conducted a joint session of the parliament where Rome was reunited after 20 years of division. 

In 1554, a lot of Protestants were captured and were then executed.  

Pregnancy of Mary I

After Mary Tudor was declared to be the Queen of England, she understood the importance of having an heir. If she did not produce an heir her half-sister Elizabeth would keep England Protestant. Mary was concerned about returning England to Rome and resuming the Catholic faith in her country. 

And so one of the main purposes for Mary was to give birth to a Catholic Heir to the English crown. Being a thirty-eight years old woman, it was less possible for her of that age to get conceive a child. She was optimistic that God will bless her with a son. 

As her wish, it seemed that she had successfully conceived by September 1554. Letters were sent to bishops to order special prayers and the news went all around Europe and Mary was really happy. But at this point, they had minimal medical advances and doctors were not able to tell the difference between a false pregnancy and the real one. It was believed that Mary was about to give birth to a child. 

Mary claimed that by the end of the month, she felt that the baby move in her womb. Day by day hopes was high that an heir of the country was near. And this news was really important to Spain similar to England because the father of the heir was Philips and so his father and the people in Spain considered it a top priority. 

Preparations to welcome the heir of the throne failed

In November 1554, the Spanish ambassador reported to the Emperor that the Queen is with the child and her stomach clearly shows it while her dresses no longer fit her. Mary was fatter and was in a better color. It showed the signs that she is happier. 

According to the custom, May would be going into confinements six weeks before birth. She believed that the child would arrive in the month of May, so they made the preparations in the month of April. But by the middle of April, the doctors became nervous regarding the responsibility involved in childbirth.  

Philip of Spain and Mary I of England

But they were excited to find out a positive outcome, regardless of the age of Mary and their mental health was not stable. Her appetite had decreased and the doctors worried that the child was not receiving the nutrition it needed. 

But even by the month of June there was no news of the royal baby and it even became the month of July and still, she had no child. By the time of July, the hopes were dashed of a child being born. The Queen’s delayed deliverance caused doubt in the minds of everyone whether she is really with child, although her outward appearance is good and showed that she is pregnant.

Rumors started to spread saying that she was never pregnant at all, while some said that the fetus might be a lap dog or a pet monkey. Some said that there were also rumors of a plot to pass along another’s baby as the queen’s own. 

In the month of August, Mary was impossibly thin, utterly silent, and completely humiliated. 

The false pregnancy

The pressure of producing an heir for Mary became great and her belief made to create a false pregnancy. Mary was suffering from an ailment, possibly ovarian cancer. Finally, it was believed that Mary was suffering pseudocyesis, which is also called “Phantom pregnancy”. Till now, this is not completely understood, and it appears that out of every 22,000 pregnancies between one and six turn out to be phantom. 

She had suffered from the strangulation of her womb in her childhood. And this time, it made her body swell giving the appearance of pregnancy and the breast had enlarged and sent out milk. 

The name bloody Mary 

Mary believed that God will not allow the child to be born until all the Protestant dissenters were punished. The people of England were divided between Protestants and Catholics. So she thought of uniting them under the true religion. She signed an act and it resulted in sentencing an estimated 240 men and 60 women and burnt them at the stake. And so she earned the name Bloody Mary. 

The death of Bloody Mary

She announced her pregnancy again years later, but her own husband remained unconvinced. But she did not deliver a baby. She died the next year at the age of 42 due to ovarian cancer.

Her name is still heard today, chanted by children in dark bathroom mirrors hoping for a terrifying appearance of the ghost without knowing the real story of Bloody Mary.

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