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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Legend of Bloody Mary by L.D. Rose - Guest Post & Giveaway

About L.D. Rose

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes award-winning dark paranormal fiction and she’s a PAN member of the RWA and FF&P. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive Boxer, and her two devious cats.

You can also join her reader group on Facebook for more shenanigans!


Books by L.D. Rose

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The Legend of Bloody Mary 
Guest post by L.D. Rose

As a child, every Halloween (and really, at many other times of the year), I tried to conjure up the infamous Bloody Mary in every mirror in my (haunted!) house. Of course, it never worked, but I’ve been fascinated with the folklore and her story, so I decided to blog about it today on WITH LOVE FOR BOOKS. Thank you, Anniek and Suze, for inviting me!

The concept of Bloody Mary originally began with Mary I, Queen of England and Ireland in the 1500s. Via my most amazing resource, Wikipedia (haha):

“She was the only child of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive to adulthood. Her younger half-brother Edward VI succeeded their father in 1547.

When Edward became mortally ill in 1553, he attempted to remove Mary from the line of succession because of religious differences. On his death, their first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, was proclaimed queen. Mary assembled a force in East Anglia and deposed Jane, who was ultimately beheaded. Mary was the first queen regnant of England.

During her five-year reign, she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions.”

Pretty nasty, huh? But that’s not what I found the most fascinating about her.

Mary was a precocious redhead who hardly ever wept as a child. She was often sick, depressed, loved to gamble, and splurged on fine clothes. Even with multiple marriage proposals, she didn’t take on a husband until her late thirties, and it was purely for business. However, Mary had an overwhelming desire to have a child and apparently faked a pregnancy. She was never able to bear children and likely passed away from uterine cancer at age 42. Known as a “bloodthirsty tyrant,” she had a reputation that preceded her. Her motto was "Truth, the Daughter of Time."

Historically, the folklore surrounding Bloody Mary is the notion that if you summon her, she’ll reveal your husband’s identity. By walking up a flight of stairs backward while holding a candle and a hand mirror in a dark house (that’s a whole lot of hurt waiting to happen right there!), your husband’s face will materialize in the mirror. However, if a skull’s face appeared instead (or rather, the Grim Reaper), you were destined to die before you had a chance to wed. This act of scrying is known as catoptromancy.

Nowadays (or at least when I was a kid), the ritual is as follows: you chant her name in a dimly lit room (or even in the dark), normally three times. Her apparition will allegedly appear as a corpse, a witch, or a ghost drenched in blood (and wearing a wedding gown, as per eyewitness reports). She’s been known to shriek, curse, strangle, steal your soul, drink your blood, or scratch your eyes out if she’s disturbed (maybe all of the above, heck, why not?!). And if you even mention babies? Fuhgetahboutit!

Oh, I really wanted to see her when I was growing up. I was desperate to know if she was real. I would stand in front of my bathroom mirror, finger on the light switch or a flashlight, chanting “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary!” just dying to glimpse her face.

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. *dramatic sigh*

However, some have reported they’ve genuinely seen her, screaming back at them silently.

The medical explanation for all of this (of course, I must touch on this!) is that by staring at a mirror in a dark room for a prolonged period of time, you may start to hallucinate, particularly if you have a vivid imagination. Your own face may appear to melt, distort, and even change or disappear, likely due to a self-induced hypnosis from temporary sensory deprivation. It’s the same mind-trick as staring at a dark road with the headlights on for a long drive. Every once in a while, you’ll imagine things at your periphery, particularly when you’re tired. A deer, a werewolf, a zombified hitchhiker, who knows?

Or, you know, she could actually be real. Just a little picky about who she murders. ;)

Have you every attempted to summon a ghost? Would you try it now?


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of one of L.D. Rose's books (winner's choice). 

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Great guest post. I'm also a fan of folklore. The Legend of Bloody Mary sounds intriguing.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Solange! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. thanks for the great guest post - it's a fascinating time in history and a very misunderstood queen!

    1. Definitely misunderstood! Thanks for stopping by, Ruth! :)

  3. I enjoyed this guest post, though I won't be one of those trying to call Bloody Mary into my life, lol

  4. I love reading about haunted houses too. I live in one, but whenever I go on holiday I always seek out a book about the ghosts of the place we have been. :) Plus another love is the myths and legends and the origins.

  5. thay all sound great would be a hard choice.