May 26, 2012

Mary Worth and the Origin of Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary - possibly a witch named Mary Worth
Many people in the US have played ”Bloody Mary”, a popular children’s game and a test of a courage in slumber parties around the country. The game involves locking yourself into a dark bathroom with nothing but a candle, standing in front of the mirror and calling out ”Bloody Mary” three times. In another version, one must whisper ”I believe in Mary Worth.” This ritual serves to summon the vengeful witch, Mary Worth, who will then rip out the summoner’s eyes or claw their face.

It is uncertain where the legend originates from, but one possibility is a witch named Mary Worth who, according to local tradition, lived on the Old Wagon Road in Chicago during the Civil War. It is said that she used to kidnap runaway slaves and keep them chained in her barn, doing who knows what to them in her dark rituals.

The locals eventually became furious enough to take the law into their own hands and burn Worth at the stake. The legend says her body was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Doubtful, since an infamous witch would have never been laid to rest in a Christian cemetery. Instead, she may have been buried on her farm, as one couple learned the hard way.

Many decades after Mary Worth’s execution, a farmer and his wife bought her former property and, fully aware of the place’s history, built their home on the very foundations of the barn in which Worth practiced her black arts. Apparently not one to be scared by old legends, the farmer set out to clear the land for an oat field.

During his work, he came across a square stone and moved it to the door of the house, figuring it to be a good stepping stone. This proved to be a mistake. Violent and often dangerous events immediately began to plague the couple, with the wife finding herself locked in the barn or the house on multiple occasions and plates crashing on the floor by themselves.

As the activity worsened, the farmer began to wonder if he had inadvertently disturbed Mary Worth’s real gravesite. He tried to return the stone to its original place in an attempt to end the disturbing phenomena, but he never could find the exact spot. After several years of torment, the house burned to the ground in 1986, supposedly due to arson.

There were later several failed attempts to build on the property. A developer managed to eventually raise a group of houses, but the one nearest to Mary Worth’s barn has since burned down once or even twice.

Image by Skyberry-13


  1. i used to play this, too. nothing ever happened obviously, but it was scary fun. its nice to find out Bloody Mary's possible origins.

  2. Not true
    This is not real and a fake. There is no scientific evidence of Bloody mary and this myth/ritual. You'll be on Angel Dust and you would have hallucinated this.

  3. Anyone know where this is?? Downtown YoGo wouldn't mind checking out the buned out spots!