Bloody Mary Legend

Text: Okay, so in my elementary school in the bathroom, if you went in Bloody Mary was supposedly on the wall, like if you stared at a certain spot. And so people got really scared and didn’t want to go to the bathroom. I guess you stared for a certain, I don’t remember, like a number of seconds and a certain tile. It was like a tiled wall. So then all of a sudden you were supposed to see it.


Informant is a freshman at USC studying Themed Entertainment. She recounts her experience in the cafeteria while drinking a cup of coffee and snacking on some hash browns. She is slightly fidgeting and scatter-brained during the conversation.

“The elementary school I grew up in was in Redlands, CA. I learned about the Bloody Mary thing from just people talking about it. I feel like I wasn’t really convinced, but I had a friend that was so scared that I guess I got a little scared because she’d never go to the bathroom alone. She’d be like you have to go to the bathroom with me. And I was like, Okay. I felt kind of silly, to be honest, because I didn’t see anything when they made you look. So I was kind of just like this is weird. I’m pretty sure it didn’t start in our elementary school. I haven’t researched it, but it just came from somewhere else.”

Analysis: This folk narrative is an example of legend, a story in our world that might be true. This Bloody Mary Legend confronts people with what they believe. Even if some do not fully believe like the informant, they can still participate in the legend because of the aesthetic to belief. This legend was prevalent with young kids because children are high on the continuum context or more likely to believe than others. There is also a sort of legend quest involved with this legend because a ritual must be practiced in order to discover the legend. However, because the legend quest comes with a risk of being endangered, the legend is still able to be proved or disproved.