Me: ok, we’re recording
M: Oh okay great. Let’s start with the Brazilian version of Bloody Mary. So we call her the blonde woman. It’s a legend, like of course, as every child would when I was in school and I was like elementary school, of course, the children were like ‘oh yeah! Its a legend, but it actually happened here in this school. Umm it’s basically a story that she was a girl she was blond she’s in school bullied. And she went to the bathroom to cry, and then she slipped, hit her head, and died
Me: oh my god
M: and there’s a specific stall that it happened in. In my school it was the bigger one for accessibility. after that I never went to that bathroom again by the way. Cause I was, I was like ‘i don’t believe in it’ but still like ‘Yeah I’m gonna use the other one.’ umm, and to summon her you had to like throw like a one piece of hair. And then..
Me: your hair?
M: on the toilet and then like flush three times, go to the mirror and say like. Uhh loira do banheiro, loira do banheiro, loira do banheiro. Which, loira do banheiro is blond from the bathroom. And then she would appear and kill you.
M: yes. And then I remember I had a friend who like, my friends would go to the bathroom to try it, but that’s like– it would only work in the girls’ bathroom and there were two boys. So I don’t know how they were doing it!? Cause I never went with them cause I was like I’m not doing that. But yeah. Dunno what they were doin’, but yeah whatever we were kids so it’s umm
Me: what’s your take on what that means? Like what’s the meaning, what’s the story?
M: ummm I don’t know. I think it’s, probably for either just– it’s just a scary story the children told each other or maybe to make them behave when like between going to the bathroom and going back to class. But yeah, I think that it’s just a scary story that kids created.
The informant, M, is a 19-year-old USC international student from Brazil. She delivered this piece in the workroom of a campus center before class alongside other pieces in order to share some personal and Brazilian folklore. She learned about this legend growing up in Brazil.
The informant suggests that the legend is either “just a scary story the children told each other” or something adults said to make kids behave in bathrooms.
M says that this is a Brazilian version of Bloody Mary. Indeed the two figures share much: They each appear in girls’ bathrooms. they both are summoned by some action and three repetitions of their name. both kill their summoner. And both fall into that space of legend where people will say they don’t believe, but then avoid the thing/action/place anyway.
Because of this association with Bloody Mary, this legend may also be related to the fear of menstruation (as other scholars have drawn the connection with Bloody Mary). This seems believable because both stories are set in bathrooms and are most popular among young girls, but I hesitate because of the Loira do Banheiro lack of blood references. Instead, there is the focus on hair: you put a piece of hair in the toilet to summon her, and her name-worthy trait is her blond hair.
There is also the moral included that you should not bully someone because they might die and haunt a bathroom killing children.