Tag Archives: bathroom superstition

“Bhaghnikt Anush Lini” – Armenian Saying

Informant’s Background:

My informant, AD, is an undergraduate student at USC who grew up in Glendale, California. Her family immigrated to the United States from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


The informant is my girlfriend and we share an apartment together. I asked her if she could share some Armenian folklore with me, and this is one of the pieces that she provided.


  • Original Script: Բաղնիքտ անուշ լինի:
  • Transliteration: “Bhaghnikt Anush Lini”
  • Translation: “Have a fresh shower” or “Have a sweet shower”


AD: “So there’s thing that’s like pretty common in like Armenian families that like my parents don’t really do that often but sometimes it happens. So there’s this thing in Armenian culture where after a shower you-or before a shower they will say like “Bhaghnikt Anush Lini” which means like… Uhm, it’s like a blessing for the shower, like they’re blessing the water from, like, the bathroom so that you have a nice fresh shower.”

M: “Where do you think it originated from?”

AD: “Uhm, probably like pagan beliefs that have just like carried over, over the years in like y’know the sanctity of water and stuff in Armenian culture, and in most cultures. It’s probably just a carry-over from those years.”

Informant’s Thoughts:

AD: ” It’s, uhm, a very common saying, and I don’t think I’ve heard any other saying that’s quite like it, so that’s interesting. It’s a way of giving thanks, and like, asking for good fortune, right? I think that’s very nice.”


I don’t really feel I have much to say about this one. It seems to fit in well with some of the other traditions I’ve collected from this informant, as it seems that based on my collection many Armenian traditions are based around giving thanks for “small” things, such as bread in a previous article of mine, so this fits very nicely in with that category of traditions.

The Murder Stall

Main Piece:

Informant: Oh, here’s a cool thing. There’s been a lot of political assassinations that have happened on campus. The most famous of which is a Romanian Ambassador was murdered in a stall, a bathroom stall in the Divinity Room. And you can you can tell which stall he was shot at, because there’s bloodstains in the tile grout that have not been able to be washed out. So I, and a lot of other people, always use that stall in memoriam. It was a professor who was an outspoken critic of the Romanian Government, I believe.

 Interviewer: And he was also a Romanian ambassador?

Informant: No, no, no, no. He was not – he was not an ambassador. He was a, like a refugee and also a critic. Of the regime at the time. And then one day he was just shot in the back of the head in the bathroom in the basement of the Divinity School And people were like, “Never solved.” It was strongly suspected to be a politically motivated murder.

Interviewer: Is it for sure, his blood that’s in the grout?

Informant: Not at all for sure. It’s probably not the blood but that’s just what people say. People talk about it, like, oh, don’t use that stall. That’s the Murder Stall, that’s its name. It’s a urinal, he was literally shot in the urinal. What I tell people is “Use the murder stall out of respect. Out of remembrance.”


My informant is a friend of mine from high school who now goes to University of Chicago. He’s Scottish-Irish and his family on his dad’s side has been in America for hundreds of years. At UChicago, the dorm buildings are all very close-knit and it is not uncommon to stay in them for all four years of an undergraduate education. These dormitories are also very old, in the case of Hitchcock house, over a century old. And thus there are many strange traditions have been perpetuated without knowing exactly the source.


The informant is an old high school friend of mine. We’re both home due to online classes and we frequently call each other. During one of our calls over Zoom, I asked if he had any samples of folklore that I can collect and he shared a few.


Some research reveals the person my informant was talking about was Ioan Petru Culianu, a professor of the history of religions at UChicago who taught until he was murdered in 1991. He was, in fact, murdered in the bathroom of the divinity school. People speculated the murder was motivated by far-right Romanian organizations, but nothing was ever proven.

Nothing I could find mentioned the stall that Culianu was specifically murdered in so I would think of this another example of UChicago students seeing an opportunity to create a story and willing into truth and canon. However, it could very well be true that the Murder Stall is where the murder happened.

A Loira do Banheiro

The following Brazilian urban legend was performed over coffee on April 23rd, 2019. In Brazil, “we have the legend of A Loira do Banheiro, or Bathroom Blonde”. If you leave hair in the sink drain and say her name three times, “you summon a blonde that died a long time ago and she kills you.” The informant described her as “Bloody Mary but blonder.”

The legend is heard by children in school and from their parents, who use the legend to make their kids “clean up after themselves.” The informant was told by her mother that “her mom loved the legend because the sinks were always clean.”

It’s a fun spin on Bloody Mary and the use of fear to instill principals into children has been practiced for generations. “Anything to get kids to clean up after themselves!” 

For further writings on the adjacent Bloody Mary lore, please visit:

Dundes, Alan. “Bloody Mary in the Mirror: A Ritual Reflection of Pre-Pubescent Anxiety.” Western Folklore 57.2/3 (1998): 119-35. JSTOR. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1500216>.