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How to Play Bloody Mary

A perennial favorite at sleepovers, the Bloody Mary game is as exciting as it is creepy.


  • Step 1: Spin while you're chanting, turning around once for every time you say the incantation, and look at the mirror with each revolution. It has been said that, the closer you get to the end, the more menacing the mirror becomes, turning red as Mary gradually appears.
  • Step 2: Watch the mirror for Mary when you finish. Her appearance has been said to cause varying results. Some say that looking at her drives the player insane, others say they are struck dead. Mary has been known to reach out from the mirror and scratch the player's face, or even drag them into the mirror with her.
  • Step 3: Be careful when you play Bloody Mary. One story says that a girl announced, "I _don't_ believe in Mary Worth" at the end of her chant, and tripped and broke her hip upon exiting the bathroom. If you're brave enough, you might be able to see the mirror witch's face without getting hurt.
  • FACT: On October 29, 1692, Governor William Phipps prohibited further arrests and released many accused witches, putting an end to the Salem witch trials.
  • Step 4: Consider how many times you will repeat the chant. Typically, Bloody Mary requires that you repeat the chant 7 or 13 times, starting in a whisper and increasing volume and intensity with each repetition, so that you're practically screaming at the end.
  • TIP: Rather than a name, some versions require talking to the spirit: "I stole your baby, Mary Worth," or, "I believe in Bloody Mary."
  • TIP: Bathrooms are popular for the game, since most meet both qualifications.
  • Step 5: Light a candle, depending on the version you're playing. One version calls for the light of a single candle, another requires a candle on either side of the mirror. Yet another calls for complete darkness.
  • Step 6: Determine what you'll chant. According to one version, the players summon the spirit in the mirror by chanting "Bloody Mary," but there are many variations. Although Bloody Mary is the most common, other names include Hell Mary, Mary Worth, Bloody Mary Worth, and Mary Worthington.
  • Step 7: Find a room with no windows and a mirror. You can't have a window in the room because you need complete darkness, and you need a mirror in which to see Bloody Mary's image.

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