3 Knocks By Juli

3 Knocks By Juli

I have always been interested in the paranormal but at the same time I’ve always been skeptical and try to find ways to explain the things that happen. I have had a few experiences but I always brush them off. This one experience I had was one that actually scared me for a while. I don’t know for sure if it’s paranormal but I don’t know how else to explain it. Keep in mind that at the time I was 17 and I never drink so I was completely sober.

This story happened last September in Bristol. Everything was going well that day when at around 12pm I heard 3 knocks on my living room window, this didn’t really surprise me because my dad usually knocks on the window instead of the door because it’s much quiter so my dog won’t start barking and wake the baby. I was thinking this was him so I looked out the window to confirm but no one was there. I thought maybe it was just me imagining things so I brushed it off as nothing and continued with what I was doing.

I was still in the living room and about 15 minutes later I heard 3 knocks on my backdoor. I went to check it out and saw my little sister there with the backdoor open, she was 13, I asked her why she knocked but she had no idea what I was talking about and I could tell she was just really confused about it. Again I thought it was nothing and continued with my things.

For the rest of the day nothing had happened and I had forgotten about the knocks. My family were packing their things because we were going on a camping trip the next day with some friends. I had gone upstairs at around 9pm to finish up and check if I had packed everything I needed when I heard 3 loud knocks on my window, I suddenly remembered the knocks from before and checked my window as quickly as possible to see if I could catch the person doing it, if it was a person anyway. It was dark outside but still clear enough to see everything. I didn’t see anyone and I was starting to freak out and think I was going crazy. Still I was convincing myself that it was nothing and maybe just me even though I knew something wasn’t right. It would be hard for someone to get to my window because it’s on the second floor facing the back garden and to get to the back garden you would have to go through the backdoor in the house or go through a tall gate next to the house and then another one after that, both are always locked. Most people don’t know it’s a gate as the doors are hard to see because of the dark colour, pattern and plants growing on it.

My parents got into a little argument at around 12pm, everyone was still awake getting things ready and they were all upstairs. I thought I heard my dad open and close the front door, I wasn’t surprised at that either because after an argument he would go outside to get some fresh air. I again heard 3 loud knocks but this time it was on my front door. The knocks were so clear but I didn’t want to open it because I was too lazy. I was waiting for one of my family members to open it but none of them did. I decided I should just go so I opened the door without checking as I was sure it was my dad. I was surprised to see no one there, I opened the living room door to see my dad sleeping on the sofa. I was so surprised. My other sister, she was 15, was coming down the stairs and asked why I opened the door. I just ignored her and went back up to my room.

The next morning I was asking my family members if any of them had heard the knocks, especially the 3 knocks on the front door because they were the loudest. None of them heard it or knew what I was talking about so I decided to forget about the whole thing but I have never been so confused in my life.

After that some things started happening a bit more often like the wood under the beds being heard shaking, some whispering in my sisters room when no one was there and scratching on the ceiling but I’m not really bothered by any of that and these past 3 months nothing has happened. Both my sisters have had some of these small experiences happen to them but not very often.

If anyone has any idea of what the knocks could be or had a similar experience I would appreciate your comments and opinions.


3 Knocks


Late Night Visit By LitaOktaviany

Late Night Visit By LitaOktaviany

This experience happened when I was about 13 years old. I’m pretty much an easy to be scared kind of person so until I was 20 years old, I slept in the same room with my mother. It was raining so heavily since afternoon and it was even worst in night. So before bed, I made sure every doors and windows at my home were locked perfectly. At 09:00 PM I already fell asleep because of the exhausting day, plus the sound of falling rains sounded like a lullaby to me.

I was woken up by the sudden urge to use bathroom and when I saw the clock it was flashing 01:20 AM and the idea of getting out of the bedroom in the middle of the night was enough to scare the hell out of me. I tried to wake my mother up since she was sleeping beside me, but she didn’t budge. She only growled and went back to sleep. I tried to close my eyes but the desire to go to the bathroom forced me to keep awake. Until I heard some weird noises.

My bedroom has a direct windows to the outside of my house and in front of my bedroom is a garden. When I tried to sleep I heard a squeaking sound from the window which was placed few meters away from my bed. It sounded like someone scratched my window with their own nails. That sound made me even more scared to go to the bathroom and the sound was going weaker and weaker until it stop at 1:45 AM. Exactly when the sound disappeared, my mom woke up and she said she wanted to use the bathroom and I automatically asked to go there together.

The next morning, I checked up the window and it showed two marks as if someone scratched my window, it was nail marks. But last night, the rain was falling so heavily even there were thunderstorms too. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a human.


Late Night Visit

Nightshift by Chow Chow

Nightshift by Chow Chow
I'm just newly registered 'cause I love reading real experiences of the paranormal. Although for me,"paranormal" is not the correct word. Because we and everything we do,say,everything that surrounds us, is made of energy. And energy (the good and the bad one) never gets lost. It simply transforms itself. Like Einstein said:"Nothing was ever created and nothing gets ever lost. It is simply always there."

And that's why I never doubt if anyone's telling stories about ghosts,demons,spirituality etc. Because it is a part of us. If the energy expresses itself as harmful or dangerous,it's difficult to deal with.

Well,now I want to tell you one of my stories. This happened 10 years ago and I was working as a nurse in a hospital for old, helpless people. Most of them were constantly lying in bed, slowly dying, in a sort of a coma. I was on the night shift with a very dear female member of my team. We loved to work together. Imagine that we were the only two healthy persons in a house filled with 120 patients. Of course, half of them were able to look after themselves and completely independent. On our main check-up and take-care tour that took place from 3.00 a.m.to 5.30 a.m.,we had two wards left (changing pampers, give medication, made people drink...).So we entered the 2nd ward an I heard a strange kind of noise. Very loud and clear, with some disturbances, like a radio, but I couldn't understand what the person was saying. It was a female voice. I told my friend to listen and she said:"Strange,seems like someone has put on tv or the radio".

I answered:"Stephany,how is a paralyzed person doing to put on a radio or tv?Anyway,this seems like a person talking next to us, not from inside a room which door is closed."

She looked at me:"You're right. But let's continue".We were listening, but the voice suddenly stopped. And so I thought:"Maybe I'm just tired".

We went to our next patient and had to change the entire sheets, wash the man an put a fresh pajama on him because he and the whole bed were full of liquid excrement. So this took us a lot of time and we were running from the bed to the bathroom an so on.Finally,Stephany told me that she would put a new shirt on the man, so I started to carry all the dirty stuff outside in the hall, were our caddy was placed. Because of our need in sheets,blankets,skin products, towels etc., the door of the room was open to have free access to the caddy. So I turned my back to my friend, and I heard her talking with the man, moving him etc. A sheet fell down on the floor while I was walking, so I had to go down to grab it from the floor. And the moment I took the blanket I looked through the open door into the hall. And I swear, a little old person in a white nightgown passed through the hall. It didn't touch the floor, it was like floating, completely silent.First,I thought:"What the f...?Stephany was just now at Mr.X'bed-what is she doing in the hall?" (Remember that as nurses, we were dressed in white). The logic question that, if Stephany would have left Mr.X,I would have seen her leaving the room,didn't come to my mind. I simply stood there like frozen. All this happened in seconds.

I heard Stephany's voice behind me:"Hey,what's going on? You want to carry that dirty sheets all night?"She laughed.

I jumped and said:"Steph...but you were just outside in the hall?!"

"No,I was dressing and installing Mr.X. Remember?What's wrong? Your face is as pale as snow. You feel unwell? You need to throw up?"

I put everything I had in my arms on the floor an ran into the hall. I still saw the apparition of the woman before she vanished through the wall. Steph came after me as I was standing there with goosebumps all over my body an trembling from terror and cold. We were in the midst of the summer, but I swear you, in the hall it was as cold as in a refrigerator. Steph said:"Wow!Why is it suddenly so cold?" She hadn't seen the woman. And I told her-don't ask me, why I said this-:"We have to go downstairs.Mrs.Z has just died."

Incredibly,she looked at me."What?How will you know? We just looked after her, she was sleeping."

"Steph,I swear, she is dead. I've seen her ghost passing through the hall".Confused,my friend followed me downstairs an when we entered Mrs.Z'room,it was a peaceful and warm atmosphere inside. In fact, she died a few moments ago. Her body was still warm. So we called the med. To have the attestation an at the end of the shift, we washed an dressed her in a beautiful gown. I was silent all the time. But Steph couldn't believe it. She was talking, asking me questions...

At home, after work, I fell in my bed, I was not afraid anymore or scared, simply surprised. I slept a few hours and dreamed of Mrs.Z.She came towards me, was much younger that I have ever seen her, healthy and surrounded by a sort of white light. She told me:"Thank you dear, for looking after me all these years.I'm leaving now". Much later, when I occupied my mind with events like this, I realized, that the "radio" we heard at the beginning was an EVP of Mrs.Z.

Hope you enjoy the story!

Night Shift Link

Mysterious Disappearance of MV Joyita

Mysterious Disappearance of MV Joyita

The merchant vessel MV Joyita was discovered in the South Pacific adrift with no one aboard. The ship was in very poor condition with corroded pipes and a radio which, while functional, had a limited range of about two miles, this was due to faulty wiring. Due the extreme buoyancy of the ship it was nearly impossible to sink. Investigators were puzzled as to why all hands had not remained on board for help.

On October 3, 1955, the Joyita left Samoa’s Apia Harbor bound for the Tokelau Islands, about 270 miles away. The boat had been scheduled to leave on the noon tide the previous day but her departure was delayed because her port engine clutch failed. It finally left port on only one engine. She was carrying a crew of sixteen members and nine passengers, including a government official, a doctor (Alfred “Andy” Denis Parsons, who was a surgeon in World War II who had been on his way to perform an amputation), a corpa buyer, and two children. Her cargo included medical supplies and timber as well as eighty empty oil drums and various food items.

The trip should have taken about 41 to 48 hours. She was scheduled to return with a cargo of copra. While it was due to arrive on October 5th, however, on October 6th a message from Fakaofo port stating that the ship was overdue. No ship or land-based operator reported receiving a distress signal from the crew. There was a search and rescue mission that covered 100,000 square miles that lasted from October 6th till 12th. No sign was found of Joyita or her crew and passengers.

Five weeks later, on November 10, Gerald Douglas, who is a captain of another merchant ship, was en route from Suva to Funafuti, sighted Joyita more than 600 miles west of her scheduled route, drifting north. The ship as partially submerged and listing heavily (her port deck rail was awash) and there was no trace of the crew and passengers in addition, four tons of cargo were also missing. The recovery party also noted that the radio was discovered to be turned to the international marine distress channel, 2182 kHz.

There also able to note some other interesting facts as well:

  1. Barnacle grown was unusually high above the waterline on the port side showed that it could have been listing heavily for some time.
  2. There was some strange damage to the superstructure. Her flying bridge had been smashed away and the deck house was lightly damaged and had some broken windows. A canvas awning had been placed over the top of deckhouse behind the bridge.
  3. All liferafts, single dingy, and lifejackets were missing and there were not enough lifejackets for everyone.
  4. The starboard engine was found to be covered by mattresses, while the port engine’s clutch was still partially disassembled, showing that the vessel was still running on only one engine.
  5. An auxiliary pump had been rigged in the engine room, mounted on a a plank of wood slung between slung between the main engines. However, it had not been connected.
  6. While the radio was tuned to the distress channel upon closer inspection they found a break in the cable between the set and the aerial. The break was even cover up with paint. This was the reason for such a short range of 2 miles.
  7. All of the electric clock on board, which was wired into the vessel’s generator, had stopped at 10:23 and the switches for the cable lighting and navigation lights were on, implying that whatever had occurred happened at night. In addition, the ship’s’ logbook, sextant, mechanical chronometer, and other navigational equipment, as well as the firearms Miller kept in the boat, were also missing.
  8. The doctor’s bag was found on deck, containing a stethoscope, a scalpel, and four lengths of blood-stained bandages.

There was still fuel in the ship’s tanks, seemed to indicates that the ship made some 243 miles before it was abandoned, which was about 50 miles from its intended destination. The leak probably started after 9 p. m. on the second night of the voyage, with nine hours of darkness ahead.

While she had taken on water there was no damage to the hull however upon further inspections after being towed into the harbour, there was some kind of hole in the raw-water in bilges. It seemed to have failed due to galvanic corrosion that allowed in the water.  The first the crew would have known about the leak was when the water rose above the engine room floorboards, by which time it would have been nearly impossible to locate the leak. Also, the bilge pumps were not fitted with strainers, and had become clogged with debris, meaning that it would have been very difficult to pump the water out.


  1. MILLER Thomas Henry (Dusty) Captain (aged 41) Britain
  2. SIMPSON Charles R. (Chuck) Mate (28) U.S.A
  3. TEEWEKA Tekokaa (Tekolo) bosun (25) Kiribati
  4. TANINI Aberaam Tanini engineer (24) Kiribati
  5. McCARTHY Henry jr. engineer (27) Samoa
  6. PEDRO Penaia Kolio seaman (22) Tokelau
  7. FARAIMO Ihaia Kitiona seaman (24) Tokelau
  8. LEPAIO Tagifano Latafoti seaman (27) Tokelau (Atafu)
  9. HIMONA Haipele Fihaga seaman (28) Tokelau (Atafu)
  10. APETE Ioakimi Iapeha seaman (23) Tokelau (Fakaofo)
  11. MOHE Himeti Falaniko seaman (31) Tokelau (Fakaofo)
  12. ELEKANA Tuhaga Hila greaser (26) Tokelau (Fakaofo)
  13. KOLO Leota Telepu greaser (24) Tokelau (Atafu)
  14. PELETI Mohe Maota cook (24) Tokelau (Fakaofo)
  15. WALLWORK James William supercargo (44) Western Samoa
  16. WILLIAMS George Kendall supercargo (66) New Zealand

Passengers: (9)

  1. PEARLESS Roger Derrick (Pete), district officer (30), New Zealand
  2. PARSONS Alfred Dennis (Andy), doctor, Apia hospital (41), Ireland
  3. HODGKINGSON Herbert T. (Bert), dispenser, Apia hospital (49), New Zealand
  4. PEREIRA Joseph Hipili, radio operator (22), Tokelau (Fakaofo)
  5. TEOFILO Tomoniko (30), Tokelau (Fakaofo)
  6. LAPANA Takama, dispenser, Fakaofo hospital (51)
  7. LAPANA Tokelau (Fakaofo) Tekai, wife of Tala(40)
  8. TALAMA Founuku Uluola, their adopted son (11)
  9. FAIVA Liua Noama Rosaiti, their adopted daughter (3)

Info provided by:


The Vanishing Village Myth

The Vanishing Village Myth

In the Kivalliq Region of Nunavt in Canada there is a lake called Lake Angikuni. It is one of several lakes that are along the Kazan River. Ennadai Lake is to the South and Yathkyed Lake is to the North. Some of the notable features of the Lake are the rocky outcroppings of the Precambrian Shield, being part of the Hearne Domain, Western Churchill province of the Churchill Craton. The beautiful local fauna also includes barren-ground caribou migrate through the area. The lake also includes Lake Trout, Northern Pike, and Arctic grayling. This make the place very beautiful to visit.


However, for those of you who love mysteries may love this place more than for its beautiful landscape and fauna. The location is also part of the myth of the vanishing village. In 1930, a person believed to be a reporter in The Pas, Manitoba, made the claim that there was a small Inuit Village right off of the Lake that suddenly vanished without a trace. Now it should be said that the village was always welcoming to fur trappers who were passing through the area.


Joe Labelle, a well known fur trader in the village, found that all the villagers were gone. He had found unfinished shirts that still had needles in them and food hanging over fire pits and had therefore concluded that villagers had left very suddenly. Even more disturbing was he had found seven sled dogs dead from starvation and a grave that had been dug up. He knew that the dogs could not have done this since the stone circles around the area where not disturbed. He reported it the local Police who conducted a search for the missing people, but no one was ever found.


This story has appeared in several different famous fictional places. Such as Dean Koontz book “Phantoms”. The earliest version of the story was found in 1930, Danville Bee, written by a Journalist Emmett E. Kelleher. That article states that Joe Labelle found an empty Eskimo camp with 6 tents and that 25 men, women, and children had vanished. It also contained a “photo” that was later found to be from 1909, it wasn’t even part of the story at all. The incident then was forgotten until referenced by Edward’s 1959 book “Stranger Than Science”.
The local has long since dismissed the case as nothing more than a myth or Urban Legend. Claiming that the story had only originated from Frank Edward’s book. They also have stated “It is also believed that such a large village would never have been possible in such a remote area.” There is also no “noted” activity in the area, paranormal activity or otherwise.

Blood Mary Stories

Blood Mary Stories

There are many different versions of the Bloody Mary Story, below is just four of the ones I could find. Please feel free to comment with your own versions.

Bloody Mary

excerpted from Spooky Pennsylvania

retold by S.E. Schlosser

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She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living. Folks living in the town nearby called her Bloody Mary, and said she was a witch. None dared cross the old crone for fear that their cows would go dry, their food-stores rot away before winter, their children take sick of fever, or any number of terrible things that an angry witch could do to her neighbors.
Then the little girls in the village began to disappear, one by one. No one could find out where they had gone. Grief-stricken families searched the woods, the local buildings, and all the houses and barns, but there was no sign of the missing girls. A few brave souls even went to Bloody Mary’s home in the woods to see if the witch had taken the girls, but she denied any knowledge of the disappearances. Still, it was noted that her haggard appearance had changed. She looked younger, more attractive. The neighbors were suspicious, but they could find no proof that the witch had taken their young ones.
Then came the night when the daughter of the miller rose from her bed and walked outside, following an enchanted sound no one else could hear. The miller’s wife had a toothache and was sitting up in the kitchen treating the tooth with an herbal remedy when her daughter left the house. She screamed for her husband and followed the girl out of the door. The miller came running in his nightshirt. Together, they tried to restrain the girl, but she kept breaking away from them and heading out of town.
The desperate cries of the miller and his wife woke the neighbors. They came to assist the frantic couple. Suddenly, a sharp-eyed farmer gave a shout and pointed towards a strange light at the edge of the woods. A few townsmen followed him out into the field and saw Bloody Mary standing beside a large oak tree, holding a magic wand that was pointed towards the miller’s house. She was glowing with an unearthly light as she set her evil spell upon the miller’s daughter.
The townsmen grabbed their guns and their pitchforks and ran toward the witch. When she heard the commotion, Bloody Mary broke off her spell and fled back into the woods. The far-sighted farmer had loaded his gun with silver bullets in case the witch ever came after his daughter. Now he took aim and shot at her. The bullet hit Bloody Mary in the hip and she fell to the ground. The angry townsmen leapt upon her and carried her back into the field, where they built a huge bonfire and burned her at the stake.
As she burned, Bloody Mary screamed a curse at the villagers. If anyone mentioned her name aloud before a mirror, she would send her spirit to revenge herself upon them for her terrible death. When she was dead, the villagers went to the house in the wood and found the unmarked graves of the little girls the evil witch had murdered. She had used their blood to make her young again.
From that day to this, anyone foolish enough to chant Bloody Mary’s name three times before a darkened mirror will summon the vengeful spirit of the witch. It is said that she will tear their bodies to pieces and rip their souls from their mutilated bodies. The souls of these unfortunate ones will burn in torment as Bloody Mary once was burned, and they will be trapped forever in the mirror.
Author’s Note: You can read all our Bloody Mary stories on the Bloody Mary Legends page.
Bloody Mary Returns: When her evil stepmother kills both her brothers, a young girl must fight for her life using every resource she has at her disposal.

Bloody Mary Whales: Old Man Whales kills his daughter Mary and her spirit returns to avenge the murder.

Read the full legend of Bloody Mary in Spooky Pennsylvania by S.E. Schlosser.


Bloody Mary Returns

Spooky Montana
A Montana Ghost Story

Retold by S.E. Schlosser

My stepmother was vile. I guess most kids think that when their father remarries. But in this case, it was true. She only married Father because he was rich, and she hated children. There were three of us – me (Marie), my middle brother Richard and my youngest brother Charles. We were the price my stepmother Gerta paid for being rich. And we were all that stood between her and inheriting Father’s money when he died. So she took steps against us.

She sent my youngest brother Charles away to boarding school overseas. It had a good, scholarly reputation, but it also had the reputation for being a hard school that was full of bullies and strict discipline. Not a place where a delicate child like Charles, who had been sickly as a baby, would thrive. He was miserable there. Somehow, Gerta contrived to keep him there for all but the summer holidays, and when he came home the first year he was pale and thin with dark circles under his eyes that looked like bruises. He cried – he actually cried! – when Father told him he had to go back to the school. But Father didn’t listen to him. Gerta thought it would be good for Charles to go there, and so Charles went.

I did everything I could – encouraging letters and daily phone calls – until Gerta said it was too expensive and restricted calls to five minutes once a month. I even got Father to book me a ticket to Europe so I could visit Charles. Gerta was enraged when she found out. Her blue eyes went so cold it made chills run up my spine, and her pink mouth thinned into a bitter line that bade ill for me since I had dared to interfere. Two days before my plane left for Europe, the school called and told us that Charles had climbed up to the tallest tower and flung himself off. He was dead.

Father was shocked, of course, and Gerta was quietly triumphant. For a few months, Father paid more attention to Richard and myself then he had since our mother died. But Gerta was beautiful and had winning ways about her that soon drew my Father’s attention away. And now that one of her hated step-children was dead, she focused on another. Poor Richard was next.

Richard was a sturdy chap who was about to enter high school, and he was really into sports. He would have thrived at the boarding school that had killed Charles. So Gerta sent him to an arts school instead. He hated it, but Gerta had told Father he had “talent”, so there he went. (You’d think my Father would have learned his lesson with Charles!) But Richard was a survivor, and he grimly practiced piano and violin when he would rather have played soccer and football. But Gerta was clever. She introduced Richard to a couple of high school boys who were everything Richard craved to be – rich, popular, on the football team. And into drugs. Gerta made sure Richard had a very large allowance, and kept increasing it as Richard was drawn deeper and deeper under the influence. Until one day Richard overdosed, and Gerta only had one step-child left. Me.

I was sure (sure!) that Gerta knew Richard was doing drugs in his room that day. She knew he was ill and possibly dying in there. If she’d “found” him even ten minutes sooner, his life would have been saved. So said the doctor, and I believed him. But Father wouldn’t believe me. He was angry whenever I said anything against Gerta, and told me to hold my tongue. Still, I knew I was next, and I was sure that Father would not live long after willing his fortune over to his wife. I decided that if Gerta got too bad, I would run away and live secretly with my aunt in New Jersey until I turned 18.

From the moment Richard’s body was found in his room, I forced myself to be a model child. My homework was done on time, I was polite to Gerta and all her friends, I went on all the family excursions with Gerta and Father – even the dangerous ones like shark-fishing. You can be sure that I took care to be “sea-sick” indoors and stayed away from the edge of the boat. Gerta was clever with her tricks. Everyone thought it was an accident the time we were out shopping and I fell onto the subway in front of an oncoming train. I managed to roll out of the way on time, but it was way too close for comfort.

I had almost decided to run away when my father brought me the sad news that my aunt in New Jersey had died suddenly in her sleep, poisoned by person or persons unknown. I was appalled. How had Gerta known? But she had – I could tell from the smirk on her face.

I went to my room that night and locked myself in to think. I could run away, but the money wouldn’t last long. And I’d need to finish high school or my chances of getting a good job were nil. Besides, Gerta would still be out there somewhere. If she could hire someone to poison my only living relative (besides Father), she could hire someone to kill me, whether I was living at home or not.

There was only one thing I could think of. And it was a terrible thing. A family secret passed down from my Mother’s side for many generations. It involved a witch named Bloody Mary, who had once tried to kill my many times great grandmother and use the child’s blood to make herself young and beautiful forever. The witch had been stopped by the child’s father (my many times great grandfather) in the nick of time, and the witch had cursed him as she burned at the stake. Cursed his mirror, and the mirrors of all the men who had condemned her to death at the stake, so that anyone saying her name in front of those mirrors would invoke her vengeful spirit.

The story had gotten mixed up over the years, as it was passed down first in their village and then all over the country. These days, school kids everywhere scared themselves silly chanting Bloody Mary’s name in front of darkened mirrors during sleepover parties, and nothing happened to them. So no one really believed in the curse. Of course, no one knew the real story of Bloody Mary. That was a deep secret handed down by the villagers of long ago. But I was a direct descendant, and I knew how to summon the witch. You had to use a mirror owned by someone in the direct blood-line of one of the original families that lived in Bloody Mary’s village. And the witch’s name must be spoken by candlelight a certain number of times in their native tongue.

It was an evil thing to do, I knew. But it was the only way to save my life. It was either Gerta or me. If I didn’t fight back, I was dead. So I took my hard earned money and went out to a specialty store to buy hand-dipped, beeswax candles. Black ones. I followed my mother’s directions carefully, placing them at certain intervals around the living room so that they reflected in the huge mirror behind the couch. Then I lit each one, speaking the spell passed down in my mother’s family. And I waited. Father was away on a business trip, and Gerta was out at a party with her latest boyfriend. She came home late, and scolded me for staying up to study. Her voice was playful and light – I hated that voice. It made her sound like she was nice. But there was also a note of suspicion underlying her words, and she stared hard at the flickering black candles.

“Holding a séance, little Marie?” she asked, emphasizing the word little, knowing I hated when she called me that.

“I just like working by candlelight,” I said mendaciously, turning a page in my text book.

Gerta frowned. “You know, little Marie, I think it’s time we had a talk,” she said, walking over to the mirror behind the couch and primping her hair.

“Yes,” I said softly. “We should. You killed my brothers. And my aunt. But I won’t let you kill me.”

Gerta laughed. “As if you stood a chance against me!” she said, fluffing her long blond hair up behind her shoulders.

I spoke the name of Bloody Mary in the native tongue of my ancestors. Once. Twice. Three times. Inside the mirror, the image of Gerta burst into flames, and another face looked out. It was the malevolent face of a twisted old crone, ruined with age, and altogether evil. I ducked behind the chair as Gerta gave a scream of sheer terror, her eyes fixed on the witch. As I watched from my hiding place, heat burst forth from the mirror, blistering her beautiful alabaster skin. I could hear the flames roaring as the witch laughed evilly and held out her arms toward my step mother.

“Gerta,” crooned Bloody Mary. “Come to me, Gerta.”

And she took my step mother into her arms.

Gerta’s terrified scream was suddenly cut off. The flames disappeared as suddenly as they had come. When I peeked out from behind the couch, Gerta and Bloody Mary were gone.

I called Father at his hotel the next morning to tell him that Gerta hadn’t slept at home. (Well, it was true!) He wasn’t pleased. He called a few of her friends from his hotel room, and quickly discovered she had been carrying on with another man. With several, if the truth be known. Father hated infidelity. He flew home at once to confront Gerta, but she was still missing; presumed run away with one of her flames.

Somehow, Father managed to divorce Gerta without ever trying to find her. And since she had no family in the area except us, everyone accepted the cover story, and no one ever tried to locate her. Gerta was gone for good. And Father and I were safe at last.

Author’s Note: You can read all our Bloody Mary stories on the Bloody Mary Legends page.
Bloody Mary Whales

Excerpted from Spooky Indiana

Retold by S.E. Schlosser

Bloody Mary Whales from Spooky Indiana Old Man Whales was an evil man who loved money more than anything in the world, except his wife. In his lust for wealth, he supplemented his farm income by catching runaway slaves who were escaping to freedom through Indiana. Whales would chain the ex-slaves up in his barn cellar until he could collect the reward on them. When he couldn’t find slaves, he’d capture free men and sell them into slavery.
When the Civil War ended slavery, it was a disaster for the evil Whales, who no longer had a profitable source of income to supplement his farm work. And then his beloved wife died childbirth. Overnight, Whales fell to pieces. He hated the child – a little girl named Mary – that had killed his wife. He neglected her, dressing her in rags, making her do all the farm choirs and half-starving her. In spite of this cruel treatment, Mary grew into a sweet girl who loved her wicked father.
As Mary reached adulthood, the resemblance to her dead mother was striking. Whales saw his dead wife every time he looked at the daughter who had caused her death. One night, after a hefty bout of drinking, Whales lumbered into Mary’s bedroom and stabbed her repeatedly. Mary woke screaming and thrashed around in agony, trying to fight off her demonic father as blood spurted everywhere and bits of torn flesh littered the bedclothes and fell to the floor. When she was dead, Old Man Whales carried her down to the basement, dug an indifferent grave and tossed her body into it.
Two nights later, when Old Man Whales came back from doing his nightly chores, he found Mary standing in the kitchen, her nearly severed head lolling against one shoulder as she stirred an empty kettle. A pool of steaming blood lay beneath her feet, and bits of skin from her knife-slashed face were breaking off and falling into the kettle. “Faaaaaather….” Bloody Mary hissed. Old Man Whales screamed and leapt out the kitchen door. When he glanced over his shoulder, the apparition was gone.
A week later, Old Man Whales looked up from reading the newspaper to find Bloody Mary sitting in the chair opposite him, her knife-slashed dress covered in blood. Her tattered hands were busy knitting him a shirt. “Faaaaaather….” she hissed through knife-scored lips. Blood fell from her body like rain as she flew across the room toward him, knitting needles held like knives. Old Man Whales fled from the house in panic with two deep cuts scored across his back.
Old Man Whales cowered in the barn for several days, afraid to go near his house. After nearly a week of sleeping in the hay and eating raw food from the garden, he decided it was safe to return to his house. The spirit must be gone by now.
Old Man Whales hurried into the kitchen, eager for a wash and a shave after sleeping so many nights in the barn. He pumped an ewer of water and took it over to the little shaving mirror they kept on the far wall. When he looked in the mirror, Old Man Whales saw the glowing red eyes and knife-scored face of Bloody Mary. Her once-fair lips were split down the center and blood dripped from them as she smiled evilly. “Faaaaaather….” she hissed, raising blood-stained fingers. Her nails were long and sharpened like the claws of a beast. She reached out of the mirror and slapped her father twice across the face. Old Man Whales screamed, blood streaming from four slashes on his cheeks. He ran from the house and leapt into the safety of the barn, his heart pounding so hard his chest ached with it.
“Faaaaaather….” a voice hissed softly a few paces to his right. Old Man Whales screamed and whirled around. Blood Mary stood smiling at him through her blood-stained, razor-sharp teeth. Her tattered tongue was bleeding from several places as if it had been scored by a butcher’s knife. She pointed above her head, and Old Man Whales saw a noose hanging from the rafters beside the ladder to the loft. The rope looked inviting, hanging there in a dust-speckled sunbeam. Obediently, Old Man Whales placed his hands on the rung of the ladder and started to climb.

Author’s Note: You can read all our Bloody Mary stories on the Bloody Mary Legends page.


Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary

A Legend of Mary Tudor, Queen of England

retold by S.E. Schlosser
“Mary, Mary…” the half-heard whisper woke her in the darkness before dawn.
Darkness. How appropriate. These days, it seemed as if her whole life was in darkness.
It had not always been this way. She was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, England on February 18, 1516. As the eldest daughter and only surviving child of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Mary was baptized a Catholic shortly after her birth.

Mary lived the life of a privileged Princess in the English court. Then things began to go wrong. The King wanted a son to rule after him. So Henry the VII changed his religious affiliations from Catholic to Protestant, annulled his marriage to Mary’s mother and married Anne Boleyn in the hopes that this new Queen would bear him a son.

Mary was embittered by her father’s treatment of her mother and angered by his blatant religious heresy. It was not right that the King and his people should abandon the Catholic Church just because the King’s wished to annul an unwanted marriage. To Mary’s further outrage, Queen Anne – following the birth of her daughter Elizabeth – pressed for an act of Parliament to declare Mary illegitimate. This placed the former princess outside the succession to the throne. To add insult to injury, Mary was forced to serve in the household of her young step-sister as a reminder of her new status as an illegitimate child. The memory made Mary’s stomach roil. She rolled over in bed and pulled the pillow over her head.

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary…” the dream whisper came again. Mary clapped her hands over her ears to block it out. The dream voice had plagued her sleep ever since her father’s annulment. It was true she felt contrary most of the time, these days. Angry with her parents. Angry with the country that would change its religion at the whim of their King. Angry at everything.

As the sky outside the window turned gray with the approaching dawn, Mary continued to brood on the bloody reign of her royal father. In 1536, Henry had Anne Boleyn beheaded and married his third wife, Jane Seymour, who gave birth to Edward, the long-desired male heir. Jane Seymor insisted that the king make amends with his daughter Mary, and so she re-entered the royal court. But Mary was an outsider now. She was a faithful Catholic and everyone around her was a despised Protestant.

“How does your garden grow,” the dream voice murmured soothingly to Mary as the sun rose over the horizon.

When her father died, Mary’s half-brother, Edward VI, took the throne. He was a consumptive young man, and Mary knew his reign would not – could not last. But Edward was a Protestant and did not want his Catholic half-sister to take the throne. At the contrivance the powerful Duke of Northumberland, Edward had his cousin Lady Jane Grey appointed as the heir to the throne. When Edward died, Lady Jane would be the new Queen of England, and the Duke could control her through his son.

Edward fell very ill at the age of 15. Mary was on her way to visit her dying half-brother, when a breathless spy hailed Mary’s entourage and told Mary her brother had died and that the Duke of Northumberland had seized control of the Tower of London and its armory. He had posted a double line of armed guards round Greenwich Palace to prevent news of the King’s death from becoming known and had ordered out a cavalry troop to capture Mary.

So Mary hid from the Duke’s troops at Sawston Hall, the home of her loyal subject Sir John Huddleston. She had spent a restless night in four-poster bed the Tapestry Room of Sawston Hall and now lay brooding over the unfairness of fate in the dim light of morning.

“Quite contrary,” the dream voice murmured again.

All at once, Mary heard a shout from the roof. She sat up in bed, alarmed by the cry. A moment later a maid ran into the room to tell her that a band of cavalry were rapidly approaching the house. Mary was disguised as a milkmaid, and hustled out of the house and into the courtyard, from which she rode pillion behind one of Sir John`s grooms while Sir John himself escorted her.

When they looked back from the hilltop, they saw the Duke of Northumberland’s men setting fire to the house, angry that Mary had escaped their grasp escape. Mary drew in a proud breath from her perch behind the groom and said to her host and rescuer: “Let it blaze. When I am Queen I will build the Huddleston’s a better house.”

She kept her word. Mary wrote a letter laying claim to the English throne and raise an army against Northumberland. As soon as Northumberland was defeated, Mary ordered Sawston Hall rebuilt. She later honored Sir John with a knighthood and appointed him a Privy Counselor, Vice-Chamberlain and Captain of Her Majesty’s bodyguard.

“Queen at last,” Mary gloated when she finally sat alone in front of her palace mirror before bed. For a moment, she saw flames flickering around her head and torso, but it was only a sudden blazing of the wood in the fireplace as a pine bough caught fire. Tomorrow, she would begin repealing those shameful religious edicts put in place by her half-brother Edward VI. She would bring Roman Catholic faith back to England.

“We need to bring back the old heresy laws. That is what We must do,” Mary murmured to herself as she lay down.

On the edge of sleep, she thought she heard the dream voice whisper: “How does your garden grow?”

Mary’s Catholic reforms were not popular among the nobility. This proved to Mary how corrupt her country had become under the Protestant faith. She was determined to secure a Catholic succession; knowing that if she remained childless, the throne would pass to her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth. At the age of 37, she had no time to waste. To accomplish her goal, she arranged to marry Philip, King of Spain.

Philip was a handsome fellow, ten years younger than Queen Mary. She was smitten with him as soon as she saw his portrait. Phillip was less taken with her, but he conducted himself in an acceptable manner during their wedding and afterward. In September of 1554, a court doctor told Mary that she was pregnant. At 38, there was much concern that she would not survive childbirth. The Council ruled that – should Mary die in childbirth – the British throne would pass to her child and not to her husband. Realizing that t Council would never let him rule England, Philip gave up all pretense of regard for his wife or his unborn child.

Mary’s heart was broken by her husband’s withdrawal. As she awaited her confinement, she turned her attention to something she could control–the punishment of heretics. In February, 1555, she had two Protestant clergy burned at the stake. That night, she dreamed of the fire at Sawston house. In her dream, she saw the faces of the dead Protestants hovering in the flames and heard a voice whispering: “Mary, Mary quite contrary. How does your garden grow?”

Shortly after Easter, Mary went to Hampton Court for her confinement. On April 30, a rumor spread that she’d given birth to a healthy son. But when no official word came from Hampton Court, the public realized the rumor was false. May came and went. Queen Mary was still childless. By June, it was apparent the Queen had a false pregnancy, probably brought on by her intense desire to have a child.

In her anxiety and confusion, Mary blamed the Protestant heretics for bewitching her so that her long-desired child could not be born. In a bitter twist of fate, her husband Philip left England soon after Mary came out of confinement and he stayed away from her for two years while he fought a war against France.

This was the final straw for Mary. In her mind, the Protestants had cost her the succession and her husband. She would make the heretics pay dearly for such interference. There were so many Protestants in England that Mary could not order executions fast enough. Every Protestant she burned at the stake was another win for her poor unborn child and for her dead mother whom the king had divorced. People started calling the Queen “Bloody Mary,” but she did not care. She had to wipe the Protestant scourge from the face of England.

And then her husband Philip returned in 1557. Hope blazed in Mary’s heart. She had another chance at redemption. Surely this time she would bear him a son. It was true that he had only returned because he needed England’s help in his war with France. And she knew that he had brought a mistress with him. But Mary didn’t care. Only the conception of a Catholic heir was important now. Mary ignored the mistress and attempted to reconcile with her husband and win his war for him. She failed in both regards. Phillip lost his war and left Mary for good this time. Still, Mary fooled herself into thinking she was pregnant again. When nine months passed and no child came, Mary sank into despair.

Late in the fall of 1558, an extremely ill Queen Mary lay brooding on her bed, watching the flames from the fireplace flicker in the mirror. Thoughts whirled through her feverish mind. Her Roman Catholic beliefs had lost her the support of the nobles and most of her countrymen. And her childless state and the edicts of the Council had lost Mary her husband. Now some court wag – if she knew who she would have him beheaded! – had invented a nursery rhyme aimed at her. As she gazed unseeing into her mirror, Mary heard the dream voice that had plagued her most of her adult life, chanting the words to the nursery rhyme:

“Mary, Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.”

Such an innocent-sounding rhyme! But the garden in the rhyme actually referred to the number of Protestants she had sent to the graveyard. The silver bells and cockleshells were torture devices. And the pretty maids in a row were guillotines. How dare the nobles mock her! How dare they?

Mary felt death tiptoeing nearer. And there was no child. No one to prevent her Protestant half-sister from taking the throne. Mary felt a tear roll down her cheek and drop to the pillow beneath her aching, heavy head. On the edge of sleep, Mary thought she heard the dream voice crooning: “Mary, Mary, quite contrary. How does your garden grow?” She closed her eyes and felt her soul dropping away from her weary body in death….

“Mary, Mary quite contrary.” The dream voice spoke sharply. Bloody Mary snapped awake, feeling lighter than she had in many years. She frowned, puzzled by what her eyes beheld. She saw a back-to-front picture of her bedchamber; as if she were looking at it through a mirror. Standing in front of the mirror was her half-sister Elizabeth, wearing an elaborate coronation gown. Ladies-in-waiting fluttered about Elizabeth, making last-minute adjustments to her apparel.

Mary was furious. How dare her Protestant half-sister flaunt herself in a coronation gown as if she were the Queen! Bloody Mary flung herself forward, wanting to tear the lovely garments from her half-sister’s body and wipe the satisfied smile from her face. Mary’s body slammed into unbreakable glass. With a scream of rage, Mary pounded her fists against the barrier until blood poured down her arms.

Suddenly, Mary felt flames licking the bottom of her skirt. Blistering heat burned her skin and blew her hair up in an aureole around her face, twisted up with hate and pain. Blood from her hands dripped down the inside of the mirror and pooled around the flames without extinguishing them. Mary screamed, but no sound came out of her parched lips as the dream voice whispered triumphantly: “Bloody Mary, quite contrary: How does your garden grow?”
*Editor’s Note: Queen Mary Tudor died at St. James Palace in London on November 17, 1558. During her reign, she had nearly 300 persons burned at the stake for heresy. Among them was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.

You can read all our Bloody Mary stories on the Bloody Mary Legends page.