Raising hell

It’s funny how easy it is to mess with people’s minds. You don’t even have to be Derren Brown to do it. Just last Sunday, in fact, I managed to make three of my flatmates and several of their guests supernaturally paranoid.

It all started a little after midnight, when I got in from an evening spent in Scruffy Murphy’s with Charlemagne, Ubelinde and the Cocktail Man. We had a houseful and I came in in the middle of a conversation about the origins of the universe. This being a hobby-horse of mine (and I also think I may have done more research into physics than anyone else in the room at the time), I got drawn in as the discussion went from the origins of the universe to the nature of the universe to Zoroastrianism to the nature of reality and that of perception, and ending with dreams, superstitions, ghosts and the supernatural. It always gets like this if you have a room full of students…

So the Gentleman and his friends, Rasta and Phoebe, got round to the subject of a bizarre superstition from the playground. Anyone remember ‘Bloody Mary’? The variation of this one that I’m familiar with is that you go into the bathroom, say ‘Bloody Mary’ three times, then flush the toilet thrice and look in the mirror. The Gentleman and Rasta brought it up soon after a conversation about ghostly apparitions in dreams so, as you can imagine, everyone was starting to feel a little creeped-out already.

So I got their attention and told them about the time when, at midnight one Halloween, I went into the bathroom at home, said aloud ‘Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary,’ and flushed the toilet three times. And when I looked in the mirror, a figure began to coalesce over my shoulder of a girl with long brown hair. She wept a single tear of blood, and crossed herself before vanishing whence she came.

Of course, I was talking bollocks. I’d never done such a thing. Worse still, I’m a terrible liar. I can’t keep a straight face so I had to keep breaking eye contact with everyone concerned. But it still took in the Gentleman and Rasta. They both happened to look over their shoulders at the same time and they both swear they saw something in the corridor through the window of the kitchen door. They both leapt from their seats and took cover across the room. This was, of course, the desired effect and, boy, how I laughed…

When I told them that I was talking bull, they asked me to actually perform the ‘ritual’ in the flat then and there, with the bathroom light off. No-one, not the Gentleman, Rasta, Phoebe nor the Doctor, would come in with me so I had to say the ‘Bloody Mary’s through the bathroom door in a loud and rather theatrical manner. And after I did it, no-one would open the door to see if I was actually looking in the mirror. And I heard the Gentleman and Rasta having an ‘I’m not going in’ conversation. Later, the Doctor said that he was scared to go in the bathroom now…

What gets me is: how much power can an occult ritual involving flushing a toilet actually have?

So I had a good, if slightly cruel, laugh that night but I think some of the others may have slept with the light on…

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~ by Scary Rob on 22 November, 2004.

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