Story Behind: Bloody Mary

In the middle of the 1st volume of “Dreams, Nightmares, Fears and Fantasy” I wanted to explore a myth and bring it to life.  I wanted to make it my own by putting my own personal spin on it.  I wanted to shoot a legend that I had a personal tie with.

I chose “Bloody Mary” because it is probably one of the most horrifying urban legends.  First, nobody has been able to prove nor disprove this legend.  Many people have said they’ve tried it and it worked barely escaping with their lives while other’s have tried and said it failed.

Fear is being scared of the unknown so without proof it’s possible it could happen which is more terrifying than nothing happening at all right?

Other parts of the legend intrigue me making it more horrifying; like the fact it’s not centrally located.  That means it can happen anywhere there is a mirror at the right time of the day.  If that’s true then every house is haunted and every mirror is a portal to hell.

In 1993 my cousins and I decided we were going to try Bloody Mary that night.  I was staying with them for a week while I was up in Connecticut.  Honestly I was very nervous but I decided to stand strong.  We tried to get the nerve up to perform the ceremony that night but we all decided against it.  I guess you could say we chickened out but for me it was a different reason.  I am completely crazy and would have no trouble doing it but I thought a bit further.

What if Bloody Mary was real.  I didn’t want to get my cousins hurt.  I didn’t want to have her posses my aunt and uncle’s house by releasing evil into it.  If it was my house it was on, but since it wasn’t I didn’t want them to be in a mess that I couldn’t be there to fix.

Regardless when I close my eyes I can still remember that night like I am standing on the porch of their house.  I can smell the sweet crisp New England air mixed against the smell of the wood of their ranch house, I  can feel the deep darkness and anxiety that came in the air thinking in just a few hours we were going to tempt the hand of evil.  Yea it was that real.

So there is my personal connection with the legend and why it intrigues me so much.

This shoot however was extremely difficult.

Originally I planned on shooting it with a bunch of girls in the model’s bedroom looking like they were at a slumber party.  These kinds of parties are usually where we tempt the damned hag.

When I got there to shoot all the girls chickened out even though they knew we weren’t going to try the ritual.  That forced me to improvise.  I had to make the model her own twin.  (I won’t divulge my secret on how I shot it) but you can see from the photo I did it.

Then using strict measurements and angles I packed up my equipment and had to look for another Bloody Mary because the original one was a no call-no show.

Believe it or not it took me 3 months to find another Bloody Mary but the measurements worked perfectly.

In the series you will see a variety of experiences.  The first is the one with the twin,  where she releases Bloody Mary from her mirror portal.  Then later on you see the ghost coming back again sticking her face in the young girl’s face for a second attack.  Then you see her putting on makeup when Bloody Mary reaches out of her compact to strangle her, then finally when you think all the terror is gone and Bloody Mary will not be heard from again you see Bloody Mary inside the mirror while the young victim gets herself ready for bed unsuspecting the terror is far from over.

I shot a few different scenarios because if I was to perform Bloody Mary, it would be almost a positive that it would continue to haunt me for the rest of my life.

One of the things I hear a lot  from people who see the series is how vivid and in your face (almost 3D without the effects) it becomes.  It does send chills down people’s spines and they probably relive the memories of their childhood attempts to bring Bloody Mary into our world.

To see the series visit the “Dreams, Nightmares, Fears and Fantasy” Volume 1 gallery.

  Jason Dowd  /    February 10, 2015  /   Jason's Journal  /   0 Comments
All images contained on this site is the sole property of Dowd Studios, LLC and may not be used or duplicated without the written consent of this studio. All rights reserved. Copyright Dowd Studios, LLC 2014