Reposted from October 24, 2010
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! Bloody Mary: A True Nightmare . . . as told by Joslyn Corvis
It was quite some years ago. I would say I was around thirteen or fourteen at the time. And it was the stupidest thing I have ever done. Well, scratch that; it was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. To tamper with the supernatural is one bad idea.
My nephew was a few years younger than myself, but we got along really well. At times we did, anyway. We were like siblings. One minute we were cool, the next we were fighting like a ninja monkey and a pit bull. If a ninja monkey and a pit bull in battle doesn’t paint a vivid enough picture, I don’t know what will. But all in all, we were best buds. We were tight.
We decided to go into the bathroom, turn out the lights, and say “Bloody Mary” three times in the mirror. It was pitch-black in there. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face if you squinted and strained your eyes. So, me being the idiotic leader, said it. I can’t remember if he refused and dared me to, or if I took it upon myself. “Nothing’s gonna happen,” I remember thinking, and probably said it out loud. I just didn’t believe in anything so stupid.
“Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…” I said, and I said it thrice, but I am too afraid to type it three times in a row. As I said the very last syllable of her name, I think I squealed and I just remember immediately flipping the light on. I just got way too scared. And nothing happened. Not in the very least!
Nothing came out of the mirror, nothing tried to grab me in the darkness, and nothing came up from any of the drains. It was silly and stupid.
Fast-forward a few days later. My nephews and niece had already gone home from their weekend stay. I was brushing my teeth in the same bathroom. I looked in the mirror and thought nothing of it. I had completely forgotten about the stupid little summoning ritual.
After checking my teeth in the mirror, I turned out the light and opened the bathroom door to leave. I swear, as soon as I opened that door, something flew at me. For years, I described it as a headless bat. I didn’t get to see it well because it swooped over me and I fell to my knees, cowering down. It came right toward my face, and that’s all I saw before falling to avoid it. A black, solid shadow. That’s why, for so many years, I said it was a headless bat. I could make out no features and though things get distorted through time, It seems that I might have seen a sort of stump where it’s head should have been.
The scary thing was that I didn’t only see it, but as it flew down, I heard it. Its wings flapped right over me and almost instantly it was gone! At first I thought it had flown into the bathroom, which it did, but it was just gone!
Now let’s fast-forward again to a few days later at school.
I was sitting there with friends. Something black flew at me, and it looked so much like the thing I saw in the bathroom. I fell to my knees, just as I had in the bathroom, and I screamed bloody murder! I was frantic! I mean, it was right there and I saw it again! But this time, everyone was around me. I didn’t have time to think, but I was just terrified.
I regained a little composure when I noticed that it was a sock someone had thrown at me. A trouser sock, which, when thrown, can look a little like a headless bat creature. I got picked on all the time, and this stupid group of boys thought it would be funny, for whatever reason, to throw a stupid sock at me!
Even worse, the vice principal walked right by and gave me the meanest glare. Couldn’t she tell I was scared? How could she not?!? I was frantic! I sheepishly said, “They’re throwing stuff at me,” because I didn’t want to say, “I thought it was the headless bat that tried to attack me in the bathroom the other day!” I almost said that I thought it was a bat as it flew at me, but it took me a while to even get the words out that they’d thrown it at me. I’m still really irked because the VP just looked at me as if I were some sorta freak, and she had no idea about the horror I had experienced! And she didn’t even reprimand those boys for picking on me!
But who would believe me about what I had seen?
And among you, dear readers, I wonder who out there believes me as I write this, or is chalking it up to another spooky Bloody Mary tale. But I can say that I saw something and I heard … something. What that something was, I may never know. I can only guess as to what it was. How did I see and hear it if it wasn’t there? How did it just disappear? Something that size, about a foot long (like a trouser sock in flight), would not have gone unnoticed if it had been trapped in the bathroom. It was one of the scariest, most puzzling things I have ever experienced. And it really makes you question your sanity!
So with that, I bid you all the Happiest of Halloweens!
NOTE: Names have been changed.
DISCLAIMER: Witchcraft is not something to be taken lightly. Don’t believe me? Just ask Christine O’Donnell; it ruined her campaign, and if you type her name in, the auto-search will say “Christine O’Donnell witchcraft”.
In 100% seriousness, you have to know what you’re getting into if you decide to dabble in the Occult. It could cause some unsavory consequences if you’re not careful, or if you don’t know what you’re doing.
HEX OR HOAX?
Remember Salem? It was a bad time for witches and Christians alike! If you weigh more than a Bible, you’re a witch. Thank goodness for scientists! But, is there such a thing as witchery? And does it work? Here are some true accounts to make ya go,Hmmm….
Let me segue into this piece with a little snippet I’ve heard about what appears to be a real witch sighting. It was nighttime, so it was obviously pretty dark out save for some lights scattered here and there. A man was standing outside his home and saw a woman sitting side-saddle on a broom off in the distance. She held his gaze as she floated by in mid-air. And then she flew away, out of sight. He was stunned, trying to figure out just what he had seen. There’s nothing more to tell, but that little tidbit leaves a lot to the imagination.
After getting some accounts of seemingly successful hexes, I compiled a few stories. Read on.
Sixteen-year-old Alex broke up with his girlfriend. Alex is now in his thirties, but he never quite got over her. He thought it was a simple case of love-sickness or guilt because of his youthful stupidity. He contacted her many years later, pouri.ng his heart out to her. He still loved her and thought of her quite often. He had done some pretty awful things to her, even though he was the one who wanted out of the relationship. In turn, she put a spell on him so that he’d never forget her. And he didn’t. He still has no clue that he had been hexed, and the only person who knew about it (other than the young girl scorned) was a friend. Through the years, Alex would pour his heart out to this friend about what could have been if he’d stayed with his high school sweetheart, but the friend never said a word to Alex about the curse.
There was a young woman we shall call Fran, whom everyone found obnoxious. She was always showing off and trying to get attention, and always taking credit for other people’s accomplishments in the work place. Sound familiar? Yeah. Thought so. Well, she trusted Marie with her purse, knowing that Marie wouldn’t have dreamed of rifling through her things or taking anything out of it. But Marie was not to be trusted completely. She snipped a stray thread from the purse handle and affixed it to a voodoo doll. Then she bent the doll’s limbs back and forth. The next day, Fran came to work bragging about how she was dancing at some club or party. Not unusual. She took any opportunity to show off her awful choreography, thinking people were captivated with her coolness while they rolled their eyes instead. Then she gave a play-by-play on which dance steps had caused her to hurt her arm and leg. Marie overheard Fran talking and giggled quietly to herself. “She just took advantage of me too many times,” Marie said. “And when I was running around trying to carry the workload of three people, she sat back with her friend and told me not to worry about it while they shared earbuds and the boss didn’t say a word. I got annoyed and walked out, telling her she could do it all herself then. After that she would run around saying, ‘Oh, let me get that for you!’ every time I lifted a finger, but I was so used to doing everything myself. The next day she told everyone she was going to beat me up, and that was the last straw.”
Miss Smith was fed up with a certain someone in her life. She couldn’t take any more of his nonsense. It was not her significant other, but rather one of his relatives. After he tried to sabotage her relationship and self-worth, she began to see how it affected her. She tried to ignore it for years, if only for the sake of keeping the peace. Finally, all those little things added up until her life became an uncontrollable avalanche. She got angry. And then she got even. She took all of the pent up emotions she’d hidden over the things he’d done and focused all of that negative energy toward him. Particularly, there was a completely unnecessary verbal cheap shot he had taken at her that echoed through her mind until it chipped away at her, helping to fuel her anger. “To put it delicately, I said that he should pee fire. The next day he had a really bad urinary tract infection. You have to be sure that what you say is what you intend, and you intend what you say. Otherwise, some wires may be crossed and someone could get seriously hurt. If you’re visualizing that you want someone to get a bad haircut but deep inside you’re imagining their hair falling out, the worst of your thoughts may overshadow the spell.” Now, this hex may be a coincidence, but it’s an awfully big one. I would imagine if you’re looking up UTI symptoms, it probably likens the pain to a burning sensation.
Now let’s move on to Vanessa. She was engaged to be married, until the truth came out about the person she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Even worse, “the other woman” made Vanessa feel like the other woman! “I won’t go into great detail, but she just wasn’t this sweet, innocent person she played herself up to be. And when I tried to talk to her, she refused. I didn’t know what else to do and tried to play on her sympathy, but she didn’t want to discuss the situation, saying she didn’t need the turmoil in her life. She was just so self-absorbed, even when I pleaded with her she didn’t care. I was finally able to get her to talk, but she just was too dense to hold a conversation with. How could my beloved fall for someone like that, especially since he’d become so high-and-mighty about being so scholarly? I could tell she wasn’t ‘playing dumb’ so to speak, because of the notes I had found from her to him. And though she didn’t outright say it, she implied she was just using my boyfriend. So, even though I’m not proud of it, I hexed her. I wanted her lifestyle to catch up with her and it did. Not in an irreversible way, but just enough. So in a way, I didn’t really hex her. She did that to herself. I only sped up the process.” I asked why she didn’t hex the boyfriend. “Oh, I did. And as far as I can see, it’s working,” she said with a wink. “I just cast a different kind of spell on him.” Dare I ask for more? Sad to say, I didn’t.
Sheila was having a hard time at work. She had always loved her job, but after new management let people go to bring in their own employees, things got bad. The new crews was like a high school clique, sticking together and finding ways to make Sheila’s job harder, and her life miserable. She dreaded going to work now. She didn’t care when she was excluded from parties or break-time conversation, but she wasn’t getting important work-related memos. When she didn’t do something according to the new rules, the girls in the clique would tell on her. Some of the things they had done were just unbelievable. Sheila tried everything, from local management to the big dogs. With the involvement of counselors and human resources, things would get better for a while. But then it would go back to the way it was as soon as the fuss died down. Sheila’s sister, knowing the ordeal, bought her a hex book for her birthday. After looking at the book and finding an appropriate spell, she recited the words over and over. Within a short time, her coworkers quit, got transferred, or were fired. At last, there was one left, and she profusely apologized to Sheila, saying that she was not normally so catty or mean, but explained that the ringleader of the clique had such an influence over her that she couldn’t describe. With the leader of the pack gone, she said she was able to think more clearly which was what prompted her to give the apology in the first place. Or maybe she was worried about being the only one left with someone she had treated so horribly. As for the spell, Sheila changed a few words around by mistake, and what she said was what happened. As for the clique, I have to wonder if there was some sort of supernatural mind control going on, or maybe something a little less complex, like sheep mentality. Things are going great for Sheila now and she loves her job again. And because she saw the power of hexes, she never used that book, or any other of the sort, again.
Years ago, on a military boat, a man bragged how he loved the water and had several boats of his own. But he was an annoying, obnoxious braggart by the standards of many. So, two guys got together and secretly put a hex on him. The boastful seaman got…get this…seasick! He had to be reassigned, and that was that.
This case happened outside of the United States in a country where voodoo is widely accepted as real. A woman we’ll call Mary became very ill, and without reason. She got worse day by day, and she was hospitalized shortly after. Even after extensive testing, the doctors could find nothing to pinpoint the cause of her condition; the results were all coming up negative! Everyone thought she was on her last leg because she was so bad off. She had even lost consciousness for several days. Her sister went to a voodoo priestess for help, believing that Mary had been the victim of a voodoo curse. After the priestess conducted a ritual, Mary got better. Within a couple of days, it was as if she’d never even been sick! Who would want to put a curse on Mary, and why? A “friend” of the family was suspected. She couldn’t stand not being the center of attention. Furthermore, she had always seen Mary as a rival. Everything was going great in Mary’s life, and after being happily married for years and having her third child and only girl, Mary and her baby were hot topics again. Chalk this one up to a not-so-simple case of jealousy. After moving to the United States, Mary befriended a coworker. They had a lot in common, and both hailed from the same country. One day during a chat, Mary told her new friend about the voodoo curse. “I believe you,” said the friend, “because the same thing happened to me!” Although some details differed, the stories were quite similar.
The next time something bad happens, you may want to ask yourself if it is just a bout of bad luck, or something more. Because you just never know; there may be some unseen forces at work. But after spending so much time on hexes, I feel compelled to show some of the good things about witchcraft.
A man was healed of a glandular problem after his wife, unbeknownst to him, had used positive thoughts and prayers, and a photo of him with a healing crystal strategically placed on top. However, the condition returned some years later after he, unbeknownst to her at the time, began cheating on her.
When a person deals with someone they feel is evil, and there is no avoiding it, what can you do? Well, you can get some crystals or charms. Certain crystals have a natural ability to repel negativity, but if you use a charm, it seems you can cast a spell over it to protect the person from being harmed, physically or emotionally, from the “evil” person’s presence. In one case, after a person was given some crystals for this purpose, someone who was giving off some really bad vibes would flee at the first opportunity at hand.
A man with some financial troubles had been given a money charm. He had trusted the wrong people, so the money problems weren’t anything he had done directly. He was a little afraid of the money charm for a while, worried it might cause some sort of repercussion since money is associated with greed. But soon he would have to face the people who were imbezzling his money from his business in court, and he picked up the charm. He held it for a while, thinking how cool it would be if it worked. The next day, it was decided in court that they would have to pay him what they had taken, and they also had to pay him in damages. As it turned out, he had completely forgotten about the charm until he chatted with the friend who gave it to him some time later. When the friend brought it up, he admitted he was afraid of what consequences it might hold. The friend explained. “Oh, no, I had that part covered. The charm was specifically cast with a spell for ‘need, not greed.'”
I wouldn’t want to find myself on a receiving end of a hex, whether they’re real or not. It all just sounds way to coincidental for my tastes!
After receiving a rejection letter on a serious horror piece, I couldn’t imagine why it didn’t make it into the anthology. Lately, I’ve been focused on a more light-hearted style of scary. My Young Adult supernatural novels (still unpublished, but I worked hard on editing the manuscript and sending out queries!) have a different feel. A different vibe. What could I have written to break into the anthology? I tried to think of a new, inventive idea that would give people chills.
Supernatural YA (particularly my Forever Gothic series) is where my heart is at now, from writing them to sending off query letters. I’m in the zone. And that’s where I need to be at the moment. As far as delving into the human mind to breathe life into words that would conjure up images of our innermost fears, well, it can wait for a while.
But while I thought of things to write about in the world of fictitious horror, a thought struck me. I’ve lost my roots as a writer. And not because of my focus on YA. I was simply trying to go against my own grain and do something that requires more training on my part. I guess it’s time for me to devour every book I can about writing a good story. How to make your characters *POP*! In some aspects I’ve been able to do that, but when it comes to a more complex style of writing, I’m going to have to study some of the greats. It’s routine. You get used to doing things one way, and when things change, you have to adapt. When I recently wrote a couple of pieces of nonfiction and had to keep editing, I worked hard to give the editors what they wanted. The first time, my pieces were geared more toward story-telling. The next round (or several rounds), I had a better grasp on what they were asking for. And I tried my hardest to come through. And I think I did, since I just signed a contract for one of those pieces.
Writing a piece of fiction that deals with emotion is difficult. The hardest part about nonfiction is that even though the story is right there in front of you, you have to make it presentable. But to invoke a sense of fear, love, hate, or bring someone to tears in writing, is hard when you’re writing a serious piece, even if it is horror. You have to paint pictures and emotions and a whole scene with your words. I feel that my Forever Gothic series captures the lonely feeling many of us have as teenagers. We can all relate to at least one character in the book. But the focus of those stories are not emotionally based. My focus is on the plot. On the characters. It’s less about playing on someone’s emotions and more about creating characters that will stick with you and providing a fun little escape from reality. It’s about writing a story that we could all picture ourselves in, even if you’re beyond your high school years.
BIG DIFFERENCE IN WRITING TECHNIQUE!
But that’s when it dawned on me. The first book I wrote, and the first one I had in print, was horror. It was written under a different name and I think it’s out of print now. Anyway, the thing is, the book wasn’t just horror. It was true horror. I was never a big fan of the fake stuff unless it had an original appeal. Even in second grade, I was laughed at for borrowing a sea monster book (with TRUE ACCOUNTS!) from the school library. By my mid-teens, I was practically unscarable. Until I came across Tom Slemen’s horrifically scary stories. And yep; they were true.
I deviated from a path I so loved, because I was running low on stories! Sometimes I get stories from people, but it’s not enough to work into a piece. Sometimes the stories are too similar. But, what I really would like to hear about is creatures. Sure, I’ve read up enough on them to be entertained, but I absolutely LOVE the real stuff. And finding first-hand accounts of creatures, which is my poison, is quite difficult. However, I came across something equally as interesting to me. Hexes. Are they real? Coincidence? I don’t know. But I think it would make for a great story!
So in order to get back to my roots, I’ve decided to write about hexes and maybe seek out a few more *TRUE* stories. Even if I don’t write about them, I will definitely enjoy listening! I may not believe some of the stories I hear, but if they leave me wondering if any part of them is true, it gives me a little thrill. When someone relays an alleged experience with the supernatural, I can’t help but wonder…What if . . . ? And that’s the part that intrigues me most about the genre of Horror: Nonfiction.