RitualHistorically, the ritual encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards while holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband's face. There was, however, a chance that they would see a skull (or the face of the Grim Reaper) instead, indicating that they were destined to die before they married.
In the ritual of today, Bloody Mary allegedly appears to individuals or groups (usually teenagers) who ritualistically invoke her name, usually by repeatedly chanting her name in a mirror placed in a dimly lit room. The Bloody Mary apparition allegedly appears as a corpse, a witch or ghost; can be friendly or evil; and is sometimes "seen" covered in blood. The lore surrounding the ritual (if she is summoned properly) states that participants may endure the apparition screaming at them, cursing them, strangling them, stealing their soul, drinking their blood, or scratching their eyes out.
A modern addition of taunting Bloody Mary regarding her baby indicates the legendary figure's tenuous connection to Queen Mary I, also known as "Bloody Mary", whose life was marked by a number of miscarriages or false pregnancies.