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My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead - Bloody Mary's Ghost

5 pages
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Bloody Mary is one of the major folklore legends common to most modern day video viewers. The monster or the ghost, in this case, is malevolent spirits appears when a person looks in a mirror in a dark room and says "Bloody Mary" three times. The Bloody Mary is an apparition considered benign, but this particularly depends on the historic variation and the region of the lends. In most cases, the bloody Mary appearances are usually seen or witnessed in groups play.

One of the main explanation is that after staring at a mirror ins dark or dimly lit room for some time and with the bloody merry legend in mind, one begins to hallucinate and conjures the facial features that begin to melt or get distorted (Witkowski 23. In most cases, some of hallucinatory elements including images of dead relatives, strange faces, and animals start to appear hideously, rotating in the mirror making one imagine that they are seeing the real Bloody Mary. The strange face illusion is one of the symptoms of dissociative identity effect causing one's brain's facial recognition to starts to misfire. There are also possibilities that the strange face illusion is caused by the perceptual effect of self-hypnosis.

Self directed fear

Irrespective of the explanation of the strange face illusion, it is also clear that most of the monsters or strange faces are peoples creation. The mind conjures an image of a ghost because that is what the individual seeing the ghosts has been thinking about albeit subconsciously. There is an inherent symbolic relationship between social anxiety and the spirits that one sees. For example, bloody Mary has been known to be seen by only those people who have heard the story and have tried to summon it by looking at the mirror. In most of the fictional movies, bloody Mary is seen as a murderous malevolent spirit that ends up killing the whole group that participates in the play. One has to imagine the ghost for it to come. Bloody Mary doe snot appears to those who do not know about it, but everyone that is killed by the bloody Mary must have summoned its ghosts either consciously or unconsciously by their action or thought. This is the same perception that people have when they associate Islam with violence because in most of the interaction that has had with Islam, they have experienced violence or suicide bombers or heard myths about suicide bomber and terrorists being only Muslims.

The social anxiety that people have contributes in conjuring an image of what they fear. For example, bloody marry mostly appear when neglect or socially withdrawn is bullied individuals who lack the sense of self-worth find themselves in dimly lit dingy rooms. This images of bloody may appear to them when their feeling of self-hate or rejection overcome and overshadow their rational feelings causing them to want to be harmed; their minds create images that in turn haunts the individual. The trepidation associated the ghost and zombies seen in the movies such s "fear the walking dead" or "the night of the walking dead" can be associated with the peoples fear and anxiety. People tend to relate to the pains inflicted by Bloody Mary because of the social anxiety. Just like in the walking dead, the fear of nuclear war, and disease outbreak causes the written of the movie the "walking dead" to imagine the possible scenario after a widespread infection that left people, zombie (Thornton 437-439).

An unconscious reaction to social anxiety

In the story of the Bloody Mary, one will likely create an image of rejected women who come in spirit form to take revenge on those people who mistreated her. As a socially dejected individual thinks about the possible harm they can do those who neglected, criticized or discriminated against them, they start wishing that bloody Mary could come to avenge them. The summon bloody Mary to hurt their friends because they can imagine. Just like it is written, as a man thinks, so is he. As a viewer or a reader conjures the image of a zombie or bloody Mary so does his subconscious mind personifies his real intentions. Zombies are more of a personifying of one's imagination or thinking. It is also stated that when you are thinking a lot about objects or an animal, your dreams on that days will be related to the animal or object you thought about of the actual objects.

Zombies and ghosts are either self-directed fear or a collective fear projection that comes to haunt us. There has to be a connection between the apparition, ghost or zombie that an individual thinks about. From personal experiences, the fear of the world coming to an end and the coming of Jesus Christ have often made me consider the possible outcome of Jesus is coming back "like a thief'. So the fear has become ingrained in my memory that there were times that seeking forgiveness and making suffer that all windows are closed before I go to bed became my routine.

The first thing that comes to the mind of most people when they encounter a problem is that maybe they are being haunted by the person they hurt before. If this thought keeps recurring to an individual, it becomes part of their thought process, and the guilt manifests in their dream and daily life. Often people tend to run from what they know and is not known to the other people within the vicinity (Klosterman). In most cases, these ghosts or apparition appear to the people even when they are awake and can be seen from the shudder, involuntary reactions, and private speech.


This essay draws from personal experiences and theoretical underpinning of the zombification of self-directed fear. There is a significant relationship between social anxiety, cultural anxiety for those who live in America and bloody Mary. It is clear that the nostalgia associated with personal encounters con significantly influences what one feels when faced with a difficult situation. For example, when left in a dark place, self-directed fear of monsters, zombies, and ghosts start to appear. In most cases, these ghosts are associated with folklore such as the bloody Mary or social anxiety. People often wish the worse on their enemies and the longer they entertain those thoughts, they tend to become real, and torment them. In conclusion, ghosts are mostly self-directed fear or fear that an individual has struggled to suppress for a long time that they overcome the persons ability to suppress them. They start haunting one and become more real when an individual finally gives in to the thought of the ghosts become real. The only solution is to shut them out from their subconscious part of the brain.


Works Cited

Klosterman. Chuck. "My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead." N.p., 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2017.

Thornton, Robert. "Marginal Utilities, Time, And Zombies: Comment On Jane Guyer's Prophecy And The Near Future: Thoughts On Macroeconomic, Evangelical, And Punctuated Time." American Ethnologist 34.3 (2007): 437-439. Web.

Witkowski, Evan. "Running With Zombies: Capturing New Worlds Through Movement And Visibility Practices With Zombies, Run!." Games and Culture 12.11 (2015): n. pag. Web.

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