Oh come on, you call that a scary story? This one will truly shake you to the core. Now, a friend of a friend told me this happened to her second cousin. Tragic stuff. 

*** 

‘Seriously? Bloody Mary?’ Samantha laughed. ‘Can’t think of anything better?’ 

‘Why, are you scared?’ Daphne playfully raised her eyebrows. Samantha’s face dropped and Daphne immediately knew the right button had clicked; no one wants to be called a chicken at their own sleepover. 

‘You wish. Who’s up for this then?’, Samantha looked at the other three girls, her eyes burning into each one. The choice was simple – either do what the popular girl wanted or become a social piranha. Neither of them wanted the latter. ‘See Daph? We’re all brave girls here.’ 

‘Never doubted it’, Daphne’s face never faltered but her voice betrayed annoyance. Winning against Samantha was a challenge she liked to take on, and yet never won. All in the name of friendly rivalry.

‘Right, so I assume you all know how this goes?’ Samantha said when the girls trailed after one another into the bathroom, handing each of them a candle.

‘We need to call her name three times?’ Michelle, one of the girls, said. 

‘I thought it was nine’, Claire, the other girl, countered. 

‘It’s obviously thirteen, bad number and all’, Angie, the third girl, rolled her eyes. 

‘It varies’, Daphne spoke before Samantha could. ‘But the number that appears most in different versions is five. Since we have the right number, who doesn’t each of us say it once?’ 

‘Surely it would work better with all of us saying it together’, Samantha said while lighting the candles. When she got to Daphne’s, there was a moment of hesitation. ‘Or are you afraid it will actually summon her?’ 

‘Together it is then’, Daphne smiled, the candle casting shadows on her face. Samantha turned away and squeezed herself in the between Michelle and Angie so she’d be right in the middle. The girls arranged themselves in a half circle in front of a square mirror, their elbows just about touching. 

‘Alright ladies, shall we?’, Samantha stared each one down, Daphne being the only one to return the look. ‘What’s with the long faces? It’s just a stupid urban legend’, the other girls laughed but the sound fell flat. ‘Everyone on the count of three. One… Two… Three’, there was a second of silence that seemed to stretch out to eternity. Then Samantha’s lips parted as she spoke, with the others following just a fraction behind. 

‘Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary’, Samantha stopped to catch a breath, the others trailing after her. ‘Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.’ 

Silence. The girls looked at the mirror, the only thing staring back being their reflections. 

‘Well, of course that wasn’t gonna do anything’, Samantha giggled. ‘Alright ladies, I don’t know about you but I could use some Ryan Gosling-’ 

There waa a crack and all the candles simultaneously blew out, bringing the bathroom to total darkness. Michelle shrieked and dropped her candle, splashing hot wax everywhere. 

‘What the hell!’, Angie shouted. ‘You got wax on me, you idiot!’, she ran towards the sink. 

‘Calm down, I’ll get first aid’, Samantha went to the door and turned the knob but it didn’t open. ‘What the-?’, she jiggled the door to no avail, then turned the lock but nothing happened. ‘Who jammed the door?’ 

‘You came in last’, Daphne almost whispered. Just as she said it, multiple things happened all at once. 

The lights flickered as the mirror shattered, causing the girls to go into chaos. Angie backed away covering from the shards and bumped into Michelle, who screamed and slipped, bashing her head against the bathtub. Claire backed up against the wall and covered her eyes from the lights which now resembled a club rave scene. 

‘God, she’s coming for us!’ Angie shouted as the lights turned off for the last time. Something cracked and tumbled, followed by a scream that seemingly came from underground. After that, silence followed, but there was no comfort in it. 

The lights turned on. Angie and Claire looked up. Michelle rubbed her head, a bump already forming on it. It took a moment for the three to register the visual in front of them. 

Samantha lied on the floor, painfully still, glassy eyes staring at the ceiling. There was blood all over, stemming from the wound in her chest. Daphne was looking over her, as if in a trance. 

‘Daphne?’, Claire whispered and very carefully stretched out her arm to poke Daphne’s shoulder. Seemingly awakened, she looked down and after a drawn out moment, her face twisted into anguish.

‘Oh god’, she whimpered. ‘It was her! Bloody Mary! She did this!’

Angie looked at her, head tilted. 

‘Was it?’