Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

Posts tagged ‘ghost’

BLOODY HELL, MARY!

Well, we have a nice turn up for the books today – I am delighted to be able to present you with a one off interview with Bloody Mary herself.  Bloody Mary is known by many names (Mary Worthington, Mary Jane, Mary Whales and Mary White to name but a few) and she has taken time out from her hectic mirror stalking schedule to be here with us today.  Just in case you are not familiar with Bloody Mary’s work, take a few seconds to observe the following:

I’ll give you a moment to come out from behind the sofa.

Nicola Kirk: Bloody Mary, welcome to Weirdworld!

Bloody Mary: Hi, nice to be here, thanks for inviting me.

NK: Wow, where to start!  You seem to be doing very well for yourself these days?

BM: (Laughs shyly) Yes, well, there are a lot of mirrors out there.

NK: For those out there who aren’t aware of who you are, would you like to tell us a little about yourself?:

BM: Sure.  Well, I kind of popped up in the 1970s, at least that’s when the folklorists and urban legend people started to take notice of me.  I’ve built up a rather terrifying reputation for myself over the years, even if I do say so myself. I love Googling myself to see what comes up.  There are endless tales of people being terrified out of their wits after having summoned me and then have me crawl out of their mirrors and trying to kill them – ha!  I’m quite the horror celebrity these days.  But people always seem to have found mirrors fascinating, haven’t they?  People try everything with them –  from divining the future to, well, calling up dead people.  You know, historically, young women would try out a little ritual where they would take a lit candle and walk up stairs backwards with a hand mirror at midnight in the hope that they’d see their future husband in the mirror .

NK: Sounds like something exciting to try.

BM: Well, yes and no – if they looked in the mirror and saw a skull looking back at them then it meant they would die before they got married.

NK: Oh.

BM: Yes.  Although, from my point of view, this sort of ritual can be quite entertaining.  Some girls can’t decide which version of the ‘ritual’ to use.  Should they carry the candle, and eat an apple at the same time, whilst walking backwards and trying to brush their hair?  You know, some people just aren’t born multitaskers and the end results can be really amusing to behold.

NK: How have rituals progressed over the years?  Any bloody sacrifices?

BM: (Sighing) Nothing that exciting.  Sometimes, if they’re brave enough, people try to summon me on their own, in their bathroom with just with a candle, and other times, if they’re drunk enough, people try in groups with a bottle of vodka for backup.  The drunk groups are the best.  There’s always someone who runs into the wall while everyone else runs for the door.  Sometimes I don’t even have to put in an appearance, they spook themselves out before they’ve finished the chanting and run away.  That can be disappointing, especially if I’ve been gearing myself up for a grand entrance.

NK: So, if someone was minded to try and summon you, how would they go about it for the best results?

BM: The most generally accepted way is to stand in front of a mirror in a dimly lit room, candles are a nice touch, and to chant ‘Bloody Mary’ three times.  Some people call for Mary Worth or Mary White, I even had someone calling for Mary Whitehouse once – I’m not sure what they were expecting but they looked pretty shocked when I appeared and asked them what they thought about social liberalism.  Sometimes people try calling for the Candyman for a change but I don’t pull off the brutalised black male artist look too well. But a friend of mine, Hanako-San, she has a tough job.  She haunts toilets in Japanese schools.  People are forever banging on third cubicles on third floors and asking if she’s there.  They get horribly frightened when she actually says she’s home – I don’t know why people go looking for us if they’re just going to run away screaming when we answer.  I suppose it could be something to do with the way we sometimes attack them, but sometimes we can be nice.

NK: Hanako- San doesn’t know Moaning Myrtle does she?

BM: Who?

NK: From..uh… Harry Potter – okay, not to to worry, let’s move on.  What’s your average customer like?

BM: Young and female.  I don’t know why, but it’s always girls having slumber parties.  The number of times I’ve turned up to find everyone in a onesie.  It’s like no one makes an effort these days.

NK: What sort of thing can people expect when you appear in their mirror?

BM: Depends what sort of mood I’m in and if they’re interrupting me while I’m doing something important.  I’m not always a bloody faced screaming corpse you know, I do have quite a repertoire.

NK: Funnily enough, I did try to Google reports of people having met you on a good day and I thought I was onto something when the search turned up ‘A friendly welcome and a good Bloody Mary!’ but unfortunately it was just a pub review on Trip Advisor.

BM: (Shrugs) Yes, well, you can’t have everything.  I have to tell you, being summoned all the time by people looking for a bit of a thrill does get a bit tiresome so you can appreciate that I’m not always going to be sunshine and smiles.

NK: Um, not ever by all accounts.  Having read a few experiences left by people on the internet, they’ve reported being screamed at, cursed and apparently you sometimes try to strangle people?

BM: (Holds hands up) Guilty as charged.  Although I did see a piece of viral tat going around on Facebook once that if you didn’t forward a post on to at least fifteen people then I would appear at midnight to slit wrists, throats and pull eyeballs out with a fork.  I mean really…

NK: Bit over the top?

BM: I don’t even own a fork.

NK: Right.  You have become more famous as the years have gone on, haven’t you?

BM: I really have!  I’ve had films made about me and all sorts.  There was Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005), The Legend of Bloody Mary (2008) and I even got in on that Paranormal Activity 3 (2011).

NK: Yes, we featured a clip from that film at the beginning of this interview.

BM: Nothing like a little publicity.

NK: Have you see the doll they’ve made of you?

BM: Seriously?

NK: Bloody Mary Doll

BM: (Recoils in horror) Woah!  That’s… that’s just nasty.  I don’t look like that, do I?  What’s going on with the hair?  I do like her dress though, I think I could make that work.

NK: There are all sorts of back stories attached to your legend, aren’t there?

BM: Oh yes, I’ve got so many possible origins these days, it’s hard to keep up with them all.  The one I like most is that I am Bloody Queen Mary, famous for her violently imposed religious views.  Not that I’m particularly religious but being mistaken for royalty is quite flattering.  Other stories I’ve heard about myself is that I was a particularly vain woman who spent so long looking in mirrors that I came back to haunt them, and anyone who dares to call me up in a mirror will do so at their peril – but I don’t think I’m that vain.  I spend more time looking out of mirrors than into them these days.  One thing I did read (an essay by Alan Dundes called Bloody Mary In The Mirror: A Ritual Reflection of Pre-Pubescent Anxiety) was that elements of my legend could be linked to the onset of menstruation due to the similarities in feelings between that and how people feel when summoning me.

NK: Yeah, I’m not so sure about that one.  When I hit puberty I don’t recall experiencing mindboggling terror – certainly nothing in the same vein as being murdered by something leaping at me from my bathroom mirror.  Getting your monthlies is a bit different, I think.

BM: I think it’s also something to do with the association with blood and the bathroom, too.  An interesting notion but not one I personally like to be associated with.  I still prefer the ‘mess with me and I’ll rip your face off’ approach to my legend.

NK: And finally, do you have any words of advice for people who are considering summoning you to their mirror?

BM: Yes: bring a change of underpants.

NK: So there we have it, coming to a mirror near you: Bloody Mary!

BM: Thank you!  

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

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A GHOST OF A CHANCE – NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK


I think out of all the things I’ve written to date, this book is possibly my favourite.  Tiennador will always have a special place as it’s the first book I wrote, but I had a really good time writing A Ghost Of A Chance.  I’ve been lucky enough to have been on a few paranormal investigations and although none of them turned out quite like the investigations in this book, the experiences helped to lay the groundwork for the characters and events I’ve written about (I hasten to add that none of the events in this book are based on real people or occurrences, but I wish they were!).

Part of this book was cooked up out of one of my infamous dreams.  I can still remember it now – I dreamed I found a mummified bird in a box under my bed, and my mother kept referring to it as if it had been my baby and called it ‘my poor little bird’.  It was a very surreal and I awoke thinking I could add this to the story… I even write when I’m asleep, how about that…? Anyway, here’s a flavour of what this book is about:

Dee Matlock is 30 years old and fresh out of  a disastrous relationship.  In her desperation to meet someone else before she turns “thirty, single and crazy” she decides to join a dysfunctional paranormal group based at an old manor house.

Between the the founder of the group, the suave and sexy Aaron Myers, and The Manor’s owner, arrogant heiress, Amelia Haughton-Rose, who enjoys nothing more than trying to make Dee feel as insignificant as possible, Dee soon finds she has more on her plate than she can handle.  But just when Dee thinks things couldn’t possibly get more complicated, she soon finds herself embroiled in the dark and murderous history of The Manor…

CLICK HERE FOR THE PAPERBACK VERSION

CLICK HERE FOR THE KINDLE VERSION

 
Nicola

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2012

Book Cover Image and Design ©Nicola Kirk 2011

THE FINAL CHAPTER – SHORT STORY

Working at a museum can be anything but dull and dusty – you never know when history will reach out to grab you.

To receive a free copy, click The Final Chapter.

Format: PDF file

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010

THE WHISKERS GET ME EVERY TIME – SHORT STORY

Cats:  You can’t live with them, they refuse to die quietly…

To receive a free copy, please click The Whiskers Get Me Every Time

Format: PDF file

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010

HELPING HANDS – IRRITATING BOSSES BEWARE!

Be careful what you wish for – you never know what might be listening.

Click for a free copy of Helping Hands.

Format: PDF file

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010

Someone To Watch Over Me

I am the Spook in my family.  I love anything to do with ghosts, vampires and things that go ‘wooo ha ha!!’ in the night.  So why is it that it’s my brother, of all people, who seems to have encountered all the weird stuff?  Stuart is a gentle soul who would rather have his nose buried in the latest Terry Pratchett novel than creep around in the dark looking for ghosts, but it so often seems to be the way that people who aren’t looking for ghosts are the people who find them.

Stuart was critically ill when he was born in 1977 and I don’t think my parents slept a wink for the first couple of months of my brother’s life.

One night when Stuart was finally on the mend and contentedly gurgling away in his cot after having been changed and fed, my parents stood together gazing down at their little boy.

“Goodnight, young man,” my mum said with a smile as she patted his full tummy.  Dad adjusted Stuart’s tiny bed covers and then stood up with a frown:

“We settled Stuart down,” my mother told me, “but just as we said goodnight his face took on the look of someone very much older.  It happened so suddenly that I wondered if I’d imagined it but when I mentioned it to your father a couple of weeks later he said he had seen the same thing but hadn’t said anything to me at the time as he thought he had imagined it, too.  It was quite a surreal moment, but it wasn’t frightening, at least I didn’t think so.  Your father thought whoever it was looking back at us from the cot was laughing at us, but I just saw a loving, peaceful but knowing face.  Perhaps one of his grandfathers came to say hello.  Stuart went to sleep looking quite content.”

What with Stuart having been so poorly and my parents being so anxious, who’s to say that someone from the other side didn’t decide to make themselves known via my brother and offer a little reassurance to my parents that their son was being looked after.

Although, knowing my brother, it could have been wind.

Nicola

Weirdworld@hotmail.co.uk

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010

The Haunting of Hill Hall – Epping, Essex

A few days ago I received an email from Ann of North Weald, Essex.  Considering I’ve lived in the area for my entire life, I have to confess to feeling a little ashamed at never having heard of Hill Hall, Epping.  Especially as it happens to have its very own ghost.

Hill Hall boasts some of the earliest classical decoration on any surviving building in Britain as well as a series of late 16th century wall paintings including scenes from the story of Cupid, Psyche and the mother in law from hell, Venus.

The origins of Hill Hall date back from before the Norman Conquest when the site was owned by a Saxon chap called Godric. I’m sure Godric would be delighted to see what they’ve done with the place over the centuries.  The first proper house was built on the site in the early 13th century and the mostly timber framed building was then rebuilt by Sir Thomas Smith during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The Smiths remained in residence at Hill Hall right up until 1923.

During World War II, Hill Hall was used as a maternity home before becoming a billet for RAF officers.  The stately pile was then abandoned in 1942.  After a while the building was converted into the most unlikeliest of things: a women’s prison which opened for business in 1952.  Things ticked on quietly at Hill Hall until one unfortunate day in 1969 when an inmate started a fire. This is where Ann’s story begins:

“When I was about seventeen, I was doing a project on Hill Hall.  The building has been converted into flats now but it was a women’s prison many years ago.  I was allowed special access to take photos and at the time the place was boarded up due to the fire that had taken place while it was a women’s prison, caused by one of the inmates setting light to herself in her room.   I had access to the grounds only as the building was unsafe to enter.  I was round the back of the house with my dad and I was looking at the back of the house when I saw a woman in a long white night dress.  I watched her for about a minute as she walked along the back of the house and then turned to my dad and asked him who he thought the woman was.  He hadn’t seen her.  When I looked again she was gone but there was nowhere for her to go.

I know it was a ghost I saw that day and I can see the image in my mind even now, as if it happened yesterday.  Hill Hall is reported to be haunted by the lady who set herself alight and caused the fire.”

English Heritage now look after Hill Hall and even though the building has been converted into some rather swanky private houses, the public are still able to view certain areas by prior arrangement.  If you’re lucky, perhaps the lady in white will join you on your tour.

Nicola

Weirdworld@hotmail.co.uk

©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010

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