Ever looked at your reflection to work out your best angle? Little did you know that the mirror itself has a bad side.
Oculus tells the truly chilling story of siblings Kaylie and Tim, who are determined to prove that their parents’ deaths were caused by a dark force from within an antique mirror. To celebrate the release on Blu-ray and DVD from October 20 (just in time for Halloween!), we look at the spooky superstitions, myths and urban legends surrounding the deceptively unassuming household mirror.
– The superstition of a broken mirror bringing seven years bad luck dates back to Roman times. They believed that breaking a mirror would damage the soul and life renewed itself every seven years. Some traditional ways of relieving this bad luck include grinding the shards into dust so a reflection is no longer possible.
– Jewish families have been known to cover up all mirrors if someone in their house dies. This is done as they believe that the spirit of the dead will be trapped in the mirror and thus unable to move onto the afterlife. Similarly, other cultures cover mirrors when people are sleeping, preventing the dreamer’s soul from being trapped.
– Perhaps the most famous legend of mirror folklore is that of Bloody Mary. It was said that if you light a candle and chant her name three times into a mirror she would appear before you. If summoned properly she will often be seen as an evil witch or corpse, screaming and ‘stealing your soul.’
– Another legendary mirror tale is that of the Candyman. Very similar to the Bloody Mary, if you say Candyman five times into a mirror he will appear behind you. The story is apparently based on a slave from a New Orleans plantation who fell in love with the owner’s daughter. The slave was hunted down, had his hand cut off and was thrown into a beehive. Sadly, he died but not before he placed a curse on those who killed him!
– Fancy seeing what your future husband will look like? Supposedly, if you eat an apple, while brushing your hair and you look into a mirror, an image of your future husband will appear behind your shoulder. Who needs dating websites when you’ve got a mirror, an apple and a hairbrush?
– “Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who Is the Fairest of Them All?” Catoptromancy is a form of divination using a mirror to see other people or places. It is most famously used by the Evil Queen in Snow White!
– The Myrtles Plantation near Baton Rouge, Louisiana is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the world, home to many ghosts. One of these spirits is that of Sara Woodruff, who alongside her children died through poisoning. Unfortunately, a mirror in the house wasn’t covered up, trapping their spirits, and it’s alleged that you can often see the handprints of the family on the mirror.
Oculus is out on Blu-ray and DVD now.