The Many Faces Of Mary
Contributed By: Mariela D’Amico
It’s a hot summer night, the moon is shining brightly above the open field, as two young lovers meet. They make love by a large rock making promises to each other they would soon be together. Laying in each other’s arms staring up at the moon the lovers do not realize that there is someone watching them from the field. In the darkness he watches the couple, the rage of jealousy surging through his body as a plan forms in his mind. He wanted Mary for himself and he would have her, he watched her closely for a while always following her to the field and watching as she met up with her lover.
One night Mary walked to the field the moon didn‘t shine as brightly, her heart pounding in her chest she couldn’t wait to see her one true love. She finally got to the rock and was little disappointed when she didn’t see him there so she sat down and waited. She looked around in the darkness and still he did not come, she was about to leave when she saw him coming out from the shadows of the field. Her face brightened as she waited for him to get to her, just a few feet away she began walking towards him she couldn’t wait to be in his arms when she suddenly stopped and stood very still. Walking towards her was not the man she was waiting for, it was him he’d found out. What would he do, before she could turn and run away he grabbed her, he’d waited a few weeks for this moment. He watched the look of horror on her face but he didn’t care, he wanted her and didn’t care how. Mary screamed for help but no one would hear her so far out into the field. As she was being beaten and raped she wished her lover would show up and saver her but he never did. When he was done satisfied with himself he walked back to the cottage, no one ever to hear from Mary again. And though her life ended her story had just begun.
We’ve all grown up hearing similar stories of a young girl named Mary, every town and every state feel it supposedly originated there. But did Mary really exist? If she did, why haven’t we found her? Why does she not have a last name? Is this a true story or simple town folklore? As the years have passed the story of Mary changes, kind of like the game telephone we used to play as kids. You start off with one simple thing and as it passes down to each person they interpret something different to the next, adding a few touches they thought they heard, you end up with a similar story and a lot of new tweaks here and there. The story of this young girl who gets murdered has become a legend a famous urban legend. An urban legend is a myth, a story told to entertain us and as the years pass parts of the story are added or changed to make it more entertaining. It is like looking for buried treasure you read about, seek out and never really find. Mary’s Grave is like this treasure, we all seek an un-gettable get.
Here are a few versions told about Mary, they are not in any particular order.
1st version- she had a very jealous father who had ancestral feelings towards her. When he found her sneaking off to meet her boyfriend he killed her.
2nd version- she had a boyfriend and was cheating on him, when he found out he hung her on a tree behind their house and buried her body in the back yard. Supposedly you can see her body still hanging on the tree.
3rd version- she committed suicide when her lover did not return from the war. The lights to the room she rented in were seen turned on even when there was no one occupying the room.
4th version- she was a witch and killed children, when the villagers found out she was responsible from their missing children she was burned at the stake.
5th version- She was rapped by two men in a field. She comes back on the anniversary of her death to seek her revenge by killing two strangers or she’s seen walking down the street, if you drive past her she jumps out at you to scare you into crashing.
6th version- Mary’s boyfriend cheated on her so she killed him, when the town found out what she did they hung her on a tree and buried her body.
One of my personal favorite stories that I was told as a child has two very similar versions; A young guy was driving down the highway when he sees this beautiful girl walking alone wearing a white dress. He pulls over and offers her a ride, she gets in the car and tells him where she lives. He drops her off at the house and drives away when he notices she left behind her white scarf so he turns around and goes back to the house. He knocks on the door and waited until an old woman answers, he asks for Mary. The woman looked at him strangely thinking he was pulling a prank and got mad. “ Mary doesn’t live here anymore she died 15 years ago.” The young man freaks out and now he thinks it’s a joke. “He says that can’t be I just dropped her off here. She left her scarf in my car.” The woman shaking her head tells him the name of the cemetery and where to find her grave stone, not believing the woman he drives to the cemetery and finds her grave.
Another version of that story is that on prom night this guy was driving down the highway when he sees a girl walking alone. He sees that she’s dressed up in a white gown looking like she was also going to the prom. She gets in the car and introduces herself as Mary he asks her if she’s going to the prom and she says yes. When they arrived they danced all night having a great time, when the prom was over they walked outside. It was getting cold so he took off his jacket and put it around he , he asked her where she lived and took her home. When they got to her house he asked if he could call her sometime so she gave him her name and number. She got out of the car and walked up into the house he watched her go inside as he drove away he realized she still had his jacket. He turned around and drove back to the house, he knocked on the door and an old woman answered. He asked for Mary and the woman got upset, “Mary doesn’t live here anymore she died a few years ago, she was hit by a car on her way to the prom.” The young man couldn’t believe it, he described her to the woman and told her he’d just dropped her off. The woman gave him the name of the cemetery she was buried in and where to find her grave. When he got to the cemetery he walked around and was shocked to find her grave and ontop of the headstone was his jacket.
As you can see there are many different stories some very similar to each other but changed in some way. But let’s not forget the most famous Mary story of all, “Bloody Mary”. A story about a woman gone insane who killed her own children and then herself, it is said that you can summon her at midnight by chanting her name three times. She will tell you your future, but you must not look directly at her or she will kill you. All you have to do is be alone in a room with a mirror, wait until midnight, turn off the light, leave on a lit candle. Now if you’re brave enough, chant “Bloody Mary” three times and she will appear. How many times have we all heard this story at a slumber party, someone is always dared to go into the bathroom at midnight and try it. What is it about Mary that draws us in? It’s not just the stories that draw us but what supposedly is seen since her “death” unexplained occurrences in the areas where she supposedly died.
One story is that if you’re lucky enough to find her true grave and flash your light at it you can see her face. Another story is that if you step on her grave she will appear before you and kill you. If you flash your lights and honk your horn at Mary’s house then turn off the car the car will not turn back on. Are all these stories true or are they just a myth? There is definitely something about Mary, whatever the story we are all pulled in. Who knows what stories will be told to the new generations, as long as we are all pulled in the legend of Mary will continue.