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  • Writer's pictureDillon

Confessions of a Nine-year Old Necromancer

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

Bloody Mary, bloody murder

Bloody Mary, bloody murder

Bloody Ma…

- Let me preface this post by going on the record as not necessarily believing in ghosts, at least not the way they are presented in popular culture. Still, I’m not about to risk finishing the ritual to summon a phantom (*insert nervous chuckle).

When considering, my brief – albeit notable – career in necromancy, I shouldn’t wonder whether it can all be traced back to the first Harry Potter film. The first movie came out in theaters in 2001, and my brother and I watched our family’s VHS copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone into oblivion in the summer of 2002. Then you add in ABC Family and the Disney Channel, and you could say that I was practically mainlining Halloween during October 2001.

It’s no surprise then, that when rumblings of a “surefire” method for summoning a specter that I was intrigued. After all, the Harry Potter movie had really enhanced the profile, and the admissions process was bound to become more and more competitive – or at least I figured. So, some basic conjuring was a surefire way to differentiate and impress the committee. I was holding out hope for a Hogwarts’ letter coming when I was old enough, but summoning Bloody Mary certainly had to be some of the kind of experience the admission committee was looking for.

I remember discussing the various strategies for summoning her, and WERE. THEY. VARIED.

“I hear if you place a plate on a table in the dark and say her name and then turn around three times, that you can glimpse her disembodied head on the plate,” said Craig.

Christian had heard that you could summon Mary by saying her name three times after midnight.

I’m going to be honest, I was nine and went to bed before 9, so Christian’s option was a deal breaker, but Craig’s… that was certainly something we had to try.

I went home from school and told my cousins about the plate method, and they agreed that it was something we should try – immediately. It wasn't dark, just after four in the afternoon when we prepared our summoning, but we didn’t really think that the time of day mattered in the “plate summoning method.”

Being to chicken to do it myself, I had my younger brother set the plate on the dining room table and we all retreated about 20 feet away to the foot of the stairs.

In unison, we chanted:

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Bloody Ma –

Then it hit me. What do we do if Mary appears? What if she’s evil? What could she do to us?

These questions raced through my head and were accompanied by extreme dread of having to deal with the eventuality of a rogue phantom. None of the tried and true sources dealt with this. Ghostbusters was really the only one that dealt with capturing ghosts, but I recall feeling that that was a tad unrealistic and sophomoric if I was being honest.

Thankfully, I didn’t see anything… even if my two younger cousins screamed out saying that they saw her head with blood oozing from the base of her neck.

Against my better judgment, we continued trying other variations, with zero success… that is… until All Hallows’ Eve.

My cousins and I came home from a day of learning mixed with bobbing for donuts and dancing to the Monster Mash. I was beat from all of the excitement of the day and sat down to pregame some of the candy we received before heading out to trick-or-treat that evening.

Halfway into sugar rush of my third Oreo, I heard twin screams of terror tear coming from the bathroom. I rushed down the stairs to the bathroom and beheld the horror… I froze and ice rushed down my spine.

To our terror, we had been visited by our heretofore reluctant specter. Mary had been there… in my downstairs bathroom… We left the bathroom in terror, and my Mother coyly asked what was wrong.

*I should note right here that my own Mother was the culprit behind this brilliant prank, and she just stood there shocked when we told her what we saw. Honestly, she deserves an Oscar for her acting here and the set design. She also took two whole days to own up to her prank. Still, the joke was definitely on her because we slept in her room for like two weeks after her little prank! Also, she helped me recreate the image above on her bathroom mirror, which was so kind of her.

We avoided the bathroom that night, and for at least two weeks after. My mom owned up to her prank, but I was not about to chance a real meeting with Mary.

On the next day at school, Mr. Streble asked how about our Halloween. Being anxious to share the results of my foray into necromancy, I raised my hand and loudly proclaimed “Bloody Mary visited my house last night!!”

On the list of things that can cast a bunch of nine-year old children into the throes of chaos, the visitation of a phantom has got to be close to the top. For the next few minutes, people loudly debated my paranormal claim, with the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. Chad, my elementary school nemesis, worked the hardest to debunk my account, because… of course he would.

After considerable effort, Mr. Streble got things settled down again… at least until recess, where Chad came up with the idea that we gathered together after the final bell to try and conjure Mary.

As recess gave way to class… then lunch… then the final hours before the final bell, my stomach was knotted in anxiety.

Would it be better for Mary to appear and shut Chad up? Or would it be better for Mary to ghost us entirely? I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t want to find out.

Time dragged and my existential dread increased as the final bell loomed and then finally tolled.

I grabbed my meager possessions and marched to my doom.

I was surprised to see that so many boys were crowding into the fourth grade bathroom. Apparently, news of my prowess in necromancy had spread, and now the entire cohort of boys in the fourth grade at South Jordan Elementary School was crowding into the small bathroom like it was some kind of a prize fight at the Madison Square Garden.

I remember thinking that I was in way over my head, but I was not about to give Chad the satisfaction of backing down, so I marched to the front of the bathroom next to the mirror. I explained the ritual, and I motioned for Tom to cut the lights.

Then 30-something pre-pubescent boys stood in the dark chanting the words to summon Mary herself.

Bloody Mary, Bloody Murder

Bloody Mary, Bloody Murder

Bloody Ma -


Water Rushing

After saying the final words of the summoning, the urinals and toiles began to flush and then overflow. Boys were panicking and I resolved to get the HECK out of doge, never to necromance again.

The next day at school, the furor continued as people began to explain their wildly differing accounts of what really happened. I recall the number of Bloody Mary truthers to be higher than I presumed, which surprised me then… but doesn’t really anymore. What was surprising was that Chad was pretty quiet for the next few weeks – a truly welcome development.

Then there was the reaction from the “higher ups.” All of the boys were gathered together into one of the classrooms, and we were informed that we were not allowed to use the boy’s bathroom for the next two weeks due to the flooding and our own ‘boorish’ behavior.

I guess practicing necromancy on school grounds probably wasn’t permitted – even if only implicitly so.

And while I’m pretty certain that it wasn’t the case… Perhaps Mary really did visit the fourth grade boy’s bathroom at South Jordan Elementary School.

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