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Publication: The Paranormal Insider
Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

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Issue date: Saturday, November 4, 2006
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P A R A N O R M A L  I N S I D E R 
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Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

Hi Everyone!

I hope all my readers had a safe and happy Hallowe'en, and 
that all the spirits you encountered were good ones! It was 
a quieter evening than usual in terms of trick or treating 
in our neighbourhood, but that gave me time to light 
candles in honour of my ancestors and to remember those who 
have crossed to the other side of the veil. 

I was watching a local news station's call-in show on 
Hallowe'en day, interested to hear some of the ghost 
stories that viewers were calling in with, and sure 
enough, I heard some pretty spooky tales. A woman named 
Lynne phoned in to tell about the ghost in her bathroom 
mirror. She was living with a roommate some years ago when 
her mother passed away. A few days later, she received a 
frantic call at work from her roommate, who explained she 
had just had a shower, and when she got out and glanced in 
the mirror, she had seen a face there. When Lynne got home 
that evening, she went straight into the bathroom, and 
sure enough, when she looked into the mirror, to her utter 
amazement there was the face of her mother, floating eerily 
in the mirror. She described it as a black and white image, 
that looked like a hologram hovering within the glass. 
The image stayed in the mirror for many days, or perhaps 
even weeks, and over time, Lynne began to find it comfort-
ing, knowing that it was her mother's way of letting her 
know that everything was okay. 

Mirrors are famous for their magical uses, and are also 
considered portals to the other side. Numerous fairy tales 
center on the magical properties of mirrors, including, 
of course, Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. Mirrors have 
been used in scrying throughout the ages. Scrying, which 
is simply the art of looking into a reflective surface to 
divine psychic information, was originally accomplished by 
gazing into water, either in a dish or even in a pond or 
pool, by using polished stones or metals, or other shiny 
objects (including crystal balls). Polished glass and later 
mirrors, however, have become an equally popular tool for 
this art since their invention. For enhanced success in 
scrying, the back sides of mirrors are often painted black, 
and the surfaces are anointed with herbs and oils that aid 
clairvoyance. Nostradamus used both flame gazing and water 
gazing to gain his famous prophecies. The accomplished seer 
would sit before a brass bowl filled with steaming water 
and pungent oils, to view images in the dancing flames or 
reflections in the water's depths. 

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Mirrors are said to be able to trap spirits 'between the 
worlds'. It is still common practice in many cultures and 
religions to cover the mirrors in the house after a death 
in the family, at least until the body is taken for burial. 
Until fairly recent times, the bodies of the deceased were 
laid out in their own homes, and it was believed that if 
the dead person's spirit caught a glimpse of itself in the 
mirror, it would remain in the house, trapped in the glass. 
Many people caution, therefore, against buying antique 
mirrors and keeping them in the house, because over the 
years, no doubt they had seen a death or two. 

We can also look to the concept, popular in horror movie 
fare, of mirrors being used as 'message boards' by ghosts. 
Spirit entities are said to be able to use mirrors to 
communicate with those they are haunting, most often by 
writing a message or drawing an image in a steamed up 
mirror. Often these images or words reveal themselves all 
at once, instead of being written or drawn out one letter 
or piece at a time. 

Then there is the psychomanteum, developed by noted para-
psychologist and NDE expert Raymond J. Moody - as a way to 
induce altered states and to communicate with the dead. A 
psychomanteum is a totally enclosed room, completely dark, 
in which a person sits in a chair and gazes into a large 
mirror. As the person relaxes and enters a somewhat 
hypnagogic state, images begin to reveal themselves in 
the mirror, either of future events, or of communiqués 
from deceased spirits. 

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Mirrors are also important in Feng Shui. Aside from the 
most common uses of mirrors as remedies for stale or 
negative energies, and the enhancement of positive energies 
in the home or area, Feng Shui guidelines caution against 
the improper placement of mirrors within the home, 
particularly in the bedroom. A mirror placed incorrectly 
or prominently in a bedroom not only invites 'outside' 
energy into the room (and therefore a couple's relation-
ship if it is a marital bed), but can also have other 
deleterious effects. It is thought by some that if a mirror 
is placed where it can be seen from the bed, the spirit of 
a sleeping person, when it wanders out of the body at 
night, may catch a glimpse of itself and give the person 
a rude shock at the sight. 

Mirrors can also be used in meditation, aura reading, and 
in past life exploration. Staring into a mirror in a 
darkened room, by the light of one or more candles, one 
can not only learn to see their own aura, but can also 
experiment with images of transfiguration and access past 
life information through the varying faces and characters 
that appear while gazing into their own reflection. 

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And one of the scariest practices using a mirror? That is 
the supernatural game Bloody Mary, an apparently popular 
'dare' game usually practised by teenagers. The idea is to 
summon the spirit of a malevolent witch named Mary, who 
was burned at the stake in centuries past. The usual 
format, although there are many variations on it, is for 
a group of young people, usually girls, to go into a 
darkened bathroom, stare into the mirror, and begin to 
chant, "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary..." The 
chanting begins in a whisper and gets louder with each 
repetition. Sometimes the participants will spin around 
with each chant. Supposedly, the 13th repetition of the 
phrase "Bloody Mary", a gory, blood-covered image of an 
old hag will appear in the mirror. 

This Bloody Mary mirror ritual may also relate back to 
various forms of divination involving mirrors and darkness 
that were traditionally performed as Hallowe'en or Friday 
the 13th rituals. Such "mirror witch" games may have their 
roots in divining rituals from hundreds of years ago, where 
young girls would scry or perform magick, sometimes in 
darkened rooms and using a mirror, where they would hope 
to catch a glimpse of their future husbands. If a skull 
appeared however, that presaged a death before the wedding 
day. Folklore says that in days of old, young women wishing 
to know their future would walk up a flight of stairs 
backwards, in a darkened house, holding a candle and a 
hand mirror. Gazing into the mirror as they went, they 
were supposed to be able to catch a glimpse of their 
husband-to-be's face. 

The Bloody Mary game is obviously not recommended by 
experts, especially for impressionable and suggestible 
teenagers. There are plentiful stories of deaths and even 
insanity resulting from this practice, and even if they 
are only urban legends, why invite hysteria and potential 
harm? Personally, I feel if you really want to scare your-
self silly with a mirror game, wait until middle age and 
just count the wrinkles you see when you gaze at your 
reflection ... believe me, shivers and chills are just 
about guaranteed:>) 

Have a great weekend and see you next week! Please continue 
to send any of your paranormal experiences to me at 
zsuzsana@paranormal.com. I will be printing a selection of 
your contributions again very soon. All the best! 

Zsuzsana Summer

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