Mirror Rituals

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#1
Stumbled upon these when researching "Bloody Mary" type rituals.

I'm aware of one where a woman holds a mirror and walks backwards up a staircase in order to see her possible future husband in the reflection.

Of course, when a mirror is broken it has been known to cause years of bad luck.

Then I'm also aware of other mirror myths involving death, where mirrors are covered up if someone in the house died. Another Eastern European superstition which has a mirror buried with the corpse to help the spirit to not get lost.

Is anybody aware of any other mirror rituals or superstitions involving them?
 

escargot

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#4
My mirror ritual is to avoid looking in them if at all possible. All I see when I do is an old man, which can't possibly be true.
A neighbour had a special flattering mirror near her front door in which I'd preen when I arrived and left. It made me look, y'know, gorgeous. Must've been a trick of the light!

OTOH my sister once said 'The women in our family start going grey at 26, hey, aren't YOU 26?'
The following occurred:
Me: Pfft, I'M not grey!
Sis: There's a mirror here!
Me: *looks in mirror, spots several grey hairs*
Me: AARRGHHHHHHH
Sis: *smug face*
 

JamesWhitehead

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#5
My Welsh Gran would cover the mirrors if there was thunder.
It seems to have originated with the belief that mirrors attracted lightning-strikes, though the habit, once established, would itself attract varied explanations.

I quite like the notion that lightning is a vain phenomenon that can't resist admiring itself in the looking-glass. Or maybe it is insecure: "does my arc look big in this?"

I did read somewhere that the covers were to prevent visions of the Last Judgment - presumably Jesus would not bother homes with covered mirrors! In contrast, pious folk in Germany - the Black Forest, I think - were said to leave their doors open during storms, so that the Saviour could walk in! Very considerate! :bdown:
 
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PeteS

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#6
The Jewish faith requires mirrors to be covered after a death. Several reasons for this apparently, one of which is the potential for demons to appear to replace the departed soul, which can be glimpsed in a mirror. Also relates to the requirement not to admire your reflection when you should be concentrating elsewhere and other similar religious rules.
 

PeteS

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#7
I'm aware of one where a woman holds a mirror and walks backwards up a staircase in order to see her possible future husband in the reflection.
Blimey- not heard of that one for decades. Amazing what you forget.
 

heisenbear

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#8
1835584.jpg

I read this years ago. It was one of the first horror books I ever had and I couldn't look in a mirror for ages afterwards!
 

OneWingedBird

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#9
There's a Stephen King short story, The Reaper's Image, that involves a mirror.

Every so often a person sees something in it, then runs out of the room, never to be seen again.
 

Ulalume

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#10
Mirrors, like crystal balls, have traditionally been used for scrying. It's also not unheard of for non-mystical folk (who aren't necessarily meaning to scry) to have glimpses of the future while combing their hair in front of a mirror.

This isn't a ritual but a personal anecdote - a relation of mine, as a child, swore she would sometimes see a ghostly hand reach out of the mirror in her parents' bedroom. This was obviously very frightening, so when she grew up and had kids of her own, she kept quiet about this and insisted to them there were no such things as ghosts. Then one day while visiting their grandparents, the kids came screaming out of that same bedroom, saying they'd seen a ghost hand in the mirror.

I have no idea why a ghost (or whatever) would manifest in a mirror, but the fact they all saw it was interesting.
 

PeteS

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#13
Mirrors, like crystal balls, have traditionally been used for scrying. It's also not unheard of for non-mystical folk (who aren't necessarily meaning to scry) to have glimpses of the future while combing their hair in front of a mirror.

This isn't a ritual but a personal anecdote - a relation of mine, as a child, swore she would sometimes see a ghostly hand reach out of the mirror in her parents' bedroom. This was obviously very frightening, so when she grew up and had kids of her own, she kept quiet about this and insisted to them there were no such things as ghosts. Then one day while visiting their grandparents, the kids came screaming out of that same bedroom, saying they'd seen a ghost hand in the mirror.

I have no idea why a ghost (or whatever) would manifest in a mirror, but the fact they all saw it was interesting.
Our bathroom mirror smashed recently, having been knocked over by the curtain blowing about in the wind. That'll teach it thought I, but it's successor has the similar evil intention of proving that I'm not 25.. Damn all reflective surfaces to hell.
 

GNC

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#14
Mirrors, like crystal balls, have traditionally been used for scrying. It's also not unheard of for non-mystical folk (who aren't necessarily meaning to scry) to have glimpses of the future while combing their hair in front of a mirror.

This isn't a ritual but a personal anecdote - a relation of mine, as a child, swore she would sometimes see a ghostly hand reach out of the mirror in her parents' bedroom. This was obviously very frightening, so when she grew up and had kids of her own, she kept quiet about this and insisted to them there were no such things as ghosts. Then one day while visiting their grandparents, the kids came screaming out of that same bedroom, saying they'd seen a ghost hand in the mirror.

I have no idea why a ghost (or whatever) would manifest in a mirror, but the fact they all saw it was interesting.
There's a demon (or "Anti-God") hand that reaches out of a mirror in John Carpenter's film Prince of Darkness - from 1987. Mind you, it's not one of his more famous works, so I don't know how meme-y it is.
 

Ulalume

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#15
There's a demon (or "Anti-God") hand that reaches out of a mirror in John Carpenter's film Prince of Darkness - from 1987. Mind you, it's not one of his more famous works, so I don't know how meme-y it is.
My relation's ghost hand in the mirror made its first appearance in 1977, so she got in before him. :)
 

chicorea

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#16
There's a demon (or "Anti-God") hand that reaches out of a mirror in John Carpenter's film Prince of Darkness - from 1987. Mind you, it's not one of his more famous works, so I don't know how meme-y it is.
I rememeber this film and this scene in special quite well. The use of grainy videotape was sometimes very effective too. Very creative for its time. And convincingly spookey, too.
 

GNC

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#18
I rememeber this film and this scene in special quite well. The use of grainy videotape was sometimes very effective too. Very creative for its time. And convincingly spookey, too.
Yeah, the dream message from the future was a great idea, and surprisingly unsettling for a film that doesn't have a big reputation.
 

OneWingedBird

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#19
I rememeber this film and this scene in special quite well. The use of grainy videotape was sometimes very effective too. Very creative for its time. And convincingly spookey, too.
I remember the movie too, mostly for the Alice Cooper cameo though, and his contribution to the soundtrack.
 
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