American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

"Bloody Mary" is the fifth episode of the second installment of American Horror Stories. It premiered August 18, 2022 on Hulu.


A group of teenage girls are horrified to learn that every wish has a price.[1]


Lena Lawrence describes to her friends an urban legend: lighting a candle and saying the name "Bloody Mary" three times will cause the ghostly woman with that name to appear. If the ghost – seeing into the summoner's soul – does not like what she sees, she scratches the summoner's eyes out. Otherwise, the ghost can see the future of the summoner and would tell them how to get what they desire.

Lena's friends Elise, Bianca, and Maggie are skeptical, and muse on whether Bloody Mary could help them with their love lives. They decide to summon the ghost themselves, but Elise's younger sister Bianca stops them from carrying it out. After a pep talk, they go to separate rooms and individually summon the ghost. Mary (a crowned Black woman) appears in each of their mirrors, and tells them that the pursuit of knowledge is noble. If they swear fealty to her, she will give them what they want. Bianca is terrified by the experience, and in the next room Maggie begins screaming. The other three throw open the bathroom door to see a vision of Maggie being killed by the spectre; but when the lights are flipped on, the girl appears to be fine and wonders what they are freaking out about.

They compare notes: Mary told Bianca that she could get into Yale by accusing her guidance counselor of raping her, told Lena to drop a fellow cheerleader from the top of a pyramid formation to become cheer captain, told Maggie to steal her crush's girlfriend's nude pics and post them publicly to win him, and told Elise to hurt someone to become rich. Elise says she will not do it, and they are concerned they might be ignoring the warning that they saw with the vision of Maggie's death.

Elise and Bianca return home early to find their mother engaged in sex, and she promptly sends them away so that she can have privacy. The girls settle into sleep in a car. Bianca voices her desperation to get into Yale, and Elise reassures her as Mary watches from a mirror.

After a sleepless night, Lena and Elise walk together through school the next day. Lena is upbraided by her cheerleading captain for not wearing her uniform during Spirit Week. In a physics class (with Maggie), the teacher begins lecturing on the reflective and refractive properties of light. The lecture takes a turn when the teacher describes ancient civilizations believing that rather than illusions, reflective surfaces were portals to other worlds and served as gateways to divine beings. In a large mirror at the head of the classroom, Mary appears to the three girls and demands that they fulfill their pacts. Terrified, they run out of the room.

Bianca finds them near the sports field. Lena discloses that she heard her mother was at a slumber party where Bloody Mary was invoked, and all the guests either ended up dead or in psychiatric care. They ponder how they can avoid doing the things they agreed to without ending up dead or psychotic.

Bianca's conference with her guidance counselor is not promising, as he feels she's not apparently desperate; she agrees, as she doesn't feel her situation is dire. He advises her that she needs to lean into her lack of privilege and use it as an advantage to sway the admissions committee, despite her achievements. He reaches over to touch her hand in re-assurance, and Bianca is reminded that Mary is watching by a vision of the counselor hanged. Elise researches the Bloody Mary legend, now using the information that Mary is Black, and finds likely origins for the being they have made pacts with. Maggie encounters her crush (River) and tells him that breaking up with him was a big mistake; his girlfriend arrives moments later. A vision from Mary reminds Maggie of the girlfriend's fate, as does a separate vision remind Lena of Captain Anna. Lena is frantic, and decides at the final moment not to drop Anna. Bianca believes that Elise can do most anything, but that she may be outmatched by the supernatural. Over Bianca's objections, Elise goes to work at breastaraunt "Howdy Who" to make rent. That night, Mary wakes Bianca with a deadline of the following midnight. Maggie rushes to Bianca and the newly arrived Elise to tell them of Lena's death. The girl was found with her eyes clawed out. Elise shatters mirror in her room.

The next day, Elise visits the Missouri Historical Association asking about Margaret Worth, her suspect for the origin of the Bloody Mary legend. A docent shows her a book documenting Worth's cabin as a stop on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a organization that entrapped fleeing slaves and tortured them or returned them to slavery. Worth was eventually found dead, stabbed my an uncaught murderer. The apparent murder weapon was a much older dagger, likely from Africa or the Caribbean. Elise observes the docent hiding the key to the case containing the dagger.

Maggie hacks into Kristen's (River's girlfriend) camera roll and finds a sex tape of her with another boy (not River). Bianca urges her to give Elise more time, as she will not be happy with River after Kristen kills herself (as in Mary's vision). While she agonizes, Elise finds what she believes is Worth's cabin. After a nasty encounter with their mother, Elise takes Bianca with her to "cut a bitch". Bianca distracts the docent as Elise steals the dagger. They stop next at Maggie's, but they find her already dead and agree to leave her untouched. The sisters go as far into the woods as they can by car, with a plan to stab Mary with the silver dagger in the seat of her power. Elise is sure the plan will work, but Bianca has doubts. Night falls, and the girls discover mirrors hanging from trees on their path to the cabin. They summon her, and Mary asks if Elise brought everything. Elise admits that Mary asked her for the dagger and the blood of three innocents. Bianca is horrified that she will be the next victim, her blood being the final piece to set Mary free. Bianca gets the upper hand and fatally stabs her sister in the eye.

Now no longer innocent, Bianca turns to Mary and tells her to go ahead and kill her. Mary explains that she has only herself killed once, and that the cabin is her prison instead of the source of her power. Once an escaped slave, she saw her reflection in Worth's cabin and remembered herself to be a devotee of Mami Wata, a divine African spirit whom she called upon to aid her. She killed all of the slavers and Worth, but also the Black girl Worth used to lure out refugees. Her mistake was acting in vengeance and fury rather than compassion, and she sullied her soul in the process. Mami Wata crafted the space behind the mirrors for her and thus was born the guardian of truth Bloody Mary. Mary insists that Bianca is still innocent, and that they both now are cruelly parted from those they love. Bianca offers her innocent blood to Mary and sets her free. The girl quickly realizes that something is wrong, and that she and Mary now switch places. Now the new Bloody Mary, Bianca must decide what to do with the many who summon her.

Featured Characters[]



  • The episode title is a reference to the urban legend of the same name about a vindictive ghost. The theme was among the options in a poll Ryan Murphy launched on his social media during the promotion of American Horror Story/Double Feature. [2] On April 10, 2021, the last poll was between "Bloody Mary" and "Plague"[3] but after fans protesting, the poll was recounted to have it "Bloody Mary vs Sirens" on April 14.[4]

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