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Myth or Reality? Haunted Mirrors

One of the most discussed “haunted” items continues to be mirrors. It has been said that Marilyn Monroe’s image regularly appears to others in the mirror that was located in her room at the Hollywood Roosevelt. Several photos people post online have a grainy image that they assume is a spirit or demon. What is it about mirrors that make people uneasy?

History of Mirror Legends

Mirrors have been the subject of many legends and superstitions over time. Some of them include:

  • Seven years of bad luck.

The most famous superstition is that if one breaks a mirror – the will have seven years of hardship as a result. So why is this? In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was said that the mirror represented the reflection of one’s soul –one that regenerated every seven years. So if you break your soul, you had to wait seven years for it to regenerate. Others believed that mirrors captured evil spirits and other trapped spirits, by breaking the mirror, those spirits and entities would be released into the world.

  • Mirrors and Wakes/Funerals

In parts of the United States and Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries wakes were often held in the recently departed’s home or a family member’s home. It was customary that all the mirrors in the home to be covered up. Legend was that if a mirror was not covered, the spirit of the person could become trapped in the mirror.

  • Role in Premonitions

In the olden days, people would gaze into reflective surfaces in order to see the future. Enter the mirror. People used to try all kinds of tricks to catch a glimpse of their future in the mirror. One such legend involves Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln was very much interested in the Spiritualist movement that was exploding in the United States and elsewhere.

According to several reports, Abraham Lincoln had several premonitions of his upcoming assassination. He claimed to have a number of dreams in which he saw his dead body lying in state. One such premonition occurred as he was lounging and happened to look at a mirror. He saw an image that disturbed him and when mentioning it to his wife, she took it as a sign he would be assassinated before the end of his second term. 

  • That Voodoo that You Do

Sorry could not resist the urge… The use of mirrors is common within the Voodoo religion. The mirrors are thought to capture wondering and evil spirits. In order to trap the spirit forever, the mirror would then be broken – contrary to the famed superstition.

  • Portal to the Spirit World?
Some Wiccans consider the mirror to be a portal to the spiritual realm.
Some Thoughts on the Legends

It is easy to duplicate some of the images captured in photographs in mirrors. In some photos, the flash of the camera can create a light or shadow anomaly and the brain then matrixes a familiar image – a face. As to the legends – well, take them for what they are worth. I’ve accidentally broken a few mirrors in my lifetime and I’m fine.

But we cannot dispel claims without evidence substantiating the opposite – so take our thoughts with a grain of salt because we do not have evidence otherwise, except for some recreated photos using reflections and tricks of light and shadows.

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