Previously: The Cold Ritual.
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This particular ritual game goes by a few different names: I’ve seen it referred to as the Curse of the Number 13 and the Lord 13, among others. What’s more, it seems to be Brazilian in origin, so more often than not, you’ll find it written in Portuguese — in which case it becomes A Maldição do Número 13 or O Senhor 13.
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One version of the story seems to be a good old-fashioned creepypasta; the same text appears copied and pasted in the same form, over and over and over again. Another version — the one that describes the actual ritual — is a little more mutable; the outline is typically the same, but the actual wording might vary just a bit from source to source. But either way, since this ritual must be performed on the 13th day of the month, and since Friday the 13th isn’t too far away… well, now seems like a good time to take a look at it.
The urban legend that goes along with this game involves the alleged disappearances of huge numbers of young people in Brazil during the 1980s. These young people — typically described specifically as boys, although sometimes people of all genders — are said to have straight up vanished following several days of odd behavior displayed between the hours of 3 and 3:59am. The days the odd behavior emerged, of course, were the days leading up to the 13th day of the month; then, on that 13th day, they disappeared, leaving behind only a card or letter, always with the same words written on it: “Ele esta em minha sombra. Não há como se esconder” and “Não olhe no espelho, ele esta lá! o homem esta lá, as 3 da manhã e nos próximos 3 minutos a sua alma será dele.” In English, these sentences read “He is in my shadow. There is no hiding” and “Don’t look in the mirror, it’s there! the man is there at 3 am and in the next 3 minutes his soul will be his.”
For what it’s worth, Brazil was under an authoritarian military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. During this era, 191 people were killed and 243 simply “disappeared.” I’d be curious to know whether the legend pegged to this ritual is perhaps a reaction to this period of Brazilian history.
The ritual itself is quite simple — but even if it’s an urban legend, I wouldn’t recommend performing it. The point of it, after all, is to summon an entity whose sole purpose is to collect human souls. He won’t collect yours if you play the game right; in that sense, it’s sort of a “test your bravery” sort of game. But if anything should go wrong? If you should, for example, let the game go on for too long? Well, let’s just that the phrase “a fate worse than death” might apply.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A mirror.
- A candle.
- Matches or a lighter.
- A dark cloth large enough to cover the mirror.
- A calendar.
- A time-keeping device.
- A dark, quiet room.
Making The Preparations:
- Consult your calendar and timekeeping device. Wait until the early morning hours of the 13th day of the month.
- On the 13th day of the month, shortly before 3am, bring the mirror, candle, matches or lighter, dark cloth, salt, and time-keeping device with you to your dark, quiet room.
- Close the door behind you.
- Position the mirror such that, when you are looking into it, you can see both your own reflection and that of the room behind you.
- Position the candle near the mirror such that, when lit, it will illuminate you and your reflection. Place the matches or lighter nearby.
- Position the salt such that it is within easy reach when you are standing or sitting before the mirror.
- Turn off the lights.
- Take your place before the mirror.
- Watch your time-keeping device.
- At precisely 3am, light the candle.
Gazing In The Mirror:
- Look into the mirror.
- Be mindful of the time.
- Keep looking.
- Be mindful of the time.
- Look closer.
- Be mindful of the time.
- Pay attention, now.
- When precisely 13 minutes have passed, take note of what you see in the mirror.
- If the reflection has not changed: The ritual has failed, but beware: Failure does not equal safety.
- If you see a figure behind you: The ritual has succeeded, but beware: You are no longer alone.
- If your reflection’s eyes have turned black: The ritual has succeeded, but beware: Your reflection is no longer your own.
Completing The Ritual:
- Once you have noted your observation — no matter what the observation was — IMMEDIATELY break your gaze with the reflection, throw a small amount of salt at the mirror, and completely cover up the mirror with the dark cloth. NOTE: You MUST perform these two actions before 3:14am. Do NOT look in the mirror past 3:13am and 59 seconds.
- Turn on the lights.
- Extinguish the candle.
- You need not remove the mirror from the premises, but from now on, leave it covered up between the hours of 3am and 3:59am.
- Do NOT allow it to become uncovered during this time. Ever.
There exists a psychological phenomenon sometimes referred to as the “strange face illusion.” Per this phenomenon, gazing at one’s reflection under low-light conditions for extended amounts of time can sometimes cause humans to perceive our reflections as distorted or monstrous. It is possible that this ritual is merely a result of the strange face illusion… but then, again, it is also possible that it is not. (See also: Bloody Mary, etc. )
This ritual MUST be performed in the early morning hours of the 13th day of the month. It is unknown whether performing the ritual specifically on Friday the 13th will have any additional effect on its outcome; however, the possibility of such an effect occurring as a result of performing the ritual on Friday the 13th should not be discounted.
The mirror need not be any specific type of mirror; however, you should be able to gaze comfortably within it without needing to hold it up yourself. A mirror with a stand placed on a tabletop, a mirror hung upon a wall, a mirror mounted above a bathroom sink, etc. may all be used.
The dark, quiet room need not be any specific type of room; however, it should be a place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
A timer may be used if desired. Should you choose to utilize one, it is recommended that you set it to begin counting down at precisely 3am (it should coincide with the lighting of the candle in Step 10 of Making The Preparations) and to sound at 3:13am and 59 seconds. The timer may help prevent players from looking in the mirror longer than is safe to do so.
Concerning The Timing:
Do NOT look into the mirror beyond 3:13am and 59 seconds.
To do so is to unleash whatever you may have found within your reflection’s depths.
You will not survive an encounter with it.
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