Based On A True Story: OCULUS And The Dark Mirror

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…” is one of the most commonly used phrases from the Disney movie and children’s book Snow White in which the wicked queen is using her mirror to see into the future. Throughout centuries of tales of vampires, the scary blood-sucking creatures can’t see themselves in mirrors. In most horror movies and television shows, the killer is standing behind the victim when they look into the mirror. Oculus offers a terrifying twist on haunted mirrors in which reality no longer exists because of a single cursed mirror that makes people hallucinate and brutally attack anyone who crosses their paths. There are even games kids play in which standing in front of a mirror and muttering some rhyme or name a certain number of times is supposed to make a ghost reach out and kill them. Mirrors have superstitions and fears attached to them, and for what reason? When did mirrors start being an object for horror writers to insert malevolent spirits into or make them a place to see into an alternate reality? Mirrors are nothing but reflective glass, so why do we fear them almost instinctively?

Mirrors have very paranormal legends attached to them, such as myths like Bloody Mary, they’re used in witchcraft, in spell casting, or even demonic rituals, and are used in psychic practices, so there’s bound to be one or two of them out there that are truly haunted. Mirrors have been used in horror for years and years to strike fear in the audience in some way, and this begs the question, do haunted mirrors really exist? There are tales of different haunted objects from all over the world, and many of those objects do happen to be mirrors. Although there isn’t a mirror as extreme and gruesome as the one shown in Oculus - which made people turn on their loved ones, kill them and lose all sense of time and reality - there is a mirror that is about as evil as it can get in real-life comparison. Known as the “dark mirror,” this is a mirror that shows you your own death.

The dark mirror is kept in a mobile museum called The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult. This museum displays some of the most haunted artifacts that visitors can interact with and even hold and touch. Dana Matthews and Greg Newkirk, the museum owners and curators, have brought together incredibly powerful objects from their paranormal adventures for the public to learn about, and one of these insanely creepy objects is what they’ve called the dark mirror. This mirror was found by Dana and Greg in Ohio in 2014, and the previous owner of the mirror was so negatively effected by what the mirror had done to her mother that she wished to remain anonymous in her donation. Dana and Greg accepted this donation, and hung it up in their museum for others to look into. This mirror was framed in a gold ornate frame, and instead of the glass being reflective, it was pitch black. Although some visitors of the museum see nothing when looking into the dark mirror, many people have reported seeing their own dead corpses staring back at them, or seeing “tall people” standing behind them. Some people begin to feel dread and terror for unknown reasons, some get dizzying headaches, and some even begin to taste blood filling up their mouths. Due to the mirror’s nature and how regularly visitors see terrifyingly graphic images reflected back at them, it’s kept covered unless the museum is open, and there’s even been a warning placed over the mirror so people can decide whether they want to chance looking into it.

The previous owner of this mirror, although wishing to remain anonymous, told her story of her and her mother’s experiences with the dark mirror. The donor’s mother had previously purchased the mirror at a yearly psychic expo, and had hoped to use it for psychic purposes, in her case to perfect her divination skills. Unfortunately, she had no luck with the item, but instead of putting it away or selling it, she continued using it, growing more and more angered and frustrated. Her daughter noticed her mother becoming withdrawn from her family and friends, and her mood appeared to darken more and more with each use of the mirror. One day, as the daughter was visiting her mother, her mother went to get the mirror from the closet, and when she asked her mom why it was in the closet, her mom replied, “it’s evil.” Shortly after this incident, the daughter donated the dark mirror to the museum. No other explanation was given.

In another incident involving the mirror, a museum guest saw it draped in a cloth and tossed off the cloth to take a look. She stared at the mirror for a while, and Greg, the museum curator and owner, watched as her expression changed from questioning to surprise, and then to terror. Greg asked the guest what she had seen, and she looked at him and said, “I saw my decomposing corpse looking back at me. That’s a dark mirror. I should not have done that. I need to go say a prayer, excuse me.” From that moment on, it was known as the dark mirror. The mirror’s backstory remains unknown; it could have been used in some sort of dark magic spell work, which has lured a negative energy into it, or it could have been used in psychic practices to see or communicate with the dead, opening a gateway for a negative presence to come through. For now it remains a mystery as to why this mirror became so evil.

Although there is no actual mirror that kills all who look into it, seeing your own death being reflected back at you is enough to scare anyone daring enough to look into the dark mirror. Many haunted mirrors allegedly exist, some have spirits attached, and some make you see things that aren’t there. But nothing is quite as terrifying as looking at what you expect to be just your reflection, and seeing your own corpse. As the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult website says about this mirror, “Just remember, when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back.”