Joseph Stubbersfield is an honorary research fellow in the Anthropology Department of Durham University, UK. He completed his PhD at Durham, investigating cognitive biases in the cultural evolution and transmission of urban legends, before working on a project examining the transmission of moral information in the School of Biology at St. Andrews University and returning to Durham for a project examining health-related conspiracy theories in the UK and Sri Lanka. Visit Joseph’s website, or follow him on Twitter.

Bloody Mary is a scary urban legend that has been told for decades, but what might psychology tell us about