Mary Shaw
Mary Shaw 003
Mary Shaw
Notability: Supporting character
Type: Ghost
Gender: Female
Location: Ravens Fair
Status: Deceased
Born: 1869 [1]
Died: 1941 (age 72) [1]
1st appearance: Dead Silence
Actor: Judith Roberts

Mary Shaw is a fictional ghost and the central antagonist from the 2007 ghost movie Dead Silence. She was played by stage actress Judith Roberts.

Biography Edit

Mary Shaw was born in the year 1869. Very little is known about her early life, but as an adult she became a very successful ventriloquist. Single and with no family, Mary amassed a huge collection of ventriloquist dummies, totaling more than 101, each with their own specific name and personality. She cherished her dolls so much, that she regarded them as her children. One of her favorite dummies was named Billy.

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Mary performed her vaudeville stage act at the illustrious Guignol Theater in Ravens Fair. She performed nearly every night and lived out of her dressing room in the theater. During one particular show in 1941, a young attendee named Michael Ashen rudely remarked about how he could see Mary's lips move during her performance. Mary tried to restrain her embarrassment, and voiced her frustration through Billy the doll. As Billy, Mary defended the idea that both the doll and she were two separate people. During the course of this conversation, their voices even began to overlap one another. She ended the performance by directing a cold stare at Michael Ashen saying, "Now who's the dummy?"

Behind closed doors however, Mary could not forgive the rude child's disbelief. Her rage grew to the point that she kidnapped Michael Ashen and hid him away. When the boy's disappearance garnered notice throughout the town, the locals immediately suspected Mary Shaw. Members of the Ashen family, as well as other families, stormed her dressing room at the Guignol. They murdered her by cutting her tongue out, silencing the ventriloquist's voice forever. Or so it seemed.

Mary's body was taken to the Walker Funeral Home for burial arrangements. As per her will, she wanted her remains to be cosmetically altered to resemble a doll. The director of the funeral home Richard Walker conceded to Mary's wishes. Also, her will requested that all 101 of her dolls were to be buried beside her in individual caskets. This wish was also granted and Mary and her dolls occupied a far away corner at the Ravens Fair Cemetery.

The story of Mary Shaw did not end with her death however. Her spirit rose from the grave and sought to avenge itself against the families of Ravens Fair. Working through her dolls, she haunted the townsfolk, murdering numerous people. Over the span of decades, Mary continued to silence those in the community by murdering anyone who screamed at her visage. Bodies were discovered with sunken, ashen faces; their tounges forcibly removed from their bodies. Mary soon became a figure of local legend and the people or Ravens Fair feared to even speak her name. A nursery rhyme circulated amongst Ravens Fair's children, warning them against the actions of the angry ghost:

Beware the stare of Mary Shaw.
She had no children only dolls.
And if you see her in your dreams;
be sure to never ever scream.

Around the year 2007, Mary Shaw began manipulating the actions of a woman named Ella Ashen. Through Ella, she was able to gain revenge against the surviving members of the Ashen family, namely, Ella's husband Edward Ashen, his son Jamie, and Jamie's wife Lisa. Drawing upon her own knowledge of doll making, Mary/Ella murdered Edward Ashen and turned him into a human puppet. Ella was able to use ventriloquism to make it appear as if the man were still alive.

Lisa Ashen

One of Mary's victims

They arranged to have the Billy doll sent to the home of Jamie and Lisa. When Lisa was alone, Mary's ghost manipulated some bed sheets to strangle Lisa. She then tore out her tongue, and left her body behind to be discovered by Lisa's husband. What Jamie had yet to realize, was that Lisa was pregnant with his child. By killing her, Mary had essentially ended the Ashen bloodline. She still had to get rid of Jamie though.

Jamie brought his wife's body back to Ravens Fair for burial. Trailing behind him was a homicide detective named Jim Lipton, who believed Jamie might have been responsible for his wife's bizarre murder.

Mary's next victim was Henry Walker, son of funeral home director Richard Walker. She lured Henry into a trap by using Henry's wife Marion as bait. Henry was killed in a manner similar to all of her other victims; with his tongue torn out of his throat.

Jamie Ashen and Detective Lipton found Mary's old dressing room at the Guignol Theater. Inside was a special vault containing all of her dolls (which had since been exhumed). Mary Shaw took possession of a clown manikin and revealed to Jamie the truth about his wife's pregnancy. Soon after, Mary murdered Detective Lipton. Jamie believed that the source of Mary's power lied within her dolls. He set the theater on fire, destroying all of her dolls save one -- Billy. Jamie returned to his family's estate to retrieve the dummy. When he arrived, he discovered the truth about his father and how his stepmother, Ella, was the instrument of Mary Shaw's vengeance. Jamie succeeded in throwing the Billy doll into the fireplace, but this was not enough to prevent Mary Shaw from claiming her one final victim. This is only a movie, chill.

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Actress Judith Roberts actually learned to make the mouth and throat gestures befitting a trained ventriloquist, but the voice of Billy was actually provided by Enn Reitel. [2]
  • Judith Roberts also played the role of Mother Superior in the 1984 holiday-themed horror film Silent Night, Deadly Night.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mary Shaw's year of birth and death are revealed on her tombstone in the film.
  2. Dead Silence; DVD Special Features; The Making of Dead Silence