Have you ever heard that you shouldn't say "Candyman" in a mirror five times? The legend is back in the mainstream now that director Nia DaCosta, supported by Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions, is the new director Candy man. If you were wondering about the origins of the 1992 horror film, you are not alone. So is the Candyman based on a truly traditional tradition of a vengeful spirit? The short answer is no; The Candyman is actually based on the short story "The Forbidden" by horror author Clive Barker. Nevertheless important and real historical factors have to be considered.
The legend of Candyman in the film
First, let's talk about the legend in the film. Basically, the "Candyman" is Daniel Robitaille, the son of a former slave who becomes a successful shoe manufacturer. Daniel begins a career as a painter and is ultimately commissioned to create a portrait of Caroline Sullivan, a white woman with whom he falls in love. Caroline gets out of wedlock and upset her father. A lynch mob cuts off Daniel's right hand and smears his body with honey, which attracts a swarm of bees that stings him to death.
Now say his name five times in a mirror, and Daniel's vengeful spirit, cursed with a hooked hand and a disfigured body, will jump out and kill you. Unbelievers should also be careful – doubt its existence and it could come for you.
The legend of Candyman in the short story
Barker's "The Forbidden" shares many of the elements in the film (like the disfigured body), but there are significant differences. The biggest thing is that Candyman is actually a white man with blonde hair and a pale face. Instead of Tony Todd & # 39; s characteristic trench coat, he wears a patchwork outfit. The short story also takes place in the slums of England instead of the residential projects of Chicago's Cabrini-Green in the film.
Barker and director Bernard Rose (from the original film) may have been inspired by other legends. There have been many stories of bad-hands with hooked hands and about calling spirits through mirrors. In Bloody Mary folklore, for example, you repeatedly say "Bloody Mary" in a mirror and she scratches your face.
The roots of the Candyman in real history
As almost everyone can tell you, Daniel's fate and surroundings are not fiction. After the civil war, white people reacted violently to interracial relationships and killed black men to "protect" white women. Anti-miscegenation laws prohibited marriage and interracial sex until colonial times and were only abolished in the landmark Loving v. Virginia case.
In addition, Cabrini-Green, where the film takes place, had a violent reputation; In the first three months of 1981, 11 people were murdered and 37 shot.
So there you have it, a condensed history of the Candyman lore. Even though there is probably no real Candyman, you won't find us as we say his name five times in a mirror.