Cursed Objects: Fact, Fiction or Legend & Should We Be Scared? Or Is It Silliness?
Whether we're reaching through Halloween-themed story archives or scrolling the latest true but creepy stories on YouTube, I think we've all heard of curses - and cursed objects.
Today a dealer came to purchase the contents of my storage unit. If you have ever seen the popular TV show, Storage Wars then you have an idea of what this guy does. While having a garage sale or selling online through such outlets as eBay, or classified ad platforms such as Craig's List would most probably be far more lucrative, I've discovered the task of clearing house is simply easier when dealing with an estate buyer.
That said, it makes sense to streamline the process, especially when there's a time constraint. As most of you know, I'm relocating to New England and my guy will be here in just one week so we can travel to our new home together. (Yikes, right?) Not much time at all! With that explained, I failed to profit one red cent, but then again my objective wasn't about making money from listing my personal items, it was about clearing out so I could minimize my travel weight as I move house.
I subscribe to a friend's channel and one of the topics he recently discussed was the danger of divination. I'd be curious to hear his thoughts on purchasing cursed items. This seemingly random thought entered my brain because as I was clearing out, I was thinking of how each thing that a person owns always has a history. Well, that, and I happened across a listing for a cursed baby doll as I was scrolling eBay. !?
It is speculated by those who subscribe to the belief that things can carry energy, that there can sometimes be dangers when dealing with used items, even in quaint little curio shoppes. Over the years I have had the chance to see such alleged objects of doom however I suppose they ended up in exposition due to the lack of interest in personal ownership.
There's many stories of cursed items dating back centuries. I admit there is something to them; understanding that without true belief in the subject matter, thus believing that the curse in question will indeed harm one in some way, they (the object in question) cannot and will not harm or influence. In other words, it's the general consensus that such objects are simply harmless objects, unless the owner happens to believe in the attached curse-related myth.
This is a standard concept understood to those who embrace metaphysical or spiritual traditions, and who foster themselves to various charms and talismans for protection, through a concept devised by Sir James Frazer; known as Sympathetic or Contagious Magic(k). This British anthropologist, folklorist, and classical scholar contended that thus admitting to the belief in powers of such objects, for instance, there will appear to be a secret reality to such things, whereby the believer will manifest the essence, in this case, of the curse in question, both physically and emotionally. Yet again we must ask the question: are inanimate things, simple or complex objects able to hold some sort of energy that we conceive as haunted or cursed?
All silliness, of course...
With all that explained, let's take a look at some such alleged objects and see what the tales have to convey.
The Lady From Lemb Statue
Photo credit: Cyprus Mail
Though there are many different objects have been considered haunted or cursed throughout history, few are said to bring on actual death to the owners as the Lady From Lemb Statue.
This strange little artifact has supposedly done so much damage that it is commonly referred to as the ‘Goddess of Death,’ and remains under glass in a private section of a Scottish museum. Discovered in the year 1878 in Eastern Europe, in the village of Lemb, Cyprus, this artifact has been dated to roughly 3500 B.C., and is also believed to be a representation of a goddess of that particular time by noted historians. However, its exact placement in the pantheon of gods and goddesses remains a mystery yet to be solved.
The statue itself is carved from pure limestone, and appears to have been done in a manner similar to the fertility idols of the ancient times.
The first owner is actually believed to have been a Lord Elphont, however history does not explain the manner in which all seven members of the Elphont family met their demise; only that they all died within a six-year period after taking possession of the artifact.
The next suspected victim of this creepy stone statue was a man named Ivor Manucci, whose entire family was said to have died within a four-year period of time from when first beginning having this statue in their residence.
Thereafter, a Lord Thompson-Noel became the following owner. Sadly, he as well also lost his family within a small four-year period. After this time the statue seemed to lapse into obscurity, and thereafter could not be located by anyone for several years. Strangely, or perhaps not to oddly, the statue later mysteriously returned to a cellar cabinet of all places, from where it ‘disappeared’ beforehand.
Then, a Sir Alan Biverbrook was the next fated soul to n to purchase the damned statue. Not long thereafter, treachery began to again unfold. You see, his wife and two daughters succumbed to a strange illness, followed by Sir Alan Biverbrook himself passing away a short time later. Sir Biverbrook had two remaining sons who were formally and sternly warned of the circumstances which had unfolded with regard to the ownership of the ‘Goddess of Death,’ and chose to follow the advice, and donated the statue to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh.
Though curators of the museum claimed not to put stock into such wild notions and ideas of curses or haunted objects, the chief curator of the museum where the statue was placed took ill and died within that same year. There have been no other noted deaths since the statue was placed under glass, where (thankfully) no one can physically touch it.
So, what is it about this odd and seemingly cursed statue? Did it, as some tend to believe, contain a poison or other form of disease-based fungus or virus on or within the limestone from which it was created? Or might it be that the sedimentary idol did in fact carry a bad omen?
This is certainly good reasoning, especially when we revisit the strange deaths of the excavation crews in Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century.
Photo credit: Sriom
When several workers and also even Lord Carnarvon himself apparently succumbed to the alleged ‘curse,’ news of an ancient evil quite literally spread across the entire world like wildfire even though in all actuality, these men are believed to have died from a simple fungus that lived on the mummy wrappings of the boy king, Tutankhamen.
When these gentlemen shaved each early morning, thus opening the pores in their delicate skin, they unknowingly but directly are said to have infected themselves when touching, rubbing or even scratching their faces.
One thing is for certain though, even the most arcane and mystifying of curses may very well have actual, logical and quite logical (and mundane) reasons as to why they occurred in the first place.
The Basano Vase
Photo Credit: Factschology
This rather innocuous-looking vessel of carved silver is said to date to sometime during the latter half of the 15th century. As pretty as it may be, it just so happens to be the object of very old Italian folklore that continues to frighten and inspire to this day. The actual history itself is considered hazy. However, it is believed to have been made as a wedding present for a lovely young bride who was originally from a northern village near Napoli.
As the legend goes, she is said to have either passed away or was murdered on her wedding night, strangely clutching onto this particular vase as she transitioned into the ethers. The infamous vase was then said to be passed to the woman's family members, from person to person, causing death in one form or another until it was boxed up tightly and hidden away from sight. I think had I had a similar experience, I'd have had that thing boxed up too!
Some have speculated that the vase was hidden away by a priest while others say it simply just vanished, while still others tend to believe that it was safely buried at an unknown time, only to be re-discovered in 1988.
This creepy legend tells us that when the vase was finally located (who would be searching for it!?) that there was a piece of parchment paper with this artifact that contained a foreboding message: “Beware…This vase brings death."
The terrifying written warning was said to be apparently discarded, and the vase itself was speedily auctioned off for 4 million Lira (about $2,250 U.S. dollars) to a pharmacist who was local to the area. However, just three months later, the man was found deceased. His family promptly resold the vase to a prominent citizen who didn’t believe in such fables and myths.
Unfortunately, he too was found deceased shortly thereafter at the ripe old age of 37 years. Shortly thereafter, it's said that the vase was again sold. This time, the owner was an archaeologist whose opinion of this vase was an authentic artifact of the high Renaissance. He'd desired this piece for his personal collection.
I don't think the need for my foreshadowing to last longer; he passed due to an unknown infection. His family opted to sell the vase but by then, it had garnered quite the reputation and rightfully so. Due to this, they were unable to resell it for the 5 million lira they'd hoped to recoup but it did sell.
Just as anticipated, the new owner passed on within only a month's time from the date of purchase. By then though, The Basano Vase was believed to be truly cursed by the local townsfolk and it was due to this belief that it was tossed out of a window in order to rid the area of the infamous thing. Ironically, it was said to have attempted one last murder on the way down: it nearly hit a policeman in the head! While he fined the thrower, the offending gladly accepted the ticket - however not the vase - stating a preference to be arrested versus taking possession of the evil artifact ever again.
Interestingly, while the police attempted to offer it multiple times to various museums, none would be willing to receive it. Multiple Italian media sources have made claims that the authorities had actually buried it in an undisclosed spot. However, sources have stated that the vase was actually placed in a lead coffin and buried on the grounds of an ancient cemetery in a position in which no one will be able to retrieve it.
I once heard someone say, "My grandmother was a Conjure Woman who was married to my grandfather, a two-headed docktor. She used to say, "If anyone touches my gems, cursed be on them!"" Yeah, I wouldn't want anyone touching my jewelry either. That is, if I had any of value. Cursed jewelry, though?
While it's said my many that crystals can retain energy, the myth of crystals and gems carrying curse energy makes one ponder...and cringe.
While it is no new realization that many believe that crystals themselves can potentially retain and are even said to actually transmit various aspects of such energy as well as other forms of information, it's surely something that makes you scratch your head in amazement. I even recall reading somewhere that currently, computer manufacturing companies and agencies such as NASA use crystals. Crystals grown aboard the space station are said to provide radiation detecting technology.
Considering the possible paranormal concepts surrounding crystalline formations retaining and transmitting in the form of unseen energies, there are many who wholeheartedly believe that the properties of crystals can and do retain energy. Examples to note: the Hope Diamond, the Delphi Purple Sapphire and the Florentine Diamond.
The Hope Diamond
Photo Credit: The Telegraph
Infamous in legend, the Hope Diamond gleams a brilliant blue from its perch of pastel velvet and silk. The gemstone is widely purported to be one of the most frighteningly cursed objects the world over.
With the myths and fables originating in a tale of theft from a sacred Indian idol, this rather large precious stone is known for holding a curse ranging in mere misfortune to certain death to anyone other than its prescribed guardians.
Weighing in at 45.52-carats, the Hope Diamond boasts perfection in quality, and the size is astounding. It most likely originated in the Kollur mine in Golconda, India. The rare shade of blue makes it ironically highly sought after considering its deadly reputation. Once owned by King Louis XIV and stolen during the French Revolution, the diamond is purported to have caused tragic consequences for all of its owners during its journey amongst the powerfully rich and famous.
Eventually donated to the Smithsonian Institute, its days of causing fear and demise appear to be over.
The Florentine Diamond
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Florentine Diamond is an insanely massive 139 karat, amber-colored diamond associated with a history of infamous endings. Of the most famous deaths, or at least a listing of the most notable misfortunes are related to Queen Elizabeth I of England, King Faruk of Egypt and Maximillian of Austria.
It is important to note that the gem's objectives can also be seen as the cause of Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his bride, Sophie’s assassination on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo which began WWI.
While it's speculated to merely be a coincidence, Sophie was actually wearing the stone at the time of their deaths.
Considering the understanding that we have regarding the possibility of the storage of energies within certain stones, gems and crystals, perhaps the energy of emotions such as rage, sadness or fear may have somehow made their way into such precious pebbles as catalysts of sort, doomed to replay in repeated cycles. Thus, impacting the owner or wearer - and their associates.
The Stolen Amethyst
Photo Credit: Atlasobscura
Stolen during the Rebellion of 1857 in India, the violet gem now rests safely in London's Museum of Natural History. However, it has been reported to carry with it a potent warning from the previous owner: “Whoever shall then open it, shall first read out this warning, and then do as he pleases with the jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it into the sea.”
A Colonel W. Ferris of Bengali was the the radiant gem's initial victim. It is said that he originally transported the stone from India to England after it had been taken from a Kanpur temple. Shortly thereafter, personal tragedy followed for Ferris ranging from health issues to general misfortune. Unfortunately, Ferris' son who inherited the piece also succumbed to misfortune due to the curse, so he gifted the gemstone to a friend. (Some friend, right?) Sadly, that same friend took his own life after having received it.
In 1890 a Mister Edward Heron-Allen, an author on the subjects of palmistry, violin-making and Arabic translation took possession of the amethyst. Soon after finding himself amid severe misfortune, he oddly gave it to a friend who happened to be a singer. And, as one can imagine, soon afterward she was said to have experienced a loss of her voice - entirely - which ended her singing career.
Most likely making the connection between the massive precious stone and the disasters in it's wake, Heron-Allen threw it into Regent's Canal in the hope it would disappear. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, it reappeared in the hands of a gem dealer who returned it to him. Realizing matters were far beyond his control, he had the stone placed within seven boxes and sealed in a bank vault.
Following his passing in 1943, his daughter conveyed it to the museum where it resides today.
Robert The Doll
I've truly saved the finest for last...
While I'm anticipating your questions regarding where the photo of Robert The Doll happens to be, I dare not insert his likeness, and for excellent reason. You see, Robert is particularly reserved about who may collect his photograph without first requesting his express permission. Yes, you've read that correctly.
Although an innocuous and even cute stuffed toy in appearance, Robert is actually purported to curse those who take his photograph without first politely requesting the go ahead. In fact, the curse is said to be such that those who have willfully neglected the nicety later found themselves authoring sincere letters of apology coupled with a direct request to Robert himself to please lift the dreaded curse. One can view these tearful pleas taped to Robert's glass home for him to mull over to his pleasure.
Blamed for a cornucopia of tragedies, the once the beloved toy of famed painter and author, Eugene Robert Otto, now resides safely within a glass encasement with bold museum signage warning visitors about approaching for a photo op absent of the proper protocol.
It's said that as a young boy, Otto received Robert as a gift and promptly named him after himself. There's wide speculation regarding the exact origins of the doll and how Otto came to own him, but the legacy begins in the early 1900s and has continued to this day.
If you wish to see Robert - you'll just have to visit him yourself, but don't forget to ask for permission!
What do you think of things such as cursed items? Are they objects of fact, or are they merely the result of one's vivid imagination paired with coincidence?
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