Cursed Objects: Fact, Fiction Or Legend?

We have all heard of curses. Today, someone 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, Amazon and classifieds like Craig's List would be far more lucrative, the task of unloading bulk items is simply easier when you sell to an estate buyer. While I enjoy sites like eBay to locate things such as the almost impossible-to-find Victoria's Secret Halo and Desire perfumes (my signature scents) I rarely shop online.

That said, it makes more sense to streamline the process, especially when there's a time constraint. As most of you know, I'm relocating to Massachusetts and my guy will be here in just one week. (Yikes, right?) Not much time, at all! So, my guy recommended listing a few items on CL just to see if they would sell. And most did, rather quickly. I took a hit - an $1800 Pier 1 bedroom suite went for only $550 and such, but it was fast and easy. 

I subscribe to a friend's channel, and one of the topics he usually discusses is the danger of divination. I'd be curious to hear his thoughts on purchasing cursed items. There are 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, and even collect a few items during my travels. Though I can happily say that I have not fallen victim to said ‘curses’ as a result of either tampering or possessing such objects, 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 me in some way, they (the object in question) cannot and will not harm or influence me.

This is a standard concept understood to those who embrace magic 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 ‘magical’ 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?

Women From Lemb 

Though there are many different objects have been considered haunted or cursed throughout history, few are said to bring on death to its owners as the Women from Lemb statue.

This strange little artifact has 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 1878 in Eastern Europe, in the village of Lemb, Cyprus, it has been dated to about 3500 B.C. and is believed to represent a goddess of that time by noted historians, but its exact placement in the pantheon of gods and goddesses remains a mystery.

The statue is carved from pure limestone, and appears to have been done in a manner similar to fertility idols of the ancients. The first owner is believed to have been a Lord Elphont, though 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 becoming the owners.

The next suspected victim was a man named Ivor Manucci., whose entire family died within a four- year period when having this statue in their home. A Lord Thompson-Noel became the following owner, who also lost his family in a four-year period. After this time the statue seemed to lapse into obscurity, as it could not be found for several years, but mysteriously returned to a cellar cabinet from where it ‘disappeared’ beforehand.

Sir Alan Biverbrook was next to purchase the statue. Shortly after this his wife and two daughters succumbed to a strange illness, then followed by Sir Alan Biverbrook dying a short time later. Sir Biverbrook had two remaining sons, who were formally warned of the circumstances that occurred with the ownership of the ‘Goddess of Death,’ and chose to follow the advice, and donated the seemingly damned statue to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh. Though curators of a museum claimed not to put stock into the idea of curses or haunted objects, the chief curator of the museum where the statue was placed took ill and died within the year. There have been no other noted deaths since the statue was placed under glass, where no one can physically touch it.

So, what is it about this odd statue? Did it, as some believe, contain a poison or other form of disease-based fungus or virus on or within the limestone? 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.

King Tut

When several workers and even Lord Carnarvon himself apparently succumbed to the ‘curse,’ news of an ancient evil spread across the land like wildfire, even though in truth, these men are believed to have died from a simple fungus that lived on the mummy wrappings of the boy king, Tutankhamen.

When these men shaved each morning, thus opening the pores in their skin, they unknowingly infected themselves when they rubbed or scratched their faces. Maybe that’s why Indiana Jones always sported a scruffy beard when he worked…Who knows?

One thing is for sure; even the most arcane and intrepid of curses might very well have logical and quite mundane causes behind them.

The Basano Vase 

This fancy little vessel; made of carved silver during the latter half of the 15th century, is the object of Italian folklore that continues to frighten and inspire. Its history is foggy at best, but is believed to have been made as a wedding gift for a young woman in a northern village near Napoli.

She is said to have either died or was murdered on her wedding night, clutching on the vase as she passed away. It was then passed around to family member to family member, causing death in one form or another until it was boxed and hidden away from sight.

Some have claimed that it was hidden away by a priest; others say it simply disappeared, while others claim it was buried at an unknown time, only to be re-discovered in 1988.

Legend tells us that when the vase was found, a piece of parchment paper with the message: “Beware…This vase brings death” was discovered inside of it.

The creepy warning was discarded, and the vase was quickly auctioned off for 4 million Lira (about 2,250 U.S. dollars) to a local pharmacist. Three months later, he was dead. His family quickly sold it to a prominent surgeon who didn’t believe in such things as curses, and died two months later at the ripe old age of 37.

After a short period of time it sold again, this time to an archaeologist who saw the vase as a true artifact of the high Renaissance, and promptly added to his private collection. Three months later he died of an unknown infection. His family decided to sell the fancy vase, but by this time the damned thing seemed to have a reputation to it, as it was considered bad luck. They were not able to get the five million Lira the unfortunate archaeologist doled out, but they sold it.

Once again, the new owner died in the space of only one month after purchasing it. By this time, the Basano Vase was believed to be cursed by the townsfolk, especially the remaining families, and was tossed out of a window in haste. And, with one last unearthly insult, the vase is said to have nearly hit a policeman in the head as it was flung out the window, who quickly offered the litter bug a fine for disorderly behavior. The owners of the haunted vase accepted the ticket, but not the vase, and turned it down flat, wishing to be arrested rather than take the thing back again.

Though the police decided to offer it to several museums, none wanted it, as they were aware of the curse. To date, several Italian newspapers have claimed that the local police had once again buried the vase in an undisclosed location, though some sources say that it was placed in a small lead coffin and buried on the grounds of an ancient cemetery where no one will dig it up. We’ll see.

Cursed Gems & Jewelry 

A friend of mine who wrote this part said, "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!"

There are many gems and valuable items that have been known or said to be cursed. Once again, we must revisit the concept of crystalline formations as a carry-all property; both in the form of systematic, non-vibration energy, which inhabit the realms of pure science and by means yet unknown to us, thus inhabiting the vistas of the metaphysics.

Though it’s no revelation that crystals retain, and can transmit various aspects of such energy, as well as other forms of information, as currently used by computer manufacturing companies, and government agencies such as NASA, we can at least understand that the multi-faceted properties of crystals can retain and transmit information with perfection.

Beyond this, we might consider the paranormal concept of various crystalline formations holding and transmitting other form of unseen energies, such as will, intention, moods and the psychic. Though sounding purely from the superstitious, consider the near perfectly formed, precious stones the Hope Diamond, the Delphi Purple Sapphire and the Florentine Diamond as examples.

The infamous Hope Diamond is likely the most noted example of crystal-like curses. The large, blue diamond when it was stolen from a sacred idol in India, for which holding a curse of misfortune and death to anyone other than the prescribed guardians, who touched it, let alone anyone who would steal it.

Its perfect quality, size and its rare color make it unique and sought-after, though it is also known for its sad and deadly history. Once owned by King Louis XIV, and later stolen during the French Revolution, it is remembered for causing tragedy for its owners throughout its freedom among the rich and powerful.

Finally donated to the Smithsonian Institution, its days of causing misfortune are almost gone, besides retaining powerful feelings of avarice and fear to those who behold it, its days of killing appear to be over. And, though the Hope diamond is truly unique, the Florentine Diamond is just as mysterious, and also holds a heavy history of doom and gloom. Likewise, the Delhi Purple Sapphire has had an equally wicked history.

According to Edward Heron-Allen, a scientist and personal friend of Oscar Wilde: “This jewel is accursed and is stained with the blood, and the dishonor of everyone who has ever owned it,” or so said the last owner of the beautiful gem.

Though many people consider this rare gem a purple sapphire, it’s actually a large amethyst. Edward Heron-Allen offered the gem to the London Natural History Museum in 1943 claiming that it was indeed cursed, causing grief and loss to his family and himself. History dictates that the Delhi Purple Sapphire was brought to England by Colonel W. Ferris, a cavalryman stationed in India.

He discovered the amethyst in India after it had been taken from a temple in 1857 during the Indian Mutiny. Both colonial Ferris and his son suffered losses of wealth and wellbeing after owning the jewel, as well as there being a few suicides for those who possessed it. When Edward Heron-Allen took charge of the gem in 1890, his problems began soon thereafter. Indeed, he lost the majority of his fortune, and family, and in a fit of rage, attempted to discard the gem into the Regent’s Canal, only to have it brought back to him by a jeweler who bought it from a canal worker.

Edward just knew something evil inhabited the accursed stone, so in 1904, he decided to use his own magic, and incased the gem in a box filled with protective talismans and other magical sigils, and then entombed that box within seven other boxes, and then buried away in his cellar, hidden from prying eyes.

When Edward died, the box was uncovered, and then donated to the museum — The curse was over, right?

The Florentine Diamond is a massive 139 karat, amber-colored diamond that is also associated with a long line of infamous deaths. Of the most famous deaths, or at least a listing of the most famous misfortunes are seen in the dramas of Queen Elizabeth I of England, King Faruk of Egypt and Maximillian of Austria, notably that of King Louis XIV and Mary Antoinette, the jewel's ill intent can also be seen as the cause of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophia’s assassination on 28 Jun 1918 in Sarajevo, thus igniting World War I.

Though only coincidence for many, the fact that Sophia was wearing the stone at the time only fuels inquiry of a paranormal kind. So what are we to think regarding apparently cursed effects of these stones? There are of course many other examples, but when we look at the particular histories of these stones, can we honestly discard at least the possibilities?

With all we understand about memory storage and the detainment of various energies, which can be found in certain stones and crystalline elements, can we not at least consider the idea that intent; moods, such as elation, sadness, rage and associated human emotions may also find their way to these foundations as mediums to replay themselves over and over again, in a place event situation? 

And what if this same concept is applied to other mediums, such as in certain paints or varnishes that may also hold minerals and crystalline materials, such as found in antique paintings and portraits — Can they also hold such human emanations?

 Creepy thought. My friend had put together a good amount of the above (mostly from online articles) so when I reread this, I was like wow. Craziness. I'll definitely be going through my costume jewelry to make sure there's no "crystalline materials" hiding in my little jewelry box!? 

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