Cursed objects are a staple of Hollywood horror films. You’ve got the Pazuzu Amulet from The Exorcist, Annabelle the Doll from Annabelle, the videotape from The Ring, the Necronomicon from The Evil Dead, and so much more. Cursed objects are believed to cause a variety of afflictions—bad luck, sickness, poverty, and in a worst-case scenario, death. Some cursed objects are believed to have spirits lurking inside, which seek to possess living human hosts and wreak havoc in the world of the living.
There have been numerous reports of people who claim to be haunted by demonic spirits as a result of being an owner of a cursed object, claiming to have seen mysterious figures and other alarming sights. Hollywood only plays up people’s fears about paranormal forces by making entire movies about cursed objects, causing more and more people to be afraid of porcelain dolls and going to the kitchen in the middle of the night.
Horror movies that are based on real-life cursed objects may add some fiction to the real-life tales, but the truth can sometimes be a lot creepier than what you see on the big screen. There are some real-life cursed objects that are much spookier than anything you’ve ever seen in a movie.
If you think you can handle a few scares, then check out this list of 15 real-life cursed objects that will send chills down your spine.
15. The Anguished Man Painting
The Anguished Man painting is one of the world’s most famous haunted paintings, painted by a clearly demented man whose identity is unknown. The man in question supposedly mixed in his own blood with the oil paint used to create the haunting artwork. Immediately after he finished the painting, he committed suicide.
Some time later, the painting was given to a man named Sean Robinson by his grandmother. Sean, who lives in Cumbria, England, said he heard strange noises and saw horrifying sights as long as the painting was hanging up on the wall in his bedroom. In an email he sent to DreadCentral, he said that he locked the painting away in a “secure location” and that he was not giving it up for sale, claiming that it would be too dangerous for anyone to touch it due to the strange things that happen to people who are in the same room as it.
14. Haunted Belcourt Castle Chairs
The Belcourt Castle in Newport, New Jersey is a popular haunted destination that offers regular ghost tours and candlelight mystery tours. The castle isn’t necessarily haunted by its owners or any of the staff members who worked there for decades but is instead haunted by some of the antiquities inside its doors. Two of these antiquities are two chairs in the Gothic Ballroom, which are reportedly haunted by spirits.
Visitors to the manor have described feeling chills racing up and down their spines whenever they’re standing near the castle chairs while others proclaimed to have felt weird sensations of energy moving across their hands. There have been other reports of people feeling resistance when they sit in the chairs or being thrown out of them.
13. The Screaming Skull Of Burton Agnes Hall
The skull belongs to the body of a girl named Katherine Anne Griffith, who died at Burton Agnes Hall in 1620. The story goes that Katherine watched over the construction of the hall and couldn’t wait for it to be finished. One day, when the project was almost done, she visited St. Quintins at Harpham a mile away but was attacked en route by ruffians and robbed. Badly beaten, she was taken back to Burton Agnes Hall, but died a few days later. Before she passed, she made her sisters promise that her skull would be severed and preserved in the hall forever, a promise her sisters didn’t initially keep.
Katherine’s ghost haunted everyone in the house, so her sisters dug up her skull and kept it in the hall. Multiple attempts have been made over the years to get rid of the skull, but whenever it was removed from the house, Katherine’s ghost would appear.
12. Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone, found in Blarney Castle near the Irish town of Cork, is a popular tourist destination for tourists to Ireland who make it a point to touch and kiss the Blarney Stone. The stone is believed to grant good luck to those who kiss it. But if you take a piece of the stone, you will be cursed with bad luck. Some of the people who took a piece reported woes such as depression, financial straits, and unemployment.
Many of those people who decided to take a souvenir for themselves mailed it back within several weeks or months after they learned of the curse. The staff at Blarney Castle received four or five pieces a year from visitors who said that they received horribly bad luck as a result of the stone. Since so many stones are sent back, the mysterious curse of the Blarney Stone continues to haunt.
11. Black Orlov Diamond
The Black Orlov Diamond, originally known as the Eye of Brahma, used to rest in the eye of a Hindu idol in a shrine in India. According to legend, the stone was stolen by a traveling monk centuries ago, which caused the gemstone to be cursed. Three of the former owners committed suicide by leaping off tall buildings. The first victim was the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the US. The other two victims were two Russian princesses, Nadia Vyegin-Orlov and Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky, who died within a month from each other.
The stone was eventually brought by Charles F. Winston, who broke the jewel into three pieces in an attempt to break the curse; one of those pieces is the Black Orlov. The stone has seen several different private owners, none of whom seem to have been affected by the curse.
10. The Crying Boy Painting
The Crying Boy is a mass-produced print of a painting done by Italian painter Giovanni Bragolin. The legend surrounding the painting originates from a story published in the British tabloid The Sun, in 1985 that said a very unlucky painting caused house fires. A local fireman reported to have found prints of the Crying Boy in multiple houses that were ravaged by fires, all starting spontaneously. Interestingly enough, all of the prints remained intact from the flames.
After these strange incidents occurred, a story came out that said the boy in the original artwork was an orphan whose home burned down. For a while, no one could find concrete information on Giovanni Bragolin, until a school teacher claimed to have discovered that Giovanni Bragolin was actually a mysterious individual named Franchot Seville.
9. Basano Vase
Legend claims that the Basano Vase was a wedding gift for a young bride living in a village near Napoli, India. The bride never made it to the altar as she was murdered on the eve of her wedding, for unknown reasons, with the vase in her hands. She swore vengeance with her last dying breath. After that, the vase passed around from one family member to the next, each of them perishing soon after claiming ownership of the object.
The vase disappeared off the radar until it was rediscovered in 1988, with a note attached that read, “Beware…This vase brings death.” The vase’s next three victims were a pharmacist, a surgeon, and an archaeologist. Someone eventually tossed the vase out a window where it nearly hit a policeman. The individual was fined for disorderly conduct but refused to take the container back; the museums didn’t want it either. No one knows where it is now.
8. Cursed Mirror At Myrtles Plantation
Mirrors are believed to connect the world of the living to the world of the dead, much like the Cursed Mirror at Myrtles Plantation. Myrtles Plantation in Francisville, Louisiana is called one of the world’s most haunted homes; the haunted mirror is one of the reasons why. Legend says that a slave named Chloe poisoned Sara Woodruff, the lady of the plantation, and her two daughters by feeding them an oleander-laced cake. Some say Chloe intended to kill the women while others believe that she just meant to make them ill.
Either way, Sara Woodruff and her two daughters are believed to be trapped inside the mirror. Visitors to the plantation claimed to have seen handprints on the glass, strange “drip” marks which can’t be removed by cleaning, and figures dressed in old-fashioned clothing creeping around inside the mirror.
7. Women From Lemb Statue
The Women from Lemb Statue is a mysterious object carved out of limestone somewhere around the year 3500 BC. It was discovered in Lemb, Cyrus in 1878. No one knows what the object is exactly; one theory is that it’s a fertility statue for an unspecified goddess. The statue is believed to have been owned by four different families, all of whom died within a few years of receiving the object.
The last two surviving sons of the last family decided that it would be best for them to donate the statue to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland. To make matters worse, the museum curator who handled the sculpture died within a year. The Women From Lemb statue still remains at the museum, guarded by glass.
6. Koh-i-Noor Diamond
The Koh-i-Noor, which means “Mountain of Light” in Persian, was once the largest diamond in the world, originating from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Over the years, the diamond has belonged to a variety of Hindu, Mughal, Turkic, Afghan, Sikh, and British rulers who fought each other fiercely for ownership of the precious stone. The diamond was eventually taken by the East India Company following the Anglo-Sikh Wars and made a part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was made Empress of India.
The curse dates back to a Hindu text that reads, “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity.” All the men who owned the diamond either lost their throne or had terrible misfortunes befall them, including violence, murders, mutilations, torture, and treachery.
5. The Iceman
Otzi the Iceman was a prehistoric ancient warrior whose body was found in the snow-capped Alps in 1991, sparking a mysterious ancient curse much like one would see in a horror movie. The German tourist who first discovered the Iceman fell to his death during a blizzard while hiking near the spot where the body was found. Within an hour after his funeral, the leader of the rescue team sent out to find him dead of a heart attack.
Then, the archaeologist who inspected the corpse died of complications from multiple sclerosis. Four more deaths followed after that, including the head of the forensic team examining the body and a molecular biologist who died while he was finalizing a book about the Iceman. Otzi currently resides in a refrigerated room at the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum in Bolzano.
4. Annabelle The Doll
While a porcelain doll was used in the Hollywood blockbuster Annabelle, Annabelle the Doll was actually a Raggedy Ann Doll, but still no less creepy. A student nurse received Annabelle as a gift from her mother. Soon after, she and her roommate noticed strange behavior from the doll. The doll would inexplicably change position, move to different rooms, and even write, penning messages on parchment paper that read, “Help us.”
Famous demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren were eventually called in to do an investigation, concluding that an inhuman presence was manipulating Annabelle to create the illusion of being alive to get noticed and that it was looking to possess a human host. The couple cleansed the apartment and took the doll with them. It rests in a locked glass case at the Warren’s Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut.
3. King Tut’s Tomb
Much like the team of Americans who stole the Canopic jars in The Mummy, it seemed that anyone who was involved with opening up King Tut’s tomb was cursed to die. The first victim of the curse was Lord Carnarvon, the financier for the search for the late king’s tomb. He was bitten by a mosquito and died in a delirious fever. Not only that; his pet bird was eaten by a snake, and his dog back in England died.
A radiologist who conducted an X-ray on the corpse was taken by a mysterious illness, a rich American died of pneumonia following a visit to the tomb, and a member of Howard Carter’s excavation team died of arsenic poisoning. However, the “curse” missed someone, Howard Carter, the man who actually discovered King Tut. So, is there really a curse? We’ll let you be the judge.
2. Dybbuk Box
A Dybbuk Box is a wine cabinet believed to be haunted by a restless and malicious spirit known as a Dybbuk, a mythological demon from Jewish folklore which can haunt and possess the living. All of the box’s owners had more or less the same experiences.
They experienced recurring nightmares in which they were attacked by a gruesome demonic hag, causing them to wake up with inexplicable bruises and cuts. They also smelled the rancid stench of cat urine whenever the box was in their presence and suffered sudden illnesses. One of the owners said he saw a shadowy figure lurking in the hallway one night, and he and other visitors to his house witnessed shadowy figures creeping around his house.
1. Pupa The Doll
Pupa the Doll was made in the likeness of its original owner, an Italian girl who received the doll in the 1920’s who kept it until she died in 2005. She loved the doll very much and took it with her everywhere. She claimed Pupa was alive and could speak, telling her grandchildren that the doll was her best friend and her most trusted confidant. After the owner passed, her family locked Pupa away in a glass case, something she doesn’t like.
The family reported that Pupa taps on the glass sometimes like she wants to get out. Other times, the glass of the case steams up and words inscribed by what appears to have been written by a small child’s fingertips read, “Pupa hate.” Pupa also changes body positions and facial expressions and moves things in the display case around her.
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