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7 of History’s Most Cursed Objects

The Hope diamond, displayed on stand covered in gray velvet

From jewelry to mummies to dolls, many items have had owners who considered them cursed. Are curses real, or do people just like having something to blame for misfortune? That’s up to you to decide. Meanwhile, here are ten fascinating “cursed” items and the stories behind them.

The Hope Diamond

A diamond may be considered a “girl’s best friend,” but if you believe in curses and are drowning in wealth, you might want to avoid purchasing the Hope Diamond. Sure, it’s a gorgeous, 45-carat, walnut-sized specimen with a price tag of a quarter of a billion dollars, but many consider it to be a cursed object.

There’s a great deal of mythology surrounding the massive, stunning gem, from the fact that it may be over a billion years old to the idea that it has brought misfortune to all of its previous owners. While it’s certainly possible that the rumors of a curse were made up to increase the diamond’s mystery and popularity, enough evidence exists to lend them some credence.

Previous owners have met with numerous misfortunes, such as maulings, beheadings, suicides, bankruptcies, and more. Of course, they all seem to live long enough to sell the diamond to the next victim, thus ensuring that the chain of bad luck continues.

James Dean’s Porsche

Actor James Dean died in a car accident on Sept. 30, 1955 in his silver Porsche 550 Spyder. The famous vehicle, known as “Little Bastard,” was completely totaled. However, unlike its owner’s, the car’s “life” would go on.

George Barris bought the car after the wreck and decided to sell the parts to its fans. However, while the car was being worked on, it fell on a mechanic and crushed him to death. Then, as the vehicle parts reached the new owners, bad things started to happen to them. In fact, three of these people became involved in subsequent car accidents that led to severe injuries and two casualties.

The curse hasn’t received much attention since the shell of the car was stolen. (It has never been recovered.)

King Tut’s Tomb

King Tut wasn’t the only cursed mummy ever found, but he does rank among the most popular of the lot. Rumor has it, anyone who enters King Tut’s tomb is cursed with bad luck. It’s also believed that the curse predates the tomb’s 1922 discovery.

Some believe that the rumors of a curse were made up in an effort to discourage grave robberies. However, because so many people involved in the 1922 expedition either died or experienced bad luck soon afterward, it’s hard not to speculate that there just might be some truth to the rumors.

Annabelle the Doll

A plethora of “cursed” dolls exist in pop culture, including Robert the doll and, of course, Annabelle. While Annabelle isn’t the first cursed doll to arrive on the pop culture scene, she’s arguably one of the creepiest.

Perhaps what makes her so creepy is that unlike many other haunted dolls, Annabelle looks so innocent and unassuming as a simple Raggedy Ann doll. However, unlike normal Raggedy Anns, Annabelle likes to play terrifying games on the people who own her. She often leaves scary messages, moves around the room, and more.

Her story started in 1970 when a nursing student purchased her from an antique shop as a gift. However, bad things soon started to happen to her owner. It wasn’t long before the bad luck spread to her roommate and a friend who had advised her to get rid of Annabelle. Luckily, Annabelle ended up being locked securely in a case in the Warren’s Occult Museum for decades—at least until recently, when it was shut down permanently.

The Terracotta Army

You may think that finding an ancient army of soldiers made of terracotta would lead to riches and glory, but the opposite came true for the farmers who dug up the terracotta army on their property in 1974.

Instead of receiving wealth and fame, the farmers who uncovered the statues ended up losing their homes, which were all destroyed due to the unearthing. While some of the seven men went on to live long lives after 1974, not one of them became famous like the soldiers themselves. Also, the “curse” led to the early demise of three of them.

The Dybbuk Box

The dybbuk box is definitely haunted. However, there may be more than one of them moving around if you trust the online listings on auction sites. A dyubbuk, which is also spelled dibbuk, is an evil spirit from Jewish folklore that is said to possess people.

In the early 2000s, someone bought a wine box on eBay and found out that it was haunted. Kevin Mannis, a man who later found the haunted box at a sale, wrote a horror story based on its history that turned into a 2012 movie called The Possession.

Mannis became plagued with nightmares soon after buying the box. He passed it on to his mother, who had a fatal stroke right after receiving it. Its next owner also suffered from nightmares and poor health. Rumor has it that the evil spirit in question is now sealed back in the box where it can’t hurt anyone anymore. But then again, so many people have encountered it, who says it’s not still out there somewhere?

Thomas Busby’s Chair

You should watch where you sit. After all, you don’t want to sit on a cursed chair, do you?

Busby’s chair is a simple wooden seat that once overlooked the execution site of Thomas Busby, a man who was convicted of murdering his father-in-law after a dispute.

Before his death, Busby put a curse on the chair, warning that anyone who sat in it from then on would experience a terrible accident. The chair sat in an inn for over 70 years before being transferred to the Thirsk Museum, where it now hangs safely from a wall where no one can fatally sit in it.

The seven items above are often found on lists of cursed objects, but they are hardly the only cursed things out there. Dolls, artwork, homes, furniture, you name it—anything can be cursed as long as a proper curse has been set upon it!

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »