7 legendary cursed objects and their stories

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Cursed objects with stories to tell

A cursed object is an item that is believed to bring bad luck or harm to its owner, often due to a misdeed or a curse placed on it.  For as long as people have shared stories, the idea of cursed things has captured our imagination.

These objects vary widely, from necklaces and rings to statues and even furniture. Each one has its own story, telling us about different cultures’ beliefs and fears.

We’re about to take a closer look at some of the most well-known haunted objects and cursed things. (And don’t worry, we’re not just talking about dolls here.)

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1. The Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
National Museum of Natural History, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous jewels (and one of the most famous cursed objects!) in the world, known for its stunning beauty and also for the series of misfortunes that have followed its owners. It has a history that dates back hundreds of years.

This deep blue diamond is exceptionally large — weighing over 45 carats. Its story begins in India, where it was initially discovered. From there, it traveled across oceans, changing hands among kings, queens, and wealthy individuals.

As the diamond passed from one owner to another, it gained a reputation for being cursed. Some say that those who possessed or even touched the diamond faced bad luck, including financial ruin, health , and even untimely deaths.

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King Louis XIV of France, one of its early owners, suffered personal tragedies and health issues.

Another owner, an English banker named Henry Thomas Hope (who gave the diamond its name), also experienced a string of bad luck, including financial difficulties that plagued his family for generations and a series of personal losses.

His once vast wealth dwindled over the years, and the Hope family was said to be shadowed by misfortune, with members suffering from sudden deaths and unexplained tragedies.

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Today, the Hope Diamond has found a home at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it’s displayed for the public to see. People from all over the world come to marvel at its beauty and learn about its mysterious history.

The diamond’s presence in a museum hasn’t put an end to the stories of its curse, with many still speculating about the misfortunes it might bring.

2. Robert the Doll

Robert The Doll cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
Cayobo from Key West, The Conch Republic, CC BY 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Robert the Doll has a somewhat unsettling story that ties him to Key West, Florida.

This handcrafted doll, standing about 40 inches tall and dressed in a sailor suit, was given to a young boy named Robert Eugene Otto in the early 1900s. The doll, which the boy named after himself, quickly became his favorite toy.

However, it wasn’t long before strange occurrences began to surround Robert the Doll.

The Otto family reported hearing giggles and footsteps in the house when no one was moving. Furniture would appear to move on its own, and Robert Eugene’s parents would often find him talking to the doll, with a voice answering back that was not their son’s.

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Neighbors also claimed to see the doll moving from window to window when the family was not at home.

As Robert Eugene grew up, he kept the doll into his adulthood, leading to rumors about his attachment to it and the continued bizarre happenings around their home.

After Robert Eugene’s death, new owners of the house experienced similar eerie incidents, reinforcing the belief that the doll was cursed.

Robert the Doll’s story has since become a part of pop culture, inspiring horror stories and movies that tap into the fear of haunted dolls.

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Today, Robert resides at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, where he’s displayed in a glass case.

Those who visit often leave him letters apologizing for not asking permission to take his photo — a practice that’s become common due to tales of bad luck befalling those who disrespect him.

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3. King Tut’s Tomb

Tourists outside Tutankhamun's tomb, February 1923 cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
Tourists outside Tutankhamun’s tomb, February 1923

In 1922, the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt by archaeologist Howard Carter brought the young pharaoh’s name to the forefront of popular culture.

However, this incredible find was soon overshadowed by rumors of a curse placed on anyone who disturbed the resting place of the ancient ruler.

Shortly after the tomb’s opening, several people connected to the expedition met untimely deaths, fueling speculation about the curse.

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Lord Carnarvon, a financial backer of the excavation, died from an infected mosquito bite not long after the tomb was opened.

This event, among others, led to sensational stories in the press about a “Pharaoh’s Curse” that supposedly punished those who entered the tomb.

The deaths of other team members and related individuals in the years following the discovery have added to the legend.

A visitor to the tomb named George Jay Gould I died from a fever after his visit, and Howard Carter’s secretary, Richard Bethell, was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

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4. The Myrtles Plantation Mirror

Myrtles Plantation cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
Bogdan Oporowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Myrtles Plantation, located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is often cited as one of America’s most haunted homes.

This plantation, with a history dating back to 1796, has been the center of numerous ghost stories.

Among the various tales of hauntings, a particular mirror in the house stands out for the eerie experiences reported by visitors.

According to legend, the mirror contains the spirits of Sara Woodruff and her children, who were former residents of the plantation.

It’s said that they were poisoned and, due to a mistake during the mourning rituals, their souls were trapped in the mirror.

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Visitors have reported seeing handprints on the glass, strange streaks, and faces looking back at them from the mirror’s surface.

These occurrences cannot be explained, as the glass is often cleaned, and the room is secured.

Guests also report seeing figures or shadows moving through the room where the mirror hangs. Some have even heard whispers or felt a sudden drop in temperature upon approaching this cursed object.

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The Myrtles Plantation has embraced its fame, offering tours that teach visitors about its haunted history and the legend of the mirror.

Many flock to the plantation for these tours, eager to catch a glimpse of something supernatural.

5. The Dybbuk Box

Dybbuk Box (front) cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
Bynadav, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Jewish folklore, a Dybbuk is a restless, malicious spirit believed to be able to haunt and even possess the living. A Dybbuk Box is supposed to be a container for such a spirit, keeping it trapped and preventing it from causing harm.

The most famous Dybbuk Box gained attention when it was sold on eBay. The story caught the public’s imagination and has inspired movies like The Possession.

The story goes that this wine cabinet was bought at an estate sale in 2001 by Kevin Mannis, who later listed it on eBay with a detailed account of the misfortunes that befell him and others who came into contact with it.

According to Mannis, the box was originally owned by a Holocaust survivor named Havela, who allegedly contained the Dybbuk within it.

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Owners of this unique cursed object have reported a series of eerie occurrences, including nightmares, unexplained illnesses, and even strange smells like cat urine or jasmine flowers coming from the box.

Some also claimed to see shadowy figures or have electronic devices inexplicably fail around it.

As for the Dybbuk Box’s current whereabouts, it has changed hands several times since its eBay listing. It was eventually acquired by Zak Bagans, a paranormal investigator and the host of the television series Ghost Adventures.

The box is now housed in the Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, where it is displayed as part of a collection of haunted objects.

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Visitors to the museum can even see the Dybbuk Box, though it’s said to be so dangerous that it’s kept behind protective glass to prevent any direct contact.

In 2021, Kevin Mannis disclosed that the entire Dybbuk Box story was in fact a work of fiction.

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6. “The Hands Resist Him” painting

“The Hands Resist Him” is a painting that has become infamous for being cursed.

Created in 1972 by artist Bill Stoneham, it depicts a young boy and a female doll standing in front of a glass door, with hands pressing against the glass from the other side.

The unsettling imagery alone is enough to give anyone the creeps, but it’s the stories of misfortune associated with the painting that have truly cemented its reputation.

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The painting first gained widespread attention when it was listed for sale on eBay in 2000.

The sellers mentioned that the painting was found abandoned behind an old brewery. They also claimed that the figures in the painting moved at night and even stepped out of the canvas.

hands resist him ebay listing cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
The original eBay listing for the painting

Owners and viewers of “The Hands Resist Him” have reported a range of odd occurrences, from feeling sudden intense emotions to experiencing electronic devices malfunctioning when near the painting.

Some have even claimed that viewing the painting caused them to feel ill or suffer unexplained injuries.

The painting sold for $1,025.00. The notoriety of this cursed object only grew from there, with many people fascinated by the idea of a haunted artwork.

The artist, Bill Stoneham, was surprised by the stories, saying that he had intended the painting to explore themes of childhood and the unseen forces that shape our lives, not to curse or haunt viewers.

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7. The Blarney Stone

Blarney Castle cursed objects, haunted objects, cursed toys, cursed things
The Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, County Cork, Ireland, is said to impart eloquence on those who hang from a tower to give it a kiss. Photo: David Stanley from Nanaimo, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Blarney Stone is a legendary piece of limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, located near Cork, Ireland.

This stone is a bit different from the other items on this list, as its power is a blessing rather than a curse. It is said to grant anyone who kisses it the gift of eloquence.

The tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone dates back several centuries, with various legends explaining its origins.

One popular story tells of Cormac MacCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, who was advised by the goddess Clíodhna to kiss the first stone he found on his way to court.

He was told that he would gain the persuasive speech he needed to win a legal battle. MacCarthy then incorporated this stone into the castle’s construction.

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Despite its reputation for bestowing the gift of the gab, there are tales and some skepticism regarding the stone’s powers.

While many swear by the eloquence it has granted them, skeptics point out that the act of kissing the stone is more about the fun and tradition than any tangible magical effect.

There’s also playful speculation about a curse that causes misfortune for those who those who speak deceitfully or maliciously after receiving the gift.

The Blarney Stone continues to be a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe. People come to Blarney Castle to see the historic site and to participate in the tradition of leaning backward from the castle’s wall to kiss the stone.

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What tales could you tell about haunted objects

Is there a particular item or legend that sends shivers down your spine? Maybe you’ve visited one of these places or have your own story about a cursed object? We’d love to hear about it!

Drop us a comment and share your story. Who knows what fascinating tales we might uncover next?

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