ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

I've always been very cautious when it comes to anything haunted, cursed --heck, even something that just seems a little bit creepy. In the case of the movie Annabelle that's about to come out, watching the trailer alone was enough for me to nope out. Had it been me, I would have tried setting that bad boy on fire before she could even set a creepy little porcelain foot in the house.

Unfortunately for me, but great for those in the profession of paranormal investigation, there are a ton of cursed objects in the real world. And trust me, these go well beyond your cell phone which you think is "cursed" because sometimes you swear you heard a text tone, but when you looked down you had no messages. Not like that. No, these objects are the real deal. Well...we might not be able to say with absolute certainty whether or not curses are real, but we can guarantee you that these tales of cursed objects are!

The Cursed Amethyst

This stone was stolen during the Rebellion out of the Temple of Indra in Kanpur, India way back in 1857, and ever since then it's done nothing but strike bad luck and misfortune in the lives of the people that have owned it.

Colonel W. Ferris, a Bengal cavalryman, was allegedly the first man to own the stone after it left India. Almost immediately after returning to England he lost almost everything he owned and his health began to deteriorate. Ferris then willed the stone to his son who had similar problems. So much so, that he gave it to a friend who then committed suicide.

In 1890, Edward Heron-Allen came to possess the stone without knowing about its past. After facing some tragedies of his own, he gave it to a friend who inquired about it. It was returned to him after this friend was "overwhelmed by every possible disaster." He then gifted the amethyst to a friend who happened to be a singer. Sadly, she also gave it back after losing her voice and attributing it to the stone. She never sang again. Finally it dawned on Heron-Allen that the stolen gemstone might be the cause of these problems. He locked it in a bank vault with the request that it not be removed until 3 years after his death. In 1943, the stone was removed from the safe by his daughter who, at this point, was well-aware of its curse. She was sure to have nothing to do with it and sent it away to a museum with a word of caution.

Today, the stone sits in the Vault of the Natural History Museum in London. While it hasn't done any serious damage as of late, as far as we know, that doesn't mean the curse has been lifted. Couldn't you just imagine a movie about some robbers who get much more than they expected after a heist? I would watch the hell out of that.

Crying Boy Painting

In the mid 1980's there was a string of house fires that caught the attention of the press. Fires happen all the time, what's the big deal? Well, the big deal was that many of these houses had something in common. A popular painting, that was mass produced at the time, called 'Crying Boy' hung in each of these buildings. Even creepier though is the fact that the fire spread everywhere, touching everything except the 'Crying Boy' paintings.

There were a reported 40-50 cases of fires that "The Curse of the Crying Boy" is believe to be the one to blame. It was later found that the painting, which had been painted by a Spanish artist, was of an orphan who died in a car crash not long after the piece was finished. Some psychics believe that the painting is haunted by the boy it depicts. The one stipulation I read on this is that it only becomes active once the owner of the painting becomes aware of the curse. If that were the case, people shouldn't have gotten the media involved. Boom! Problem solved.

Kids are creepy. Crying kids are especially creepy. Old paintings are creepy. So why hasn't this story been made into a movie yet?

Hawaiian Lava Rocks

This is one of my personal favorite curses because my family descends from the fair islands of Hawaii. All the little keiki (children) far and wide know to never spurn Pele, the volcano goddess. While this can mean anything from turning down her romantic advances, to refusing to help her human form on the side of the road. The most well-known and more modern rules regarding Pele is that you don't steal anything natively Hawaiian. This includes sand, lava rocks, pumice, etc. It's considered the equivalent of stealing from from someone who has let you visit their home. Very rude. People who steal from Pele usually face a flood of personal problems. Pets dying, relationships ending, getting fired, it's all within Pele's power!

Because of this, every year the Hawaiian National Parks receive tons of packages that are filled with stolen rocks and letters complaining about their lives being ruined and asking for forgiveness. There's also a similar curse in Australia in regards to the Uluru Rocks. Whether these are legitimate curses by some ancient deity, or just national park rangers getting tired of people actually breaking federal law by stealing from a national park and desecrating the natural landscape, let's all just leave the rocks where they belong.

I would also love to see a movie made about some Hawaiian mythology. Seeing Pele ruining some dumb teenagers for being disrespectful to the island on the big screen would be some fantastic entertainment.

Thomas Busby's Chair

There's nothing particularly scary about furniture. I mean, dolls and deities I get but a chair? Well that's at least what I thought until I heard about Thomas Busby's cursed death chair!

The story starts in 1702 when Busby, who was already a thief and alcoholic, drunkenly murdered his father-in-law, Daniel Awety, for refusing to get out of his favorite Inn chair (yes, that chair). Seems a bit extreme, right? The police found Awety's body, linked Busby to the crime, and ordered him to death by hanging. On the day of his execution, Busby had to be dragged out of his chair to the gallows and exclaimed “that anyone who dared to sit in it would die a sudden and violent death.”

Fast forward a few years and the Inn is still open. The new owner, not believing in the curse, still kept the chair out in the tavern. The curse and the tavern began to gain notoriety after a chimney sweep who had sat in the chair, was found dead the next morning hanging from a gatepost near where Busby was hanged. Friends would dare one another to sit in the chair, and while most refused, those who did all fell to their untimely end. The death-by-chair-cure numbers soared during WWII when brave soldiers who took the dare would never return from war.

Eventually the chair claimed enough lives for it to be placed far away from the bar. Sadly, one delivery man who was unaware of the curse sat in the chair to rest only to die after his truck ran off the road a few hours later. Today this chair hangs 5 feet off the ground at the Thirsk Museum in North Yorkshire England, so that no person's butt shall be subject to the curse ever again.

I'm actually not sure how this would turn into a movie. Revenge of the Furniture? I don't know. The solution would be too easy. Just...don't sit there.

Robert the Doll

If Annabelle didn't particularly do it for you, have no fear! There are plenty more haunted dolls, because dolls are super f*cking scary for some reason. This doll, who shared the name Robert with his owner, was given to Robert Eugene (Gene) Otto at the start of the 20th century by the family's Bahamian scorned servant who was skilled in black magic and voodoo. Yeah sure, that's a good idea! Let's keep the doll that the woman we fired for conducting black magic gave our son. Seems safe.

While all seemed fine in the beginning (doesn't it always?), the doll's intentions slowly turned sinister. Instead of nicely playing with Robert like he used to, he took to vandalizing his room and scaring the poor little boy. After enough of Robert's shenanigans, they locked him in the attic where he remained for many years. When Gene passed away in 1974, the Otto's home was sold to a family with a young daughter and Robert found a new friend to terrorize. The girl wasn't as close to Robert as Gene had been, she feared him. She would wake up in the night screaming that Robert was moving around the room and trying to kill her.

Robert the Doll now lives in a glass display case at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. While he has become more mild-mannered in his old doll age, he's still up for a few antics. These mainly include moving around the museum at night and cursing people who take his picture without asking politely first.

Yes, the Child's Play doll Chucky was loosely based on this doll, but I think that a voodoo cursed doll would be even scarier than a serial killer turned Toys 'R Us.

If you liked these stories about real life cursed objects, then [Annabelle](movie:1217914) is the movie for you. Check it out in theaters today!


Which cursed object would you most want to see a movie about?


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