Five of the world's creepiest cursed collectibles
Sometimes rare collectibles can be more trouble than they're worth. Here are five of the world's most famous artifacts which came with a deadly curse attached...
The Koh I Noor diamond
The Koh I Noor diamond first appears in the historical record in 1304, when it was taken by the Persians after the capture of Delhi.
In its uncut state it weighed almost 800 carats – although it now weighs 105. It was taken from the Persians by the East India Company in 1849 and added to the British royal family's crown jewels collection, where it adorns the crown.
The stone is attributed to the deaths of a number of male members of the Sikh royal line, although the curse appears not to have followed it overseas… yet.
The Basano vase
The Basano vase is said to have been made as a wedding present for a woman from Napoli in the 15th century, who was later murdered.
In the following years, it has passed through the family – many of whom died under mysterious circumstances – and was finally hidden to break the curse.
In 1988, it was rediscovered, allegedly containing a note informing the finder of the curse.
This was summarily disregarded and the vase continued to bump people off until it came into the hands of the local police – who apparently buried it in a lead-lined coffin.
The Crying Boy
During the 1950s, Giovanni Bragolin painted a popular series of portraits depicting crying children, one of which became internationally famous after rumours spread that it carried a curse.
In 1985, a Yorkshire fireman told the Sun, a British tabloid, that he had seen copies of the painting hanging undamaged in numerous houses in the aftermath of fires – reports of which became commonplace in the following months.
This led to the newspaper burning piles of the paintings sent in by readers. However, an investigation for a BBC radio programme offered the slightly less nightmarish explanation that the copies may have simply been treated with a fire repellent varnish.
The Hope Diamond
The 45 carat Hope Diamond is perhaps the world’s most famous stone. Its history stretches back thousands of years and includes (dubious) reports of misfortune arising from its ownership that range from bankruptcy and suicide to being torn apart by wild dogs.
The gem is currently housed in the Smithsonian Museum, which has reported increased attendance – perhaps indicating that this particular curse is at an end.
Little Bastard was the name that James Dean gave his famous 1955 Porsche Spyder, which he was driving when he was killed.
The actor Alec Guinness described the car as “evil” on first seeing it, telling Dean "If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week."
Astonishingly his prediction came true.
Since then the car has been responsible for the deaths of several more people – with one mechanic having his legs crushed when trying to repair it and two people crashing in vehicles that contained parts acquired from Little Bastard.
It also killed a lorry driver who was transporting it and allegedly caused a fire in a museum. It has since vanished, to where no-one seems to know.
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