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Curses: Misfortunes, not swear words

Updated on January 20, 2012

Thousands of times in movies a gypsy will stare down someone who has wronged them and dramatically deliver a curse. It’s the only thing they do in movies, other than telling fortunes. In fact, often they start telling someone’s fortune and then finish with a curse. In real life, curses are said to exist. But they rarely are brought on by a gypsy. And they are usually embellished.

She hopes that diamonds not cursed.  As Comic Book Guy would say, "Worst pun ever."
She hopes that diamonds not cursed. As Comic Book Guy would say, "Worst pun ever."

1) The Hope Diamond curse. The diamond was rumored to have been stolen from the statue of a Hindu goddess. The thief sold it in Russia and was immediately torn apart by a pack of wild dogs. In reality it was found in a diamond mine, and he lived a full life. The most famous owners, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, were beheaded by the guillotine in the French revolution. The Hope family (namesake for the diamond) was incredibly wealthy. The family eventually went bankrupt after three generations (guess it was a slow burn curse) and sold it to Evalyn McLean. Her nine year old son died in a car wreck, her daughter committed suicide, and her husband was committed to a mental institution over the course of her life. The gem now resides in the Smithsonian Institute.

Though not know by most, King Tut invented the Flow Chart.
Though not know by most, King Tut invented the Flow Chart.

2) The curse of Tutankhaum. Archaeologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon found and unsealed the tomb of King Tut. It had been preserved because there was a landslide that sealed it from graverobbers. The day they entered the tomb Lord Carnarvon’s canary was attacked by a cobra. It was interpreted as an omen. Lord Carnarvon died 47 days later of a mosquito bite after he knicked it with his shaving razor. At the time of his death all the lights in Egypt went out for twenty minutes. His fox terrier let out a howl and died in his castle. The mummy was later unwrapped and bore a wound in the same position as the bite. Another member, Arthur Mace, fell into a coma. He died shortly thereafter. There was also a whole bunch of members of the expedition, including Carter, who didn’t immediately expire (but they were dead inside).

3) The Kennedy curse. Joseph Kennedy’s family is said to have befallen horrible luck. John and Robert were assassinated. Ted drove into a river and killed someone. Rosemarie was given a lobotomy and institutionalized. Michael died in a skiing accident. JFK Jr. crashed his plane. That just leaves Joseph, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, seven grandchildren, and thirty-two great grandchildren. Shocking.

Michael Vick was on the cover of Madden 2004, and nothing bad ever happened.
Michael Vick was on the cover of Madden 2004, and nothing bad ever happened.

4) The Bambino curse. The Boston Red Sox had won five World Series, the most of any ball club. Then their owner traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for cash to finance his girlfriend’s play. Since that time the Yankees have won more world series than any other ball club. And the Red Sox were doomed to win no more World Series ever. I mean, except for in 2004. And 2007.

5) The Madden Curse. Many players have been put on the cover of the video game to find misfortune. Barry Sanders retired a week into the season after gracing the cover. Brett Favre was on the cover in 2009, then was traded to the Jets. He then showed his...umm…Levis to a reporter which started scandal. Madden 2007 had Shaun Alexander who was the leauge MVP. He immediately fractured his foot, and was never very good again in his career. Drew Brees won the Super Bowl and was featured on the 2011 edition. He then lost to the 7-9 Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. Honestly, this curse is probably true. Keep my 49ers off the cover, John!

Do curses exist?

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