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Four Famous Curses

Updated on March 3, 2014

Sometimes, bad stuff happens. Over and over again. In the presence of the same object or place. Just a bunch of coincidences? Or a curse?

1. King Tut

Howard Carter, an English explorer, discovered the ancient tomb of King Tutankhamen and all its riches in 1922. Note that this trip was funded by Lord Carnarvon (George Herbert). Strange and horrific events began to take place several months after the tomb was opened. The Lord came to Cairo and died from pneumonia following complications from a mosquito bite. Apparently, at the exact moment Carnarvon passed away, all the lights in Cairo mysteriously went out.

Archaeologist Howard Carter looking over the preserved mummy of Tutankhamun, undisturbed for over three thousand years.
Archaeologist Howard Carter looking over the preserved mummy of Tutankhamun, undisturbed for over three thousand years. | Source

Back in England, Carnarvon’s son reported that his dog howled and died the same time his father did. Several other people from the expedition died too, but strangely, Howard Carter did not. The creepiest bits? The apparent inscription, “Death comes on wings to he who enters the tomb of a pharaoh,” on King Tut’s tomb, and that Tutankhamen himself was found to have a wound on the left cheek in the exact position as the insect bite on Carnarvon that lead to his death. [s]

James Dean with his1955 Porsche 550 Spyder -- nicknamed "Little Bastard".
James Dean with his1955 Porsche 550 Spyder -- nicknamed "Little Bastard". | Source

2. James Dean’s Little Bastard

On 30th September, 1955, James Dean was killed in a car crash involving his Porsche (which he called “Little Bastard”). Of course, the car was bought by George Barris, who had Little Bastard fall on his legs during a tune up, breaking them. Then, the engine transmission went on to be purchased by two doctors. One was injured and the other killed.

After a car containing Little Bastard’s wheels had them blow up and send the driver to hospital, the car disappeared for a while. Then, in the 60s, a truck carrying it on an exhibition circuit crashed, you guessed it, killing the driver. By the time the authorities arrived, James Dean’s car was long gone. Where? No one knows.

3. Superman

Four actors who played Superman, George Reeves, Bud Collyer, Lee Quigley and Christopher Reeve, met their death soon after portraying the red-caped man in film. Only the other two, Dean Cain and Brandon Routh remain alive. Kirk Alyn died in 1999 (51 years after playing the lead role), but it was in no way associated with Superman.

Christopher Reeve as Superman (1978).
Christopher Reeve as Superman (1978). | Source

But that’s not all. Kate Bosworth blames her break up with Orlando Bloom on the movie, and Margot Kidder (who played Lois Lane along Christopher Reeve) went missing for a few days in 1996. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after police found her in a delusional state. Other cases include such as Christopher Reeve’s widow dying of lung cancer at age 44. [s]

4. Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

William Henry Harrison won the presidency in 1840 with the slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”, referring to his participation in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Then, after delivering a long address on a cold and windy day, he caught a cold, developed complications and died. This death was the start of the Tecumseh’s curse: any president elected in a year ending in a zero would die in office.

Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States (1981 - 1989).
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States (1981 - 1989).

This curse held out to be true; presidents which died matching the curse criteria are: Abraham Lincoln (elected in 1860), James Garfield (1880), William McKinley (1900), Warren G. Harding (1920), Franklin Roosevelt (1940) and John F. Kennedy (1960). The first president to foil this curse was Ronald Reagan (1980), and many now consider it to be broken. [s]

Which curse is most likely to be true?

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    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London

      @Easy Exercise: Thanks for the advice! I'll see what I can do :)

    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 

      7 years ago from United States


      Loved these little pieces of history offered in a fun way! Very well done. The only change I would recommend is a strong introduction to prep the reader and labeling the photos. Remember we write for both the readers and the search engines who cannot see. I don't know the key words that would associate with this hub but a stronger introduction will help prep the reader and may also garner more interest for web traffic.

      Hope this helps.

      Very well done and so nice to meet you! Looking forward to reading more!

    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London

      @DDE: Thank you :)

      @FlourishAnyway: I was always told that you can't break a curse, only run away from it, so I think Reagan narrowly avoided what should have happened (not saying I want it to!).

      James Dean's car was probably sold somewhere in secret in my opinion.

      I don't believe in coincidences, but I live along this quote:

      "If one's an incident, two's a coincidence, and three's a pattern."

    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London

      @Jodah: Mhm, me too! I think people should never mess with ancient civilizations like the Egyptians. This is a controversial opinion, by I think they did have something that we didn't, spiritually.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed this. Of course, with Reagan, he came pretty close to fulfilling the curse with the assassination attempt. With the James Dean car, it makes me wonder where it (or its pieces and parts) are. Eerie!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Four Famous Curses is interesting and useful.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Apparent curses like these have always interested me Danida. I think you will find many more to write about. The King Tut one always amazed me. I have written a hub on strange coincidences myself and find these types of hubs wonderful reads. Voted up.


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