Imagine someone has hurt, offended, or otherwise harmed you or someone you loved. Would you retaliate? And if so, would you go as far as to employ black magic? Many people have probably wished ill fortune upon a rival, but few have likely learned how to curse people. And sometimes, hapless individuals stumble upon the occult. One moment they're unearthing prehistoric remains; the next, they're plummeting to their death on an icy mountaintop.
Are there real curses that actually work? Could you become a victim of ancient magic, or incur the wrath of a powerful sorcerer or witch doctor? And if you're bold enough to attempt to cast a curse yourself, would it cause your enemy's downfall, or backfire on you? Before proceeding with plans for a curse, it's a good idea to crack open an occult book or two and learn more about these dark spells. Even experts in mysticism and necromancy can run afoul of supernatural forces.
The remains of a prehistoric man known as Ötzi were discovered on an icy mountain top between Austria and Italy in 1991. Ötzi was an important anthropological and archaeological find, and his body was removed from the site and preserved for research and study. The world has learned a good deal about him since then, including the details of his last meal, the kind of boots he was wearing, his tattoos, and even plausible theories as to his cause of death.
Ötzi, however, doesn't seem to approve of his move from his chilly mountain grave. In the years since his discovery, seven people have died - four of them under strange and even creepy circumstances. The first death was that of the scientist who put Ötzi into a body bag on the mountainside; he was killed in a car crash on his way to a conference to discuss the Ötzi project. Another scientist was killed in an avalanche. Even the man who discovered Ötzi couldn't escape the curse: he fell to his death while hiking.
Voodoo is a widely misunderstood spiritual practice. Still, stories of dark "voodoo" rituals make their way into the news. Consider this story from 1997, which began with a severed hand washing up on the shores of the Manatee River in Bradenton, FL. Police identified it as belonging to 70-year-old Willie Suttle - but he had died of natural causes a year earlier, and was supposedly buried. The concerned authorities unearthed his body and made a gruesome discovery: his organs had been removed and replaced with small fabric voodoo dolls.
Even more disturbing were the notes attached to the dolls. They seemed to place a curse on several local funeral homes. The notes were eventually traced back to an unlicensed embalmer named Paula Green-Albritton, who admitted to defacing the body in an attempt to ensure her own success. She had removed Suttle's hand as part of a secondary ritual.
In 2014, a Florida resident named Amanda Lopez was arrested for murdering her former boyfriend. Her reason? She claimed he had placed a curse on her. Lopez told police she'd been planning the murder for around a year, because she was convinced that the only way to end the curse destroying her life was to kill him. She did not provide details of exactly what the curse entailed, but it inspired a frightening reaction: she "lost it" and stabbed her ex eight times with a steak knife.
The story of one creepy curse dates back to the 14th century. The Great Khan, Timur, was the great-grandson of Ghengis Khan, and he was just as ruthless and power-crazed as his relative. He once built a pyramid made of 70,000 human skulls in order to display his might and instill fear in others.
When Timur died, he was buried in an elaborate mausoleum, with an enormous jade slab over his tomb. The slab carried a message engraved in Arabic, warning that if anyone ever disturbed the grave, "The world will tremble."
Centuries later, in 1941, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin sent one of his best archaeologists to investigate Timur's tomb. Locals were upset about the Soviet excavation, and told the archeologists about the curse. They laughed off the old legends, and continued with their plans. But, sure enough, the world trembled: Hitler suddenly and viciously attacked the Soviet Union in June of 1941.