• Graveyard Shift

Nobody Thought These Relics Carried Terrifying Curses...Until Somebody Stole Them And Paid The Price

We're all familiar with the unwieldy power of ancient relics from movies like Indiana Jones, but what if those powers were real? In the case of these scary relics, that might just be the case. Any archeologist will tell you that it's better to spend your days carefully digging centimeters at a time than to find yourself being chased by cursed mummies through tombs - but that doesn't mean you wont stumble upon a scary artifact or two. 

Historical haunted objects carry not only the stories of the past, but also a hefty curse, ghost, or other supernatural connection that makes them less than desirable to find. What's particularly interesting about this is not what scary relics do, but how easy it is for people to come across them by accident. It doesn't take a grave robber to find haunted artifacts - in some cases they're more likely to find you first.

  • A Stolen Egyptian Carving Leads To Cancer

    Stealing artifacts is a terrible thing to do, curse or no curse, but sometimes these artifacts will exact their own revenge. In 2007, a man reportedly returned a carving that had been stolen by his stepfather along with a note explaining that terrible things had come from the theft. According to the note, which remains anonymous, the man who stole the carving suffered severe health problems, including fevers and paralysis, before ultimately succumbing to cancer. His stepson returned the carving to atone for his stepfather's stealing it, but also to end the curse that he believed lay on his family as a result of the theft.

  • An Entire Town That Desecrated Native American Sites Faces The Consequences

    Photo: Brooklyn Museum / Wikimedia Commons

    The case of Blanding, UT, may be less the result of a curse and more a case of police involvement, but it's hard to deny that the ongoing theft of Native American, specifically Anasazi, relics hasn't hurt the town. After years of collecting pottery and arrowheads from local Anasazi sites, many members of the town turned to outright grave robbing, selling the artifacts online to turn a profit. A subsequent FBI investigation (which many claim was poorly handled by the organization in question) reportedly led to three suicides and multiple arrests, rocking the little town to its core. With countless sites destroyed by rampant looting and many Anasazi artifacts ruined or lost forever, punishment is certainly in order, though the three lives lost to the investigation color the entire situation with a decidedly dark overtone.

  • Stolen Stones Returned With A Warning For Future Thieves

    The ancient city of Gamla was once a city ravaged by war and was the site of a siege that marked the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War in 66 CE. One of the go-to weapons of this period was the ballista ball, which the Romans would shoot into the Jewish city to keep people away long enough to then hit them with a battering ram. Two ballista balls were stolen in 1995 and were then returned in 2015, with a warning stating that no good had come from stealing them. The full note read:

    These are two Roman ballista balls from Gamla, from a residential quarter at the foot of the summit. I stole them in July 1995, and since then they have brought me nothing but trouble. Please, do not steal antiquities!

  • A Cursed Vase Brings Death Upon Every Owner

    Legend has it that an Italian bride once received a beautiful silver vase as a wedding gift, but on the night of her wedding she was found dying on her bedroom floor clutching the vase. With her last words, she swore to return and have vengeance while holding the vase. Since then, the cursed vase is said to have caused the deaths of every subsequent owner, including the bride's family members and an unfortunate archaeologist. Apparently museums even refuse to take in the artifact because of the curse, and it's instead been buried, hopefully never to be dug up again.