Cursed objects generally stick to the realms of movies, books, and extremely passive-aggressive birthday cards. But sometimes these foully magicked items slip through the cracks of reality and show up in our corporeal world to scare the hell out of us. Like so ...
#3. A Cruise Ship
In February, a Carnival cruise ship with the fate-temptingly hilarious name Triumph was ushering passengers on a lovely cruise through the tropics when a fire crippled the ship, leaving it dead in the water. This would've been scary enough on its own, but then the sewage system decided to break down, raining shit down the walls of the boat onto everyone trapped inside. The passengers then sat for five goddamn days with nothing to eat, save each other and poop.
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Considering what we know of most cruise passengers, the poop would probably be more nutritious.
When rescue finally came to tow the dismantled Triumph back into port, the towline broke, leaving the ship stranded yet again. They finally reached port five days later, but the next day a bus carrying many of the rescued passengers broke down and stranded them on the side of the road, because the world is cruel.
In April, the ship was in harbor getting work done when it broke free from the dock, floated downstream, and smashed into a cargo ship, killing a man. Apparently the Triumph was cobbled out of bones dredged up from a mermaid burial ground.
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"Well, how do you build a boat?"
#2. A Hot Spring
In Australia -- aka the only country on this planet that would boast an evil whirlpool -- there sits a hot spring called Devil's Pool. According to an Aboriginal legend, a woman drowned herself in the pool after her new lover was taken away from her by his tribe. Nowadays, she drowns any young male tourist who dares to go swimming in the spring, claiming at least 20 lives over the past 50-odd years (that number may be higher, as life insurance companies generally don't accept "curse" as a cause of death). Scientists argue that these deaths are more likely a result of swimmers unfamiliar with the pool being overwhelmed by its strong currents, but that explanation sounds like a lot of big-city lip-wiggling to us.
Andrew Watson / Lonely Planet / Getty
How could this be dangerous? Rocks are nature's pillows.
#1. A Painting on eBay
Back in 2000, a couple put an allegedly cursed painting on eBay with a slew of warnings about its powers, which were admittedly limited to "being a creepy painting of a child with rickets and his life-sized doll playmate/murder practice dummy." The painting went viral (as this was the Internet prior to XXX tube sites, thereby leaving nobody with anything better to do) and the price skyrocketed, which was probably the sellers' plan all along.
"I mostly wanted to get this creepy thing out of the house as fast as possible."
But people viewing pictures of the painting online started to report weird phenomena -- children would scream when they saw it, printers would relentlessly chew up paper if they tried to print it, and one poor soul claimed to hear a stentorian voice and feel a gust of fiery air on his face as he gazed upon it. All of the victims blamed the painting, with nobody pausing to consider if the free AOL CD-ROMs they got in the mail were haunted.
The seller even posted webcam videos taken of the painting at night, which allegedly show the doll pulling a gun on the little boy. The painting ultimately went for $1,050 to a man who quickly began selling prints to people who enjoy terrible artwork that is appreciated by evil spirits. The weirdest part of all? Nobody who took part in any of these transactions paused and asked themselves the obvious question: If the painting really is haunted, why the hell would you want it in your house?