The Bélmez Faces:
One of the craziest hauntings on record was
originally reported from Spain in 1971, when strange faces began appearing in a
small house in Bélmez. The case first came to wide public attention in August,
when Maria Pereira, a housewife in the small village, discovered that a female
face had "formed" on the hearthstone of her kitchen fireplace. She tried to
scrub the face from the stone but it seemed to emerge directly from the
concrete. She even had the face covered by a second layer of cement, but it
showed through that. Then the faces began appearing on the kitchen floor,
sometimes disappearing later in the day or changing expressions. The house soon
became a local tourist stop and Mrs. Pereira began charging an admission fee to
see the faces. Hundreds of people began flocking to the house, until local
political and religious authorities ordered the sight-seeing to stop.
Luckily, by this time Dr. Hans
Bender of the University of Freiburg in Germany had learned of the case.
Germany's leading parapsychologist, Bender decided to investigate the cause in
collaboration with Spain's own Dr. German de Argumosa. In order to test the
faces, the two investigators fastened a plastic plate over the kitchen floor. It
was left there for several weeks and removed only when water condensed under it.
The faces continued to form even under these controlled conditions. They
consistently appeared through 1974, and although Mrs.Pereira had a new kitchen
built onto her house, it didn't take long before the faces began appearing
there, too. Professor Argumosa personally witnessed the materialization of a
face on April 9, 1974, and photographed it, which was fortunate, since it later
disappeared. The use of photographic documentation rules out any suggestion that
the faces were hallucinations or chance configurations in the concrete. In order
to test further for fraud, Argumosa and his colleagues checked to see whether
the faces were fashioned from artificial coloring. The results of this chemical
study were published in November 1976 in the Schweizerisches Bulletin für
Parapsychologie and it showed nothing suspicious....
The startling sight the other day of a colossal gold statue of the Jackal-headed god Anubis sailing under Tower Bridge, heralding the return to London of Tut-Mania next month, sent shivers down my spine - but for all the wrong reasons. The boy king's glittering tomb treasures will soon arrive in London from America for a major exhibition.More than 300,000 tickets have already been sold - but I may have to excuse myself from coming face-to-face with him again, for reasons which I shall explain. The eight-metre high image of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god ofthe dead, evoked extraordinary memories.
I was one of the 1.7 million who braved interminable queues at the British Museum to view Tutankhamun's 3,000-year-old tomb treasures back in 1972.But the statue also had my mind rolling back to another astonishing discovery made more recently, in 1999, which has had extraordinary ramifications in my own life.
I am a
rational person, but, believe me, it has led me to question my sanity
more than once, and to wonder in earnest whether I, in the 21st
century, have been the victim of the legendary "Pharaoh's Curse".
Of course, in the cold
light of day, it sounds somewhat fanciful. Yet the "Curse of Tut" is
said to have claimed the lives, fortunes and happiness of scores of
people who were involved in British archaeologist Howard Carter's
discovery ofTutankhamun's tomb in 1922.
But though I am no fan of
paranormal claptrap, I have nevertheless quaked at times when I think
back over the string of disasters which have befallen me since I first
handled a collection of obscure objects which had once lain buried with
After 40-odd years of
marriage, my then parents-in-law were separating. While they were
packing up the house, I happened upon two battered Cognac boxes in the
back of a wardrobe, crammed with the last things on earth you'd expect
"Just the family jewels,"
my former father-in-law, Michael, joked. "I'd actually forgotten they
were there." Inside the boxes was a collection of dusty glass petri
dishes containing textile fragments, seeds, palm nuts, food and
When I asked what oneart......
According to the legend, a curse befell the large, blue diamond when it was plucked (i.e. stolen) from an idol in India - a curse that foretold bad luck and death not only for the owner of the diamond but for all who touched it.Whether or not you believe in the curse, the Hope diamond has intrigued people for centuries. Its perfect quality, its large size, and its rare color make it strikingly unique and beautiful. Add to this a varied history which includes being owned by King Louis XIV, stolen during the French Revolution, sold to earn money for gambling, worn to raise money for charity, and then finally donated to the Smithsonian Institution. The Hopediamond is truly unique.Is there really a curse? Where has the Hope diamond been? Why was such a valuable gem donated to the Smithsonian?
Taken from the Forehead of an Idol
The legend is said to begin
with a theft.
Several centuries ago, a man named Tavernier made a trip
to India. While there, he stole a large blue diamond from the forehead
(or eye) of a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. For this transgression,
according to the legend, Tavernier was torn apart by wild dogs on a
trip to Russia (after he had sold the diamond). This was the first
horrible death attributed to the curse.
How much of this is true?
In 1642 a man by the name of Jean Baptiste Tavernier, a French jeweler
who traveled extensively, visited India and bought a 112 3/16 carat
bluediamond. (This diamond was much larger than the present weight of
the Hope diamond because the Hope has been cut down at least twice in
the past three centuries.) The diamond is believed to have come from
the Kollur mine in Golconda, India.
Tavernier continued to
travel and arrived back in France in 1668, twenty-six years after he
bought the large, blue diamond. French King Louis XIV, the "Sun King,"
ordered Tavernier presented at court. From Tavernier, Louis XIV bought
the large, blue diamond as well as forty-four large diamonds and 1,122
smaller diamonds. Tavernier was made a noble and died at he age 84 in
Russia (it is not known how he died).
According to Susanne Patch,
author of Blue Mystery: The Story of the Hope Diamond, the shape of the
diamond was unlikely to have been an eye (or on the forehead) of an
Curses are magick spells which are placed upon people with the intention of harming them. The misfortune intended by curses can range from illness, and harm, to even death. Curses are declared to be the most dreaded form of magic, often called black magic, and are believed to be universally used.The principle purposes for them to be "laid" or "thrown" are for revenge, and also for protection of homes, treasures and grave sites. Curses can become effective immediately or may be dormant for years. Curses laid on families have been known to have plagued them for generations.The use of curse has been practiced by many cultures. The most universal method of laying on acurse is by effigy, which is an image or representation of the victim, or the person who is wished to be harmed.
effigies were common in ancient India, Persia, Egypt, Africa and
Europe, and currently are still used.
Also, effigies can be made of
clay, wood and stuffed cloth (poppets). Often the effigy is marked or
painted to looked like the victim. It is thought that the closer the
effigy resembles the victim, the more the victim will suffer when the
effigy is harmed or destroyed. The theory behind the harming or
destroying an effigy to do harm to a victim is pure sympathetic magic.
As the effigy is harmed, so the victim is harmed. When the effigy is
destroyed, so the victim dies.
The ancient Egyptians often
used waxed figures of Apep, a monster who was the enemy of the sun. The
magician would write Apep’s name in green ink on theeffigy, wrapped it
in new papyrus and throw it into a fire As it burned he kicked it with
his left foot four times. The ashes of the effigy were mixed with
excrement and thrown into another fire. The Egyptians also left waxed
figures on tombs.
Like blessings, curses have
universally been bought and sold throughout the centuries. With the
exclusion of the neo-Pagan Witches, witches and sorcerers throughout
history have performed both blessings and curses as a service to others
because both are calling upon supernatural powers to effect a change.
They have rendered these services to client for fees, or in carrying
out judicial sentences. Plato mentioned in the Republic, "If anyone
wishes to injure an enemy; for a small fee they (sorcerers) will bring
harm on good or bad alike, binding the gods to serve their purposes by
spells and curses."