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Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items (2020)

by J. W. Ocker

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22110123,171 (3.56)7
"Illustrated compendium telling the stories of real-life cursed objects from throughout history"-- Ocker profiles the infamous real-life items that have intersected with some of the most notable events and people in history-- leaving death and destruction in their wake. They can be found in museums, graveyards, and private homes, and their bizarre stories have inspired countless horror movies, reality TV shows, novels, and campfire tales. From the Raggedy Ann doll that spawned the horror franchise The Conjuring, to the mummy rumored to have sunk the Titanic and kickstarted World War I, Ocker has compiled a fascinating-- and sometimes spine-chilling-- book. -- adapted from back cover… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items by J.W. Ocker was a mildly entertaining and interesting book, the kind of which is soon forgotten, but enjoyed while it lasted. The author is clear at the start of the book that he doesn't intend to cover hauntings, whether they be haunted locations or haunted objects, which I thought was fair enough.

The book is perfect for the audiobook format and is divided into categories, with each object given its own chapter. Each object is covered in a brief 5-8 minutes on audiobook, or a few pages in print format.

In the chapter entitled Cursed Under Glass, we learn about the infamous Hope Diamond and Otzi the Iceman, whose mummified remains were discovered more than 5,000 years after his death.

I enjoyed learning about rune stones in Cursed in the Graveyard, which only served to reinforce my thoughts on disturbing tombs or burial sites for purposes of research or grave-robbing.

Cursed in the Attic introduced me to the case of The Crying Boy Paintings - which I'd somehow never read about - The Baleroy Chair of Death and The Basano Vase.

In the chapter entitled Cursed in Stone, one of the topics was The Amber Room and I recall interviewing author William F. Brown about it back in 2012 as well as doing a few hours of Googling on the topic. In fact, this entire book elicits frequent Googling as the reader is inspired to look at the physical object being described and read a little further than Ocker's offerings.

The Business of Cursed Objects chapter included Annabelle the Doll and the Warren Collection, and all manner of haunted and travelling museums. The Curse in the Machine included James Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder and The Prague Orloj (a magnificent medieval astronomical clock in Prague) among other items of interest including chain emails, which I thought was a bit of a stretch.

In his chapter Why Aren't These Objects Cursed, the author makes a good point when wondering why objects like the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull and the Skin Book of James Allen don't have a reputation for being cursed.

Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker was easy to digest with each cursed artefact covered in a short chapter, including information on where the item is (if the location is known) and how many deaths have been attributed to it.

Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker was akin to stumbling upon a random documentary while channel surfing and being sucked right in. It's only when I surfaced at the end of the book that I felt as though that might have been a waste of time, given I'd done most of the research myself in all that Googling. At the time however, I was happy for the bite size curse snacks delivered up by Ocker.

Published in 2020, Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker is a light read recommended for those interested in history, social history, archaeology, the paranormal and of course curses. Even if you're a skeptic, there are plenty of facts, geography and history to sink your teeth into and some ripper stories.

I'm interested to know if you believe in curses, bad juju or karmic consequences, so let me know in the comments below. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Nov 7, 2022 |
Very comprehensive and lighthearted guide to all of the world's cursed objects. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Aug 21, 2022 |
This was an interesting book about cursed objects, but there was no scare factor here.

I was thinking that the book would have some scare parts to it with the curses, but really the book was more with information about different things in the world that has curses attached to them.

The most interesting story out of all of them was the curse of the Ring of Silvianus, which some believe to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien on his stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I found that story fascinating as I am big Lord of the Rings fan.

All in all it was a good book, but nothing to give it more than three stars. ( )
  BookNookRetreat7 | Jul 25, 2022 |
As a horror fan, I was excited to read this book. It didn't disappoint. J.W. Ocker did extensive research on cursed and not so cursed but should be cursed objects. I knew a few, but there was so many objects I didn't even know about, can technology really be cursed? Ocker's findings were presented informatively but with a bit of humor. I would recommend this to anyone not just horror fans. ( )
  tami317 | Oct 11, 2021 |
This book's subject matter could be highly interesting if wasn't written in a smug, sarcastic, condescending manner and aimed at scaring young readers.

It is simplistic, brief, and has illustrations instead of photographs. It may be cataloged as Adult Non-Fiction, but it is clearly written for children.

Not only did it bore me, the attitude of the writing aggravated the hell out of me. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Feb 27, 2021 |
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Epigraph
To steal this book,
if you should try,
It's by the throat
you'll hang high.
And ravens then
will gather 'bout
To find your eyes
and pull them out.
And when you're
screaming "Oh, oh, oh!"
Remember, you
deserved this woe.
Dedication
Dedicated to Rebecca Gyllenhaal, for sending me on this adventure.
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I hate to be the one to tell you this, but many seemingly innocuous objects will make your life suck.
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"Illustrated compendium telling the stories of real-life cursed objects from throughout history"-- Ocker profiles the infamous real-life items that have intersected with some of the most notable events and people in history-- leaving death and destruction in their wake. They can be found in museums, graveyards, and private homes, and their bizarre stories have inspired countless horror movies, reality TV shows, novels, and campfire tales. From the Raggedy Ann doll that spawned the horror franchise The Conjuring, to the mummy rumored to have sunk the Titanic and kickstarted World War I, Ocker has compiled a fascinating-- and sometimes spine-chilling-- book. -- adapted from back cover

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