Last Updated on May 31, 2021
Curses are one of the most common features in folklore and religions. Virtually every single culture has stories involving witches or betrayed people sending out devastating curses to wreak havoc on others. In many parts of the world, curses are still regarded as a part of everyday life—aspects that are both feared and respected.
Science suggests that belief in curses is foolish, that they can’t possibly be real. Anecdotal evidence, on the other hand, suggests otherwise. Do curses actually work, or is it just a lot of hooey? If you’re a fan of the spiritual side of things, chances are that you’re a believer just like us.
Let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about curses.
How Do Curses Work?
Curses are generally cast in one of two ways: through negative energy infestations or through spellwork. Each type of curse can be equally devastating, with most people agreeing that purposefully-placed spells having a slightly higher tendency of causing harm.
Among most cultures, it’s generally accepted that areas, people, and places associated with terrible deeds can be cursed by the sheer negative energy they attracted. This can explain why some items seem naturally cursed from the day they came into existence, while other curses only seem to kick in after a tragedy.
With spellwork, curses are typically cast using a ritual or as a result of someone’s emotions getting out of control. In most cases, the curses can be lifted using another ritual or if something is done to equal out the good deed.
The Scientific Versus Spiritual Explanation
Science suggests that curses work by letting the target know they’re cursed. The suggestion causes people to worry and act out in a way that could potentially harm them. Moreover, if random bad things do happen to the person, they’ll end up blaming it on the curse.
On a spiritual level, curses work through the use of negative energy most commonly sparked by bad intentions. From there, things get a little more diverse. The negative energy could attract demons or other evil spirits that carry out the effects of the curse. Or, it could cause a spate of foul luck.
What Kind Of Things Can Be Cursed?
Curses can attach themselves to just about anything imaginable. That said, they most commonly attach themselves to:
- We’ve all heard of people who were victims of the “evil eye.” The evil eye is a type of hex that uses bad energy sent from one person to another to mess up their day. In most cases, the hex will go away eventually.
- Areas that are linked to extreme tragedy or violence are often said to be cursed. This is why many people believe war zones to be cursed and haunted by ghosts.
- We’ve all heard about the Hope Diamond and its legendary curse that brought death to all its owners. These things happen.
Why Would Someone Cast A Curse?
Everyone has their own reason for wanting to cause ill to someone else, which is why the reasons for casting a hex can change from person to person. The most common reasons include:
- Robert the Doll was a cursed doll that moved on its own. It’s said that the doll’s curse was cast by a voodoo-practicing housekeeper as revenge on her employers for penalizing her for something she didn’t do.
- Did you ever want something that someone else had? Maybe you felt like they needed to be “taken down a notch” after success went to their head. This, too, can be a reason why someone would want to place a curse on someone else.
- If a person wants to take something from you or knock you out of the way for their own means, they may do so using a curse.
- Hate can also be a motivator, even if it’s not a legitimate reason.
Can Curses Affect The Person Who Cast Them?
This all varies based on the culture, but the overall belief on this subject is yes. No curse ever comes without strings attached or without paying a price. In most cases, the price the caster can pay will be far higher than the price the victim will pay.
Almost every culture warns against the use of black magic due to the penalties it can cause on the caster’s life. Among Wiccans, the Three-Fold Law states that you will receive three times what you bring in. Among Eastern religions, the concept of karma states that you will reap what you sow.
Signs You Might Be Cursed
Curses can manifest themselves in a wide variety of different ways. Though the manifestations tend to be different depending on what curse was placed on you, there are still some fairly common signs that are reported, including:
- Sudden, unexplainable bouts of bad luck. The most common sign of being cursed is inexplicable, unrelenting bouts of bad luck that never seem to get any better. If the bad luck is prolonged for months or years, it probably is a powerful curse.
- An onset of nightmares, despite having peaceful sleep for years. Though this could be for other reasons, nightmares that are uncharacteristic of the dreamer can be indicative of a hex.
- Strange occurrences involving dark entities start to happen around you. Did you notice strange shadows lurking in your home? Are you having nightmares of the same being attacking you? These are telltale signs of a curse or a negative attachment.
- You start to have obsessive, recurring thoughts. Intrusive thoughts can be explained by mental illness, but if they’re deeply uncharacteristic of you, it could be something else.
- People suggest that you’ve been cursed. When people start remarking on your spate of bad luck, you know something is probably going on.
How To Break A Curse
If you believe you’ve been cursed, visited a cursed place, or have a cursed item in your possession, you’re probably wondering what you can do to undo the bad luck you’re experiencing. Unfortunately, there’s no blanket cure-all for curses and some curses can’t be overturned.
That being said, there are some go-to methods on how to break (or at least contain) curses. Let’s take a look at each major curse category:
Generally speaking, severely cursed places don’t really ever lose their negative vibes. This is why certain lands with a cursed reputation are considered to be dangerous to enter. You never know what may follow you home.
If your house has been cursed, there still may be a way to defeat it. Methods include:
- Smudging is the Native American practice of burning white sage as a way to clear out negative energy. When smudging, tell the energy or beings to leave, and open a door to let the energy out of your house.
- House Blessings. Blessing your property is a good, universal way to lift negative energy from your home.
- If you believe that someone cast a spell on your home, it may be better to fight fire with fire. Calling a local magic worker might be the only way to get the spell reversed or broken.
If you have an item in your house that you believe to be cursed, the best way to handle it is to get rid of it or donate it to a museum. This is how the Hope Diamond’s curse was reigned in and why many other cursed items were sent to paranormal museums.
What if you have reason to believe that you’re the one who was cursed? Things get a little trickier there. You can’t exactly walk away from yourself or donate yourself to a museum. In many cases, curses have lethal consequences. If your luck has gotten increasingly bad, these options can help buck the change.
- Reversal Spells. Reversal spells are specialized prayers and spells designed to send back whatever energy people sent to you. This causes the hex caster to experience whatever he wanted you to deal with.
- Blessing/Saging. Much like with places that have hexes laid upon them, a blessing or saging ceremony can work wonders. This is particularly useful when dealing with lighter level hexes.
- Spell Breaking Ceremonies. Each culture has its own way of undoing a spell, which is why it’s often wise to get a local magic practitioner who is experienced with hexes involved. Certain spells may need specific rituals to be done, which is why this might be the only option.
- Break The Curse’s Conditions. If you’re lucky enough to know what would break the curse, then doing that is your best option. For example, the black sands on the beaches of Hawaii’s Maui island are cursed, but only if they are taken off the island. Every year, the state gets dozens of bottles of sand stolen from the island returned to its offices. Those who return them usually have the curse lifted.