24 July 2024

Curses On The World

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is the intense, action-packed adventure starring Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood and Rose Leslie, from the visionary director Breck Eisner and the producers of 300, Riddick and the Fast & Furious franchise.

Hundreds of years ago, the mighty warrior Kaulder (Vin Diesel) vanquished the all-powerful Witch Queen, thus defeating the witches who had wreaked bloodshed on the world for centuries once and for all. But in moments before her death the Witch Queen cursed Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved family. To mark The Last Witch Hunter arriving on Digital HD from 29th February and on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 7th March, courtesy of Entertainment One, we explore other well known curses that have been bestowed upon the world.

The Mummy’s Curse
The Mummy's revenge
Legend says the tomb of King Tutankhamun was inscribed and guarded with the threat “Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King”. Two Egyptologists, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon did not believe in this and opened the tomb in 1922, Lord Carnarvon died 4 months later and his dog followed suit just hours later. It was respected novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who said that the death could have been of a result of “elementals” or “curses” created by ancient priests to guard the tomb of King Tutankhamun. His theory made headlines all over the world.

The Hope Diamond Curse
diamond hope
King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette bought a 115-carat blue diamond from French merchant Jean Baptiste Tavern, who stole it from the eye of a Hindu idol in India. Shortly after this purchase, they were beheaded during the French revolution. The diamond was later inherited by Lord Francis Hope who was eventually reduced to poverty and when Evalyn Walsh McLean bought the stone in 1912, her son was killed and her daughter committed suicide That was a pretty unlucky stone.

The Tecumseh Curse
the tecumseh
This well known American curse is the explanation many people hid behind when every U.S president between 1840 to 1960 died in office, including Abraham Lincoln and J.F.Kennedy. It was also a peculiar coincidence that all the presidents that died were elected in a year that ended in 0. The rumour was that the Native American Leader Tecumseh cursed the presidency line when William Henry Harrison’s troops defeated his forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Thirty years later, William Henry Harrison died just one year after being elected.

The Curse of the Silver Porsche
james dean
In 1955, James Dean was killed when the silver Porsche 550 Spyder he had was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Within a year of Dean’s crash, the car was involved in two more fatal accidents and two other injuries. Other incidents occurred after designer George Barris purchased the car. Whilst in the garage, the Porsche fell on the mechanic’s legs and broke them. Two doctors supposedly purchased the engine and transmission from the car, soon after one was killed and the other seriously injured in subsequent car accidents. Someone else purchased the tires which blew simultaneously, sending the driver to hospital.

The Billy Goat Curse
the billy goat curse
In 1945, William “Billy Goat” Sianis brought his pet goat, Murphy, to Wrigley Field to see the fourth game of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. Sianis and his goat were thrown out from the stadium after complaints from fellow fans, and Sianis supposedly put a curse on the Chicago Cubs that day. Ever since, the Cubs have had legendarily bad luck. In 1969, 1984, 1989 and 2003, the Cubs were painfully close to advancing to the World Series but couldn’t hold the lead. Even those who don’t consider themselves Cubs fans blame the hex for the weird and almost comical losses year after year. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, while no other team in the history of the game has gone as long without a championship.

The Curse of Turan
Hungary is home to the Curse of Turan, which posits that Hungary and its population have been oppressed by a malevolent spell for centuries. The trouble started in 1000 A.D. when then-despot King Stephen declared that his people must convert to Christianity. Not all the country’s inhabitants met the news with a willing spirit. A spiritualist, believed to have psychic powers because he was born with six fingers on one hand, resisted the orders to leave the old religious ways behind. In protest, he placed a thousand-year curse on all Hungarians. In the years that followed, its people are believed by some to have experienced increased levels of personal misfortune. As proof, some point to Hungary’s inflated suicide rate. During the 20th century, the country had one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

The Rasputin Curse
Rasputin was a well known self-proclaimed magician and cult leader; he wormed his way into the palace of the Romanovs, Russia’s ruling family, around the turn of the last century. He did so by telling stories to the heir to the throne, a boy named Alexis. His stories kept Alexis calm and this was important to the royal family because Alexis had haemophilia, which could have caused him to bleed to death if he were injured. However, Rasputin’s power soon went to his head, and a few of the Romanovs allegedly decided to have him killed, but he was exceptionally resilient. Reportedly it took poison, a fall down a staircase, repeated gunshots and drowning before Rasputin was finally dead. It’s said that Rasputin mumbled a curse as he died, assuring Russia’s ruling monarchs that they would all be dead themselves within a year. The Romanov family was brutally murdered in a mass execution less than a year later during the Russian Revolution.

The Curse of 27
There appears to be an exclusive “club” for 27 year old rock stars. Robert Johnson, who Eric Clapton called “the most important blues musician who ever lived,” played the guitar so well that some said he must have made a deal with the devil. So when he died at 27, people said it must have been time for him to pay up. Since Johnson, a number of musical geniuses have gone to an early grave at age 27. Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones passed away in 1969. Then it was both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin in 1970, and Jim Morrison the following year. Kurt Cobain joined in 1994 and Amy Winehouse in 2011, all only 27 years old.

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is out now on Digital DOWNLOAD and Blu-ray and DVD from 7th march, courtesy of Entertainment One.

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