The Cursed Ring of Rudolph Valentino
With a lot of the curses you hear about, there is as much evidence to argue against the curse as there is to argue for it. Like with the curse on the tomb of King Tutankhamen. If it existed, it was an inconsistent curse. Strange things did occur after the opening, but the first man, a boy at the time, to enter the tomb lived to a ripe old age sans any observable bad luck, as did archaeologist Howard Carter, who sawed the mummy of the Pharaoh in half. You’d think, if ANYbody was gonna get whacked by the curse…
Where the cursed ring of silent film superstar Rudolph Valentino is concerned, though, it’s hard to write it all off as just so much coincidence. Valentino bought the ring in San Francisco in 1920. The jeweler from whom he bought it reputedly didn’t want to sell it because it brought bad luck to whomever owned it, but Valentino insisted. He bought the ring and wore it in his next film, THE YOUNG RAJAH, which flopped. He put the ring aside for a couple of years, then started wearing it again. He died in 1926 of pleurisy and peritonitis after being misdiagnosed by doctors. He was 31.
Valentino’s lover Pola Negri took possession of the ring, but became seriously ill soon after. She survived, and gave the ring to actor Russ Colombo, a Valentino lookalike and impersonator. Shortly thereafter Colombo was shot and killed. A man named Joe Casino inherited the ring but kept it locked away until he started wearing it a few years later, at which time he was hit by a truck and killed. Casino’s brother inherited the ring, which was stolen from his home in a robbery. One of the thieves, James Willis, was shot and killed by police. The ring was then locked away in a vault at a bank in Los Angeles. There have been a couple of failed robberies at the bank and at least one fire in the years since the ring took up residence there. It is assumed the ring is still there, but no one knows for certain its exact whereabouts.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!