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The Cursed Trope of Cursed Antiques

I feel certain that there are instances in Literature. I think I’ve read them, but I can’t recall any to mind just now. There’s that annoying feeling that the information is stored somewhere in the depths of my mind but I can’t quite access it. “It’s on the tip of my tongue,” in other words. I’m talking about the tradition of cursed antiques. Where did that originate? Watching FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE the other day got me to thinking about it. (In this film, Peter Cushing plays the proprietor of an antiques shop filled with cursed items.) FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES (an underrated television gem from the late 80s) had the recovery of cursed antiques as its basic premise.

A little googling reveals that H.G. Wells wrote about shops specializing in magical or cursed items in THE CRYSTAL EGG and THE MAGIC SHOP, but I’m sure there are earlier examples. Can you think of any?

Anyway, if you dig on antiques but are afraid of purchasing one that comes with its very own curse, there are, according to this site, three surefire ways to tell that the antique you’re admiring is cursed. (1.) Occult symbols. If it has them, it’s either a cursed object or a Led Zeppelin album. (2.) Unrealistic price. If the item is priced too cheap, it’s cursed. Or a cheap knockoff from Hong Kong. (3.) Feeling of anxiety. Trust your instincts. I sometimes get a creeped-out feeling, but it’s only when I’m around sports memorabilia.

TheCheezman • October 7, 2019

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