Monday, August 5, 2013

Curse or coincidence? Two more cases from real life

A few years ago, while making a short train journey, I picked up a discarded copy of a free newspaper called Metro. There was not much of interest to me in it, so I just skimmed the pages until I suddenly came to an article about something that was very much on my mind: putting curses on people.

It was a copy of an interview with a crime writer called James Ellroy. I had never heard of him, perhaps because I am not a fan of most crime novels. This extract speaks for itself:

“James Ellroy, 62, is an American author whose crime novels include The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential, both made into films. His mother was murdered when he was 10 years old, three months after he put a curse on her. It remains an unsolved case.”

“What kind of curse did you put on your mother?” 

“On the occasion of my tenth birthday, in March of 1958, my mother - a 43-year-old, good-looking, tall, red-haired, alcoholic, registered nurse, divorced from my dad for two and half years - sat me down and said ‘You’re ten - you can live with your dad or me.’ I said ‘my dad’. She hit me. I fell off the couch and hit my head on the glass coffee table. She hit me again. I called her some names; blood trickled into my mouth. I read a book on Spells, Witchcraft and Curses at Christmas 1957. I recall the book. I issued the curse; I wished my mother dead. She was coincidentally murdered three months later.”

Other sources confirm that the perpetrator was never found.

I wonder whether it was just chance that made me pick up the paper, or whether I was ‘meant’ to find the article.

It reminded me of something I had read about Sylvia Plath many years earlier.  When Ted Hughes left her for another woman, she became insane with fury and deliberately tried to put a curse on this woman – Assia Wevill.  She danced around the table in a deliberate attempt to perform black magic. It may be just coincidence that Assia Wevill later killed both herself and her and Ted Hughes’s little girl.

It seems that to be a creative writer or a poet is to play with fire. To be deliberately involved with dark aspects of the occult – Ted Hughes is said to have learned some of these from his mother - is even more dangerous. Both together can be lethal for the people involved, and those close to them.

One or two such incidents may be explained away, but after reading about many more and encountering a few myself, I believe that some people really do have the power to effectively curse others.