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We are cursed men, Miss Turner. Compelled by greed we were, but now, we are consumed by it!
~ Barbossa to Elizabeth Swann.

Curses are a preternatural phenomena or black magic that causes harm to a person, group or area - ranging from causing bad luck and minor haunting activities to death and demonic invasion.

Curses can be cast on people, objects or entire worlds - either via the work of a wicked or resentful sorcerer or from an act of defilement that causes the gods (or similiar supernatural entity) to take vengeance on those responsible.

Curses (also called imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to one or more persons, a place, or an object.

In particular, "curse" may refer to such a wish or pronouncement made effective by a supernatural or spiritual power, or a natural force, or else as a kind of spell by magic or witchcraft; in the latter sense, a curse can also be called a hex or a jinx.

In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result. To reverse or eliminate a curse is sometimes called "removal" or "breaking", as the spell has to be dispelled, and is often requiring elaborate rituals or prayers.

Although dismissed by scientists as superstition, there has been some degree of evidence that curses can work if a victim believes strong enough in their apparent "doom" - due to this many compare the practice of leaving behind voodoo dolls or "cursed items" as a fearmongering tool designed to convince someone they are afflicted by paranormal threat.

Famous Curses (Fiction/Legend)

  • Beauty and The Beast (the titular "Beast" is cursed by an enchantress to become a monster in retribution for his selfish nature, the cure to the curse was to find true love.)
  • Medusa (Medusa, a once beautiful young woman, was cursed by a jealous chief Greek goddess Hera into becoming a hideous Gorgon, although in other variation of the legend of Medusa, it was a disgusted wisdom goddess Athena who cursed Medusa, her former virginal worshipper, into a Gorgon after she was raped by the sea god Poseidon inside the temple of Athena which was an act of defilement.)
  • A Plague Curse as shown in The Last Witch Hunter.

    The Last Witch Hunter (Enchantments and spells that are designed in the dark arts to cause illness and epidemic were referred to as "Plague Curses". The legendary Witch Queen uses her Plague Tree to unleash the infamous Black Death disease upon all of Europe via swarms of Plague Flies in the 13th century as part of her plan to eradicate humans off the face of the Earth, before she died at the hands of early Axe and Cross Order member Kaulder whom she cursed with immortality.)
  • Hom-Dai (An ancient Egyptian curse that is reserved only for the worst of blasphemers, turns Imhotep into a powerful and deadly mummy.)
  • Disney's Sleeping Beauty (The evil fairy, Maleficent casts a curse on the infant Princess Aurora to prick her finger and die on her sixteenth birthday before sunset. Luckily, one of the good fairies, Merryweather alters the curse to have Aurora fall into a deep sleep and to only be awaken by true love's kiss.)

Famous Curses (Real World)

  • Poltergeist Curse (a supposed curse placed on those involved in the horror move "Poltergeist" due to the use of real skeletons in the climatic end scene.)
  • The Mummy's Curse (a supposed cursed placed on those who explored the Egyptian Pyramids, new evidence suggests this curse may actually be microbes that lurked in the pyramids and thus caused the fatal illnesses (though this, much like the curse, is largely theory).)