Friday, January 13, 2012

The Curses

Well, look at that! Today’s Friday the 13th. Be scared, everyone. Some people may think Friday the 13th is the most dreadful day of their life while some will think it’s the best day. For me, it normally has been a good day. There are so many different curses and I will just list a few. The information was discovered at

Breaking a mirror is probably a well known curse. I have known about it since I was little kid. My sister once broke the mirror by accident and she immediately freaked out. I remember her screaming “I’m going to have a bad luck for the next seven years!” She even wept a little. At first, I thought it was dumb to believe in something like that. Ten minutes or so later, she tripped over something and hurt her knee badly. If I remember it correctly, she kept tripping over things for the next couple days. Eventually, it stopped so…do I believe the luck will last seven years? Probably not. According to Squidoo, “Our ancestors [Romans] began this superstition, because they thought the image in a mirror, contained our actual soul. Thus, a broken mirror represented the soul being pulled from your body and being trapped in all the shattered pieces.”

To think about it, it actually does make sense to the reason why this curse exists. Want to know the reason why the bad luck lasted seven years? Well, “Romans believed after seven years, the body was physically renewed and the soul could once again return whole.”

What about the cure? Is there any way to prevent bad luck from happening? Apparently, there is one—if you accidently broke a mirror, you’ll need to wait for seven hours before you start picking the pieces up then bury them outside in the moonlight.

What does this have to do with paranormal, you wonder? I like to read things like that and start making plots inside my head. Squidoo’s website about the mirror curse only has one hundred and five words, but it was enough for me to think of a plot.

Plot Idea: A murderer follows his victim until they are inside the victim’s house. The murderer waits until a victim faces a mirror for seven minutes then the murderer grabs victim’s head and slams it against the mirror. The pieces from the mirror splatter all over the floor then murderer chants a spell. The soul that is trapped in the mirror pieces becomes bright white and floats into the air. The murderer inhales the soul through his mouth and nose. The victim lies on the floor all helpless. Without a soul, the victim is nothing but a mindless body.

The next curse is the number thirteen. Like most people, I immediately think of the movie Friday the 13th, which was a horror film. There is more to that, though. Here are some examples from Squidoo of how the number 13 got its unlucky reputation:
-          At Valhalla, the home of Gods, if you had twelve guests at a feast, and a thirteenth, turned up uninvited, he was to be “The God of Deceit”.
-          Many Christians believed it started with witches’ covens having 12 members,  making 13 only when the devil appeared at satanic ceremonies (although, prior to Christianity, 13 was considered a sacred number, representing the 13 moons of the year.)
-          For Christians, 13 was also the number at the Last Supper, when Judas betrayed Jesus.
-          It is claimed that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden on Friday, Noah’s flood started on Friday and Christ was crucified on Friday, so, it is likely these days and numbers combined were given the signal of the bad luck.
-          There is the belief that stems from the order given by King Phillip IV, on Friday, October 13, 1307, to round up the Knights Templar and kill or torture them.

I’ve also learned two new vocabulary words from 13th curse section. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday 13th.

How does that fit in paranormal, you ask again? Like I said earlier, Friday the 13th immediately reminded me of the horror film franchise by the same name. Jason Voorhees died as a child by drowning in the lake because the staff at the camp wasn’t paying attention to the children. All the other children thought Jason was a freak. His mother was beheaded then a curse brought his soul back to exact revenge.

People can be as creative as their imaginations allow with this kind of curse. I believe there are plenty of ways to write a story about the number thirteen as a curse involving magic or spirits.

Walking under a ladder is a curse I still avoid. I experienced it firsthand and it wasn’t fun. I fell and wound up with a sprained ankle. Since then, I make sure I didn’t walk under the ladder no matter what. I’ve often wonder why was it a curse until I found an information on Squidoo.

-          If you walk under a ladder you supposedly break a spiritual triangle (the Holy Trinity) that will leave you vulnerable to the devil.
-          In the days before the gallows, criminals were hung from the top rung of a ladder and their spirits were believed to linger underneath. Thus, to walk beneath an open ladder, was to pass through the triangle of evil ghosts and spirits.

This kind curse leads to many potentials of good paranormal story. It can be involved either devils or ghosts. For instance, a person walked under a ladder just to prove his friend that nothing would happen but all of a sudden, he disappeared. It was as if he walked into a wormhole. He fell onto the ground and found himself surrounded by fire. It was when he realized he wasn’t on Earth anymore but in hell. He had to fight his way out before a devil catches him and tortures him for the rest of his life.

I hope you learned a thing or two from this three kind of curses I like the most. The key, in my opinion, to write a paranormal story is to expand you outside the box and think of a curse that can easily lead to something supernatural. Perhaps, include a spell that makes things happen? Inviting a creature to make people scared of the curses? Be creative and you’ll be surprised.

Zach Sweets


  1. Wow I totally didn't know some of those things had cures!

  2. I didn't know either. especially the mirror part.

  3. I've never really put much context into curses, I think of them as Old Wife Tales. I knew about the mirror, the ladder, black cats, and tipping salt over. But I'm not superstitious, and nothing bad's happened to me. Though, I did try to take home the black cat that walked across me.

    1. I don't really believe in many curses. Ladder's the only one, though. I've met many friends who loathe Friday the 13th more than anything. Kinda weird. ha Black cats are adorable :) Especially the one with orange eyes.

    2. ^-^ The only time Friday the 13th freaked me out is when my friend made me watch horror movies for 12 hours straight..... I couldn't sleep for a week. And black cats are adorable! Two of my friends have a black cat, and one kitty has gold eyes and the other has green-yellow eyes.