In this remastered edition of a classic Lore episode, we revisit the concept of curses, and take a tour through some of the most powerful examples. With fresh narration and production, and a brand new story at the end.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I've spent most of my life in the presence of troubled sports teams growing up in the Chicago area. I was always aware of how long the cubs had gone without winning a world series title. It was less apply. the pain and more a numb spots in the collective conscious of everyone around me. When I moved Austin in the late nineties I discovered Miller culture. This time centred around the Red Sox again here was a team that had spent decades waiting year after year. Hope would be manufactured and piled high into the car to expectations only to have that cart dump on its side at the end of each season, until two thousand, for that is that was the year things changed. That was the year that brought the tower of hopelessness in doubt,
or that took eighty six years to construct brick by brick year after year and brow all crashing down the weight was over. I don't plan to talk about baseball today, but I do think the story of teams like the Cubs and the Red Sox have something valuable to teach us about how our minds work our bill. to justify to explain to make sense of what seems so often to make no sense at all. That's what I find fascinating humans are so very good at finding reason lurking behind the Red Sox. Eighty six year. Wait like a shadow and one hundred eight years for the Cubs are the excuses. More specifically the curses. How else are we to explain such droughts such logic, defying gaps on their score? Of course, both of those teams had to be curse. Right, but the bambino in the billygoat weren't the first curses in history, and they were far from the last
and while some curses have been entertaining or even laughable, others have defied explanation long enough to make people wonder. Some in fact have been deadly I'm Erin Maggie, and this is lower the word. Curse comes from the old english word curse just the e and you'll have the route general, meaning isn't clear, but one of the uses of the old english word is to denote a path or a route. Now, I'm oh Adam apologist, but I think the word picture is actually pretty clear. Life is like a journey. Sometimes we walk along the path of our choosing and sometimes were pushed off and into the
it's it's in those moments of chaos of the unexpected and the unfortunate that we feel like we ve lost control it's as if someone or something has knocked off the path we were travelling in those moments, it might be appropriate to say that we ve been cursed. Curses as a concept, though, have been around since the beginning of humanity in the early, Examples, a curse was a punishment handed out by a deity form, behaving or devious human beings, the store, Of Adam and Eve and Christian Bible is full of curses doled out after their disobedience, the gods, instructions, hard physical work, painful childbirth and expulsion from Paradise are all described as their punishment. The irish speakers, Ursus, as if they were birds. Once a curse is spoken allowed. They say it can float around a place until it finds its target,
the intended receiver wasn't in the room. A curse could drift around for up to seven years, not aimlessly, though a curse was like a heat seeking missile waiting until the moment when the person would arrive in Scandinavia. Curses were more like bullets, a person might utter a curse at an enemy, but it could also be turned back or return to the speaker where it would deal the effects of a curse on the speaker instead think duels, if you will just with work. The moors of the middle ages had a very interesting tradition involving curses. It was said if a man followed a prescribed set of rules and requirements, he was allowed to ask others to help him with something important. If, after jumping through all of the correct hoops, his request for help was still refused, though a curse was said, to descend upon those who refused him, not a specific curse that he made up, but a general societal curse as if
tradition itself were punishing the unhelpful people. According to another legend, the counting people of Europe use curses in a powerful way. If a tenant farmer was fired and evicted from the land he had been hired to work, he would quickly, go and gather stones from all over the property. Then he would put these stones in a lit. Fireplace fall on his knees and pray. What did they pray for exactly? Well, they prayed for as long as the stones remained, unburned, every possible curse would descend upon their landlords. His children, in all the generations asked, them then, rather than leave the stones in the fireplace where they could eventually become burned, thus ending the curse, they would gather them back up in scatter them around the countryside. persons have been there since the beginning it seems, but, we're time they have evolved to be more than just something you do to another person as if they were weapons or tools.
Many of the stories that we tell on dark nights around camp fires have more to do with the implications you see. Sometimes the horrible tragedies of life refuse to be explained away without the mention of a deadly curse. Prince Amado of Savoy told his father in eighteen, sixty seven that he planned to marry Maria Vittoria DOT puts all his father was enraged, sure she was a noble birth, but she was no princess and she certainly wasn't worthy of the son of a king. He was said to have cursed. Their union on the morning of their wedding, Maria's dressmaker, took her own life. Maria took the hint and found a different dressed aware
later, as the bridle party made their way to the palace church in a grand procession, one of the military leaders fell off his horse and died right there in the street the wedding procession continued on, though, and finally reached the palace gates only to find them shut again Inspection revealed the reason why the gatekeeper was found in the gatehouse line in a pool of his own blood. The death toll continued, though immediately. after the wedding, the best man shot himself in the head, the wet party, headed to the train station. Perhaps in an effort to outrun the curse when they arrived, the man who had drafted their marriage contract had a brain hemorrhage and died on the spot. He was soon follow. By the station master was somehow got pulled de the royal train carriage and was crushed to death. being apparently saw a pattern and recall the entire party back to the palace while they were leaving the train, though one of the nobleman with them, fell beneath the same train car
Deleon on his chest. Most likely a gift from the king was pushed through his skin stabbing him in the heart Maria herself was the final victim of the They say she died in childbirth later at the age of just twenty nine here's another team, or the lame or timberline as he was known, was the great great grandson of Genghis Khan. Taking the throne and thirteen sixty nine, he was a vicious Mungo warlord and was known for bloody military campaigns. The often built pyramids after his victories not with stones, mind. You know he preferred to use the heads of the defeated army, sometimes tens of thousands of them. He died in fourteen or five, then I imagine more than a few people were elated at the news he was buried. in an area that we now know as stand and a large jade slab was placed over his tomb as a safeguard, the stone was inscribed with a word of warning know when,
arise from the grave. The world will tremble some port say that another message referred to a great battle that would be unleashed. Should his grave be disturbed. You see where this is going right in in forty one, Joseph Stalin send a team of soviet archaeologists to look for Tamar Links Tomb when local, back elders, heard of the search and planned excavation. They spoke out in protest. They made reference to an old book that made it clear just how bad of an idea it was to open the tomb. They spoke of a curse. They spoke, but no one listened on June, twenty first of nineteen, forty one, the tomb of Tamar Lane was opened and his skull was removed before. Mean day. Hitler's forces crossed into the Soviet Union beginning the largest german military operation of war war too. If the sack war, war had a great battle. This was it. The body of Tamar Lane was studied for
a year, while the Soviet Union was torn apart and destroyed by Hitler's army, all told this the union lost twenty six point: six million men and women to the invasion more than any country in human history. Its unclear. Why In November of nineteen, forty two, the Soviets decided to return Tamar lanes body to the tomb complete with a proper Islamic burial- later, the german invasion was repelled at Stalingrad, finally, pushing them back to the west and marking a turning point in the war. A turning point. Some say that was caused by a curse.
The idea of the curse is common throughout folklore than many popular stories, use it as a plot device, the cursed spinning wheel of sleeping beauty, snow, whites, cursed, apple and cursed brothers of the seven ravens all to mind, but there's one other example in irish tradition. The tops them all. However obscure it might be. There's an ancient Norse work call the kings mirror that tells a fast. The naming story about Saint Patrick Patrick of Course, was known for his work. Spreading Christianity throughout Ireland in the fifth century, but he apparently did not always meet with success. On his travels, according to the account Saint Patrick once visited a clan lived in a southern kingdom of Ireland called Osprey like any other visit. Tricks mission was to bring his message of Christianity to the people there, but it appears that he struck out.
kings mirror goes on to describe how the people of the clan made every effort they could to insult both Patrick and the God he represented Patrick to his credit, carried on and tried his best He preached the same message. He always did and followed the same protocol meeting with the clan in their place of assembly, but the people wouldn't hear him out. Instead, it's something that might seem incredibly odd to our modern ears. They howled like wolves, it's not that they laughed at him and it happened to sound like howling. These people literally howled at Saint Patrick. The reason was incredibly logical. The totem or spirit animal for this clan happened to be the wolf to them. They were just responding to the message of outside deity with the sounds of their own now. This was pretty unheard of for Saint Patrick and the fact that this event was recorded in a north history book highlights just
unusual. It was, but even more unusual was Patrick's response to this stubborn. Insulting clan clearly upset Patrick, stop speaking and began to pray. He asked God to punish the people of the village for their stubbornness. He wasn't specific, but he asked for some form of affliction that would be communal that would carry on through the generations as a constant reminder of their disobedience. According to the story, God actually listened. It was said that the people of Austria were forever curse, to become the very thing
shift wolves, and this curse followed a very specific set of rules every seven years they said one couple from the village of Austria would be transformed into wolves. They would be stuck in this form day and night year after year until the next couple would take over transforming into wolves themselves and freeing the couple before them. Part of the curse was said to be how the people of Austria maintained their human minds, while in the form of a wolf, but although they thought and spoke as human, they were equally bound, the cravings of their new form specifically the craving for human flesh. In this way, the curse affected, everyone from the man and woman transformed to the people around them who lived in constant fear of being attacked ever since that day. So the legend goes, the people of Austria Cursed
there's, media hype and then there's grasp. It strives for some people, declaring someone or something to be cursed, adds an air of mystery and drama. It's the sexy bit and sex cells right, apple. The Kennedy family history is sad and tragic, but when we a dash of curse, we elevated to near mythic proportions. Other people, though, really do believe either I have experienced the sting of unexplainable misfortune or they ve watched the lives People around them crumble for no discernible reason the human mind once answers it demands them. It seeks them out people, love story, but only the ones with closure and that's what curses offer us at the end of the day, curses help us make sense of a thing or person or place. That seems to be haunted by misfortune. They act like a walking stick for people who are having a difficult time stain on the path they help us make sense
I can imagine that life in six century Ireland was incredibly difficult and it would make sense that eventually, someone would begin to tell stories that try to explain the harshness of that life stories about a curse. Perhaps when someone, EL to return from battle or a hunting trip or even travel between villages. It was hard to not have all the answers stories about. Attacks from local werewolves certainly did their part in explaining these disappearances, but they were just stories right. Gerald of Wales was a twelfth century historian, who recorded something interesting. He had been sent to Ireland by King Henry, the second to record the local history. According to him, a local priest requested his company. While he was there. This priest sat down and told Gerald and amazing story
According to the report, this priest had been traveling near the western border of County Meath, close to what would have been ancient artery and had camps for the night in the woods. That night, with his fire, burning low someone approached from the darkness beyond the firelight and spoke to him now. Obviously, the priest was frightened. He thought he had been alone, but the voice of a man called out to him with great urgency. The man spoke of. his wife who was sick at home. He was worried and wondered if this man of God might come and perform last rights for her reluctantly. The priest agreed
he gathered up his belongings and followed the voice into the woods. They travelled a short distance until they came to a large hollow tree there, the priest notice to frightening things. First, there was something or some one line inside the tree, presumably the sick, wife and secondly, he realized that the voice was not coming from a man at all, but a wolf. The priest was taken aback how he asked the wolf. Was he able to speak like a man, the wolf's answer, with simple centuries, before his people had been cursed by a traveling priest, doomed forever to become wolves with that the priest prayed over the man's wife and tended to her illness? And the couple was gone my morning never to be seen again.
Sometimes folk lore can be addictive and nowhere that more true than within the subset of folk lore that focuses on curses. They are tipping Meat ready made stories that explain away seemingly random events offering an end. Sir or entertainment, often a bit of both, so it should come as no surprise that I've got another one up my sleeve and if you stick around through this brief, sponsor break I'll, tell you all about it. This episode was made possible by lifelike taxis. and can be taxing on your identity because all Personal information is all in one place, getting emailed, shared and possibly exposed to identity thieves tax.
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life tends to play out the normal flow of events, as it were This is why the human mind makes assumptions. The longer we are around on this planet. The more familiar become with the typical patterns of life and sons that events comes along that just doesn't fit the mould, which is, happened back in nineteen seventy three, but we actually need to start a bit earlier than that over five centuries earlier to be exact because it was back in fourteen twenty seven that a man named Casimir was born in Poland, but while life was difficult for most people in the fifteenth century, Cassimeres upbringing was a bit different. You see Father was the king, and although he was not the oldest of the king sons, a series of events would eventually lead to his coronation. In one thousand four hundred and forty seven now
I have to spend a lot of time on King Casimir, the force life. He wasn't the most prominent king in Poland's history and he didn't do a lot of bold things. He was known as the sober king because he refused to drink alcohol and because his approach to foreign policy was a bit mild. Casimir lived a relatively long life. Consider the era. He reigned over. Finally, passing weight in June of one thousand four hundred and ninety two at the age of sixty four, but in death he seems to have turned out to be a lot less mild. It started early see Casimir needed to be transported far south to viable castle, but it was also June and pretty soon you're hitting the road. The kings attendance noticed that his body wasn't doing so well to help keep the stink under control and maybe even keep the bugs at bay. They cover the corpse with powdered, calcium and limestone and then draped a fancy cloth over it
a few days after his death on June eleventh his wooden coffin, was placed inside the tomb and locked up for eternity, or at least that's what they assumed, but five centuries later on, Changed researchers wandered to better understand who Casimir was what led to his death and why decay had arrived so quickly, so they opened up his tomb now on a whole. People have always harboured a bit of folklore in superseded around the opening of tombs, there's a common belief that doing so might let out something undead or evil. In fact, many of the researchers in the castle there, day even joked about what they were about to do. Watch out for that curse, right.
When Cashmeres Tomb was opened on April thirteenth of nineteen. Seventy three: the researchers found what they expected: a wooden coffin that had crumbled to splinters and the decade remains of the long dead king, but they apparently also found something else: a curse because within just a few days for of the twelve researchers present we're dead over the years that followed more and more of them passed away. Unexpectedly, infection stroke cancer, fifteen people at all if the numbers are correct, things that big involvement in the opening of Kazimierz Tomb really had been a death sentence, and time was all the curse needed well. Sort of because, while the underlying idea was true that a dangerous, invisible force locked inside. The tomb had been unleashed on the eager archaeology
it wasn't actually an evil curse carried out by spirits. It was biology inside the tomb most likely there, since his riding corpse was sealed up back and forth Ninety two was a fungus known as aspirin jealous flavors its toxic to humans, and if a person's immune system is weak enough, it can make them sick and, together with two other species of fungus in the tomb, it was a chance encounter with a deadly cocktail,
today can Cassimeres remains, are safely out of reach re buried in his beautiful tomb, but the memory of that recent tragedy all rooted in the unexpected death at the hands of an invisible entity. Well, it's left a lot of people still whispering the easier and more sensational explanation. Science might tell us that there is no such thing as occurs, but for a lot of us, it's all a matter of perception. In the end, it might not matter much whether the deadly effects are from a spirits or a fungus. Either way lives were expected. They lost after encountering an unseen enemy, a misfortune for sure, but one that we ve been warned about. All thanks to the power of folklore.
This episode of law was researched, written and produced by me. Aaron banking, with music by Chad, Lawson more, is much more than just a podcast, though there is a book series available in bookstores in online and two seasons of the television show on as on prime video check them both out. If you want more lore in your life, I also make an executive produce a whole bunch of other podcast, all of which I think you'd enjoy my production, company, grim and mild special rises in shows that sit at the intersection of the dark and the historical you go more about all of our shows and everything else going on over in one central place, grim and mild dot com, and you can also followed, this show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just search for lore podcast cast one word and then quit that follow button, and when you do so high, I like it when people say hi and as always, banks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-03.