J.W. Ocker
Quirk (September 15, 2020)
Reviewed by Ray Palen

This non-fiction collection by J.W. Ocker is a cumulative collection of ancient and infamous objects from around the world and throughout the annals of occult history that still scare us.  With the popularity of the Conjuring films based on Ed and Lorraine Warren, we have been introduced to frightening, cursed objects such as the infamous Annabelle doll—which is contained in this collection and will surprise many who did not realize it was actually a Raggedy Ann doll.

It is easy to get lost inside this collection, and each object presented could very well merit their own novel.  Readers will clearly see how some of these objects influenced various horror stories and films—yet these are not fictional items, which is what makes them so much more frightening.

Some of my personal favorites from CURSED OBJECTS are:


  • The Hope Diamond – hard to believe that such a famous and valuable piece of jewelry has a cursed backstory, but it was said to have initially been ripped from the eye of a cyclopean Hindu idol in India.  Following those notorious beginnings, the Hope Diamond has been blamed for the fall of the French monarchy as well as ruining various members of American aristocracy.
  • The Tomb of Tutankhamen – there was probably no more famous a traveling museum piece than the Tomb of King Tut.  There are supposedly 5,000 items within this tomb, yet anyone who even thinks of pilfering one brings about the curse of the boy king upon themselves!
  • The Ring of Silvianus – it is purported that this 1,700-year-old ring was the impetus for J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘One Ring’.  This one, however, may have killed more than just a few greedy ring-holders.  The ancient lettering inside it warns of bad things to those who possess it until it is eventually returned to the Temple of Nodens.
  • The Bronze Lady – what better place for a spooky statue than the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery?  This statue supposedly weeps, cries actual tears, and brings bad luck to those who stare too long at it.  How ideal to be located near the burial spot of the legendary Headless Horsemen!
  • Robert the Doll – there are many scary dolls in horror fiction and history, like the afore-mentioned Annabelle, but none may be as creepy as this infamous ‘thing’ that is housed in a Key West, FL, museum.  Originating from Germany in the early 1900’s, Robert initially was a small boy in a sailor outfit of some kind, holding his pet lion doll.  However, so many people have been adversely affected after being in Robert’s presence that his glass container includes the notes from dozens of people worldwide begging Robert’s forgiveness in an effort to free themselves from his evil grasp.


CURSED OBJECTS make it clear that seemingly innocuous objects can possibly kill us, and this is what makes them so frightening. The bottom line is you don’t have to believe in cursed objects to be fascinated by them.

About Ray Palen

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