The Crying Boy Painting

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By Casey Chaplin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Curses, they’re supposedly all around us. From the curse of the Bambino, to the Annabelle doll, we’ve all experienced or heard of some kind of curse in the world. Sometimes they hit a little closer to home, and sometimes they’re very personal. Maybe there’s an intersection you won’t drive through, or maybe there’s a chair in grandpa’s house that gives you some eerie vibes, it could be anything. But in the 1980’s, a painting of a young crying boy popped up. By itself, that isn’t really newsworthy, but it’s how these (yes, multiple) paintings were discovered that was truly fascinating.

While it’s not been reported just how many of these mass-produced paintings were found among the wreckage of a burned home, multiple were. If that wasn’t weird enough, these paintings were the only objects left intact in the entire home. Yeah, that’s strange right? Aiding in the allure of the artwork was the mystery behind the artist. The name was unknown, but it could have possibly been a pseudonym.

The curse truly took hold in the mid-80’s when The Sun, a British tabloid magazine, reported that this painting, or the subject of the painting, a crying orphaned boy, caused the houses it hung in to burn to the ground. Many speculated that it was revenge for abuse or mistreatment, or that the boy in the painting became an orphan because he accidentally burned down his family home, causing all those inside to die - except him.

From the murmurs of fire officials, to the tabloid reporting, the curse of the crying boy painting took off in the U.K., and it culminated in a massive bonfire, where, according to the Sun, 2500 copies of the paintings went up in flames, effectively ending the curse… or did it? You’ll just have to listen to the episode to find out!

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166 episodes