You should never read these cursed books. Most books reward us with knowledge and wonder. However, some books hold curses that can bring calamity to anyone who dares to open them. These are ten of the deadliest cursed books throughout history.
10. Cursed Books: The Necronomicon
The Necronomicon is a cursed and nightmarish book that’s said to contain the power to resurrect the dead. Roughly translated, its title means ‘an image of the law of the dead’ and it is described as being bound in human skin.
In the beginning, The Necronomicon was entirely fictional and existed only in the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. But as its notoriety grew, real-life publishers took interest and decided to produce physical copies, which have taken various forms, including an extravagantly creepy pop-up book.
This physical version of The Necronomicon contains many allusions to Lovecraft, and prominently features his mythical monster Cthulhu. It’s developed a reputation as one of the most haunted and unnerving printed works in the world. It’s even made a mark on pop culture and has appeared everywhere from the Evil Dead and Friday the 13th franchises, to the Afterlife with Archie comics!
If you’re brave enough, you can visit Massachusetts’ Miskatonic University to check out the unabridged copy of The Necronomicon.
9. Cursed Books: The Orphan’s Story
The Orphan’s Story is an epic novel about a Spaniard who heads to the Spanish Empire seeking fortune. It was written between 1608 and 1615 by Martín de León y Cárdenas, a monk who broke his sacred vow.
What’s remarkable about this novel is that it wasn’t actually published until 2018. It was almost published on several different occasions, but the publication fell through every time because those involved kept dying under mysterious circumstances.
A Peruvian academic by the name of Belinda Palacios rediscovered the manuscript hidden deep in the archives of the Hispanic Society of America in 1965. When she began working on the book, colleagues warned her of the curse that was said to linger in the pages of the ancient script. While she tried to laugh it off, she couldn’t help but be deterred by the unusual deaths that surrounded the book.
The deaths were caused by horrific car accidents and sudden and unexplainable illnesses. This, of course, informed the rumours that the book was indeed cursed, and it has taken over 400 years for someone brave enough to see the project through to completion.
8. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage is a three-part fifteenth-century book of mystic arts written by Abraham for his son Lamech. It was translated to English in the year 1900 and quickly developed a reputation for being cursed.
Abraham believed that every person had their own unique ‘personal demon’. Through this book, readers could learn rituals that bring their personal demons under control. They could then learn to perform supernatural feats using sigils of magic words on a grid.
But this book has a huge downside. It’s believed anyone with a copy in their possession will be haunted by spirits from another realm. They will also experience terrible luck that will ultimately bring about their demise.
7. Cursed Books: Untitled Grimoires
In 2013, an online book seller sold two mysterious handwritten and spiral-bound spell books for a whopping $13,865. As the sale was being finalised, the seller warned that any non-believers who mess around with these books will bring a deadly curse upon themselves.
It’s believed that a grimoire – or witch’s spell book – must be burned after the death of the witch who wrote it. These grimoires were written by a high priestess of Wicca named Persephone Adrastea Eirene sometime in the early 1960s. It’s thought that Eirene ran her own coven and was known in her local area as someone who was to be avoided.
The two books are reworkings of her mother’s grimoire and contain vast collections of incantations, curses, spells and enchantments. There’s information on how to summon spirits, demons and other worldly entities as well as how to perform exorcisms should the spells go awry.
It’s unknown if she’s currently alive or dead, but the first pages of her books explicitly warn readers:
‘To those not of the craft – the reading of this book is forbidden! Proceed no further or justice will exact a swift and terrible retribution – and you will surely suffer at the hand of the craft’.
The buyer and location of the books is currently unknown.
6. The Voynich Manuscript
Believed to have been written sometime in the early fifteenth century, The Voynich Manuscript is known as the world’s most mysterious book and ‘the Everest of historical code-breaking’. This cryptic 240-page book is written entirely in an indecipherable language. It’s also full of elaborate illustrations, but these shed no light on the mystery and are likened to something from an opium dream.
The first known owner of the book was an alchemist named Georg Baresch. Baresch had no idea what the book was or how it came to occupy space in his library. It was later owned by a string of emperors and other important members of society.
There are, of course, a range of theories surrounding The Voynich Manuscript, with many believing the text was brought to Earth by aliens and that deciphering it will unleash a curse that will kill whoever reads it.
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