Some chalk it up to a combination of coincidence and superstition, but sometimes, it's hard to ignore the fact that so many tales of misery seem to stem from common denominators. That's how curses are born.
While many people are skeptical of curses, these seem just bizarre enough to be real.
The Curse of Pompeii
Tourists who couldn't keep their grubby hands off of relics in Pompeii are hastily returning them. Hundreds of families claim to have experienced "trauma after trauma" since stealing from the site where Mt. Vesuvius erupted. So many of these items have been returned, in fact, that they could make up an entire exhibit.
The Curse of the Blue Diamond
This stems from an ongoing feud between Saudi Arabia and Thailand that began when a Thai janitor stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry from a prominent Saudi Arabian family in 1989. One of these invaluable pieces was a blue diamond. Since then, people who have come into contact with the mysterious stone have suffered fatal consequences. The gem has yet to be returned to Saudi Arabia, and the body count continues to rise.
The Curse of the Iceman
In 1991, the body of a man was found 5,300 years after he was murdered, and it was completely mummified in the Alps. The mummy is said to be cursed, since seven researchers connected to the corpse mysteriously died.
The Curse of Timur
Timur was a 14th-century Turco-Mongol conquerer who once ruled the biggest empire you've never heard of. In 1941, Stalin wanted to exhume the ruler's body. The Soviets were warned by locals not to do this, since the wrath of Timur would take down their people three days after the exhumation. They did it anyway, and sure enough, Nazi forces attacked the Soviet Union three days later, killing 7.5 million.
The Madden Curse
Admittedly, this curse has lower stakes than the rest, but every player who appeared on the cover of this popular game ended up having their worst season ever shortly thereafter. The curse has befallen Michael Vick, Donavan McNabb, Troy Polomalu, and Brett Favre.
The Curse of Pele
Pele -- Hawaii's goddess of volcanoes -- really doesn't want people taking her soil. One guy named Timothy nabbed some black sand from the site one day, and suddenly, his girlfriend of five years dumped him. He was then arrested for computer copyright infringement by the FBI. To top it all off, his beloved pet died..all because of some dirt. Pele is serious about this.
The Kennedy Curse
We all know that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and that his brother was assassinated some years later. But some say that the curse of the Kennedy family continued when quite a few more members of the famous family died in violent, disturbing ways.
The Spider-Man Curse
Not only was it plagued with a hilariously dumb name, but Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was also said to be cursed. The show's insane acrobatics took their toll on quite a few actors. Five Spider-Man performers suffered career-ending injuries during production, and just before opening night, producer Tony Adams died after having a stroke.
The Superman Curse
The actors who have played Superman over the years have dealt with a curse stronger than Kryptonite. George Reeves, who originally played Superman back in the '50s, killed himself in 1959. In 1985, Christopher Reeve fell from his horse and became paralyzed. A young actor named Lee Quigley played baby Superman, but he died at 14 from solvent abuse.
The Curse Of "My Way"
Frank Sinatra's classic may be a terrible karaoke choice, but it's nothing to kill someone over. But in the Philippines, six people have been murdered while singing this classic. Philippine singers now believe that the song is cursed. We tend to agree with them.
Ultimately, the greatest force at work in these situations is probably pure coincidence. Still, it's crazy to think about how much turmoil has been inflicted on people in similar circumstances. All I know is that I'll never sing a Sinatra song again.