Curses are frightening things. They can take hold in an instant or wait decades to strike, take on all manner of devious phenomena from back luck to death, and they don’t discriminate between those ignorant of their existence and those who know better. Places can be cursed by terrible events, people can be cursed by scorned strangers, and even sports teams can find themselves the victim of bad mojo, but the most common curse comes from removing haunted objects from their rightful place. These types of cases never seem to end well.
Recently, while in the middle of an online discussion about my experiences with The Crone, a cursed object in the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult which requires special handling, I received a reply from an individual who mentioned that her grandmother brought back a curse from Nazca when she’d stolen a mummified hand from an ancient Peruvian burial ground. Thanks to her transgression, she and her entire family were victims of an angry poltergeist until her death.
Naturally, I had to hear the whole, chilling story. Here, presented for the first time in public, is a frightening first-hand account of why you never steal from a cemetery, much less one guarded by ancient spirits.
When I was a kid, my grandma lived with us. Now, we always had paranormal activity in the house, but it really intensified when I was around 8. It was only recently that I put two and two together and I’m pretty sure that this is why the activity increased then.
She’d always go on trips around the world. Back in the 70s, when I was 8, she went to the Amazon with my aunt. One day they went to an ancient burial ground. The ruins were in Peru’s Chauchilla Cemetery, near Nazca. Later that night, back at the hotel, my grandma showed my aunt a “souvenir” that she’d gotten. Out of her purse, she pulled a fucking HAND. Yeah, she’d found a skeletal hand at the burial ground and thought it would be a good idea to take it. My aunt freaked the hell out and insisted that it be returned, so the next day they talked to their tour guide, and they arranged to go back to the burial ground.
Chaucilla Cemetery via Don Macauley [CC BY-SA 2.0]
But the damage was done. One thing that happened was that immediately, my grandma developed some nail fungus. It was only on her thumbnails and big toenails. The nails grew in thick and yellow-brown, and no treatments were ever successful in getting rid of it. She’d kept in contact with several people from the tour, and two even came to visit us, but she was the only one this happened to.
And the other thing was not just that the activity in the house increased, but it was…evil. Just a very dark entity. Whenever it came around you could just feel the air change and would be filled with dread. The dogs would go crazy. Sometimes it was physical.
This entity stayed with my family for 30 years and through several moves, and it finally stopped when my grandma passed away. When I read the Week in Weird story about The Catskills Crone, all that I could think was that I hope you’re better at appeasing angry spirits than my grandmother was.
My grandparents (paternal) didn’t live with “us,” I lived with them. They raised me from the age of 2. We are very religious – Irish and Italian Catholic. All of us on my father’s side are gifted – psychic, sensitive, empath, medium, etc. This is probably why spirits always find their way to us; I’ve had experiences for as long as I remember and continue to. But this one was the only inherently evil one. (Here’s where I tell you that my hands are shaking as I type this and my dog just let out a growl for no reason the actual second I typed the word “evil”…)
There was always “stuff” going on in that house. Lights/faucets/the gas stove burners turning on, toilets flushing themselves, the shower would turn on…I saw shadow people in my room, something would poke me when I was trying to sleep, objects disappearing/reappearing. It was just “normal” to us. So when that “thing” came around, it was just another day at the office, so to speak. It was never really addressed.
I remember the first time. I don’t recall how long it was after the Amazon trip, but my grandparents went to church one night and left me home alone. I was just minding my own business, playing with the record player, and suddenly I felt this…presence. The air became heavy and I felt like I was being covered in darkness and I was suddenly SCARED OUT OF MY MIND. I looked over my shoulder but I didn’t see anything. The thing that strikes me as odd now is that we had three dogs, including a St. Bernard and a Shepherd, and they didn’t make a sound! I just remember the four of us running out to the garage, where I stayed until my grandparents came home. I told them what happened and once again it was brushed off.
Chauchilla Cemetery via Wikipedia
So this went on for years. Same situation. Now another scary thing is that my grandmother would often see something running into my room. I always knew when she’d see it because she’d call out my name, kind of with a questioning inflection, but with an edge. And then something would happen – something would get knocked over or move in my room, or sit on the bed, and my dogs would go crazy. And at least a couple times I was pushed off my bed. I’d run out, screaming, but again…brushed off, everything’s fine, go back to your room.
Now here’s what completely disturbs me, and will probably disturb you, too. The description my grandmother gave of this thing was half-man, half-goat. She was definitely bothered by this, but I don’t think she knew what to do. It was the 70s/80s and no one talked about this stuff, and we certainly couldn’t talk about it with the church.
A lot of times I would also wake up in the middle of the night with that feeling. And then something would be on top of me, holding me down and trying to strangle me. Now, I know all about sleep paralysis, and am conducive to reasonable explanations (I always try to debunk things first) but I really don’t think this was paralysis since I felt the evil presence at the same time. Also, I think with paralysis, you can’t actually see what’s holding you down, and I did. I could see it. It was a skeleton, with its bony hands around my neck. It only ever happened in that house.
I couldn’t get out of that house fast enough, not just because of that, but because my grandmother was bipolar and I couldn’t deal with her anymore, so after high school I joined the military. My grandparents moved to be closer to my aunt. One time when I was home I remember watching my grandmother from my bedroom window. She was in the backyard, watering the grass, and I saw her get pushed from behind. The thing was there in that house, too. It was in the guest bedroom. A lot of times I’d walk by and I could see the light on under the door. Of course I had to go turn the damn light off, and I was scared to fucking death. I was so afraid the door would slam shut behind me. It never did, but it was definitely in there. I forgot to mention, this happened in the first house, too. Always the back bedroom where I’d have to run in and turn out the light.
Chauchilla Cemetery via Wikipedia
My grandpa died and grandmother moved across the country to her home state, because my aunt had stopped speaking to her when grandpa died. (Pretty much everyone in the family stopped speaking to her at some point or another.) I helped her; I was out of the military by this time. I only stayed for about 8 months before returning to my home state, and I don’t remember anything happening there, but there was definitely a strange, heavy feeling in that house. And the light – of course the light in the third bedroom was always turning on there, too. A year later I moved back there because she was bugging me, but I got my own apartment.
Then she and I had a falling out, and it was my turn to stop speaking to her. By this time my aunt was speaking to her again, so she moved back across the country and bought a house there. And that it where I encountered IT again, for the final time (I hope and pray).
I hadn’t spoken to her for 7 years, but one day I had a feeling that her time on earth was coming to an end, so I reached out. I flew out and spent three days there. She had a really nice house in the sunny desert, but it was dark and oppressive. I’ve looked at houses on her street on Zillow, and they’re so bright inside. Hers was not. I remember calling my boyfriend at the time and telling him I was never coming back there.
I was back 7 weeks later – for her funeral. A couple days before the service, I was up at her house (about an hour away from my aunt’s, who I was staying with) cleaning out the house. It was very late, about 10pm. I was in the kitchen cleaning out the fridge, and suddenly – I FELT IT. FML. I looked to my right, through the living room and down the hall. The hall was completely pitch black. I couldn’t see the night light. I could no longer see the streetlights coming in through the windows. Just black, getting blacker and getting closer. It was now in the entrance hall so I couldn’t go out through the front door. I left everything where it was, all the lights on, and ran into the garage. I opened the automatic door halfway, then closed it and ran out, rolling under it and onto the driveway. I refused to go back there.
So that was 18 years ago, and there have been no more encounters, but I did have a dream about it about four years ago. It was terrifying. I happened to be alone in the house that night and I wouldn’t go back to sleep. I just laid there motionless for hours, praying for daylight.
Curses are no laughing matter. Even if it was poor grandma who stole the ancient artifact, timeless spirits don’t forgive easily. Even when the bones of the dead were returned to the Chauchilla Cemetery, the dark entity maintained its terrifying grip on granny, ensuring that she felt the effects of her choices until death. Fortunately, it appears her family was able to escape judgement.
Moral of the story? Don’t take what isn’t yours.