Regardless of what you believe, there are always good scary stories out there. I personally am not a big believer in ghosts or ghouls or superstition or curses. But I do love me a good urban legend story. I was doing some mindless web surfing the other day, and I came across a really old article in The Sedalia Bazoo, which was a newspaper here in town until 1904.

This particular story was published in 1877, and talked about events from forty years previous up until then. There weren't any names in the story, and it seemed to be business as normal, alongside other stories about a man beating his wife, a mother assaulting a schoolteacher, and some other news - names weren't really published much in some of those stories, either.

The story starts in Kentucky, where a woman was gifted a ring for her wedding by her grandmother.

The opal was carved into the likeness of Hecate, and the fiery serpents which wound and twined about the beautiful head in the midst of, angry darting flames, was, to say the least  A STRANGE BRIDAL GIFT.

So that led me to google who this Hecate character was. She was apparently the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy.

Sure. That seems like a great gift for a newlywed. "Oh, thanks, Grammy, for giving me the ring of fire and witchcraft, that's great! I can't wait to be cursed for my whole life!"

That's apparently what went down, because the ring was passed down from mother to daughter, and every one of those ladies had husbands who died violent deaths. One was killed in a duel, one committed suicide, another was shot by soldiers... it's pretty intense.

At all events, as fate would have it, another posthumous daughter was born, who, while yet a child, removed with her mother and grandparents, to Missouri, and settled in Pettis County. Fifteen years ago she, too, became a bride--and now for the sequel. In less than six months, her husband was shot to death by a band of soldiers, and a few months later this third inheritor of the DEADLY OPAL gave birth to a daughter. These are remarkable coincidences, but the facts are indisputable.


I guess he's got a point there. But, did the woman who's husband was shot by soldiers wear the ring? I think the author is inferring that she did. So why would you keep wearing the thing, if your husbands keep getting snuffed out? I would think the logical conclusion would be to not wear the cursed ring when you're trying to keep a dude alive. And did nobody have sons back then? Maybe curses are picky about gender.

It is preserved as  AN HEIR LOOM from its association, and from the singular history that is connected with it, but the lady who owns it, guards it as jealously from her daughter's touch as if it was a viper. The story would not be complete, however, unless the further fact was stated that the present possessor married a second time about ten years ago, but in her second nuptial, refused to wear the terrible legacy, which has proved so fatal to the happiness of her family. Whether or not that refusal BROKE THE SPELL or not, must be left to dealers in occult arts to discover; but her life with her second husband has been happy and peaceful, and she now has an interesting family growing around her.

So now, I'm intensely curious. I wonder if someone in Sedalia or Pettis County has this ring now. Is it tucked away somewhere in an old trunk in the attic? Is it in an envelope in a safe deposit box? Is...someone wearing it now? Have you ever heard of the cursed opal ring?

Cursingly yours,

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