An A-Z of the Supernatural: C is for Curse

A curse is invoked when somebody is able to call upon supernatural or spiritual powers to make effective a pronouncement – usually with the intention of bringing misfortune, suffering or death to the person or persons named. The deliberate use of such curses has long been associated with the practice of magic, while the nature of curses has been studied in great depth in research into mythology and folklore.

Curses in ancient Britain

In both ancient Greece and Rome, there was a tradition of inscribing curses on lead or pottery. Around 200 of these curses have been found at the site of one Roman temple in Gloustershire. Another example unearthed in Bath includes the words “May he who carried off Vilbia from me become liquid as the water.” Another Roman curse found in Britain reads “Tacita is cursed by this and declared putrified like rotting blood.”


Magic curse written on a lead sheet, dating from the 4th century BC. On display in the Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Athens. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto.

The unexplained power of curses

Although sceptics argue that cursing is purely superstition, there is also a widespread belief that the act of concentrated malevolance that lies behind a curse may indeed harness a mysterious kind of power – especially if the victim of the curse believes in their power.

Curses in Bonds

Curses are at the heart of the Bonds series and the cause of almost all of the pain and destruction that takes place both in the present time and also in the past. It is a curse dealt by the Warlock Ebenezer Lightwoller that turned Antony Cardover into a terrible vampire, and a curse that forced Ebenezer to follow his own dark path, a curse that was levied upon him as the result of a tragic and horrific chain of events involving his only child. Only Becca has the power to break Antony’s curse – the question is, is she strong enough to see her mission through?

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