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BOOKS

Five alleged cursed books that have been haunting readers for centuries

Por: 4 de agosto de 2022

These are some of the alleged cursed books that have been kept in libraries, away from the public, for years.

Throughout history, several objects have been accused of being cursed mainly because they did cause, in an inexplicable way, some harm to someone. But there is a very particular case of objects that rather than being classified as harmful or possessed, can be better described as simply devilish for their ties to the unknown and the paranormal.

In these cases, the next books are considered cursed because many centuries ago, they were blamed for madness, misfortune, and death.

You probably have heard of cursed dolls or haunted houses, but the list of cursed objects includes books that were once related to obscure forces and the unknown; but the reality is that, in some cases, they carried such stigma only because the government or the ones in power, didn’t want the people to read them as has happened before like these prohibited books.

These are some of the alleged cursed books that have been kept in libraries, away from the public, for years.

The Codex Gigas

Maybe the most famous on the list mainly for its most popular name, the Devil’s Bible.

Legend has it that the 165 pounds and three feet height manuscript were written at some point between 1204 and 1230 by a single monk –possibly Hermannus Heremitus, or Herman the Recluse, who was sentenced to be walled up alive for breaking his vows; however, he struck a deal to save his sold: if he managed to write a book containing all the world’s knowledge in a single night, he would be spare. When he realized that it was an impossible task, he then summoned Satan to get some help. In exchange, the devil would include a detailed self-portrait in one of its pages, being the reason why it receives the name the Devil’s Bible.

The entire book, which is believed by researchers to be a single man’s work done in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of what would become the Czech Republic, is written entirely in Latin and contains both the Old and New Testament, along with Czech and Jewish history text, some information on geometry, legal matter, medical treatises, hundreds of obituaries, a calendar and even several magic spells.

Although the book has not been linked to any harmful event, it is said that it was the cause for a security guard in Sweden’s National Library –where it is kept, to be institutionalized after being locked accidentally locked overnight and claimed to have seen the Codex Gigas join a procession of books as they danced through the air.

The book of Abramelin

This Jewish manuscript is thought to date back to the 14th or 15th century and is believed to be the key to communicating with angels capable of fighting the evil forces on Earth. This belief comes from an English translation in the 19th century done by S.L.M Mathers, who at the time took the 1759 French version as a reference.

The Abramelin book includes rituals aimed at allowing the sorcerer to commune with their “Holy Guardian Angel”. As days go by, the sorcerer and the Angel become so close to the point that the angel demands the sorcerer to summon them, in that way they can coach the magician through the conquering of the evil spirits.

Of course, these teachings become a thread and therefore, who poses them becomes a target. That is why it is believed to be a cursed book.

Nowadays, several copies of the Abramelin book are available. One copy, dating from around 1740 is found at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and an 18th-century manuscript exists in the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris.

The Necronomicon

Inspired by an H.P Lovecraft story, this book was published in the 70s by an anonymous author only identified by the pen name “Simon.”

The first editions (of which, not kidding, only 666 copies were released) were bound in leather, but later on it would be published in paperback, becoming an immediate bestseller.

In this version’s prologue, “Simon” claims that this is no fictional book, but a translation of a Greek manuscript containing the Necronomicon. This version mixes pseudo-Sumerian mythology with Lovecraft’s universe, and it includes rituals that supposedly allow the reader to summon the gods and demons of these myths.

It has been also linked to the Satanic Church, as it also alludes to Aleister Crowley’s teachings.

Tomino’s Hell

Rather than a book, is a cursed poem included in Sakin, a poem compilation dating back to 1919 by Japanese poet and songwriter Saijō Yaso.

It tells the journey of a Tomino, a young boy who has been sent to hell after he committed an unforgivable sin.

The poem later served as an inspiration for a film called Pastoral: to die in the Country directed by Shuji Terayama. The filmmaker died nine years later and somehow, the poem was blamed for it.

Since then, it has become an instant urban legend suggesting that anyone who reads the poem will either day in a couple of days or will be haunted by Tomino’s spirit. But it turns out it is all just an urban legend.

According to some Japanese folklore scholars, the stigma around the poem was something that was born in the West, since there are no traces of it being considered a curse in Japan.

The Grand Grimoire

Considered a must for Black Magic apprentices, this book details instructions for summoning Satan’s right-hand man, Lucifugé Rofocale.

It is likely that the book was published around 1750 and when it started being distributed in bookstores became an instant sensation.

For this very same reason, church officials started vilifying the book, as they feared it would lead to losing some authority over the 18th-century society, to the point that even buying it was considered too dangerous and the owner could face fatal consequences.


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