The Carlisle Cursing Stone

image In 2001 artist Gordon Young placed a block of sculpted granite in Carlisle's Tullie House Museum. The granite is inscribed with an ancient curse against local highwaymen and robbers. But some people in the city feel that ever since the 'cursing stone' was placed there, bad luck has plagued the city. "Livestock herds around the city on the border with Scotland were wiped out by foot-and-mouth disease, there has been a devastating flood, factories have closed, a boy was murdered in a local bakery and Carlisle United soccer team dropped a league." So now a local politician has introduced a bill to remove the Cursing Stone and have it destroyed, in the belief that this will bring good luck back to Carlisle. The suggestion has sparked quite a bit of controversy, as well as an angry response from the artist. Personally I think that if Carlisle wants to get rid of its bad luck it should stop fooling around with removing stones and go ahead and burn a witch. After all, that seemed to work for Salem. Didn't it?

Art Paranormal

Posted on Sun Mar 06, 2005


Why is the stone bringing bad luck to regular townspeople? Wouldn't it just bring bad luck to thieves & such? Hmm...Maybe it's a town full of bla'gards!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Mar 06, 2005  at  09:24 AM
Foot and mouth disease hit everywhere, Carlisle is on a natural flood plain and Carlisle's football team are just rubbish. Those are more convincing explanations than a stone, I think. Unless it runs around at night sabotaging the city or somthing. Now that would be a story!
Posted by Timmy O'Toole  in  England  on  Sun Mar 06, 2005  at  01:07 PM
THE sculptor who created Carlisle
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Sun Mar 06, 2005  at  03:21 PM
So now we know who where the gullible people who buy all the haunted crap on Ebay come from.

TIMMY! When did they get you out of the well?
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Sun Mar 06, 2005  at  03:35 PM
Sorry, Alex, but weren't the Salem witches actually hanged? Burning seems to be a more Medieval means. A lot of suspect "witches" in history were drowned, too, but mostly in Europe, if I recall correctly.
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Mon Mar 07, 2005  at  06:38 PM
You're right. My mistake. Although I think at least one of them was crushed to death. But the rest were hanged.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Mar 07, 2005  at  06:54 PM
Alex, the one crushed to death was the only man convicted in the trials, the women were hanged. Actually, thinking about it, it may be that he was crushed because he wouldn't confess. Similar situation for the trials in Europe, throw the suspect in a river or other body of water. If she drowns, she was innocent, if she floats, she is guilty.

There was similar legend/curse associated with the Hope diamond. And the all the bad luck the US has had since whenever it acquired the diamond is laid against the diamond
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Mar 08, 2005  at  09:05 PM
Being a witch myself, I'm quite familiar with the Salem Witch Trials. 15 witches were hanged before a judge decided to put a stop to the nonsense he was seeing as a lot of BS made up by some girls who were in trouble and wanting to put the blame elsewhere, and a bunch of people seeking revenge on others that may have crossed them. I don't recall a man being crushed, though.
Posted by catlady  on  Thu Mar 17, 2005  at  01:13 PM
I think most of the girls were more less considered a bitch then a witch. Usually it only took 1 person to say someone was a witch, and Presto!!! The community got to have a get together of food, activities, witch killing and other amusing games. You should go read the new post I added about how people enjoy violence.
Posted by X  in  McKinney, TX  on  Thu Mar 17, 2005  at  01:21 PM
Through history, people have bore a false witness against people and people were burned to death. Bearing a false witness is the crux of what has happened in Carlisle. Those opposed to the use of a curse as a tourist attraction had their beliefs misrepresented by the press who said we blamed a stone.We didn't and we are persecuted for it.
Posted by Les  in  Carlisle  on  Thu Nov 16, 2006  at  01:19 PM
Actually, there were 15 women and 4 men convicted of witchcraft and hanged. One additional man was pressed to death in an attempt to force him to submit to a trial.
Posted by Richard  on  Sat Oct 06, 2007  at  09:46 PM
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