A group of anti-development activists calling themselves the Knights of Saint Edmund
have hit upon an unusual way of stopping a shopping center from being built in their hometown, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. They're threatening to unleash the ancient Curse of St. Edmund upon the developers. Their website states that:
On St Edmund's day, the 20th November 2005, a formal and public cursing ceremony will take place at Bury St Edmunds to once again summon the avenging saint and dread King to punish his 21st century enemies. The ancient curse of St Edmund has not been used for over 500 years, but with the determination of developers to destroy the whole character of a town laid-out almost 1,000 years ago, leaves the good people of Bury St Edmunds with no other option. They will have to summon divine vengeance down upon those hell-bent on wrecking their town, unless Centros Miller Ltd., Miller Group and Debenhams unconditionally withdraw all their plans for redeveloping the cattle-market site by close of business on Friday 18th November 2005.
Victims of the Curse of St. Edmund have supposedly suffered some gruesome misfortunes, such as blindness, madness, syphilis, and being "eaten up inside by worms." However, the town historian of Bury St. Edmunds denies that there is any legend of a curse
: "They have no historical authenticity – there is no such thing as the curse of St Edmund." Still, you've got to give them credit for trying. Maybe there's some ancient American curse that can be used to stop Wal-Mart from opening more stores.