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Ghosts & Hauntings

Haunted, cursed and mysterious videogames of history

We are in the year 2018, an era where technology is already part of our society. Life at this juncture is practically unimaginable without the technology that we enjoy today. In particular, life would not be the same without video games. The reality is that for more than 30 years our culture has been influenced by video games. Starting with classic games like Pong in 1972 and Space Invaders in 1978, which started a cultural revolution. In 1981 we found a true masterpiece of video games called Donkey Kong, and not only by the presentation of the main character but by the protagonist, Mario, who would become the banner of Nintendo in the years to come.

Other examples include Pokémon, which became the most popular game in 1999, and Sonia the Hedgehog by Sega in 1992. And all this brings us to the present, with multiplayer online shooters such as Counter-Strike, Fortnite, and PUBG, which They dominate the world of video games, thanks to professional players, eSports tournaments, live shows on Twitch and YouTube. But the last thing we could think about when we talk about video games is that some of them could be cursed.

After all, it is supposed to be entertainment, a way to escape the tensions of the real world and anything that may exist beyond. However, the world of video games is also full of strange, damn and inexplicable stories. From the unknown to what is probably an urban legend, the following stories go beyond what we can understand.


We begin our journey through the cursed video games with Polybius. As we already published in Esoteric and Paranormal World, in 1981 appeared out of nowhere in the entertainment halls of Portland, Oregon, United States, a particularly strange game called Polybius, of the German company Sinneslöschen and involving the resolution of several riddles, games of shots and labyrinths. Although the recreational machine was quite unusual and modest compared to the other more colorful machines of the moment, which consisted of a black piece of furniture with a simple logo, for some reason the game turned out to be extremely popular, with children queuing for play it.

However, there are many who claim that the game supposedly had the ability to induce various mental and physical disturbances in those who played, including headaches, amnesia, epileptic attacks, nausea, nightmares, hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal tendencies. And if that were not enough some players came to commit suicide shortly after playing the game. Even stranger is that every night mysterious men with dark clothes opened the machine to apparently download data for unknown purposes. A month after they installed the machine in the arcades, it disappeared without any explanation from the distributor.

Haunted games

From then on, the story of Polybius became an urban legend, to such an extent that it even appeared in an episode of the animated series  The Simpsons. Conspiracy theorists believe that was a kind of secret government experiment used to collect data on the psychological effects of certain visual stimuli, with the game specifically designed to create stroboscopic effects to induce a response in particular, and the mysterious men in black are they were secret agents to collect this data.

Pokémon Red and Green

Another strange story about a video game that causes mysterious mental effects is the Japanese version of the Nintendo Gameboy game Pokémon Red and Green. Although the game was presented in 1996 with great popularity and recognition throughout the world, in Japan it was the opposite. Shortly after its launch, there was supposedly a series of suicides among children aged 7 to 12 years, about 200 in total, and all after playing. In addition, many others reported experiencing dizziness, migraines, nausea, and hallucinations while playing, and soon they spoke of a curse.

It was said that the culprit was a particular level called “Lavender Village”, where everything was covered with a strange purple tone, giving it a spooky atmosphere. And this added to a disturbing soundtrack with a frequency that only children could hear, which caused strong suicidal impulses in those who could hear them. In fact, the various negative effects were only activated when a player reached the mysterious Lavender Village. Although Nintendo denied such hidden frequencies in the music, the Western version no longer included such a soundtrack, so players in other countries got rid of the “curse”.Some theories suggested that the game was really cursed or had some mysterious code recorded. You can see a video of the original Pueblo Lavanda level below. But we’ve already warned you about the effects you can face.


There are other cases that have supernatural entities as protagonists. The game Minecraft is extremely popular, due to its simple concept and its totally open design. In the game, the player basically extracts different resources and uses them to create buildings, structures and practically everything they want. The truth is that it is amazing in its simplicity and total freedom of creativity. But there are players who claim to have found inexplicable phenomena while playing.

Some have reported random and inexplicable objects in the game, including unexplained tunnels cut into rocks that lead nowhere, trees as if their leaves had been torn off and mysterious random structures, like pyramids in the ocean, as if they were not part of the game. There are players who have claimed to have seen the responsible for these anomalies, a spectrum of white eyes. Apparently, the mysterious figure stays far enough to not be able to distinguish any real detail of its appearance.

Interestingly, the creator of the game called Markus Persson (commonly known as “Notch” ), had a brother who died in tragic circumstances. The most rational explanation for anomalous phenomena is that it is simply due to an error, but there are also those who believe that it could be the ghost of the dead brother or even an intentional programming option made by Notch to honor his deceased brother.

mysterious video games - Haunted, cursed and mysterious videogames of history

The legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora

A truly terrifying story is that of the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (in Spanish: The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora). The story has its origin in an apparently haunted video game cartridge.  An unknown user claimed to have been possessed after buying a blank N64 Nintendo cartridge with the words “Majora’s Mask” written on a black background.

The user in question explained that I put the cartridge in his console and immediately saw that there was already a saved game named “Ben”. When the user ignored the saved game and started a new one, he realized that all the characters in the game referred to him as Ben, which he initially considered a mistake. To solve the problem, he simply deleted the file “Ben” and started again. But this was only the beginning, as he began to see distorted landscapes and a soundtrack marked by shrieks and even sounding backwards, as well as a twisted avatar of the main character of the game following him in the shadows.

The player decided to restart the game only to discover that the “Ben” file had not only been mysteriously restored, but this time there was a second unexplained saved file named “drowned”. Any attempt to play a new game after this gave the same results, that the character would die abruptly and a message would appear saying “You have met a terrible fate, right?” . Nothing more is known about the mysterious cartridge, although there are several screenshots that supposedly show the haunted game.

haunted video games cursed - Haunted, damn and mysterious video games from history

Fallout 3

Besides curses, some mysterious video games have other enigmatic powers. For example, the well-known role-playing game Fallout 3, which according to some stories can predict the future.   In the game itself, the player wanders through a vast open and apocalyptic world set in Washington DC. Throughout the missions, the player sometimes receives ghostly radio transmissions that are part of the real game and include things like dramatized broadcasts and music to alert the player to the objectives of the mission and create a sense of the environment.

However, some have claimed that there is another purpose for these transmissions; predict the future. Players have apparently picked up what appears to be a series of numbers in Morse code, which represent the prophetic dates. It is said that some disasters, such as that of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, were predicted by this code. For its part, the developer Obsidian Entertainment has denied that there are such hidden messages in the game.

So, are these stories simple urban legends? All that can be said is that these are very strange cases in which video games can be more than pixels and music. It seems that some video games cross the borders of the unknown.

Do you dare to play any of these video games? Explain your experience, if you can.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Hope Diamond Curse

The ice blue fire of the stone once shone like a star on the forehead of an Indian temple statue until the day when it was ruthlessly torn out by a French adventurer. He would pay a high price for his actions and would later die painful death.  The stone would become known as the Hope Diamond but what it brought most of its owners was despair.

While the Hope Diamond is regarded as the most beautiful and precious diamond in the world – at the same time it is to be the most dangerous. Since its theft from India a deadly curse is to live on within it. European kings, the richest woman in America as well as other owners all suffered terrible bad luck: They went bankrupt, were murdered, committed suicide or died in an accident.

This is the beginning of the dark story of a famous as well as notorious gemstone, which we know as Hope Diamond.

The Hope Diamond is believed to have come from the Kallur mine in the Golconda Region, on the river Kistna, in southwest India. In 1642 it appeared for the first time in Europe in the possession of a French merchant named Jean-Baptist Tavernier, who is said to have stolen it from the headband of the statue of the goddess Sita consort of the god Rama.

In 1668 he sold the stone – now known as the Tavinier Blue – for a significant amount to King Louis XIV of France.  The diamond was originally 115 carats but was recut in the western style resulting in a 69 karat masterpiece called the “French Blue” which became part of the French crown jewels.

Jean-Baptist Tavernier was not able to enjoy his profit and, in the process of try to save his son from debtor’s jail, he himself lost much of his fortune.  In the hope of making up for his loss, Tavernier traveled to India. It was here that the curse struck again and after he died of a raging fever his body was torn to bits by a pack of wild dogs.

The Sun King (Louis XIV) himself died horribly of gangrene caused by an infected wound and all of his legitimate children died in childhood, except for one. (Anne-Élisabeth, Marie-Anne and Louis-François all died before the age of two.)

Nicholas Fouquet, who worked for King Louis XIV, wore the gem to a special occasion and wound up spending 15 years in a prison at the fortress of Pignerol.

The diamond, on the other hand, was passed from one king to the next, and each of these kings suffered a tragic fate.

King Louis XV is said not to have much liked the gemstone and wore it rarely.  Nevertheless the curse caught up with him and he contracted a virulent form of smallpox that turned every inch of his skin into a blackened scab of blood.  His death was said to be excruciatingly painful.

King Louis XVI lost a large part of his empire and later fell out of favour with the people of France. Both he and Marie Antoinette wore the jewel and died on the Guillotine during the French revolution.

Princess de Lamballe was a courtier of Marie Antoinette and would often handle the Hope Diamond and the Order of the Golden Fleece.  She was killed by a mob during the revolution in a most horrific fashion including being stripped, raped, beaten, tortured and eventually disemboweled.

The cursed diamond disappeared after the royal storehouse (the Garde-Meuble) was robbed in 1792.

There is a strong suggestion that it may have found its way to Queen Maria Louisa of Spain around 1800.  The curse followed quickly and she lost popularity with the people of Spain becoming one of the most hated people in the land.  In 1808 she and her husband were forced into exile shortly before Napoleon invaded Spain.

One version of the legend claims that Napoleon Bonaparte himself took the jewel from the Spanish around 1809 and from the moment he owned it all his military campaigns turned sour leading to the disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812 and his ultimate defeat in 1813 when Paris fell to his enemies.  Napoleon would ultimately die as a prisoner on the island of St. Helena under mysterious circumstances after a horrible sickness – some say arsenic poisoning.  It’s been suggested that the stone was stolen from Napoleon’s treasury around 1810 and sold for a pittance to a string of middlemen.

The Hope Diamond seems to have resurfaced in the possession of a Dutch jeweler known as Wilhelm Fals sometime around 1810.   He drastically recut the diamond – possibly to disguise its origin.  The larger piece would later become known as the Hope Diamond.  This was soon stolen from him by his son Hendrik Fals who also murdered his fathered for good measure.  The legend states that Hendrik sold the stone to a French diamond merchant called Francis Beaulieu for a fraction of its value and used the money to live a life of sin and debauchery.  He was eventually driven mad by his own alcoholism, STD’s and guilt.  Hendrik Fals killed himself in 1830.

The size and style of the gem made it difficult to sell in France where it might still be linked to the robbery of the Garde-Meuble.  Together with an unknown French diamond cutter, Francis Beaulieu split off a small section of the stone and used this to fund a trip to London.  He struggled to find someone he trusted to buy the gem and became ever more impoverished, paranoid and physically wasted.  Eventually, he settled on Daniel Eliason a well-respected Hatton Garden jeweler.  He showed Eliason the stone and offered it for 5,000 pounds (around £200,000 today).  Eliason wanted time to think it over but when he went back the next day he found Francis Beaulieu dead on his bed.  The stone was clutched in Beaulieu’s hand but the young man was dead of starvation.  This was almost exactly 20 years after the robbery of the French Blue – just when the statute of limitations on the theft were expiring.

Some sources claim that Eliason sold the stone to King George III in 1814 where it became known as the ‘London Blue’.  If this is true it was bad luck for King George III.  His compulsive and unexplained madness returned and he was dead by 1820.  Some say the stone passed to King George IV who kept it for ten years until 1830.  During this time he became an alcoholic, possibly addicted to a heroin type drug called laudanum, so obese his cloths no longer fitted, partially blind from cataracts, mentally unstable and plagued by gout.

The stone eventually passed into the ownership of the rich banker Henry Philip Hope for £18,000.  Some believe it was sold off by George VI’s mistress, Lady Conyngham.  One version goes that George had left all his jewels to her in his will but for some reason she refused to take them.  Perhaps she had heard of the   curse and no longer wanted it anywhere near her. (She also needed money to pay off some of the King’s debts) Some versions of the story claim that Eliason himself went mad later but there is no hard evidence for this. The stone was later revalued at £30,000.  From this point on the stone would be known as the Hope Diamond.  Not surprisingly, while Henry Hope owned the diamond he suffered a long series of misfortunes, including the death of his only son.

In 1887 his grandson, Lord Francis Hope, inherited the cursed diamond. He spent almost all of his fortune on his extravagant and reckless lifestyle and had to sell the diamond in 1901 to Adolf Weil of Hatton Garden to pay off gambling debts. He also lost his foot in a hunting accident and his wife cheated on him.  He later died as a poor man.

While he owned the diamond he became infatuated with an American actress May Yohé who he later married.  May didn’t like the diamond and claimed it exuded an evil spell on people.  She blamed the diamond for corrupting her and driving her to have the affair that ended in her divorce from Lord Francis.   She is said to have died poverty stricken after the failure of an early film about the Hope Diamond Mystery (1921) and its now well-known curse.  There have been some suggestions that Yohé might have tried to kill her second husband – Captain John Smuts.

It passed on to Jaques Colot, a broker who struggled to sell it on.  The worry of his investment took the pleasure out of his life and even after he did sell it he declined into madness when he found out he would not receive full payment for the gem.  He finally committed suicide.

Replica of the original Tavinier Blue Diamond
The Hope Diamond set in the French Golden Fleece.
French Blue Diamond converted to Hope Diamond
The Cursed Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Museum

In 1902 Jaques Colot sold the Hope Diamond to Ivan Kanitowsky, a Russian prince.  In 1908 Kanitowsky then gave it (loaned it) to the celebrated actress Mademoiselle Lorens Ladue of the Folies Bergère in Paris. The first time she wore the stone on stage she was shot by a man in the audience some people claim was an ex-lover.  Some versions of the story claim that it was Kanitowsky himself that pulled the trigger.  Some weeks later the prince himself was stabbed to death as he walked along a Parisian street.  The work some believe of Russian revolutionary agitators.

During late 1908, a well-known Greek jewel broker by the name of Simon Maoncharides acquired the stone.  History, as always, is uncertain but it appears that he sold it to Habib Bey – a Persian diamond merchant.  On the night that the deal was concluded, Maoncharides accidentally drove his carriage over a precipice, killing himself, his wife and child.

Habib Bey quickly sold the stone to Salomon Habib who was acting on behalf of Abdul Hamid II, the Sultan of Turkey. Within months Habib Bey drowned during the sinking of a French steamer in 1909.

Abdul (The Damned) paid $400,000 and gave it Salma Zubayaba (Zubaidah) his favourite concubine with orders that it be protected by Kulub Bey, his favourite eunuch and guardian of the Sultan’s treasures.   Mere months afterwards, while Kulub Bey was distracted Jehver Agha, a low official in the treasury, stabbed and killed Zubayda and tried to steal the jewel.  He was caught by Kulub Bey and hanged after being tortured.  Abu Sabir, the man who had polished the stone for Sultan was unfairly accused of working with Jehver Agha and was tortured and executed. Shortly after this incident Abdul Hamid II was overthrown during the Young Turks Rebellion of 27 April 1909.  He was later captured and imprisoned at Beylerbeyi Palace in the Bosphorus.  Legend has it that Kulub Bey was captured by a mob after the uprising and slowly strangled to death.

The Hope Diamond vanishes from history for a while until it appears in the hands of Pierre Cartier of the famous Cartier Jewelers family.  On 28 January 1911 he sold it to Edward B. McLean on behalf of his wife Evalyn who became owner of the diamond and mocked the curse joking that things that brought other people bad luck brought her good luck. Perhaps Edward wasn’t convinced though as the original contract with Cartier did include a clause stating: Should any fatality occur to the family of Edward B. McLean within six months, the said Hope Diamond is agreed to be exchanged for jewelry of equal value”.

Well, Evalyn may have joked about the Hope Diamond but it didn’t care.  Shortly after she acquired it her mother-in-law died.  Her eldest son, Vinson, often referred to as the Billion Dollar Baby, ran in front of a car and was killed. He was only nine.  Edward McLean went off with another woman and even claimed to have married her although he hadn’t.   Evalyn continued to spend money recklessly as did Edward who eventually wound up in a mental asylum where he died from brain atrophy brought on by alcoholism.  Aged only 25, Evalyn’s only daughter died from a drug overdose.  Debts eventually forced her to sell the Washington Post.  Aged just 60, she died of pneumonia soon after her daughter and was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington D.C. Evalyn’s grandson Lt. Ronald Walsh McLean was killed during the Vietnam War while leading a five man recon in Quảng Trị Province.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II
Evalyn Walsh McLean

Harry Winston, a New York diamond merchant, bought the gem in 1949.  He exhibited it around the world but in 1958 he was persuaded to donate it to the Smithsonian Museum, where it has resided to this day.

The curse wasn’t quite finished yet.  James Todd, the mailman who took the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian later crushed his leg in a truck accident, injured his head in an automobile accident and then lost his home in a fire.

There is only one person who has been spared the “curse” of the diamond – the American jeweler Harry Winston. After buying the diamond, he donated it to the Smithsonian Institution who still possess the diamond to this day.

Is this all just coincidence or is the Hope Diamond actually cursed?   Some researchers dispute many of the facts in the story such as the fact that Marie Antoinette may never have actually worn the jewel and that Tavinier may have lived a long and prosperous life.  Still there is no denying that people associated with the stone – even if they weren’t the owners – have had uncommonly bad luck.

The Cursed Hope Diamond of India
Footnote: This is the legend of the Hope Diamond and its curse.  Please note that many researchers and authors disagree with this version of events and claim that the entire story of misfortune was probably made up by Pierre Cartier and later May Yohe.  Cartier wanted to sell the gem and need a fantastical back-story while Yohe was trying to promote the film about the diamond that she co-wrote. For a very detailed and less sensationalist version of what really happened please read the book – ‘Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem’ by Richard Kurin.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Abraham Lincoln Ghost Photograph

Abraham Lincoln White House Ghost Photograph

During 1950, major renovation work was carried out at the White House in the Capital of the USA – Washington DC. Abbie Rowe, the official photographer of the presidential residence, wished to immortalize this period.

One of the photographs has attracted a very special interest and even been featured in a range of international newspapers. It was originally published in 1992 and is said to have received the Pulitzer Prize. However, it was only in 2008 that a strange translucent silhouette was noticed in the background.

It is possible that Abbie Rowe inserted the image while developing the negative.  However, there is no evidence whatsoever that this happened.  The general agreement is that the images shown are the originals and can be seen in their initial form on the Abie Rowe website.

Original Abe Rowe Image of the White House Renovations


With the exception of the original image, all the others have been enhanced by processing the brightness, contrast and shadows of the images to create slightly clearer images of the figure referred to as Lincoln’s ghost. Specifically, the image was brightened and then adjusted by increasing the contrast. The ‘curves’ tool was used to focus the density of the image and create clarity of depth. Shadows were darkened and the entire image was sharpened using both the unsharp mask tool and the smart sharp tool. Essentially the images are the same just clearer to see.

Specialists of paranormal phenomena believe that this is the irrefutable proof of a ghost. It is difficult to investigate the actual negatives as they have mysteriously vanished.  According to some researchers, they have been classified and will not be released for a further 50 years.  If this is so then the reasons for this decisions remain very unclear.

However, it is important to note that the photographer did not use a long exposure time: the shot was taken in broad daylight on a site that was also illuminated by work lamps. The mysterious form appears fixed and immobile, so investigators believe it cannot be a residual image.

Ghost hunter Joshua P Warren is said to have stated that it was the “most amazing ghost picture” he’d ever seen.  He went on to explain that there is a legend that the White House is allegedly haunted by the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln who was assassinated in 1865 at Ford’s Theatre.

The image of the figure is looking towards Ford’s Theatre which is precisely 1000 metres to the East of where the photo was taken.  Is it then just a coincidence that the ghostly figure is located directly under the section of the White House where Lincoln had his bedroom?

In the images above you can clearly see that the image is a man with a beard and a distinctly erect posture.  He apppears shorter than he is because the image has been taken from a high angle.  In actual fact, the figure is tall and slender.

Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Roosevelt often used the Lincoln Bedroom as her study.  She claimed that she would feel his presence when she worked there late into night.

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, who visited the White House on several occasions during World War II, told a tale of emerging naked from his evening bath only to find a ghostly Lincoln sitting by the fireplace in his room.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Ghostly Apparition Appears From Nowhere Only To Vanish Into Thin Air (Video)

In this footage we can see this figure just materialise on the left of the screen and just casually walking but we can see it slowly dissolving into the night.
This footage was caught by security officer Francisco Javier from the surveillance camera at his work in a warehouse in Metepec, Mexico.

Source: The Hidden Underbelly 2.0

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