Because we trust science too much, Americans stopped believing in things like curses -- something evil hanging over a person or object, usually at the request of someone filled with hate.
The true story of a particular car, and of the curse which hung over it, warns us that curses are very real.
On June 28, 1914, a car known as a 1914 Graf and Stift Double Phaeton carried Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophia through the streets of Sarajevo, in Bosnia.
Suddenly, a revolutionary ran up to the car and fired his gun several times at the Archduke and his wife, killing them both.
The assassination started World War I. 20,000,000 people died.
The next owner was General Oskar Potiorek, commander of Austrian forces in Bosnia. Shortly after receiving the car, his army was defeated, Potiorek was removed from his job, and he became insane and died in a poorhouse.
The next owner was an Austrian Army captain. Exactly nine days after getting the car, he drove it into two farmers, killing them, and then he smashed the car into a tree, killing himself.
The next owner was the Governor of Yugoslavia. Within four months he crashed the car four times. In the last crash, he lost his right arm. The Governor believed that the car was cursed. He ordered that it be destroyed.
The next owner, Doctor Srkis, bought the car before it could be destroyed. In six months, the car rolled over, crushing him.
The next owner was a jeweler who committed suicide in a year.
The next owner was another doctor whose patients all stopped going to him, because they were afraid of the car. The doctor sold the car.
The next owner was a race car driver. During a race, the car smashed into a stone wall. The driver was thrown over the wall, and he died on hitting the ground.
The next owner was a farmer in Bosnia. One morning, the car simply stopped. Another farmer tied the car to the back of his horses and wagon, and began to tow it to a repair shop. Suddenly, the car started by itself, smashed into the wagon and horses, and chased the owner down the road, running over him and killing him.
The next owner was a mechanic who fixed the car and painted it. As he drove six friends to a wedding, there was a crash. The mechanic and four passengers were killed.
The next owner was a museum in Vienna. During World War II, a bomb from a plane bombing the German army fell onto the museum, crashed through the roof, and exploded next to the car.
The museum has not yet learned its lesson. The car and the museum room were repaired, and it sits there today.