1903 (pre): The Cursed Dagger

In 1903, C. W. Leadbeater published his unusual book The Other Side of Death, Scientifically Examined and Described... which called on reports by people who communicated with spirits and a variety of strange events and claims to try and create a idea of what life after death might be like.

        In a section that talked about ghosts and spirits with a singular goal, and specifically looking at spirits motivated by revenge, Leadbeater then related the following odd story he took from an issue of The Theosophical Review. The account is told by a currently unknown author.

“A friend of mine had a dagger which was said to have the gruesome property of inspiring anyone who took hold of it with a longing to kill some woman. My friend was sceptical, but still eyed the dagger a little doubtfully, for when he had himself taken hold of it he felt so ‘queer’ that he had quickly put it down again.

    "There seemed no doubt that at least two women had, as a matter of fact, been murdered with it. I took the thing away to make some experiments, and sat down quietly by myself, holding the dagger. A curious kind of dragging at me began, as though some one were trying to make me move away. I declined to stir, and looked to see what it was. I saw a wild looking man, a Pathan, I think, who seemed very angry at my not going where he pushed me, and he was trying to get into me, as it were, an attempt that I naturally resisted.

    "I asked what he was doing, but he did not understand. So I looked from higher up and saw that his wife had left him for another man, and that he had found them together and had stabbed them with the man’s own dagger, the very one I was then holding. He had then sworn revenge against the whole sex, and had killed his wife’s sister and another woman before he was himself stabbed. He had then attached himself to the dagger, and had obsessed its various owners, pushing them to murder women, and to his savage delight had met with much success.

    "Great was his wrath at my unexpected resistance. As I could not make him understand me, I handed him over to an Indian friend, who gradually led him to a better view of life, and he agreed that his dagger should be broken up and buried. I accordingly broke it up and buried it. . . . .

    “I should have broken it up all the same, whether the Pathan had permitted it or not. Still it was better for him that he should agree to it.”

Source's Source

        As I mentioned, Leadbeater claims he took his quote from an issue of the Theosophical Review, (Vol. 22, pg. 181); this was published in April 1898, and I'm still trying to track a copy down. Until then (and maybe even after that) this story is considered 'Unreliable' due to a simple lack of names, places, and dates! It's still an interesting idea about how an object could display what is thought of as a curse.

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