Frequently Asked Questions

What is the curse of The Crying Boy about?

The Crying Boy, according to a story that a tabloid ran in the 1980’s, is a very unlucky painting that caused fires. Several homes were gutted by fire, but the only thing that survived in these homes was a copy of The Crying Boy, often found intact and undamaged by the fire.

Who painted The Crying Boy?

Bruno Amadio, a Spanish artist, was the painter of The Crying Boy. He used one of his pseudonyms, Giovanni Bragolin, to sign the paintings. He is also known as Franchot Seville.

Why did The Sun publish the article?

On September 4, 1985, The Sun, a popular British tabloid, published the story of ‘The Curse of the Crying Boy.’ It talked about a couple from Rotherham, Ron and May Hall,who blamedthe painting for the fire which ravaged their terraced council home. Incidentally, The Sun was engaged in a battle for readers with its closecompetitor, the Daily Mirror. The Sun was known for publishing a series of horrific and bizarre stories with tenuous origin, some of which earned a permanent place in pop culture.

Besides causing a fire, are there any other curses surrounding the painting?

Some owners of the painting claimed that they experienced bad luck if they tried to destroy or get rid of their copy.Another was the idea that placing a picture of the ‘crying girl’ next to that of the crying boy would bring good luck or avert bad luck.

Why did so many people believe in the curse and cause a massive public panic?

According to folklore scholar, Gail-Nina Anderson, The Crying Boy legend became so widespread because everyone could participate. The paintings, after all, were cheap and easy to find.

Have there been attempts to debunk the curse?

Yes, we have a section devoted solely to this. Essentially, according to firemen and other experts, the fires in almost all cases could be explained by human carelessness or electrical faults. One plausible theory as to why the painting does not burn is because it was made of materials that are very fire-resistant.

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