So, I'm currently mulling over what a regular world set in the present would look like if one of these horrors were real. A horror movie accurately represents a singular victim, but the ending is always a caveat of

  1. It can't be stopped
  2. It will follow whomever has triggered the curse
  3. Anyone can potentially curse anyone else

I think this has some very interesting and fun ramifications for a story that is set in the event after the first spooking. Now that the curse or horror or apparition has been released, it could grow exponentially. I see two cases happening:

  1. People wisen up and brutally, violently suppress any further curse victims, thereby stopping the chain before it gets too large.

  2. After a critical mass has been reached (ten thousand?), the curse cannot be contained and spreads exponentially across the world.

There is also the question of how the curse affects people. In It Follows, everyone was a link in a chain, with the most recent victim to die first. Then it works its way backwards. With the Grudge or the Ring, it can haunt many people at once. This leads to two different end-cases:

  1. Everyone not living in complete isolation is cursed by a Grudge-style haunting and dies after a few weeks and months. This process will likely take years, but is a relatively short time-span.

  2. A lottery is created. Assuming that a person can only be cursed once, it becomes a race to infect everyone else before the spirit kills you. Once everyone has been afflicted it will become a long, unending process. However, since it really is a slow process, it will be treated more like an incurable sickness rather than something truly frightening.

Given some other variables, such as the trope that extreme suffering creates these curses, it might be possible that humankind is converted into a spirit-kind after millions of hauntings result in thousands of traumatic deaths that create more hauntings. Might be interesting.

One thing to note is that I'd like to refrain from science being able to figure it out because I feel that it would lead to Ghostbusters. It's cool, I admit, but there is Ghostbusters and you just can't compete with that.

Therefore my question, where can you take this premise and what might these logical conclusions be?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, history is full of demons and various entities that are made to be pretty scary, we have found a way to deal with it sometimes through "remedies" (i.e. garlic for vampires), religious practices, superstition, other time violence (burning witches). Obviously those are not real and have been abused plenty of times for one's advantage. I can see how society actions towards a real threat would spin off that same behavior and also how someone would try to take advantage of it... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to the site. I think your question is a little too broad. For one thing, you're focusing on many different kinds of curses. Second, you're kind of providing the answer to your own question, which makes me wonder what sort of feedback you're expecting from us. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ I really like the question and the premise but I think @AndreiROM is right, you should focus on one specific curse and make sure you describe it's behaviour. You should also narrow down what the consequences you want to know about are. (Feel free to ask other questions for other consequences or curses though). $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


This is is a bulletin from the Ministry of Extranormal Horrors.

Following consultation with the WHO, CDC and various other authorities in communicable disease, we have drawn up the some guidelines for avoiding exposure to Inescapable Curse Killers. The full list of known ICKs can be found in appendix 4c, along with notes on specific avoidance strategies and warning signs noted in affected persons. Below are a set of general guidelines:

1: Do not open or view any packages without first verifying their sender. Doing so risks Class I ICK exposure. If you become suspicious of a package please contact MEH for further advice.

2: Do not interact with or attempt to help persons in clear distress. Please contact your nearest MEH office for further assistance. People in distress are often being targeted by Class II ICKs, and require careful handling and isolation in order to ensure their safe demise.

3: Do not enter or approach any aged buildings or areas with MEH warning labels. Such areas play host to Class III and Class I ICKs, and can become breeding grounds for further ICK entities.

4: If you believe that you have become the subject of an ICK, please remain calm and contact your nearest MEH office for assistance. Take careful notes on your exposure so far, including traits of the ICK and recent exposure to unknown people, locations or objects. In the unfortunate event that your ICK is confirmed you will be informed of the correct procedure for minimising the risk of further contamination. Where possible you will be quarantined until your natural demise. Please do not attempt to ensure your own survival as doing so will only endanger others.

MEH has been dedicated to the protection of humanity and the prevention of horrific events worldwide since the VHS Class I ICK pandemic of 1995. MEH is fully authorised worldwide for pre-emptive action, indefinite containment of suspect packages and ICK subjects, and forceful seizure of verified class III ICK land.

Thank you for your time.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm grudgingly giving you a +1 $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ @andreiROM It follows that you object to this question being answered, which rings true with my own sensibilities. (I couldn't resist though;) $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Don't worry, I understand. I did enjoy reading your answer however, hence the +1. The fact that it offered the opportunity for a play on words simply made it irresistible to do so. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ You know if the curse was spread by watching a video that the denizens of 4chan would turn it into the new rickroll. $\endgroup$
    – Murphy
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 15:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Murphy MEH banned internet videos shortly after the XKCD Class II incident. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 15:47

So, jut for gits and shiggles, I’m going to do this in what may not be the most likely way, but what is certainly the most entertaining way.

It starts out with patient zero, which for the purposes of this example, I’m going to say is some teenager who, on a dare, went up into the Old McGregor house which was built on top of an ancient voodoo werewolf vampire ceremony indian burial ground, finds a blank-eyed doll owned by the little singing ghost girl who was killed by her own mother, in a cursed puzzled box buried underneath the bloodstain in the floorboards which won’t wash out during a full moon while a grandfather clock strikes thirteen o’clock on Friday the thirteenth.

So, surefire stuff is what I’m saying.

Anyway, he gets his five dollars or whatever, and goes to school the next day, only to find that he has now been cursed by a malevolent spirit. This is a bad, scary thing, and will make him sound crazy, so he tells no one. Eventually the curse spreads to some other people he knows, and patient zero is eventually killed by the curse. Because this curse takes a while to kill the person, anywhere from days to years, it spreads rapidly. Now, some percentage of the earth’s population is cursed.

By this point, people are coming forth claiming that they are cursed, and the medical community claims BS, and ignores it. the curse begins to spread, and more people keep on saying things about it, which causes a few doctors to maybe start to believe, but they’re called crackpots, and also ignored. The situation worsens, and it becomes harder and harder to deny. Some governments begin to experiment, trying to figure out what exactly is causing this.

Eventually, someone invents a ghost-o-vision box or something, and it turns out, holy crap, there’s a curse! Who knew! We thought it was cancer or Ebola or something, but it turns out it’s actually demons! Twist! At this point, it becomes a real, quantifiable thing, and science gets to work on finding a cure. Because we can now diagnose for cursedness, it becomes standard medical procedure. However, it quickly becomes apparent that we severely underestimated the number of cursed individuals, given that most have been hiding it out of shame.

Because this is such a threat to the metaphysical health of the populous, most major world governments start a new social policy to counteract the stigma that comes with being cursed, urging those who are cursed to come forward and seek treatment. They try an spread that it’s not the curse-ee’s fault, and that contrary to popular belief, most of the cursed aren’t actually involved with witchcraft or illegal soul dealings with metaphysical entitles. They’re the victims here. Support groups quickly form, and a cultural shift begins.

Celebrities start to come out as cursed, saying that they had previously hidden it out of shame. Religious condemnation of the cursed becomes frowned upon, and legislation is posed that prevents discrimination against the cursed. Charities begin to organize events to raise money for exorcism research, fun runs and “Races for the cure-se”. the cursed become accepted into society, and are encouraged to live life to the fullest, and not to let their disability get in the way. Those who are cursed no longer have to live in fear, (except, of course, of being brutally murdered by a malevolent spirit.) they can rise up and say to their family and peers, “I’m cursed, and that’s okay.”


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