Curse of the Crying Boy

The girls and I went to a movie last night with some friends. It was inspirational and uplifting and naturally, I bawled my eyes out. My daughter and her friend know their moms well. Every so often then would sneak down the aisle to us: “We’re just checking on the moms. You both crying? Okay!” What can I say? I’m a crier. 

On the way to the movie, we were talking about the scariest movies we’ve ever seen. In middle school, when I was more worried about what my friends thought than my own sanity, I saw many scary movies. I cited The Shining as the first horror movie I ever saw and advised my girls to never watch it.
When we got to the theater, there was a poster for… the sequel to The Shining! We walked swiftly past the poster and into the tearjerker where I belong.

The point of my story is this. Today I found a painting to blog about that embodies tears and fears! It is, The Crying Boy.

He looks cute, doesn’t he?

The Crying Boy was painted by Italian painter, Bruno Amadilo (who had many pseudonyms, as an FYI, in case you Google him. I hope his friends called him “Armadillo.”) There are some creepy stories floating around about both the painter and his subject, but none are founded. You research it and tell me what you think. Amadilo painted The Crying Boy around WWII and prints were sold in department stores throughout the 1970s. Tons of people had The Crying Boy hanging in their home. My initial reaction is to wonder why somebody would have a crying kiddo featured in their home. Then I looked around my own house.

So maybe I do get it a little. 

Anyway. The creepy thing about this picture is that in 1985 homes in the UK started going up in flames and they had one thing in common: The Crying Boy painting! Weirder still? The houses (or chunks of them) would go up in flames, but the paintings didn’t burn! Queue the creepy music! The people of Great Britain were totally reasonable about it. They knew it was crazy to believe a picture could be cursed. It also seemed totally reasonable for them to send their paintings in mass quantities to The Sun (who broke the story, then offered to take the cursed prints off their readers’ hands). Apparently the office was swarmed with Crying Boys in no time.

It turns out the prints were finished with a fire-retardant varnish, but who the heck cares about sciencey explanations when a curse is so much more interesting?! I don’t personally buy into it. But I’m also not keeping The Crying Boy.jpg saved on my desktop.

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