Book Reviews

Review: Cursed Objects (2020) by J.W. Ocker

You might have heard of Annabelle the Doll. Or Robert the Doll? How about the Dybbuk Box? Do you even watch horror movies? No? What are you doing here?

If you do know of those random objects, you’ll know that they’re infamously cursed items. Yep, real life cursed stuff. And that’s the subject of this new book by J.W. Ocker. Not only will you be regaled with stories of popular cursed items but also updated on their current locations and owners. You’ll be introduced to unheard of items from faraway lands and even stranger tales.

Depending on your knowledge, this can either be an excellent beginner’s guide to cursed objects or it’s a great supplemental read to enhance your reach on famously (and not so famously) cursed items. The majority of the “items” covered in here were pleasantly unknown to me. There are, as stated in the beginning, a few classics that everyone should know by now. I say items loosely, for there are non-physical cursed things to add some spice. There was also one or two just randomly creepy and not necessarily cursed objects included in the book that I appreciated nonetheless. Oh and there’s illustrations! 

Each entry is quip and book ended with Ocker’s trademark asides and punny humor. Admittedly, some of the entries were slim and left you wanting to know more. However, information on these types of things tend to be limited and/or completely lacking conceivable evidence. The overall formatting of the book is straightforward and leaves for minimal fluff. The sections of discussion (i.e. haunted vs. cursed, museums, etc.) made for a better reading experience.

Ocker’s work tends to emphasis the morbid side of life. His personal website OTIS (Odd Things I’ve Seen) is a rich resource for anyone who is also obsessed with the macabre, the eerie, & the haunted. His other works include a guide to creepy New England, Poe’s Baltimore, & a personal accounting of his time in Salem, MA. His fiction novel, Twelve Nights at Rotter House, is a fantastic read for any stormy October evening. What I’m trying to say is somebody give this man a TV deal already. He’s basically a walking encyclopedia of creepy shit. And if you, dear reader, want to add to your fortress of eerie fun facts, pick up Cursed Objects.

You never know what’ll you find out.

To order Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World’s Most Infamous Items, click here. Available from Quirk Books on 9/15/2020.



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