When Italian painter Giovanni Bragolin painted his infamous series of paintings of crying boys and girls back in the 1950s, he perhaps didn’t know that these would in the future be deemed as the cause of the ruin of many houses. At first glance, his paintings that depict the pictures of little girls and boys, all with forlorn expressions with tears running down their cheeks, may not seem so ominous. In fact, the words ‘sympathy’ and ‘pain’ would probably be associated with them more as these paintings remind one of the kind of lives poor children have to live. Their eyes call out for help and safety. However, history has shown us that Crying Boy Painting and subsequently the children in them are not so innocent as they seem.
The horrifying stories of what these seemingly harmless paintings were doing to their owners properly emerged in 1985 when popular UK newspaper The Sun wrote a full-fledged article about them. They covered the story of a couple whose entire house had burned down without any plausible cause, and the only thing that had survived was the crying boy painting they had hung up. It was absolutely unharmed. The article then went on to talk about how numerous firemen had then confessed to finding many such unburnt crying boy paintings in houses where nothing else was left unscathed.
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After this article was published, many people consequently started reporting how even parts of their houses had caught fire, and they now started blaming it on the paintings of crying children that hung from their walls. People started sending these paintings to The Sun’s office to get rid of the curse, and The Sun for its part arranged for a huge bonfire on Halloween. In that bonfire, they burnt all the paintings of The Crying Children they had received—hundreds of them. People of England, especially the firemen, thought that they had finally gotten rid of the curse of the Crying Boy.
It wasn’t just that the paintings caused fires, either. As more and more people started coming out with their personal experiences with the paintings, it was seen that these pieces of art seemed to carry bad luck with them. People reported feeling negative energy after keeping the painting in their houses, and many also shared how after buying the then cheap and easily available painting, their families had faced bad luck and even deaths. A woman in the mid-1900s reported that shortly after purchasing the painting, her husband and two sons had passed away. In another family, a woman reported that she had seen the painting sway back and forth on the wall without the presence of a breeze or any other cause.
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The fires were highly destructive by themselves. Although in
many cases the fires weren’t entirely accidental and only a matter of carelessness,
it is curious how so many houses that had the painting caught on fire. Firemen
at that time reported that in almost all the houses they went to in order to
extinguish the flames, they found the picture of the crying children. As many
as 50 such accounts were obtained, which seems too much of a coincidence even if
we take into consideration the fact that many houses in England sported the
paintings during that time as a means of decoration. What’s more bizarre is
that all of these paintings survived the fires; this can be attributed to the fire-resistant
material the canvases were apparently made of, but again, it is strange that
when The Sun burned them in a bonfire, none of them survived.
There are many rumors surrounding the reason for the curse
of the crying boy or crying children. It is thought that the painter painted
these after world war II and that the expressions of the children depict the
state of the younger ones at that time in reality. However, there are more ominous
and haunted versions of the tale. It is believed that Bragolin had painted a
little boy who had accidentally set fire to his own house, a fire that killed
his parents. The boy too had later died in a fire caused by the explosion of a
car. Since then, his painting had become cursed as he sought to set fire on
every house he resided in.
Even though many people called this cursed nature of the paintings a hoax, even sensible firemen refused to keep the paintings at their homes. Today, these once abundant paintings can seldom be seen in houses. However, they are still available for people who want to take a chance and buy them, on popular online stores such as eBay. On this particular site, the paintings are still sold at prices as high as $3000.
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It has been many years since any more reporting of the paintings causing fire have been obtained and people nowadays have started believing less in supernatural existence. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry and if the curse of the Crying Boy is indeed true, families could very well do without the picture of weeping children up on their walls. There are many other paintings they can hang up—those that aren’t thought to have destroyed homes and killed people.
Your average college-going girl, living her life one day at a time.