Curses: Not Foiled on UnXplained

DATELINE: Another Gem in Series

 Cursed “Crying Boy” Painting!

A third installment of the Shatner series UnXplained came to us with a plethora of examples about cursed people, places, and things. Yes, they are nouns of a bad sort.

Shatner will never be upstaged by such shenanigans, and he is constantly looking over his shoulder as he hosts this marvelous series with another fascinating episode.

The smorgasbord of tales for the week include some stories well-known, and a few surprises.

First, there is Round Lake in New Jersey, a man-made reservoir that inundated a town back in the 1960s. It seems some of the late residents may be causing dozens of men to drown in the cold waters. A few intrepid realists suggest it is careless fishing or boating that causes the deaths. Shatner has an arched eyebrow, which is telling.

The most famous story of the night concerns the Hope Diamond, a cursed Indian jewel that glows red, not blue, when ultra-violet light is put on it. Blood red? No wonder Evalyn McLean kept it for nearly 40 years, despite family members dropping like flies.

Our favorite unknown tale concerned “The Crying Boy,” one of dozens of paintings by some Oscar Wildean Italian artist. These oils are covered in flame retardant for good reason: the houses in which they are hung in England tend to burn to the ground. Pass on the picture next time you see one in the flea market.

Shatner seems to snicker at the numerical curses of 13 and 27. It seems the Friday 13, 1307, could be the cause of the cursed day: Jacques DeMolay, Catholic hero or heretic, was burned at the stake and cursed his killers and the day of the week. It has lingered 700 years.

As far as 27 is concerned, it’s a club of dead rock stars. There is a litany of musical icons who died at age 27, including Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, et al. You can forgive old Shatner, at 90, not taking this one too seriously.

It all leads to his standard hilarious closing as he discusses charms to ward off curses at the end. It’s another must-see installment of the show.