The Moonstone’s Real Life Counterpart? (pt. 1)

This one’s for you, Maltby.

Several months back I read Wilkie Collins’s classic, The Moonstone, for a class I was taking and around the same time on one sleep-challenged night I saw this video

8 Most Terrifying Cursed Objects in The WorldBeyond Science

…and around 6 minutes 55 seconds is when things got interesting:

this stone was stolen during the rebellion [of 1857] out of the temple of Android and comport India way back in eighteen fifty seven and ever since it’s done nothing but strike bad luck in his fortune in the lives of the people that have owned it’s Colonel w Ferris a calorie man was allegedly the first man who owned the stone after in left India almost immediately after returning to England he lost basically everything he owned it is how to even begin to deteriorate(1)

Huh…sounds familiar:

Colonel Herncastle, an unpleasant former soldier, brings the Moonstone back with him from India where he acquired it by theft and murder during the Siege of Seringapatam [1799]. Angry at his family, who shun him, he leaves it in his will as a birthday gift to his niece Rachel, thus exposing her to attack by the stone’s hereditary guardians, who, legend says, will stop at nothing to retrieve it.

Rachel wears the stone to her birthday party, but that night it disappears from her room. Suspicion falls on three Indian jugglers who have been near the house; on Rosanna Spearman, a maidservant who begins to act oddly and who then drowns herself in a local quicksand; and on Rachel herself, who also behaves suspiciously and is suddenly furious with Franklin Blake, with whom she has previously appeared to be enamored, when he directs attempts to find it. Despite the efforts of Sergeant Cuff, a renowned detective, the house party ends with the mystery unsolved, and the protagonists disperse.”(2)

I can’t say without further actual scholastic research but this does provide somewhat compelling evidence that this story may have come around when Wilkie Collins began the first episodes of The Moonstone in the 1860’s.  Better yet, the cursed gem is in the National History Museum of London.  

In part 2, I’ll have a report about the cursed gem exhibit and maybe I’ll pick up a souvenir curse(3).


  1. 8 most terrifying cursed objects in the world 6.58 -7.22
  3. I’m not overly superstitious however, I have been procrastinating this post for a while now (even in essay form) for the reason that once I write this I’m compelled to go see the gem in person since I’m going to be going to England anyway and I’m (mostly) irrationally (only slightly…I’m telling myself) afraid of catching a curse by proximity.  Seeing as I don’t know how this curse thing works (if you have to be in possession of the item or being around it is enough or thinking about it too much irks its ire) I figure I have a quasi-legitimate foundation for this concern.  

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