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Victim of ‘Pompeii curse’ reveals shock diagnosis in haunting letter after stealing stones from site

Victim of ‘Pompeii curse’ reveals shock diagnosis in haunting letter after stealing stones from site

Cursed be thee who moves these stones

Someone who took stones from the ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii ended up returning them with an apology letter after a diagnosis.

Archaeologist Gabriel Zuchtriegel recently posted to X a letter he'd received along with a selection of pumice stones.

The letter was an apology from someone who had taken rocks from the ruins of Pompeii, but later decided to return them.

This anonymous individual wrote that they had learned about the 'Pompeii curse' where ill luck may follow those who take things from the ancient city that was destroyed in 79AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

"I didn't know about the curse. I didn't know that I should not take any rocks," the letter began as the person writing it recounted their own story of bad luck since taking something from Pompeii.

Pompeii is a popular tourist spot, but many who take something as a souvenir end up returning it.
Pablo Esparza/Anadolu via Getty Images

"Within a year I got breast cancer. I am a young and healthy female and doctors said it was just 'bad luck'.

"Please accept my apology and these pieces. Mi dispiace."

That last passage is Italian for 'I'm sorry', and the archaeologist assured them with his post on social media that the stones had been returned to Pompeii.

He also wished the person writing the message 'good luck for your future'.

They're not the only one to have fallen victim to the supposed 'Pompeii curse' over the years, as other people have returned artefacts they took from the city ruins after saying ill fortune had followed them ever since.

The Guardian reported that a Canadian woman named Nicole sent back mosaic tiles she had taken from Pompeii during a visit in 2005.

In her message she begged someone to take the tiles back as 'they bring bad luck', explaining that since she had taken them she had been diagnosed with breast cancer twice and suffered 'financial problems'.

The archaeologist reassured whomever wrote the letter that the unlucky stones had been returned to Pompeii.

Another Canadian couple who had taken things also returned them to Pompeii along with a letter asking for forgiveness.

"We took them without thinking of the pain and suffering these poor souls experienced during the eruption of Vesuvius and their terrible death," they wrote in their letter.

"We are sorry, please forgive us for making this terrible choice. May their souls rest in peace."

Over the years many people have returned relics they stole along with messages admitting guilt, but not everyone returns what they've taken as some pieces of Pompeii end up on eBay instead.

Whether there is a curse or not, it's useful for historical sites not to quash such rumours, otherwise many historical locations would have been picked clean long ago.

Pompeii gets over 2.5 million visitors a year, if even a fraction of those who went wanted to take a souvenir with them, soon there'd be very little left.

Featured Image Credit: Wu Swee Ong/Getty Stock Image/X/@GZuchtriegel

Topics: World News, Weird