In 79AD, Mt Vesuvius in southern Italy erupted, destroying all the surrounding areas. The blast was so powerful and quick that a thick layer of ash rained down on the nearby city of Pompeii. Residents of the city were essentially frozen in time as they were consumed by the ash and lava, providing archaeologists with a perfect view of life in Italy at the time.
Almost 2,000 years later, the Pompeii disaster continues to make the headlines – this time for a curse it apparently brought on a family.
A travel agency in Italy received a mysterious package from a Canadian woman, who only identified herself as Nicole, which contained two mosaic pieces, two parts of an amphora and a piece of ceramic.
According to a note left by the woman, she stole the items 15 years ago while on a trip to the site.
The note said that the woman, 36, believed the items were “cursed” and that they brought bad luck on her and her family.
According to reports, since returning to her native Canada, the woman has suffered two bouts of breast cancer, resulting in a double mastectomy, while her family has undergone financial ruin.
The note said: “I wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought.
“We can’t ever seem to get ahead in life. I took a piece of history captured in a time with so much negative energy attached to it.
“People died in such a horrible way and I took tiles related to that kind of destruction.
“I am now 36 and had breast cancer twice. The last time ending in a double mastectomy.
“We are good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family, my children or myself anymore.
“Please forgive my careless act that I did years ago. We took them without thinking of the pain and suffering these poor souls experienced during the eruption of Vesuvius and their terrible death.
“We are sorry, please forgive us for making this terrible choice. May their souls rest in peace.”
Mount Vesuvius is still active to this day. The volcano, located in Campagnia, last erupted in 1944 and usually has an eruption cycle of every 20 years, meaning it has been building up for almost four times that amount.
The area is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world, with three million people living in the nearby city of Naples.