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Fuck Yeah Nightmares: The Crying Boy Painting

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The curse of the Crying Boy Painting. In 1988, a mysterious explosion destroyed the home of the Amos family in Heswall, England. When firemen sifted through the burnt-out shell of the house, they found a framed picture, entitled ‘The Crying Boy’, which was a portrait of an angelic-looking boy with a sorrowful expression and a tear rolling down his cheek. But the picture was not even singed by the blaze.

Not long afterwards in Bradford, there was another blaze, and again a picture of the crying child was found intact among the smouldering ruins. The head of the Yorkshire Fire Brigade told the national newspapers that pictures of the weird Crying Boy were frequently found intact in the rubble of houses that had been mysteriously burnt to the ground. Journalists asked him if he thought that the picture was evil and could somehow start the fires, but the fire-chief refused to comment.

The reports of the unlucky painting causing fires are still occasionally reported; there was a Crying Boy picture found at a gutted house in Dublin in 1998, but no one as ever found out just who the child is in the supposedly cursed painting. One well-respected researcher into occult matters, a retired schoolmaster from Devon named George Mallory, claimed that to have uncovered the truth in 1995. Mr Mallory claimed he tracked down the artist behind the controversial portrait: an old Spanish postcard artist named Franchot Seville, who lives in Madrid. Seville said the Crying boy was a little street urchin he had found wandering around Madrid in 1969. He never spoke, and had a very sorrowful look in his eyes. Seville painted the boy, and a Catholic priest said the Boy was Don Bonillo, a child who had run away after seeing his parents die in a blaze. The priest told the artist to have nothing to do with the runaway, because wherever he settled, fires of unknown origin would mysteriously break out; the villagers called him ‘Diablo’ because of this.

Seville ignored the superstitious priest and looked after the boy. The paintings of the little sad orphan made Seville fairly rich, but one day, his studio was mysteriously burned to the ground. Seville was ruined, and he accused the little Don Bonillo of arson. The boy ran off crying, and was never seen again. Then, from all over Europe came the reports of the unlucky Crying Boy paintings causing blazes. Seville was also regarded as a jinx, and no one commissioned him to paint, or would even look at his paintings. In 1976, a car exploded into a fireball on the outskirts of Barcelona after crashing into a wall. The victim was charred beyond recognition, but part of the victim’s driving licence in the glove compartment was only partly burned. The name on the licence was one 19-year-old Don Bonillo; could this have been the same Don Bonillo who had been the subject of the Crying Boy painting eight years earlier? We will probably never know, as no friends or relations ever came forward for the body.

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