“Something Wicked” Friday with Mae Claire and Cursed Places

By the pricking of our thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

It’s the final day of the Something Wicked Tour with the authors at Story Empire. You can find the entire schedule for the day at Story Empire. Please take a few minutes to visit each stop, enjoy the post, then comment and share on your social media or re-blog on your site. Today, I’m please to host Mae Claire who digs into curses in relation to her fiction – enjoy!

Do You Believe in Curses?

Thanks for hosting me today, P.H.! It’s fun to be here with your readers kicking off my final stop of Story Empire’s Something Wicked Blog Tour. Wow, the week really blew by! I hope everyone has enjoyed the tour as much as I have. The posts my SE colleagues have been sharing are excellent

For my part, I’ve discussed the Mothman, Spiritualism of the late 1800s, haunted houses, and an alien encounter. To close things out I’m moving into a human element. One that brings frightened glances over the shoulder and slickly mounting terror­—the fear of a curse.

From literature to the Bible, to famous objects and haunted places, curses abound. There are cursed objects (the Hope Diamond) cursed places (King Tut’s Tomb), cursed movies (Poltergeist) even cursed performances (multiple instances of the play MacBeth). But what about a town? Is it possible for an entire town to be cursed and to carry that misfortune through centuries?

My Point Pleasant series has been a blend of fiction, folklore and history. In book one, A Thousand Yesteryears, I introduced readers to the Mothman and examined the Silver Bridge tragedy from a fictional perspective. Book two, A Cold Tomorrow, is populated by Men in Black, UFO encounters, flicker phenomena, and a mysterious visitor who is far more than he appears.

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Much of Point Pleasant folklore is tied to a curse cast by Shawnee Indian Chief, Cornstalk. A friend to the settlers in the area that would become Point Pleasant, Cornstalk arrived at the settlement in 1777 to warn them of an impending attack from tribes massing along the Ohio River. Cornstalk was detained and later killed, along with his son. According to legend, he cursed the town as he lay dying.

Native American with headdress and drawn bow on horse, silhouetted against evening sky

“I was the border man’s friend. Many times I have saved him and his people from harm. I never warred with you, but only to protect our wigwams and lands. I refused to join your paleface enemies with the red coats. I came to the fort as your friend and you murdered me. You have murdered by my side, my young son. For this, may the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted by its hopes. May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”

Is the curse real? Point Pleasant has suffered multiple tragedies, including:

A fire that took out an entire block in the late 1880s

A mine collapse in 1907 that claimed the lives of 31 miners, making it the worst coal mine disaster in American history

Devastating floods spanning several decades, two of which (in 1913 and 1937) almost wiped out the town

The collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967, a tragedy that claimed 46 lives and still ranks as the worst bridge collapse in American history

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The loss of river trade and closing of the town’s major employer, resulting in an economic downturn from which Point Pleasant still struggles to recover

In A Desolate Hour, the final book of my Point Pleasant series, new and returning characters rush to determine whether or not Cornstalk’s curse is at fault for releasing an ancient malevolence. Drawn by that evil, the Mothman reacts with deadly retribution.

Best enjoyed after the first two books in the series, A Desolate Hour can also be read as a standalone novel.

Banner ad for A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair features Man standing in a dark mysterious forest with bloody lake in foreground


Sins of the past could destroy all of their futures . . .

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing Chief Cornstalk—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

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Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media

bio box for author Mae Clair

Thanks for reading Mae’s post today. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section and we’ll respond as soon as possible. Also, please share this post on social media or re-blog it. Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the tour stops today:


  1. I love how you blend folklore and history into your fiction, Mae. And, yes, I do believe in curses. I’ve seen too much of this stuff to pass it off as mere coincidence, lol. Great post 🙂

    1. Thanks, Harmony. I really love blending history and folklore with my fiction. And Cornstalk’s curse was just too compelling to resist, especially given all the tragedies Point Pleasant has seen. So glad you enjoyed my series!

  2. I also love the way you blended folklore and legends into your stories. I have to think there is some truth to curses. I can’t help but wonder about some families – the Kennedy’s for instance. Great post to wrap up the week.

    1. Thank you, Joan.
      And, wow, great example with the Kennedy curse. I feel so badly for that family and all they’ve suffered and endured. It does indeed make you wonder!

  3. I love a good curse. This ought to resonate with PH’s readers, because curses are prominent in fantasy. I intend to play with the curse’s sister, superstition, in one of my stories. Those who believe in curses are subject to manipulation, that kind of thing. Hope you both had a good time on the Something Wicked tour, and moved a few books, too.

    1. It was a fun tour, Craig, and great to have the support of so many of our friends. And I think I love laying with curses and superstition in equal measure. Both make great story fodder!

      1. I haven’t quite figured out how to pull everything together, but I’ve placed some tracks into the next Lanternfish book. Maybe we’ll all find out at once, ha!

  4. Doggone, I loved this series! And yes, Ouija boards and curses scare me. When my sister and I were teenagers, we went to a fair and Patty had a fortune teller look in a crystal ball to tell her future. The woman looked straight at her and told her she had one year to live. She’d die before the next fair. Patty’s still alive, and we laughed it off, but it tainted the entire next year, the fear sticking in the back of our minds. I’ve never been brave enough to see a psychic since then.

    1. OMG, I would have been freaking terrified! I can’t believe a fortune teller would share such a wretched prediction even if they saw that in a vision, I have never been to one, and I never will. I avoid all things fortune telling, tarot and horoscopes. I’m such a wimp about that kind of stuff, although a lot of it fascinated me when I was a kid.

      1. I might do it for the fiction experience but that’s about it. Once saw a ghost-hunter parked in a fast food joint nearby and wanted to go with them on an investigation for the background experience. Should have stopped in…

  5. I need to finish this series, Mae. I loved A Thousand Yesteryears and need to pick up A Cold Tomorrow so I’ll know what flicker phenomena are. 🙂 Happy Halloween PH and Mae.

    1. Flicker Phenomena is something I discovered when writing A Cold Tomorrow. I became immediately fascinated by the idea when I stumbled across it and had to use it in the book. This whole series is special to me, but A Cold Tomorrow is my favorite book of all three.

      When it surfaces on your TBR, I wish you happy reading.

      Happy Halloween, Diana, and thanks for supporting our tour!

  6. A very intriguing post today, Mae. I stand in awe of the power of words, therefore curses could become a reality if they are believed. This has been a really fun tour and I’ve enjoyed riding along!

  7. Thanks so much for all of your support during our Something Wicked tour, Robbie. It is so appreciated. And I wish you happy reading in December! 🙂

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