Do You Believe in Curses by Mae Clair

I’m thrilled to welcome friend and fellow writer Mae Clair back to my little slice of the blogosphere today. She just released book three of her Point Pleasant series, A Desolate Hour, which I reviewed not long ago.

Today she wants to discuss curses, and I can’t think of a better person to dive into the supernatural with us. Here she is; let’s give her a warm welcome.

Do You Believe in Curses?

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), and 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?

Point Pleasant, WV
Point Pleasant, WV—not the collapsed bridge (obviously)

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.

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:

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.
  • 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.

A Desolate Hour: Blurb

A Desolate HourSins 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? . . .

Universal Purchase Link (All Retailers)

Mae ClairAbout the Author:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters, and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her Point Pleasant series of novels.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers, Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history, and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

WebsiteBlog | Twitter (@MaeClair1) | Google+ | Facebook Author Page |
Amazon Author Page | Kensington Books Author Page |
GoodreadsPinterest | Newsletter Sign-Up | Story Empire

Thank you, Mae, for stopping by today and sharing all this with us.

Readers, please do yourself a favor—check out Mae’s body of work, starting with her Point Pleasant series. I’m a huge fan, and I know if you read her stories, you will be, too. Click on the covers below for quick links to all the books in the series, and sound off below to discuss Mae, her work, and/or this post. Thanks!
A Thousand Yesteryears A Cold TomorrowA Desolate Hour

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at

102 thoughts on “Do You Believe in Curses by Mae Clair

  1. Like you say, there’s the curse of the Hope diamond, the tomb, Macbeth, and PP. Spooky, to say the least. I always wonder which came first, the curse or all the events that appear to support its existence. Still, so interesting to think the curse came first. Then one hears about death curses, like Cornstalk’s. I wonder how many death curses were uttered in the bloody history of conflicts, and how many seem to have taken root. Hmm, that could be the basis for a new urban fantasy series. Now you’ve got me thinking! Good luck with the new release, Mae! I’ve got a couple books ahead of PP3, but I’m looking forward to reading it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Julie, I like the fact this has you thinking about a new urban fantasy series! Definitely, with PP, the curse came first, but there were “oddities” in the area even before it, according to the strangeness George Washington encountered when he was surveying prior to the Revolutionary War. I wonder if the curse was responsible for making those “thing” manifest in new and frightening ways. I love thinking about this stuff!

      And I hope you enjoy A Desolate Hour when it surfaces among your TBR. Thanks for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wishing you the absolute best with pitchwars, Traci. And I completely understand about a mammoth TBR. Mine is mutating, and the last book I read was 860 pages, taking more time than usual. Oh, for more hours in the day, LOL!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Point Pleasant certainly had its share of tragedy. Sad really.
    Voodoo and curses just scare me! But I’m easily startled. The toaster pretty much gets me every time…and I’m standing there waiting for it. True story.
    So excited for you, Mae, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this series ends. It’s on my Kindle!
    Staci, your review is awesome!
    Many cheers and thanks to you both. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie, you have me laughing about the toaster. I can just picture your reaction, because that would be something I’d do too. As odd as it may seem, as much as I love writing about creatures and folklore, I’m a wimp when it comes to spooky stuff. I won’t even go on a haunted house tour or watch a scary movie. I liked the old mystic style movies, but the new vein is too freaky and demonic for me. I’m a wuss. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Too funny, Mae! I’m so jumpy at the simplest things. Can’t even watch a trailer for a scary movie. I made the BIG mistake of watching The Blaire Witch Project years ago…sweet God! Poor decision making score for me. That scene where the guy is staring into the corner is imprinted in memory. Yup, it’s there! Always there.
        I’m really looking forward to The Desolate Hour, though. I love the suspense and mystery of your writing. I actually feel like I’m in Point Pleasant…that’s brilliant writing. This would make one awesome movie! Cheers, my friend. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Natalie, that’s funny. Might I suggest a toaster oven? I’ve been using one for years, and there’s nothing to pop up at me. 😉

      Thanks so much for visiting and supporting Mae’s release. Much appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

    3. The Blair Witch Project was definitely freaky. That was one of the few movies I’ve actually watched. The area itself isn’t that far from whee I live, but I can’t bring myself to venture there. As strange as it may seem, I can separate “creatures” into a safe category, but supernatural things like witchcraft, demons and ghosts fall into an area where I don’t want to trespass. So, I guess I like “weirdness” but with limitations, LOL.

      I’m glad you’re looking forward to A Desolate Hour! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m so honored!!! I was allowed the hug!! 🙂

          I will try to contain my adulation. But…you know…it’s going to be rough coming down from that high. Stella is such a regal queen.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!!! It’s actually the third (and final book) in the series but it can still be read as a standalone. I address what went before (in the previous two books) so you shouldn’t have any problem following along. I’m going to guess Chief Cornstalk’s curse was not the one you heard about earlier today? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh brilliant – no doubt I’ll go back and catch up on the first two, I’m a terrible one for reading series out of order, but very much looking forward to this!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. The books really do stand on their own, so you don’t need to worry about being confused. But the series is so wonderful, you’ll want to read the whole thing. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That is a sad background story to the curse. There does seem to be a lot of events pointing to a bit of bad luck for that area. I always find this type of information fascinating. I look forward to finishing the series, Mae. Thanks for hosting, Staci.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A horrible way for Cornstalk’s life to end, D. L. Whether the curse (from folklore) is real or not, he really was killed after trying to warn the settlers of attack. I go a bit into the history in the book, as well as putting my own spin on how things played out.

      I’m delighted your looking forward to finishing the series. Thanks for visiting with me and Staci today!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps that is why the legends of curses have such staying power and often come to fruition….because of collective thoughts. Excellent thought, Diana!
      And I hope you enjoy the series when time permits 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. There is a legendary entity called a tulpa (I think I’m spelling it right) that is essentially malevolence born of collective belief. Basically, if enough people believe in a particular evil, that evil comes to life.

      Ah, the power of suggestion. If only we could put that concept to good use…

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I remember writing about the tulpa for a Mythical Monday posts (when I still ran that feature on my blog). That post creeped me out more than any I’d done. Horribly spooky stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. I miss those posts of yours. I always found them so interesting.

      I actually learned about the tulpa from the TV show Supernatural. (My guilty pleasure.) It’s terrifying to think that belief can bring something to life. (Especially with word spreading so quickly on the Internet.) I can see why it spooked you.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Just got my copy! 🙂 I’m a bit behind with my TBR but that means I can have a gorge-fest with books 2 & 3 now! 😛
    With curses, especially one on a place like Point Pleasant, my attitude tends towards ‘one man’s curse is another’s deep misfortune’. Over a period of time there’ll be prosperity and catastrophes like floods, or more man-made disasters, but luck plays a part as well, and that can be what you make it of course!
    Putting a curse on people is a different matter – there’s a psychological and emotional aspect to it that can get very scary, and provide lots of scope for exciting yarns and occurrences! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Enjoy the gorge-fest. If I ever have a few days’ free time, I would love to binge-read this series again. I really loved it, and I’m sorry it’s over. (Can’t wait for her new work, though! It’s promising to be just as compelling.)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for grabbing a copy, Jan. I hope you enjoy books 2 and 3 and how everything wraps up. I’m dreadfully behind on my TBR too, so no worries.

      And I think you’re right about the psychological and emotional aspects of a curse. Just the thought of someone doing that makes me shudder!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Thanks, Staci. Looking back on the series, I’ve got fun memories of how it all came together. It will be nice to have a certain critique partner along to help me with the next one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Teri, Cornstalk’s curse is supposed to be responsible for everything….right down to and including the Mothman. There is so many threads of folklore twined around Point Pleasant, I could probably spin another whole series!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Jan,

      I have to apologize. You keep ending up in spam and I have no idea why. Please be patient with me here and with us at Story Empire until we get this figured out.

      I’m really, really sorry. And thanks for commenting on Mae’s post. You’ll love the book when you read it. It’s so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on From the Pen of Mae Clair and commented:

    Do you believe in curses? I’m over at Staci Troilo’s blog today discussing how an ancient curse is tied to the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and the urban legend of the Mothman. It’s all part of the background incorporated into my latest release, A Desolate Hour.

    Staci is a wonderful blogger, fantastic author, and is always ready to support others. She’s also an exceptional critique partner to yours truly 🙂
    If you haven’t already clicked the “follow” button on her blog, I highly recommend a click!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Marcia. When I first started exploring the legend of the Mothman, I had no idea everything tied back to Cornstalk’s curse.It was interesting researching, especially given all that Cornstalk accomplished prior to his tragic death. My husband and I visited the memorial where he is buried in Point Pleasant. There is so much history and folklore in that tiny town!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Robbie! I really enjoyed writing these stories, especially as they contain a good deal of historical fact mixed in with my fiction and the folklore. Your interest in the series is soooo appreciated. Enjoy! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with those thoughts, Jess. Although Cornstalk’s curse is part of folklore, there’s no denying the town of Point Pleasant has suffered one tragedy after another, along with numerous spats of bizarre occurrences. When I was researching this post, it’s amazing how many curses kept cropping up over and over again, especially a number tied to people and objects.

      Liked by 2 people

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