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Top 10 Cursed Families

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp

Don’t bring that voodoo on us. From the Osmonds, to the Brandos, and the Rockefellers, being a member of these famous families may be more sinister than meets the eye. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Cursed Families.

Special thanks to our user louise.k for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Cursed+Families.


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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Cursed Families

Don’t bring that voodoo on us. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cursed Families.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various families who have allegedly been cursed throughout the years. While a curse may or may not be a part of the story, these are the families that have gone through numerous tragedies over the years. We’re just saying: these are some freaky stories.

#10: The Osmond Family

With their bubblegum pop and a clean-cut image, The Osmonds rose quickly to fame in the 1970s. However, the family has dealt with many secrets, personal demons and multiple health issues throughout the years. While not part of the performing band, older brothers Virl and Tom Osmond were born deaf; as was the second son of The Osmonds’ lead singer and bassist Merrill. Both Alan and his son David, have multiple sclerosis, while Wayne was successfully treated for a brain tumor. Sister Marie was reportedly sexually abused when she was a teen star and later experienced postpartum depression. Meanwhile, one of her sons, Michael, killed himself following battles with depression and addiction.

#9: The Brando Family

Considered one of the 20th century’s greatest actors, Marlon Brando left an enduring legacy. But his personal life was marred by tragedy and health issues. He had an alcoholic actress mother, and he felt he could never live up to his father’s expectations. The first of his 4 wives, Anna Kashfi, had substance abuse issues and allegedly arranged for the kidnapping of her and Brando’s son, Christian. Christian later pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of his half-sister’s boyfriend and died of pneumonia. Cheyenne, Brando’s daughter by his third wife, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hanged herself. Brando’s health declined as he aged; along with Type-2 diabetes stemming from obesity, he also had liver cancer.

#8: The Rockefellers

Even the most insane amounts of money can’t save you from bad luck. The first notable Rockefeller tragedy occurred in 1951, when John D. Rockefeller’s great-niece killed her two children and committed suicide soon after. Ten years later, Michael Rockefeller mysteriously died in New Guinea, with rumors circulating that he was killed and eaten by cannibals. John Rockefeller III was then killed in a car accident in 1978. The curse has continued as recently as 2014, when Richard Rockefeller died outside of New York after crashing his plane. Life hasn't exactly been the smoothest of rides for the Rockefellers; that's for certain.

#7: The Nepalese Royal Family

On June 1, 2001, ten people of royalty were massacred at the Narayanhity Royal Palace. The killer, Prince Dipendra, had been drinking heavily and smoking hash throughout the day, and after he was ordered by his father to leave the party due to his belligerent behavior, he returned with various weapons and enacted the massacre. As legend goes, the founder of Nepal rejected some food offered to him by a yogi, with the yogi then cursing him, saying that his reign would last for ten generations. Dipendra, who killed himself after the massacre, was technically the tenth descendant to the throne.

#6: The Hemingway Family

Ernest Hemingway is one of the most popular authors in English literature, having written such classics as “A Farewell to Arms”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, and “The Old Man and the Sea”. However, he was constantly worried about money, and after various institution visits and bouts with alcoholism, he shot himself at 61. Later evidence showed that Hemingway suffered from hemochromatosis, a disease that deteriorates the mind. He wasn’t the only person in the Hemingway family to kill himself either; his father, his brother, his sister, and his granddaughter have all committed suicide, thus totaling five suicides across four generations.

#5: The Habsburg Royal Family

The House of Habsburg was one of the most powerful royal families in Europe, but that royal blood was seemingly beset with poison. There are various stories as to where the curse originated, including the time when the Habsburgs cleared their family castle of ravens. The most significant consequence of the curse came from the marriage of Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth. Their only son, Rudolf, was killed in a murder-suicide, and nine years later, Elisabeth was assassinated. As a result of Rudolf’s death, his cousin Franz Ferdinand, took the throne. Ferdinand's 1914 assassination would be the moment that kick-started World War I.

#4: The Grimaldi Family

The legend of the Grimaldi curse states that Lord Rainier I raped a woman, and to enact revenge, she cursed the family, saying that a “Grimaldi will never find happiness in marriage.” The curse seems to have finally taken hold in 1982, when Grace Kelly, wife of Prince Rainier III, died in a car accident. The family’s relationship troubles don’t end there, as their daughters, Stéphanie and Caroline, have each had multiple marriages. However, their brother, Prince Albert II, married Charlene Wittstock in 2011, a union which as of 2018 appears uncursed.

#3: The Getty Family

J. Paul Getty is the founder of the Getty Oil Company, and he was declared the richest man in America in 1957. Getty was married five times, and in 1958, his son Timmy died from a brain tumor at age 12. His third son, John Paul Getty Jr, married Talitha Getty, who allegedly died of a heroin overdose in 1971. Getty Jr.’s son, John Paul Getty III, was kidnapped in 1973, and after his grandfather refused to pay the ransom, his ear was cut off and delivered to a newspaper. He later suffered from alcoholism and drug addictions, and suffered a debilitating overdose in 1981, before dying in 2011.

#2: The Lee Family

The Lee family curse has numerous beginnings, but the popular story is that Bruce Lee’s father was cursed by a group of merchants who told him that all his sons would die young. That wasn’t exactly true, as Bruce's brother Robert is still kickin’, and his fencing champion brother Peter lived a long life, but it was certainly true for Bruce. Bruce Lee died at 32 when he suffered an allergic reaction from a painkiller. Meanwhile, his son Brandon Lee was accidentally shot while filming a scene for “The Crow,” and despite attempts to save his life, he died in the hospital. He was only 28.

#1: The Kennedys

JFK and Robert may have been the most famous victims of the Kennedy curse, but there was plenty of misfortune to go around. Joseph Kennedy Jr. was killed in WWII. In 1948, Kathleen died in a plane crash. Rosemary Kennedy was left permanently disabled after a lobotomy. In 1955 and ’56, Jacqueline Kennedy suffered a miscarriage and stillborn, respectively. In 1963, the same year JFK was assassinated, his son Patrick died just 39 hours after birth, while David, Michael, John Jr., and Mary have all prematurely died from various circumstances since 1984. Even the family of Jackie's second husband, Aristotle Onassis was pulled into the fray.

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