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The saga of a cursed coin
Monday, 04 September 2017 15:20
Special to the Daily Planet


My friend, Greg Capps, has a friend who lives near Seattle with whom he has sold and traded coins for years.

It’s always fun to see what you get in the mail and, in this particular package, his friend had sent him a coin he knew nothing about, but that had cool occult-looking markings. He just threw it in the pile for free. 

What’s the first thing you do when you get something you don’t know a thing about? 

You excitedly research it. He did a quick search of a word that was etched into the coin: “Teufeltot.” 

It was the German word for devil. A quick search for tuefel on coins yielded a cache of scary pictures, but none that looked like the coin in the mail.

“From what I remember when I had it in hand, it was a thick brassy planchet that did not match any coin I am familiar with. I always just thought it may have been a blank slug to begin with,” explains Greg. 

Knowing my friend for around 25 years now, I know he’s not one for drama and is a skeptic when it comes to paranormal phenomena, so when he asked me if I wanted to hear a story about his cursed coin, I jumped at it!

For him to make this leap that a coin is cursed based on a string of very bad luck is huge. But so was the bad luck. “I had a bad series of events around 2009-2010,” explains Greg. “The auto market dried up, I ended an eight-year job and my birth-mother died.” 

Still, he carried that coin around in the cup holder of his car for almost a year.

I am well-versed in coinage, as this is the family business and I have spent the past 14 years actively working in it. 

Greg has also spent the better part of his life around coins, too, both as a collector and working in various coin shops. That being said, I often wondered if one day, I would come upon a coin that gave me bad vibes. 

After all, we’ve had other occult items come into the coin shop before and nothing bad happened. I have “gotten things” off of objects I’ve touched before and it’s usually far from pleasant. 

In fact, all of my friends know not to ask me to go antiquing with them for this very reason. Antiques tend to hold a record of the sum of either good or bad events surrounding them.

At best, they give off a certain “heaviness.” There’s even a name for touching an item and getting information or impressions off of it. It’s called psychometry. You can get feelings, words or even pictures. I’ve gotten all three. With the millions of coins that flowed into the coin shop over the years, you would think we’d come across something hinkey. We did have a jewel-encrusted gold box one time that gave us nothing but grief, but that’s another story...

It’s not like this mysterious coin was part of a shipwreck. It wasn’t buried with a ghost guarding it or a curse attached to it the way you see it in the Mummy movies. 

It was a round object that looked for all the world like something a human being had carved. It had weird symbols like a candelabra, a crown with a cross through it, the No. 3, the word “Teufeltot” inscribed around the top edge and some other picture I couldn’t quite make out.

It looked like someone had hand-tooled their own coin to bind something to it in order to get it to do the artist’s bidding. The fact that “teufel” means devil does not lead me to believe someone wanted the edge in playing the ponies or that this had anything to do with money at all.

I asked Greg if he felt any different or acted any differently during the time he owned the coin. 

He reported that he didn’t feel any different, but “I remember feeling relief when I threw it in the river, the Swannanoa river to be Oteen [North Carolina] near Exit 55.” 

He reports that soon after that, the string of bad luck stopped and life got back to normal pretty quickly. 

I asked him if he ever told his friend what happened. “I never told the guy since he threw it in on a trade we did for free. In other words, it was a gift and I didn’t want to seem unappreciative.”

So, next time you come across something old and storied, remember that just because you don’t believe in curses doesn’t mean they don’t believe in you.

Shelley Wright, an Asheville native, is a paranormal investigator. She owns and runs Nevermore Mystical Arts shop and works at Wright’s Coin Shop, both in Asheville. Wright also is a weekly participant in the “Speaking of Strange” radio show from 9 p.m. to midnight on most Saturdays on Asheville’s WWNC-AM (570).



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