Saturday, 1 April 2017

Curses: The Curse of Franz Ferdinad's Car

The first in a chain of events that would lead to the onset of World War One happened in Sarajevo when the Archduke of Austria, heir to the throne of Austro-Hungary, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip.
The Archduke, his wife, and three other dignitaries were driving in the open top limousine, Princip stepped in front of the car and started shooting, killing The Archduke and his wife on June 28th 1914, and so legend has it, that a curse was placed upon the car in which Franz Ferdinand died.

The car fell into the ownership of one the tragedies survivors, General Potiorek. Several weeks into the war between Austria and Serbia, General Potiorek's army suffered terrible losses, he was recalled to Vienna to face Emperor Franz Josef I, who, along with other dignitaries looked down upon the Generals losses and stripped him of his rank. This led the General into a severe bout of depression, which in turn led to an early death.

The next owner of the vehicle was a Captain on General Potioreks staff, he had possession of the car for a brief nine days before he had a terrible accident, hitting two peasants and driving the car into a tree, which broke his neck.

The next person to own the car was the Governor of Yugoslavia, who it is reported suffered four horrendous accidents in a period of four months, which eventually left him an amputee, losing one of his arms in the last accident.
It is said the Governor sold the car to a local doctor, who met his fate when he was driving and flipped the open-topped car, causing him to be crushed underneath.
A diamond dealer named Simon Mantharides was also an owner of the notorious car, he too died after an accident.

The car was then purchased by a Swiss race driver, who was catapulted from the car whilst driving it, causing his death upon impact.

The next to own the car was a Serbian farmer. The car failed to start one day, so the quick-thinking farmer decided to tow it with his horse and cart, he forgets to turn off the ignition key, and eventually, the engine turned over, lunging the car forward into the cart, which overturned and killed the farmer.

The last known victim of the cursed car was one Tibor Hirshfield, a garage owner, who, returning from a wedding, crashed the car and killed himself and all his passengers.

The car was eventually purchased and placed in a museum in Vienna, where it sits to this day, undriven for many years

Researched & Written
Allen Tiller

originally published 17 Dec 2012

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