A Blighty Tale: “The blazing curse of the crying boy.”

Never, thought I would write about curses. I feel they do not exist somehow. Your life is what you make of it. However – this is not an ordinary tale. This is a tale about a painting of a “crying boy”.


The things you find on the Internet are astonishing. So, let me fill you in on this profound story about a painting by Giovanni Bragolin, also known as Bruno Amadio, and, Seville on the Internet.

During 1950 – 65, Amadio created these paintings of crying children from poor backgrounds. He found out about their stories and painted them.

Apparently, Bruno painted a picture of the crying boy, who’s parents died in a fire. The boy’s name was Don Bonilio – he was supposidly adopted by Amadio.
At this point I am extremely fascinated.

There is a twist to this curse. The priest, who lived near Amadio was convinced the local fires had been committed due to the boy – so Don Bonilio was named the devil child.

Bizarre Blighty twist, as 65 homes and businesses had copies of these ‘crying boys paintings’ by Amadio. Then some fires happened in Blighty.

It was recorded by a Fire man at the scene of the fire – he noticed the fire was created by an unattended frying pan, which caught flame and set fire to the whole house. Apparently, the building was burnt down to the ground. Amongst the Ashes on the floor was a frame which was burnt and the painting of the ‘crying boy’ was just slightly scorched.

Plot thickening, as more homes burnt and only these paintings remained and the fire fighters recorded the ‘crying boys’ paintings being in tact. On the floor face down.

How Weird and Wonderful is that?

Oh I am not superstitious but I feel there is more to this than meets the eye. Apparently, a supermarket decided it would be an amazing idea to mass produce the print of these ‘crying boys’ paintings: 50,000 copies were made in 1985. So, you can imagine people wanted to keep up with on going trends and wanted the painting in Blighty



It was recorded by the Sun newspaper, several readers tried to burn their paintings and the prints were still unscathed, intact and unpenetrable.


So, do we believe this curse?

I don’t know – I just feel the world is warped. How on earth can we make a logical explication for mass phenomenon?

Well this is it! Blighty is known for having mass panic, or hysterical behaviour, or patterns that are associated with mass collective behaviour as the  ‘Theory of Collective Behavior’, Smelser:

we define collective behavior as mobilization on the basis of a belief which redefines social action” ([1962] 1963, p. 8).

Defines the behaviour of following the crowd as mass phenomenon. In Blighty people quickly follow the Sun News paper in regards to ‘blazing curse of the crying boy’. Trying to burn the paintings because they believed their house was going to be burnt down.


What is the belief system?

I feel it can only be theory based at this present time. A curse was hearsay to begin with. It was the priest who basically said the boy was the devil. He made it possible, being in a position of power to make others believe that the boy had been involved in the fires in the village.

So a Belief System is based on either religion, philosophy, or ideology. These attitudes are stored in the memory to influence others.

So does this mean there is no such thing as a curse?

To be honest with you, I don’t go around thinking people are bad. I don’t go around thinking people are destined or predestined to behave in a certain manner. However, you can be trained to think like that.  I do believe when I am watching horror films – the belief system is applied.

The religious superstition: Take the omen for instance – the storyline of the omen was based on ‘Revelations’ in the bible. Damien having ‘666’ branded on his scalp, was a dead give away in The Omen II, without giving too much away.

Why do you watch so many horror films?

Maybe I am not convinced of the phenomenon. Maybe I just think it isn’t possible. I watched ‘The Woman in Black: Angel of Death’, I can honestly tell you it is like the same situation. People believe so strongly this woman in black exists and her spirit exists – things begin to happen. I feel this can be the same as ‘The blazing curse of the crying boy’, he was suffering the loss of his parents but the priest had influenced people to dislike him; thus bad things occured.  The powerful person being the priest thought negatively, therefore, he had created the negativity and influenced people to believe in these negative thoughts.

What would you tell people who think they are cursed?

Life gives you lemons at times. Bite the bullet and come away from the situation.

What happened to ‘the crying boy’?

In 1976, Don Bonilio was 19 years old when he died in a car crash.  According to sources – the car exploded into flames and the boy’s body was never identified.

What happened to the artist?

Well he died in 1981… I cannot find out what happened to the artist.
I feel as though it is a mystery.

So of course, the story of Amadio continues around the world. The brother of the artist lived in Brazil;  the Brazilians think that Bruno Amadio made a pact with the devil because he painted ‘crying children’, it made him successful.

Believing in something can be quite dangerous. Especially when everyone else believes it also. I think this story proves how fragile people are in certain circumstances like Don Bonilio. He had people go against him – even possibly shun him and bullied him over some superstition. Very sad – indeed.

So should we believe in this curse?

No… it is a bit of hearsay like the priest blaming some poor orphan child for something he did not do.  Everyone has a past. The creepy thing I feel about these paintings is that they are a picture of something negative: children crying!
It is such a sad topic really, to see children crying. I mean right there – a negative notion is created by the mood of the picture.

So what about the paintings?

They still exist because it is in fact an urban legend. The problem is we do not know if this is true or not. There is no proof. It is just a mystery or it could have been something the owners of the pictures wanted to continue to believe.

It is actually up to us whether we believe it or not.

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  1. I have facts and have never told them. i am a 53 yo man and my brother and I both had paintings of the crying boys in our rooms. I was 12 he was 11 he died in a fire and I was with him. My mother and I tried to destroy the picture when I was 19 when i looked into into this curse to no avail. I have so much to tell but know one would believe me. I’m a professional Australian businessman and have nothing to gain from this except embarrassment.

    My Ph number is +61 400316930 or email tsells4558@gmail.com if you would like to know the FACTS.


    My brother Steven Paul Sells passed away on the 21st August 1980 at 9.30 Pm in a fire in front of my eyes.


    • That is creepy how the painting never burned. Sorry about your brother. I hope you do not mind but I cannot call your number. Australia, it’s so far away.

      Wow. Do not be embarrassed, it is not your fault- an object sometimes can help us recover from the loss but if it does not burn then it actually does frustrate people. A sort of a, how can a painting last and not a person? I think it is unfair but no one can explain it.


  2. I have facts and have never told them. I am a 53 yo man and my brother and I both had paintings of the crying boys in our rooms. I was 12 and he was 11. He died in a fire and I was with him. My mother and I tried to destroy the picture when I was 19 when I looked into this curse to no avail. I have so much to tell but know one would believe me. I’m a professional Australian businessman and have nothing to gain from this except embarrassment.My Ph number is +61 400316930 or email tsells4558@gmail.com


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