Basano Vase: The Sinister Origin Of The Death-Bringing Vase

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By: Alex Postrado

The Cursed Relic That Even Museums Refused

Hauntings are generally attributed to ghosts more than any other supernatural beings.

Typically, it is poltergeists that bear the brunt of the blame, but a portion of the reported paranormal cases still point to objects that are deemed to be cursed.

Take, for example, the Basano vase.

There isn’t a certain spirit said to be linked to it.

But that did not stop the vase from spurring a string of sinister stories following its discovery.

Shrouded by tales of death, the Basano vase is now considered as one of the most terrifying and mysterious “haunted objects” to ever exist — despite it, being incredibly elusive and having hazy origins.

Just an interesting item of the past or a genuinely cursed ornament? Let’s try to find out!

What is the Basano Vase?

Most objects alleged to be cursed are believed to be so for a reason.

In the case of the Basano vase, though, the odds of finding one appear to be more or less strained.

Cast from silver and weighing just about 4 pounds, this pretty, yet somewhat plain ornament was said to be crafted in a town somewhere in Napoli, Italy around the 15th century.

Perhaps, as a wedding present to an unnamed bride — the lore and origin of the Basano vase remained shrouded in mystery until today.

Yet, what we are sure of is that every person who once possessed it died under seemingly inexplicable circumstances not long after receiving the now-dreaded gift.

Curious Origins

The thing about the Basano vase that continues to perplex people even today is its lost origins.

Yes, according to the lore, it was initially given as a gift to a young Italian bride on the night before her wedding.

However, shortly after, she was found dying in a room with her hands wrapped tightly around the vase.

In her last breath, it was said that she vowed vengeance. Upon whom exactly — no one knows.

But, somewhere along the way, it simply became widely accepted that the Basano vase was indeed cursed.

Although the question of whether or not it was actually the dying bride who put the curse on the silver jar still remains.

If that’s the case, what could be her reason?

Well, being killed right before what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life seems like a fair enough motive to me.

However, it was unclear if the bride was — in fact — murdered or if the arrival of the Basano vase — unbeknownst to everyone — opened the door for her eventual death.

Mind you that the lore never explicitly mentioned where or who the bride got the Basano vase from.

Unfortunately for us, that missing piece of the puzzle could provide the answers to a lot of things — extending from the roots of the curse and up to the fateful events that soon followed.

Is the Basano Vase Cursed?

It is believed that after the bride’s death, the Basano vase was passed among family members.

However, all of those who claimed it also mysteriously perished soon after.

Because of this, it was not long before the family decided that they must get rid of the haunted vase.

This is where the story gets even vaguer.

No one can tell for sure where the Basano vase was hidden.

Speculations include being locked up in a secret location, being buried in consecrated ground, and being stored away by a certain priest.

But a thing that matches all accounts regarding the vase is how it took a deep slumber for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered in the year 1988.

Unearthed Once More

When the Basano vase resurfaced in the late 80s, it was claimed that a piece of paper was found hidden inside it.

It reads: “Beware… This vase brings death.”

Ironically enough, instead of scaring people off, the peculiarity of the Basano vase made it popular among auctions — even selling for roughly 4 million Italian lira at one point!

Eventually, it reached its first buyer — a pharmacist, who owned the odd find for three short months before his sudden death.

The next owner was a surgeon, who also strangely passed just a mere couple of months following the pharmacist’s demise.

And close behind came the third — and believed to be the final buyer — an archaeologist, who thought of the silver ornament as “a beautiful example of High Renaissance work“.

Sad to say, he, too, kicked the bucket after another three months.

At that point, the Basano vase already had an infamous reputation. And so, even when the family of the last buyer tried their best to resell the feared vase, no one took interest.

In hopes of ridding themselves of the curse tied to the Basano vase, a family member tossed it out of a window — only to hit the head of a police officer passing by.

Good thing, it did not turn out to be fatal.

The family right away agreed to pay for the violation ticket issued to them, but fiercely refused to take back the vase no matter what.

A reported picture of the Basano Vase.
A reported picture of the Basano Vase.

Where is the Vase Now?

According to popular belief, the local police tried to surrender the Basano vase multiple times to different museums.

But it was said that the notoriety of the vase and its curse put institutions off.

That was the last time people have heard of the haunted vase’s ultimate fate.

Till now, no one can accurately tell where the Basano vase is.

Some people like to think that it is once again buried, so it can no longer harm anyone — assuming the oddity was and still is real.

Is it, though?

If we would analyze the lore of the Basano vase from a neutral point of view, we would end up concluding that its story is actually sort of sketchy.

The specifics are sometimes way off of what is expected — like, the design of the vase, not fitting the time period and the place from where it was purportedly created.

Based on its only existing photograph — a factor that’s already weird on its own — some experts agree that the vase likely belongs to the Qing Dynasty’s pomegranate vases — not Italian.

Other skeptics also point out the lore’s lack of verifiable details.

We basically don’t know any of the names of the people involved in the story — the bride, the buyers, the police officer, the family members, and even the person who reputedly rediscovered the Basano vase in the late 80s.

Neither do we know the exact dates nor times in which pivotal events were said to take place.

Museums, declining allegedly haunted relics also don’t seem to exist in real life. If they did, then “cursed” Egyptian artifacts probably would not be on display across the world.

Finally, the thing about silver.

The Basano vase was said to be made out of silver. And to think about it, it is quite paradoxical to choose this particular material to craft a cursed object.

In folklore, silver often wards off evil. Werewolves, vampires — you name it!

So, if the same logic applies, the curse of the Basano vase must be exceptionally strong for it to stay with the item for years on end.

Nevertheless, whether or not you believe in the bizarre story, there’s still no way to prove — or disprove — the existence of the cursed Basano vase.

Remember: no one knows where it is.

And with the deaths and tragedies linked to it — real or not, don’t you think it’s best if we’d never get to find out for ourselves?

References:

The Basano Vase - Scary Matter
The Basano Vase - Puzzle Box Horror
The Curious And Deadly Tale Of The Basano Vase
The Bizarre Story Of The Curse Of Basano Vase - Anomalien
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