Cursed Money


Special Branch
Sep 4, 2004
Curse? Gardener didn't live to enjoy cash he found

The death of a McHenry County man, just days before he was to collect some of the $150,000 he found in his garden, is causing some to wonder if his elderly neighbor was right all along.

She said the money was cursed.

Wayne Sabaj, 51, was an unemployed carpenter when he reported finding the bags of cash while picking broccoli in August 2011. He was due to enter into a settlement in court on July 11 that would have split the windfall between him and the neighbor, said his lawyer, Robert Burke.

The neighbor, Delores Johnson, whose daughter had also made a claim for the money on her behalf, also died before the mystery was settled. Johnson, who had dementia and died in December at 87, told her daughter that "she had gotten rid of the money because it was cursed," said Burke, quoting court records.

"Apparently, she was right. The money is cursed," Burke said.

Sabaj died of complications related to diabetes at his home Monday night, according to the McHenry County coroner. Sabaj's son found him, Burke said.

Sabaj's father, learning of his son's death, suffered cardiac arrest that same night and remained hospitalized Wednesday, Burke said.

Burke declined to provide details on the settlement, which he expects will go forward.

The owner of a Naperville liquor store had also filed a claim on the money, stating that he had been robbed of the same amount of cash in 2010. Burke said Wednesday that he has an oral and written statement from the store owner dropping claims to the money.

The mysterious cash harvest generated all kinds of speculation about its origins.

Full story at Chicago Tribune
I've always had this odd nervousness about found money. I'm convinced I was told by my grandad when I was very small that it was bad luck, and grew up thinking it was a regular superstition - until I got older and found out that no-one else seemed to have heard of it.

Oddly, although I'm generally not a superstitious person at all, I still am in this scenario - although I've found out it sometimes reaps benefits in the long run: every time I find a screwed up note on the floor of a boozer it goes straight in the tip jar, an act of charity which when applied regularly tends to be reciprocated with free pints.

Has enyone else ever heard of such a superstition, or was my grandad trying to scare me out of my pocket money? (Hmm, thinking about it now, my dad's dad was a bit of a rogue - I can't imagine he'd have had troubles with his conscience spending someone else's money.)
Interesting. Finding a penny was always good luck in our family, altho I'm sure my mum would have put any larger sums into the nearest charity pot.

I have said on FTMB's before about being totally broke and then finding money, which I saw as good luck, so ummm, I don't know.

This story just sounds like it was older people, maybe in ill health already, getting worried & stressed over some money - they then die and everyone thinks its the money what done it! :?
Spookdaddy said:
Has enyone else ever heard of such a superstition, or was my grandad trying to scare me out of my pocket money?

There was a line in a children's book ("Enchanted Glass" by Diana Wynne Jones) which went something like "money from nowhere is always trouble". I'd never heard that before, but it immediately struck me that it might be an old saying - the author was known for using her grandmother's superstitions and sayings in her books.

Of course, that doesn't mean your grandad also wasn't trying to scare you out of your pocket money. :twisted:
I stumbled across some money on the floor at work last week (£2), and nobody claimed it. Yesterday I picked up a 5p piece.

I hope this is lucky money, and not cursed. :)
I often find pound coins on the floor, and I tend to buy a lottery ticket with it - if I'm lucky enough to find a pound maybe my luck will carry on & I'll get the jackpot. As yet this hasn't been the case :cry:
I never find money, but then I do tend to look at the sky a lot! I've never heard of found money being unlucky.
Find a penny pick it up, all that day you’ll have good luck,
Give that penny to a friend and your luck will never end.
I think I might be affected by cursed money,

Whenever I find a lost sum of money (£5+) and keep it for myself something bad always happens shortly afterwards. Once for instance I found a £10 and kept it rather than hand it in, and afterwards had an accident that nearly broke my finger. I was in agony.

I think what really convinced me was going into Tesco with a friend to buy some milk. We went to the self service checkout and I found a £10 someone had left behind. He urged me to keep it and I declined, saying that when I do something bad happens afterwards. He laughed, said it was nonsense and that I should just take it, so I did.

No sooner had I stepped away from the checkout then the bottom of my carrier bag ripped open and the milk bottle hit the floor and split open, causing 4 pints of milk to erupt over the entire floor! And since that was the last semi-skimmed in the store I had to patiently wait for 10 minutes next to a giant milk lagoon whilst they went into the storeroom for a replacement.

Needless to say my friend was gobsmacked and now believes me. Nowadays if I find lost £10 notes I put them straight in a charity box :lol: