Monthly Archives: October 2015

31 Oct 1967 – Valentino’s Cursed Ring

What would Halloween be without a story such as the one that you are going to be reading in a moment. First off, the Internet has all sorts of stories about Valentino’s Cursed Ring posted on Facebook groups, websites and blogs. So I found an old book that had something about Valentino’s Cursed Ring which I thought you the reader might enjoy.

In the vault of a Los Angeles bank lies a silver ring set with a semi-precious stone. It is not a particularly pretty ring or even a very valuable one (depends on story version). But the chances are that no one will ever dare to wear it again. For it bears one of the most malicious curses in the history of the occult. Successive owners have suffered injury, misfortune, even death. After all these years, people still believe that it was this ring that send Rudolph Valentino to a premature grave. Certainly, the violent incidents that have surrounded it over the past 60 years or more can hardly be shrugged off as mere coincidence. It was in 1920, that Valentino, at the peak of his success, saw the ring in a San Francisco Jewelry Store. The proprietor warned him that the ring had a record of ill-luck, but Valentino still bought it. He wore the ring in his next picture, “The Young Rajah” which is now a lost film. This film was the biggest flop of his career to date and he was cut-off from the screen for the next two years. He did not wear the ring again until he used it as a costume prop in “Son of the Sheik”. Three weeks after finishing the film, he went on tour to New York. While wearing the ring, he suffered an acute attack of appendicitis. Two weeks later, he was dead. Pola Negri, alleged fiancé’ of the now deceased movie star asked to pick a memento from Valentino’s possessions, chose the ring and almost immediately suffered a long period of ill health that threatened to end her film career. A year later, while convalescing, she met a man who was almost Valentino’s double: Russ Colombo, who was competing as a crooner against Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee. When Pola was introduced to him, she was so struck by his resemblance to Valentino that she gave him Rudolph’s ring, saying “From one Valentino to another”. Within a few days of receiving the gift Russ Colombo was killed in a shooting accident. His cousin passed the ring on to Russ’s best friend, Joe Casino. Also, at the height of his popularity as an entertainer, Casino took no chances with the ring. Instead of wearing it, he kept it in a glass case in memory of his dead friend. When he was asked to donate the ring to a museum of Valentino relics, he refused, saying he treasured it for sentimental reasons. As time passed, Joe Casino forgot the ring’s evil reputation and put it on. A week later, still wearing the ring he was knocked down by a truck and killed. By now, the curse was front-page news. When asked what he proposed to do with to do with the ring, Joe’s brother Del explained that he could not allow himself to be intimidated by a curse or a ghost or whatever it was. He didn’t believe in things like that. Del Casino wore the ring for some time and indeed nothing untoward happened. Then he lent it to a collector of Valentino relics who suffered no-ill effects either. This caused several newspapers to speculate that at last the evil influence of the ring had come to an end. And that, it seemed was enough to trigger off a new wave of violence. One night soon afterwards, the home of Del Casino was burgled. The burglar, a man named James Willis, was seen by the police running form the scene. A policeman fired a warning shot but the bullet went low, and killed Willis. Among the loot found in his possession was the Valentino Cursed Ring. It was that time that Hollywood producer Edward Small decided to make a film based on Valentino’s career. Only 21 years old, Dunn died 10 days later from a rare blood disease. A year after Jack Dunn’s death, a daring raid was carried out in broad daylight on a Los Angeles Bank in which the thieves got away with a haul of over $200,000. In a subsequent police ambush, two of the gang members were caught and three passersby were injured. The bank robber’s leader Alfred Hahn, was ultimately jailed for life. At his trial, Hahn remarked “If I’d have known what was in that vault apart from money, I’d have picked myself another bank”. For in the bank’s safe deposit was Valentino’s Cursed Ring. The executers of Del Casino, who have owned the ring for the past ten years, have left it in the bank vault under lock and key. It has not seen the light of day for years. But the bank is now allowed to forget its existence. Since 1960, there has been a $50,000 robbery, a fire, and a 3 week strike of cashiers. Can an inanimate object exert a malign influence on those who come in contact with it? All those over the years, suffered the curse of Valentino’s ring have little doubt it can. It you doubt this then I guess it makes a great Halloween story.


The Strange and Uncanny (1967).

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3 May 1938 – Rudolph Valentino By His Wife Natacha Rambova

The morning of Monday, Aug. 16, 1926, while at my father’s chateau in Juan les Pins on the Riviera, I received a cable from George Ullman, sent at Rudy’s request, telling me of his sudden illness and operation. This came as a great shock to all of us for we thought him in the best of health. Although the message hinted that the illness was grave, we had no idea how grave it was. Aware, as we were, of Rudy’s splendid strength and unusual physical resistance, it did not occur to us for a moment that he might not recover. Nevertheless, the news worried me and, in the unexpected anxiety it aroused, all the petty resentment of our misunderstandings faded from my mind. Once again, he was the same old Rudy, in trouble, and he needed me. I cabled immediately that I would come to New York by the first sailing if he wanted me. “I never received an answer to that cable.” If Rudy received it at all it was while he was in a state of unconsciousness. Death came with unexpected swiftness. Even as the next two days passed we did not realize the danger. Mr. Ullman continued to notify us almost hourly of each slight change in Rudy’s condition and the news in his cables, as .they came, seemed favorable rather than discouraging. The actual presage of his death came through psychic communications. It happened that as guest at the chateau at that particular time was George Wehner, the distinguished American psychic, who had led us far along the ways of understanding of the spirit world. It had become our custom to have family sittings from time to time, with Mr. Wehner acting as medium. Wednesday evening during one of these sittings, while Mr. Wehner was in a state of deep trance, Rudy “came through.” We were first aware of his presence by mutterings of a few almost incoherent words and the repeated calling of auntie’s name and mine. This did not surprise or terrify us. Those who have investigated psychic phenomena know that it is not at all unusual for the consciousness of a person still living in the earth world to manifest itself or communicate at a distance while the body is sleeping or unconscious. On waking the person may remember these experiences in the form of a dream. Friday morning my cable from Mr. Ullman brought us news that Rudy was better—greatly improved and on the road to recovery. We were enormously cheered. That evening we were impressed to have another sitting. Almost immediately after Mr. Wehner was in trance, Black Feather, Rudy’s Indian friend who once had saved his life, “came through” to tell us that he was the chief and would not leave him. Then Jenny spoke, saying she had been constantly with Rudy since the beginning of his illness. He himself had seen her and called her name as he was taken to the ambulance. In confirmation of this X received a letter from my sister in New York the very week of Rudy’s passing, giving me details of his illness; explaining among other things, that Mr. and Mrs. Ullman had told her that Rudy kept calling the name of “Jenny” as he was being taken in the ambulance from his hotel. These communications from Jenny and Black Feather worried me. I could not reconcile them to the cheerful news of the morning’s cable for they seemed neither happy nor hopeful. And now, to cause me ever greater concern, a teacher from whom Rudy and I had received many lessons in the past, took control and talked to me gently, kindlv of personal things between Rudy and myself, and with such compassion as I had never heard him use. He spoke of Rudy’s great love for me, his life, his character and career, and explained that his term on this earth schoolroom was completed. Within the next few days he would pass to another plane of consciousness in this ever-continuing life. Early next morning I cabled Mr. Ullman for news of Rudy’s condition. The cable was not answered. What was there to say? We had been given the answer the night before, but had refused to accept it as truth, for what we do not wish to realize we try to stifle in our hearts. Monday morning I awoke to find the atmosphere of my room heavy with the perfume of tuberoses—and then I knew Rudy had passed on. When on Tuesday the delayed cables arrived announcing his death, I was grateful to the prophecy from the other world whose kindness and understanding had softened the cruelty of this news. The third day after his passing Rudy came to us for the first time, led by his mother, Gabriella. His attitude of mind, resentment at having been taken at the height of his career while his work he felt was not yet completed, made this first contact an unhappy one. He spoke not clearly but incoherently, remained with us only a moment, called auntie’s name and left suddenly. Then his mother spoke with us. She was almost distracted by his state of mind and regretted the day she had ever allowed him to leave Italy. What was the benefit of a success that had brought him to such bitterness aad anguish? Then others came to comfort us. They explained in a beautiful way that Rudy’s attitude was only natural. With all the force of world thought and grief directed upon him, nothing else was possible. We must have patience and each of us try to help him in our several ways. They, too, would help him, and this first darkness and despair would soon pass. It has, for I have communicated with Rudy very often since then and I know he is happy, still continuing on another plane the work he only began on this earth. Many will smile at what I am writing now, give it no credence, I discard it as the phantasms of my I brain. But a few years ago those same people would have smiled with I equal skepticism at the messages I the radio brings us to-day. How, I they would ask, can voices picked | out of the air be transmitted by an; unseen force over miles of empty | space? To-day no one doubts the validity of radio transmission. It is I just another scientific phenomenon to which yesterday we were blind. Each new development of science, from the steam car to the aero-plant, from the lightning rod to the telephone was at first hailed as a fraud by those who had not yet tested it. In the astounding revelations of the last quarter century, we are only beginning to comprehend the unseen forces of the universe which man has not yet utilized. Those who have not yet received test messages from the other world find it difficult to believe in communication after death. The man who has never heard a radio would be loud to declare that there is no such thing as music In the air about us. But we who have listened to it pay no attention to his beratings. We know he has never investigated it. For this reason, I am untouched by the stupid criticism of those who insist it is impossible for me to talk with Rudy, who has passed on to another plane apart from and above my own. How do I know these messages are not frauds? Can I see Rudy or touch him? But when my mother calls me by long distance phone from Chicago or from Paris, I cannot see her, but I hear her voice and I know it is she by the idiosyncrasies of her speech, by what she says and the way she says it. Fraud or impersonation would be impossible. The same is true of my messages from Rudy. If during the period I knew and lived with Rudolph Valentino I did not learn to know him better than to be duped by fraudulent messages, then I am a gullible fool! Fraud is for those who are willing to accept it. Truth is for those who seek it. Thus, I dismiss the subject for my belief is secure. Rudy was dead—yet he still lives, for life is ever-continuing. In all contemporary history there is only one young man who in his 20s was strong enough to withstand the great deluge of fame, adulation and flattery that was heaped on Rudolph Valentino.

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28 Nov 1924-A Movie Poet

Rudolph Valentino, the cinema actor, is a poet. He. is publishing a collection of short poems in a volume entitled ‘Day Dreams.’ If Valentino’s verses are as ‘soulful’ as he endeavours to make his acting at times, his feminine admirers will experience further emotional thrills.

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11 Apr 1923 – Valentino Doesn’t Understand Women Tells Small Akron Audience

Mr & Mrs. Valentino appeared at the armory Sunday afternoon and evening with their own band. It was a most disappointing exhibition, and audiences of both performance fell way below expectations. Mr and Mrs. Valentino danced exactly 40 minutes. He then spoke briefly on his picture work. The afternoon audience waited patiently for almost two hours because the train carrying the Valentinos was hours late. “If I ever make another Sheik picture, it will be an honest-to-God last one. “Why, I didn’t even look like a Sheik in the other one. I was a drawing room hero. “Don’t you like flappers?” someone asked. “That’s a subject I never discuss. I am not qualified as a judge of women. Any man who says he understands women is either a fool or a liar”.

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“ I am in the dark, I don’t know what she is going to do. All I can do is await the lady’s pleasure”..Rudolph Valentino on the status of his marriage 9 Nov 1925.

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11 Nov 1924 – Valentino in Spain

Rudolph Valentino returned with wife Natacha Rambova from a trip to Spain. He wore a small goatee beard. Which he said would be needed in he picture he is going to do in California, the scene of which is laid in Spain in the 14th century. The play will centre on the romantic days of the Moors at Granada and their encounters with the Spanish knights who sought to drive them from their stronghold. He said he had visited Seville, Madrid, Granada, and Cordova and found them very interesting. Nita Naldi who accompanied the couple on the trip will play opposite Valentino in the new film and is to be produced by the Ritz-Carlton Film Company

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These boys in Valentino pants. Don’t give poor Rudolph half a chance. Marion High School, Marion, IN, 1923

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24 Mar 1928 – Male Movie Stars more fussy about hair

A woman is fundamentally the same, whether she is a movie star or a Park Ave society bud the happiest moment in her life is when her hair turns out just right. But that does not mean that women have a corner in the personal vanity market. NO woman in the world could be more fussy about their hair than a male movie star. These are the deductions of an expert, Ferdinand Joseph Graf, for three years, the official hairdresser to moviedom who is now at Arnold Constables. Mr. Grafs first job with Famous Players was to prepare the wigs for Valentino in “Monsieur Beaucaire”. Natacha Rambova the stars wife, brought him out to the studio from the 5th Ave beauty parlor she patronized for that purpose. He liked the work so well and the stars apparently liked him so he well became the official hairdresser at the studio for three years.

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Screen success is due not only to mental and histrionic qualities, but to physical culture and development. Rudolph Valentino, 1923

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1997 – Crown Point, IN

Crown Point became the marriage mill of the Midwest because couples could obtain a license and be married immediately by justices of the peace with offices nearby, by the city’s mayor, clerk-treasurer or local judges. For example, on March 14, 1923, Rodolfo Guglielmi (AKA Rudolph Valentino) and art director Winifred de Wolfe (AKA Natacha Rambova) applied for a marriage license. They had traveled to Chicago to be married when his divorce from his first wife became final, then learned that Illinois law required a year’s wait for a remarriage. They traveled to Crown Point, where he took out a marriage license listing his birth name as Rodolfo Alfonzo Rafaelo Pierre Filbert Guglielmi de Valentine D’Antonguola, and his occupation as motion picture player. “As he left the (license) office, Valentino (and his bride) crossed the street and went to the second story of the building where Howard Kemp, the justice of the peace, performed the ceremony,” recalled Wilbur Heidbreder, now 92, who worked for the Lake County Title Co. and was at the Old Courthouse at the time of Valentino’s wedding. After the ceremony, the couple strolled by a few stores and stopped in a bakery, where the heartthrob bought a doughnut for his new bride, Heidbreder recalled.

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27 Dec 1921 – Matinee Girls at the Movies


Four beautiful matinee girls enthralled by “The Sheik.” Deep down in her heart each Matinee Girl is thinking: “Oh, how lovely it would be if a big handsome sheik would only steal me away!” “The matinee girl on the extreme left has about made up her mind to look into it. “Dear Answer Man,” she’ll write to her favorite movie magazine, “is Rudolph Valentino married?” She will sign it “Sultana.”

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