The Seven Must Die Myth On The Curse Of Oak Island Explained

The Seven Must Die Myth On The Curse Of Oak Island Explained

The title of “The Curse of Oak Island” might make new viewers skeptical about the legitimacy of the treasure-hunting series — and for good reason. The show follows a group of would-be treasure hunters led by Rick and Marty Lagina, who have spent most of their lives obsessed with discovering the mysterious treasure said to reside on Oak Island. The mythical status of this alleged treasure is where the series starts to dip more into fantasy than reality. The team has entertained theories regarding a number of legendary artifacts said to rest on the island, including the lost manuscripts of Shakespeare, the missing jewels of Marie Antoinette, and even the hidden plunder of the Knights Templar.

While the team has actually dug up several historical artifacts over the years, these far-fetched theories can make the entire show seem less like a reality series and more like a fantastical quest you might find in an “Indiana Jones” movie. Reinforcing the fantastical nature of the series is the alleged “curse” upon the island, which prophesied that seven people must die for the treasure to be discovered (via Deadline). History has been referencing this so-called “seven must die” myth ever since the series began — but where does it actually come from?

The curse is of dubious origin

As it happens, nobody is actually sure where the myth comes from or what it actually entails. The series would have us believe that it is a local legend, but there appears to be no documented report of that legend online or any indication of where it might have begun. Fans on Reddit have tried desperately to find where this curse may have originated and have come up with a few interesting possibilities. “It’s a legend that has been mentioned in various books on the matter,” says u/EggdropBotnet. “Believe it or not, the producers did not make that one up.”

“I have a book from the 80’s [sic] that has it in it,” echoed u/Warm_beer_Cold_women, in response to another user’s claim that the entire thing was made up by the show’s producers. Most users seem to agree that this legendary curse has been referenced frequently since the ’80s but did not exist prior to that. Redditor u/TIL02Infinity explained their belief that the legend was fabricated in the years following the tragic deaths of the Restall family and was able to provide a potential source for the curse from a 1979 episode of the show “In Search Of…,” hosted by Leonard Nimoy. “In the beginning of this episode [Nimoy] says: ‘A local legend says the mysterious treasure of Oak Island will be found only when seven lives have been lost,’” explained the user.

The origin of this supposed curse still remains a mystery, but it appears that (contrary to popular belief) the producers of Oak Island did not simply invent the curse to boost ratings.

Who has died so far?

The series constantly reminds the viewer that there have already been six people who have died while excavating on the island and that the seventh (and supposedly, final) death may be a necessary step to uncovering the treasure. Those six are Carl Graeser, Cyril Hitz, Robert Restall Sr., Robert Restall Jr., Maynard Kaiser, and an unknown treasure hunter said to have died in the 1860s. Kaiser died after falling into an excavation pit, and the unknown worker died after a mechanical pump exploded.

Graeser, Hitz, and the Restalls all perished on the same fateful day in August 1965. The story goes that Robert Restall Sr. entered a mining shaft without knowing they had dug into a pocket of poisonous natural gas. Restall Sr. lost consciousness, and his son went down to save him but also fell unconscious. Hitz, Graeser, and another worker named Andy DeMont all went down into the shaft to save the Restalls, but only DeMont made it back out of the shaft alive. Considering the fact that we have a documented case of the curse appearing in “In Search Of…,” it’s fair to assume that the “seven must die” myth was first created sometime between 1965 and 1979. As of right now, it’s still up for debate where the curse originated, and while it’s clearly not something that the creators of “The Curse of Oak Island” came up with on their own, they’ve certainly capitalized on it throughout their nine seasons on the air.

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