Nugget of Knowledge: The Curse of Pele

Park rangers may have started the curse to scare souvenir hunters

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Beware Pele’s curse.

Many people will warn you that if you visit the Big Island of Hawaii and hike up to the Kilauea volcano, take nothing back with you — no dirt, no lava rocks.

You will upset the Pele, the goddess who lives there, who will curse you with rotten luck.

Visitors have returned their lava rocks over the years, hiking back to the volcano and placing them as close as possible to where they found them.

Packages of rocks have come back from Germany, Japan, Australia, from all over the world. The National Park Service used to maintain an exhibit on the curse, but now the rangers place the rocks in a pile in a part of the park that’s off limits.

Some have even returned coral to the ocean and sand to the beach.

Steve Pariseau of California grabbed a shimmering black lava rock while on vacation. When he returned home, his son began having behavioral problems, his marriage quickly fell apart and then his mother died.

Then, he heard about the curse.

Steve personally returned the lava rock and asked Pele’s forgiveness.

Then Steve fell in love, got married again. His ex-wife was re-united with her high school sweetheart. His son recovered from his problems, and his family is thriving.

Presumably, his mother is still dead. Pele’s magic goes only so far.