The Crying Boy is a mass-produced print of a Bruno Amadio painting which proved popular throughout the 1950s and beyond, particularly in the British Isles. However, the painting attracted some media attention in the 1980s when UK tabloid The Sun ran a story saying that a Yorkshire fire-fighter claimed to have been at the scene of several house fires where the painting had been the only household item left unscathed. He also said that no fire-fighter would dare to have the painting in their home for fear of inciting a house fire.
The tabloids went wild with the story, interviewing several family members who had suffered fires and who had owned the painting. Within six months The Sun had started a cursed painting campaign telling its readers to pass the painting to someone else, hang the boy painting next to a girl painting or send the print to the newspaper who would perform a mass bonfire burning—all of which would lift the dreaded curse. After a BBC investigation into the paintings it was revealed that they were covered in a fire repellent varnish. Was this the reason for their unblemished record with fires or were their more sinister forces at work?