The Evil Eye: A Closer Look

The evil eye is a human look that can cause harm. The harm may come in the form of a minor misfortune or a more serious disease. Folklorist Alan Dundes notes in his edited volume "The Evil Eye: A Casebook" that the victim's good fortune, good health, or good looks invite or provoke an attack by someone. The evil eye can cause a number of symptoms, including loss of appetite, excessive yawning, and vomiting. If the object is a cow, its milk may dry up, and if a plant or fruit tree, it may suddenly die.
The evil eye is said to cause insomnia, fatigue, depression, and other diseases. In many places, disease is considered a magical and medical issue, and the reason a person succumbs to a disease may be attributed to a curse. The evil eye cast upon a vehicle may break down irreparably, while a house so cursed may soon develop a leaking roof. The power of the evil eye can be blamed on anything that goes wrong.
The history of the evil eye.

The front of fishing boats have Maltese boat eyes fixed to protect them from evil eyes.

Throughout history, the evil eye is well known. In ancient Greek and Roman texts, as well as in many famous literary works, it is mentioned. Belief in the evil eye is widespread, but not universal. According to Anthony H Galt in his paper "The Evil Eye as Synthetic and its Meanings on the Island of Pantelleria, Italy", 36 percent of cultures believed in the evil eye.
The evil eye is a type of curse that has roots in magic and superstition. A person may experience bad luck, ill health, accident, or an infectious disease. Before science could explain weather patterns and germ theory, bad events could be blamed on a curse. The age-old question of why bad things happen to good people is answered by curses.

There are some good videos for you.

The gateway to a person's soul is said to be their eyes. A steady gaze and shifting eyes are said to betray liars. It is possible to create an intensely personal connection between lovers and superiors. Power and authority can be conveyed by gazing or intense staring. Actors use their eyes to convey a wide range of emotions, including love, hate, disgust, boredom, disgust, surprise and envy. The evil eye's cultural association with magic is due to jealousy.
Belief in the power of the eyes is so powerful that it can lead to bad luck. People who are cross-eyed, have uncontrollable eye twitches, or who have a prominent squint have been stigmatized as provoking bad luck, especially among those who work in dangerous occupations such as fishing and mining. The "Oxford Handbook of Disability History" quotes an ancient Greek text that says the blind are unjust and the squint eyed is arrogant.
Praise of a child publicly is sometimes considered taboo in many countries, for the compliment will draw the attention of the evil eye, and babies and children are especially susceptible to harm from the evil eye. In order to ward off the evil eye, parents of a thoughtlessly praised child may ask the person who gave the compliment to spit in the child's face.
The harm done by the evil eye is unnecessary because the young person has been brought down a peg. Babies and children are protected with abitini pinned inside their clothing, which on Pantelleria consists of small bags of red cloth that look like pincushions and a small card.
Who has the bad eye? Maybe you do. Some people can cast an evil eye without even knowing it, and many believe that bad intention is not necessary. If one person in the family is believed to have the evil eye, other members of the family are often treated with suspicion, and children are also thought to have the curse as well.
There are evil eye protections.

The Blue Homeland, Turkey's largest naval drill, featured an evil eye amulet hanging inside a ship.

The best way to deal with the evil eye is to avoid it in the first place. The method can be used by culture, geographic region, and personal preference. Belief in the evil eye is widespread in rural areas of Latin America. According to, newborns in Cuba are given a good luck charm called an azabache to protect them from the evil eye.

Amulets can be used to deter the evil eye by using the color blue and an eye symbol. According to Town and Country Magazine, the bride-to-be can often be seen wearing one. According to Robert A Georges in his paper "Matiasma: Living Folk Belief", garlic can be used to deter the evil eye, and some believe that just saying the word "garlic" offers protection.
Those who believe they have been harmed by the evil eye will often seek out shamans, witch doctors, psychics or other spiritual healers to remove the curse. One traditional method from Mexico involves the use of a raw egg. The cross is said to absorb evil energy when it passes over the forehead and prone body of the victim, as a universal symbol of purity and birth. The forms of the broken egg are examined for any unusual shapes. The evil eye's power is said to have been removed from the victim if an eye shape is seen in the yolk or whites.
It's tempting to view the evil eye as a discredited belief that doesn't matter in the 21st century. Folklorist Dundes says that the evil eye is not a superstition only for antiquarians. The evil eye is a powerful factor affecting the behavior of millions of people.
Belief in the evil eye can be a harmless superstition, but it can also be dangerous. There is the potential for deadly retribution when one person believes another has harmed them. Over the centuries, many people have been killed for casting an evil eye.
There are additional resources.

The New York Times looked at the origins of the symbol and its connection to the curse. If you want to protect yourself from curses and history of the symbol, Evil - Eye store has a range of amulets which can be purchased.
There is a bibliography.

Folklorist Alan Dundes wrote "The Evil Eye: A Casebook".
"Bodies under Siege" was written by Armando R Favazza.
A Dictionary of Albanian Culture was written by Robert Elsie.
Anthony H Galt wrote "The Evil Eye as Synthetic and its Meanings on the Island of Pantelleria, Italy" in 1982.
"The Strange power of the Evil Eye" was aired on the 19th of February.
"Oxford Handbook of Disability History" is a book.
Despina Karpathiou wrote "Ftou Ftou: Why Do Greeks Associate Spitting With Good Luck"?
"The History of the Evil Eye, an Ancient Symbol of Protection" was written by Stellene Volandes.
"Matiasma: Living Folk Belief" was written by Robert A Georges.
"Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas: Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico" was published in 2001.