How To Create Cursed Images

Cursed images are a unique genre of visual content that evokes feelings of discomfort, confusion, and eeriness. These images often circulate on social media, intriguing and unsettling viewers with their bizarre, inexplicable, and often eerie elements. Creating cursed images is an art that involves blending the ordinary with the bizarre, pushing the boundaries of normalcy to evoke a sense of unease. This guide will delve into the essential steps and principles for creating your own cursed images.

how to create cursed images

1. Understanding the Essence of Cursed Images

Before diving into the creation process, it’s important to understand what makes an image “cursed.” Cursed images typically possess the following characteristics:

  • Ambiguity: They often lack context, leaving viewers puzzled.
  • Incongruity: Elements within the image seem out of place or mismatched.
  • Distortion: The subject matter or setting may appear slightly off or unnatural.
  • Unexpectedness: They defy normal expectations, presenting the familiar in a disturbing way.

The goal is to evoke a sense of discomfort and curiosity, making viewers question what they are seeing.

2. Gathering Inspiration and Materials

To create a truly unsettling image, start by gathering inspiration from various sources:

  • Existing Cursed Images: Study popular cursed images to understand what makes them effective. Notice the common themes and elements they share.
  • Everyday Objects and Settings: Look around your environment for mundane objects that can be repurposed or placed in unusual contexts.
  • Surreal Art and Horror Media: Draw inspiration from surrealist art, horror movies, and literature that play with reality and the uncanny.

Collect a variety of images and objects that you can manipulate and combine in unexpected ways.

3. Choosing Your Tools

Creating cursed images can be done using various tools, both digital and analog:

  • Digital Tools: Photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or mobile apps such as PicsArt and Snapseed are excellent for manipulating images.
  • Analog Methods: Physical manipulation, such as cutting, pasting, and photographing, can also yield interesting results. This can be particularly effective for adding a tactile, imperfect quality to the images.

Decide which tools best suit your artistic vision and technical skills.

4. Conceptualizing Your Image

Start with a clear concept or idea. Consider the following approaches:

  • Juxtaposition: Combine elements that don’t typically go together. For example, placing a fish in a bathtub or a doll’s head on a fruit.
  • Distortion: Alter the shape or features of subjects in unsettling ways. Stretch, shrink, or warp parts of an image to create a sense of distortion.
  • Contextual Incongruity: Place subjects in settings where they don’t belong, such as a person wearing a swimsuit in a snowstorm.

Sketch out your ideas if necessary to plan how you will combine different elements.

5. Capturing the Initial Image

If you are starting with photography, consider the following tips:

  • Lighting: Use harsh or unusual lighting to cast strange shadows and create an eerie atmosphere.
  • Angles: Shoot from unconventional angles to distort perspective and make familiar objects appear strange.
  • Settings: Choose locations that are inherently creepy or can be made to look unsettling with the right props and staging.

Take multiple shots to ensure you have a variety of options to work with.

6. Manipulating the Image

Once you have your base image, it’s time to manipulate it. Here are some techniques to enhance the cursed quality:

  • Layering: Combine multiple images or elements into a single composition. Use blending modes and opacity adjustments to make them fit together seamlessly.
  • Color Adjustments: Alter the colors to create an unnatural look. Desaturation, strange color filters, or selective color popping can add to the unsettling effect.
  • Distortion Effects: Use tools to warp, stretch, or skew parts of the image. Liquify tools in photo editing software are particularly useful for this.
  • Adding Noise and Grain: Introduce noise, grain, or glitch effects to give the image a degraded, otherworldly feel.

Experiment with different combinations until you achieve the desired effect.

7. Fine-Tuning for Maximum Impact

The devil is in the details. Pay attention to the finer points of your image:

  • Focus and Blur: Use selective focus and blur to guide the viewer’s eye and create a sense of unease. Blur areas that should be sharp or vice versa.
  • Subtle Imperfections: Introduce small, almost imperceptible imperfections. These can be asymmetrical features, slight misalignments, or hidden faces within patterns.
  • Framing and Composition: Use unconventional framing and composition to enhance the unsettling nature. Off-center subjects, unusual cropping, and tilted angles can all contribute.

Ensure that every element of your image works together to create a cohesive yet disturbing whole.

8. Testing and Iteration

Creating the perfect cursed image often involves trial and error. Test your image with a small audience to gauge their reactions. Pay attention to the feedback and be prepared to make adjustments:

  • Too Subtle or Too Overt: Balance is key. If the image is too subtle, it might not evoke the desired reaction. If it’s too overt, it might come across as forced.
  • Emotional Response: The goal is to evoke a sense of discomfort and curiosity. If the image elicits laughter or confusion, consider what elements could be adjusted.

Iterate on your design based on the feedback until you achieve the perfect balance.

9. Publishing and Sharing

Once you’re satisfied with your cursed image, it’s time to share it with the world. Consider the following platforms:

  • Social Media: Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit (especially subreddits like r/cursedimages) are popular places to share cursed images.
  • Art Galleries and Websites: If you want to showcase your work in a more formal setting, consider creating an online portfolio or submitting to digital art galleries.
  • Collaborations: Work with other artists to create collaborative pieces. Combining different styles and perspectives can lead to even more intriguing results.

Engage with your audience to understand how your image is perceived and to gain inspiration for future projects.

10. Ethical Considerations

While creating cursed images can be fun and creatively rewarding, it’s important to consider ethical implications:

  • Respect Privacy: Avoid using identifiable images of people without their consent, especially in a context that might be disturbing.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of cultural symbols and practices. What might seem eerie to you could be offensive or disrespectful to others.
  • Mental Health Awareness: Consider the impact your images might have on viewers. Avoid themes that could be triggering or harmful.

Creating cursed images should be an exercise in artistic expression, not a means to cause genuine distress or harm.


Creating cursed images is a fascinating and challenging art form that blends creativity, technical skill, and a deep understanding of the uncanny. By following these steps and principles, you can craft images that intrigue, unsettle, and captivate your audience. Remember, the goal is to evoke a sense of unease and curiosity, pushing the boundaries of normalcy to create something truly unique and memorable. So gather your tools, unleash your imagination, and dive into the world of cursed images.

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