How To Make A Cursed Image

How to Make a Cursed Image: A Guide to Creating Unsettling Visual Art

In the digital age, the term “cursed image” has become a staple of internet culture, representing photos that evoke a sense of discomfort, unease, or confusion. These cursed images often go viral due to their bizarre, unsettling nature. If you’re interested in creating your own cursed images, this guide will walk you through the essential steps and techniques to produce visuals that both captivate and disturb.

how to make a cursed image

Understanding Cursed Images

Cursed images are typically characterized by their ability to provoke an emotional response that combines curiosity, discomfort, and a sense of the uncanny. These images often include elements that are familiar but presented in a way that is bizarre, out of context, or outright disturbing. The key to a successful cursed image lies in its subtlety and the careful balance between the mundane and the surreal.

Step 1: Conceptualization and Planning

Before diving into the creation process, it’s important to conceptualize what kind of cursed image you want to create. Here are a few questions to guide your planning:

  • What emotion do you want to evoke? Aim for feelings of discomfort, confusion, or unease.
  • What setting will you use? Ordinary settings with subtle oddities are often the most effective.
  • What elements will you include? Think about objects, people, and creatures that will populate your image.


Look for inspiration in various sources such as:

  • Vintage photography: Old photos often have a naturally eerie quality due to their age and the imperfections of early photography.
  • Horror movies and literature: These can provide insights into what makes a scene unsettling.
  • Surrealist art: Artists like Salvador Dalí and René Magritte play with the bizarre and can inspire your cursed imagery.

Step 2: Setting Up Your Scene

The setting of a cursed image plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. Here’s how to set up a scene that maximizes discomfort:

Choosing the Right Location

Pick a location that is mundane yet has the potential for strangeness:

  • Abandoned buildings: These often evoke a sense of desolation and decay.
  • Forests or fields at dusk: Natural settings can become eerie with the right lighting and angles.
  • Suburban homes: Familiar places can become unsettling when something is slightly off.

Props and Costumes

Select props and costumes that appear ordinary but can be manipulated to look strange:

  • Everyday objects: Place them in unusual contexts or positions.
  • Vintage items: These can add a timeless, eerie quality to your image.
  • Costumes: Use masks, wigs, or mismatched clothing to create characters that are both familiar and unsettling.

Step 3: Photography Techniques

The way you capture your image is as important as the elements within it. Here are some techniques to enhance the cursed quality of your photo:


Lighting can drastically change the mood of an image:

  • Low light or dim lighting: Creates shadows and obscures details, adding mystery.
  • Backlighting: Can create silhouettes and a sense of the unknown.
  • Colored lighting: Unnatural colors like red or green can evoke unease.

Angles and Composition

The perspective from which you take the photo can contribute to the unsettling nature:

  • Dutch angle (tilted camera): Adds a sense of disorientation.
  • Close-ups: Can make ordinary objects or faces appear more disturbing.
  • Wide angles: Show the entire scene and can make it feel more surreal.

Focus and Blur

Manipulating focus can create a dreamlike, confusing effect:

  • Soft focus: Gives the image a vintage, ghostly appearance.
  • Selective focus: Draws attention to specific elements while leaving the rest blurry.
  • Motion blur: Adds a sense of movement and chaos.

Step 4: Editing and Post-Processing

Post-processing is where you can enhance the eerie qualities of your photo. Use editing software like Adobe Photoshop or free alternatives like GIMP. Here’s how to edit your image for maximum effect:

Color Grading

Adjusting the colors can significantly alter the mood:

  • Desaturation: Muted colors can make an image feel cold and lifeless.
  • High contrast: Enhances shadows and highlights, creating a more dramatic effect.
  • Tinting: Adding a slight tint of blue, green, or red can evoke different emotions.

Adding Noise and Grain

Noise and grain can give your image a vintage, unsettling quality:

  • Film grain: Emulates the look of old photographs.
  • Digital noise: Adds a gritty, rough texture.

Distortion and Glitches

Introduce visual distortions to make the image appear corrupted or surreal:

  • Glitch effects: Use software or apps that add digital glitches.
  • Warping tools: Distort parts of the image to make them look unnatural.

Subtle Additions

Adding small, barely noticeable details can increase the unsettling nature:

  • Hidden faces or figures: Place them in the background or shadows.
  • Unusual reflections: Create reflections that don’t match the scene.
  • Subliminal messages: Text or symbols that are almost imperceptible but add to the creepiness.

Step 5: Reviewing and Refining

Once you’ve edited your image, take a step back and review it. Ask yourself:

  • Is the image unsettling or disturbing?
  • Does it provoke curiosity or confusion?
  • Are the details subtle enough to avoid being overtly scary?

Sometimes, less is more with cursed images. A slight imperfection or a single oddity can be more effective than overwhelming the viewer with too many elements.

Step 6: Sharing Your Image

The final step is to share your cursed image with the world. Here are some platforms and communities where cursed images are appreciated:

  • Social media: Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr have communities that love cursed content.
  • Subreddits: Subreddits like r/cursedimages or r/oddlyterrifying are dedicated to this genre.
  • Art communities: Websites like DeviantArt or Behance allow you to showcase your work to a broader audience.

Engaging with Your Audience

When sharing your image, consider providing a backstory or context to enhance its mysterious nature. Engage with comments and feedback to understand what aspects of your image resonate with viewers.


Creating a cursed image is both an art and a science. It involves a keen understanding of what makes something unsettling and the technical skills to bring that vision to life. By carefully planning your concept, setting up a disturbing scene, using photography techniques to enhance the mood, and employing post-processing to add the finishing touches, you can create images that captivate and unsettle viewers.


Are there any tools or apps specifically good for making cursed images?

  • Adobe Photoshop offers powerful editing tools for advanced users.
  • GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop with robust features.
  • PicsArt is a mobile app that’s user-friendly for quick edits.
  • Snapseed: is another mobile app that’s great for applying filters and basic manipulations.

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