How far would you go if you missed out on getting a job? Would you anonymously post one-star reviews about the company that snubbed you? Maybe you’d stalk and harass the guy or gal who got the job instead of you?
Maybe you’d set a creepy carving of Satan opposite the company building with a curse that foretold the destruction of the place? Too far? Not for the snubbed architect in 1890’s Swansea, South Wales who was denied the chance to rebuild a church—that is exactly what he did.
The story goes that when famed architect Sir Arthur Blomfield beat a local architect for the contract to rebuild the ancient St Mary’s church in the centre of the town, the local man was incensed. A few years later he purchased an old row of cottages that stood opposite the new church, tore them down and built a large red brick building there, placing a statue of a smiling devil on its edifice.
The aggrieved builder then placed a curse on the church, proclaiming that it would soon be destroyed and the devil would look upon the rubble and keep smiling. During the blitz, Swansea was targeted by the Luftwaffe, St. Mary’s took a direct hit, allowing the cure to be true. Now the Devil is a quirky landmark in Wales’ second city, peeping out at shoppers from a window at the Quadrant Shopping Centre.