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[[quoteright:300:[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Eye-of-Sauron-port_cropped_7055.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Oooh, shiny! [[note]][[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope WARNING: Tampering with the One Ring]] [[SideEffectsInclude may result in]] {{invisibility}}, [[EvilFeelsGood rushes of euphoria]], [[BreadEggsMilkSquick seeing the ghostly images of the]] [[BlackCloak Nazgûl]], [[HearingVoices voices in your head that]] [[SentientPhlebotinum may or may not belong to the Ring]], [[ClingyMacGuffin complete and utter]] [[AmuletOfDependency dependence on the Ring]], [[ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil loss of clear thought]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity and sanity]], [[ArtifactOfDeath and eventual]] [[MonsterFromBeyondTheVeil undeath]]. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Do not swallow.[[/note]]]]]]

[[folder: Illustration: [[http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image id= 1885 John Howe ]]

->'''Pete:''' It's always ultimately death. I mean, artifacts never release a plague of tickles or an epidemic of kittens.\\
'''Jane:''' Some do. They end badly, too.
-->-- ''Series/Warehouse13''

The Artifact of Doom is an unusual villain in that it is a (seemingly) inanimate object that somehow manages to be pure evil. It is the threat of corruption and falling to TheDarkSide. It may also cause [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Great Insanity]], [[ArtifactOfDeath death,]] or [[AFateWorseThanDeath worse]].

This item has a palpable presence beyond merely being a device. Its threat is ever constant, whether [[ArtifactOfDeath destroying those it directly opposes]], or [[ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil consuming those who dare use it from within]] with [[HearingVoices dark whispers of power]]. Nonetheless, it is incapable of action on its own; its power lies in [[ArtifactDomination manipulating its user to act for it]]. Therein lies the irony: if people would just leave the thing alone, it would be harmless, but since EvilFeelsGood, some idiot will inevitably try it out and doom us all.

There will be a conflict among the heroes, between those who say they should dare to [[AmplifierArtifact use its power]] and resist or purify the corrupting effects; and those feel it should be destroyed/sealed. The artifact will often make this conflict escalate to a HatePlague with deadly consequences. This may be explicitly stated as one of its powers in the case of the ArtifactOfAttraction.

Still think it's worth the risk? Think you can handle it? After all, once you realize how evil it is, all you have to do is get rid of it or destroy it... [[ClingyMacGuffin Both of which]] are [[NighInvulnerable easier said than done]].

Often has AnAesop on how [[TheDarkSide power corrupts]] and [[LuddWasRight over-reliance on technology/magic is a bad thing]].

If the artifact is a wearable item that refuses to come off (or you will [[MindControl never want or think about]] taking it off), then it's also a ClingyMacGuffin. If it's a DismantledMacGuffin, then reassembling it is required to get the SetBonus.

Usually found at half-price at TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday, or handed out by the EvilMentor (if he hasn't turned himself ''into'' the artifact). If ItWasAGift, do ''not'' trust the giver thereafter.

{{Sub Trope}}s include the TomeOfEldritchLore, EvilWeapon, EvilMask, and the SummoningArtifact. Occasionally doubles as an ArtifactOfDeath. More often, it is an AmuletOfDependency. Often overlaps with HappyFunBall when the artifact appears to be something harmless or mundane. The SoulJar of an evil character almost always doubles as one of these. May also be the can of SealedEvilInACan. See also SentientPhlebotinum and HolyIsNotSafe when the artifact was made by the good guys but still dangerous.

Not to be confused with the Artifact of ''VideoGame/Doom3''. Completely unrelated to TheArtifact.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AnnCassandra'': The [[MaskOfPower Cassandra Mask]]. The mask's power lets its user warp the future to cause more disasters [[spoiler:in exchange for becoming the mask's puppet and eventually dying. The mask then compels the nearest person to pick it up and use it.]]
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'':
** There are small magical items called Behelits. They look like eggs with human facial features scattered around them at random. When their possessor [[DespairEventHorizon hits an emotional nadir]], the features rearrange into a screaming face, and the four members of the Godhand appear to [[DealWithTheDevil offer the Behelit's owner the chance to become a demon]]... by sacrificing those close to them. And then there is the ''Crimson'' Behelit, owned by Griffith, which [[spoiler: transforms its bearer into [[AGodAmI a member of the nigh-invincible, demonic Godhand]].]] Curiously, the Behelits are mentioned to be completely harmless most of the time. It is only at ''one specific moment'' when held by ''one specific person'' that they become dangerous, and unfortunately it's almost impossible to tell when or who those are beforehand.
** There's also Guts' Berserker Armor, which removes a human being's natural limits by nulling pain and allows the user to keep fighting by temporarily mending broken bones, stitching together wounds, etc. It's very dangerous for the obvious reasons that your body has limits for a reason and bypassing them is bound to hurt you, but it also has the effect of bringing out the wearer's "inner beast" (in the Skull Knight's case, his familiar skull motif, in Guts' case, "The Beast", his HellHound evil side), turning him into a raging monster incapable of distinguishing friend from foe. After using it just once, Guts got a patch of white hair, became partially colorblind, and lost some of his sense of taste. Constant use of it might have reduced the Skull Knight to his current ghastly state.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'':
** The library of 103,000 [[TomeOfEldritchLore grimoires]] in Index's brain counts. Not only do the grimoires themselves contain spells of incredible destructive power, the knowledge itself is dangerous. When one mage tried to absorb just ''one'' of the books [[spoiler:while trying to obtain a healing spell to save a girl he loved from a curse]], he nearly suffered a fatal aneurysm. The mage then wonders just what Index is considering that she can store the entire library in her mind without any negative side effects.
** Dáinsleif would probably also count since [[spoiler: it will trigger Ragnarok if it is fully unsheathed. Fortunately it's wielder can't bring herself to do so and it is destroyed shortly afterwards.]] In fact this particular artifact of doom is so doomy that its first use seen is to cause ''fatal heart attacks'' just by threatening to use it!
* In ''LightNovel/TheCircumstancesLeadingToWaltrautesMarriage'', dwarf-forged tools and weapons tend to be cursed. Gods and Valkyries are too powerful to be affected, but anybody else who tries to use them will suffer misfortune and death. The dwarves tend to do this out of revenge for their customers threatening and/or cheating them. When Jack Elvan (who was unaware of the threat of cursed tools) pays upfront and is polite, they give him a curse-free tool.
* This is the entire point of ''LightNovel/CubeXCursedXCurious'', where the series revolves around the idea that a cursed item eventually becomes intelligent and [[VoluntaryShapeshifting able to take human form]]. And being cursed is ''[[DarkIsNotEvil just as]] [[NonMaliciousMonster traumatic]] [[TheWoobie to them]]''.
* ''VisualNovel/DaCapo'' - the Giant Sakura Tree; though it is explicitly stated that it only fulfills one's fervently wished for desires, for some reason, it always end up working towards unimaginably evil ends (in the second season, it defeats the PowerOfLove). May be linked to its tendency to fulfill unconscious wishes even when this goes against the conscious desires of the user.
** Sakura states in the second season that the tree's purpose of granting wishes may be inherently damaging as it disrupts the struggle which is central to human life, thereby disrupting the process of human life itself. Essentially, since people don't know what they want granting it to them will inevitably go awry.
* The eponymous notebook from ''Manga/DeathNote'' kills those whose names are written in it. This is slightly different from most of the other examples on the list, in that it doesn't appear to be sentient or possess any kind of supernatural corrupting power -- the danger comes entirely from the power it places in the hands of the user, and how he decides to use it. Having power over other people's life and death is what corrupts, not the book. On the other hand, to quote Ryuk, "Don't think somebody who uses a Death Note can go to Heaven or Hell." [[spoiler:What Ryuk doesn't say is that there is no afterlife -- ''nobody'' is going to Heaven or Hell.]] He also mentions (in the very first episode) that the first human that picks up the Death Note will ultimately have their name written down by the Shinigami that dropped it. [[spoiler:Sure enough, following Light's ultimate defeat in the final episode, Ryuk makes good on his promise and writes Light's name into his personal Death Note making it the first, and last time, Ryuk uses his own notebook in the series and finally closing the Kira case.]]
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' features the Dark Spores. The good news: they make you faster and stronger, and provide genius intellect. The bad news: They turn you cold and sadistic. Worse news: their real purpose is to resurrect a [[SealedEvilInACan seriously nasty baddie]] once enough of them have collected enough energy from those they've corrupted. Even worse news: they're imperfect copies of the real thing, so if they're ''not'' harvested, you die. But there is good news: I Just Saved A Bunch Of Money On My Car Insurance By SwitchingToGeico!
** PS: Don't play with the Beast Spirits in ''Anime/DigimonFrontier,'' either. You can learn to control yourself while using 'em ''eventually'', but that's only after an episode or two of wrecking everything in sight. If you're not one of {{The Chosen One}}s, using 'em at ''all'' may be hazardous to your sanity.
* The Philosopher's Stone in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', which is [[PoweredByAForsakenChild forged with thousands of human souls]], and can be used to ignore the rules of alchemy. Most people in FMA who possess one use it to commit mass genocide.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** The Jewel of Four Souls, which was formed when a powerful miko locked her own soul into an endless battle with a multitude of demons in order to contain them after her death. Initially regarded as a DismantledMacGuffin, a single shard of the Jewel gives demons [[AmplifierArtifact enormous power]]. Even those with good intentions are [[ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil inevitably corrupted]] by shard use. [[spoiler:Then it's revealed to have a [[SentientPhlebotinum malevolent will]] of its own, making it the [[ManBehindTheMan Man Behind The]] BigBad, and the actual villain of the story]].
** Downplayed with the [[EvilWeapon demon blade Toukijin]]. It is so powerful it [[DemonicPossession possesses]] its creator, [[ArtifactOfDeath kills him]] due to the sheer force of its power, and then ''[[ClingyMacGuffin continues to animate the corpse afterwards]]'' until Inuyasha hacks off the corpse's wrist to separate the sword from the body. Not even the story's UltimateBlacksmith is capable of approaching it, causing the protagonists to warn [[AloofBigBrother Sesshoumaru]] that he'll be consumed by the sword if he touches it. Cue their absolute astonishment at Sesshoumaru's effortless victory over the sword's evil via willpower alone. [[spoiler: Eventually, Sesshoumaru destroys the blade when the force of his compassion becomes too strong for the sword's hate to handle. Sesshoumaru is able to eventually replace it with a [[WeaponOfMassDestruction better sword]].]]
* The Mesoamerican stone mask from ''Franchise/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' is the main cause for most events of the series, especially the bad ones, due to its ability to turn the wearer into a vampire when splashed with blood. Later, the Stand Arrows fill a similar role.
* The Book of Darkness from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'', which grants ultimate power to its user upon filling its [[NumberOfTheBeast 666 pages]]. Oh, and it takes over said user once said pages are filled and goes on an [[OmnicidalManiac omnicidal rampage]] until it burns itself out [[ArtifactOfDeath together with said user]], whereupon it [[BackFromTheDead resurfaces somewhere else]] to snooker another mage. The guardians that accompany it never mention that part [[LaserGuidedAmnesia for some reason]]. If you're savvy enough to not use it, it will just eat your life force instead. [[spoiler: It's an interesting case, in that the only reason it's an Artifact of Doom is that it's malfunctioning. As it originally was, it was a harmless book meant to store knowledge of magic from all over the universe.]]
** Fans also like to joke that [[{{Magitek}} Raising Heart]] is one of these. Especially in doujins, she and Nanoha are prone to unleashing big pink beams of [[strike: death and destruction]] love and friendship anytime, anywhere, on anybody.
* ''Manga/NabariNoOu'' - The "Book of the Knowledge of All Living Things" is essentially this though it doesn't necessarily corrupt the holder himself.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has the "Lance of Longinus", a long, pronged artifact which grants its wielder (who has to be absolutely GIGANTIC to use it, by the way) absolute godly power. It plays a crucial role in both the Second and Third Impacts. The Lance is interesting in that it is not sentient, nor is its wielder[[spoiler:, Adam,]] [[TrueNeutral truly "evil"]]; it is only an Artifact of Doom from a human perspective, being as it will destroy us all if it falls into the wrong hands.
** [[AllThereInTheManual Classified Information]] suggests that the Lance actually ''is'' sentient, and comes in a set with [[spoiler:a Seed of Life (i.e. both Adam and Lilith had one, but Lilith lost hers)]]. It exists as the ultimate security device, but only does anything if [[spoiler:something goes ''horribly'' wrong (such as two Seeds landing on the same planet)]].
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', the Red and Blue Orbs are this, as merely touching them can drive you insane, and holding them for too long will cause them to fuse to your body and become crazed puppets for Groudon and Kyogre. Only by training one's mind and spirit can prevent this.
* [[spoiler:Soul Gems]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' are an odd variation on this. They hold tremendous power, but anyone who possesses one could easily become an EldritchAbomination by using them too much, or by losing control of their negative emotions. The twist is that [[spoiler:they're the ''heroes''' {{Soul Jar}}s, not the villains', and the artifacts themselves are not evil, they're magical girls' souls made manifest in solid form. They ''become'' artifacts of doom over time by absorbing an amount of despair equal to the hope brought about by the girls' wishes and being depleted by the use of magic.]] Grief Seeds, the black and silver trinkets dropped by defeated Witches, play the trope straight: left to their own devices they'll eventually hatch and revive their Witch, and they're often found in places where they can prey on the suffering of others (such as hospitals and suicide sites).
* The Dark Bring in ''Manga/RaveMaster'', which grant the user different powers while slowly corrupting them. Special mention goes to the Sinclaire, which are especially corruptive.
* In the anime of ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'', the "heroine" Morte carries around with her a little black sphere called the ''Destruct Code'', which supposedly has the ability to destroy the world. However, she has no idea how to use it though it seems to react to main character Kyrie. [[spoiler: Those who have played the game know that ''Kyrie himself'' is the actual Destruct Code. Here, he's a being that has existed since the dawn of the world, created for the specific purpose of destroying the world should the need arise. The little black sphere mentioned above was a device he used to store his memories; when he lost it 4 years prior he developed amnesia.]]
* The Destruct Code in ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'' is suspected to be this. It appears as a little black sphere, which supposedly has the ability to destroy the world. However, Morte has no idea how to use it, though it seems to react to Kyrie, glowing with a mass of tentacles and eyes whenever he touches it. [[spoiler:It turns out that the sphere is nothing more than a memory storage device for Kyrie, the one who is ''actually'' able to destroy the world. Without it, he's an amnesiac and has no clue about his own powers. However, even he doesn't figure out how to trigger it - or even realize that he should try - and get his memories back until the final episode.]]
* ''Anime/SoulEater'': The Black Blood is shown to be this. It gives the user great power (the ability to control your blood, seal deadly wounds and synchronise more effectively) however it does come at a price. Overuse leads to drowning in the madness, a black gooey substance which can only be overcome by an exorcism wavelength. The madness can even manifest itself as an alternate ego within your own soul, as seen with Soul's Little Demon.
* The titular ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' [[spoiler: is revealed to be responsible for the Black History, a time when Earth's technology was destroyed, killing a great deal of Earth's population as well. [[EvilTwin Turn X]] is also capable of this scale of destruction.]] This news is disturbing to main character [[TechnicalPacifist Loran]], who has up to this point only used his Gundam to try stopping people from killing each other.
* Regularly on ''Anime/YuGiOh'' and ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'':
** It's common practice to design cards so powerful they are too dangerous to be used. They have to be locked up and kept out of the wrong hands to give the protagonist and company something to fight for.
*** The Wicked God cards of ''Manga/YuGiOhR'' were considered too dangerous to even be ''printed'' by the people who created the aforementioned cards of doom. Naturally, ''someone'' decides to print and use them anyways. [[spoiler: Unsurprisingly, one of them brain-jacks him.]]
*** The orichalcum cards are forged by taking a piece of a green meteorite, the orihalcum, and fusing it with a blank card. The card creates a specialized field of play that that works in favor of certain strategies. Unfortunately, their supernatural powers capture the loser of the game and place him/her in a pocket dimension to be used for a demon ritual. The orichalcum itself is the artifact that started the series - the meteor that turned the citizens of Atlantis into monsters when it crash landed, and were captured and turned into summon spirits by the Egyptians.
** The Phantom Demon/Sacred Beast cards, which were so dangerous that they were locked up under Duel Academy. When they were summoned in Jaden's duel against Kagemaru, Duel Monsters cards started fading away because they were consuming their duel spirits.
** The Millennium items around which the series is based are also dangerous. The Millenium Ring from the original series is the most notable example. While all of the Items (especially the Eye and the Rod) can be used for negative purposes (and tend to turn their owners into megalomaniacs or drive them insane), the Ring is the absolute worst, possessing the innocent Ryou Bakura and using him to trigger a plot that [[spoiler:would have seen thousands of people dead, and history rewritten. Having the soul of a psychopathic [[GraveRobbing tomb robber]] ''and'' a shard of a dark god's essence trapped inside of it will do that to an object]].
** ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' features the Super Polymerization card in season 3. The unstoppable fusion card used by villains to fuse any monsters to win duels, fuse dimensions to threaten reality and used by Jaden to permanently fuse himself and the BigBad Yubel to end the conflict between them.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The Black Scrolls in the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' CollectibleCardGame and tabletop RPG are immensely powerful magical scrolls that corrupt any who study them. In fact ''anything'' (including people, places and objects) that has enough of the [[TheCorruption Shadowlands Taint]] does so, and various artifacts bear the Taint. These include the Bloodswords and the Anvil of Despair, just to name two.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=376408 Mirari]] twists and corrupts those who seek its power in the post-Invasion world of Dominaria in the storyline. However, this is a subversion; it's revealed in the end that it was only meant to be a probe, but ended up spilling magical power into the world, the power inevitably corrupting the bearer.
** Also, within the card game exists the [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=288992 Door to Nothingness]] artifact. Its ability costs a ridiculous amount of mana, but when activated, your opponent ''loses the entire game''. (Just make sure they don't [[HoistByHisOwnPetard redirect the target]].)
** [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=227302 Worldslayer:]] "Whenever equipped creature [i.e. creature wielding the sword] deals combat damage to a player, destroy all permanents other than Worldslayer."
** The Hedrons in Zendikar are powerful, valuable, and tend to be dangerous. Ironically, they were created to help ''imprison'' the Eldrazi, but the leaking power of the Eldrazi tainted them.
** The Chain Veil. It's telling that Liliana Vess wants to get rid of it despite the artifact's immense power. Unfortunately for her, the Veil isn't done with her yet.
** Urza attempted to utilize the [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Discussion.aspx?multiverseid=1007 The Golgothian Sylex]] in his war against his brother Mishra. It vaporized a good portion of an entire plane, plunging it into the magical equivalent of a nuclear winter. [[GoneHorriblyRight It ended the war.]] It's also what gave Urza his DimensionalTraveler abilities. Unfortunately it's a CutscenePowerToTheMax because the card itself is practically useless.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/MarvelUniverse'':
** The Darkhold is a TomeOfEldritchLore penned by Chthon (an Elder God turned demon lord) to serve as a foothold in Earth's dimension after his banishment from it. Anyone who uses it risks becoming enslaved to Chthon's purposes.
** Possibly worse, the Resurrection Stone, which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It also invariably drives all who possess it or seek to possess it insane. The consciousness of the gem is malevolent and seeks to bring chaos to the universe while feeding on Man's desire for immortality. Ultimately, no mortal being can withstand such power. Entire civilizations have been destroyed by the madness it brings with it.
** [[ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet The Infinity Gems]] ''probably'' aren't inherently evil, but they are definitely trouble. The entire universe has been threatened more than once by a madman wielding the Gems.
** The Tactigon from ''[[ComicBook/AvengersTheInitiative Avengers: The Initiative]]'' might go here. It's a shapeshifting alien weapon that can become whatever its host wants or needs. It's choosy, too; it won't work for just anybody, but it has an unfortunate tendency to pick hosts that are... troubled. Its first known host was a suicidal girl who at least tried to use the Tactigon for good, but its second host was out and out AxCrazy.
*** The Tactigon actually appears to be some sort of subversion, as [[WhatTheHellHero The Avengers stole it from its first host]] and kept (unsuccessfully) trying to graft it onto various people until [[HoistByHisOwnPetard they stuck it on]] [[OurSoulsAreDifferent an insane clone.]]
** The [[BizarreAlienBiology alien costumes/symbiotes]] of ''Franchise/SpiderMan'', with an added BodyHorror bonus. Years later, Flash Thompson, the fourth user of the ComicBook/{{Venom}} symbiote, learned that this wasn't ''originally'' the case at all!
** The Star Brand from ''ComicBook/TheNewUniverse'' is exactly like this. A limitless power only held back by one's imagination, it can only be used by living things. The first time someone tried to place it into a inanimate object to get rid of the power, it initiated the White Event, the world's biggest SuperpowerLottery. The second time, it ''[[NiceJobBreakingItHero vaporized]] UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}!'' Even worse, even if you do get rid of it, you're keeping a portion of the power that will recharge itself back to full. It's so dangerous that, when the New Universe Earth was transported to the mainstream Marvel Universe, the Living Tribunal erected an impenetrable barrier so it won't contaminate the rest of the universe with its power.
* ''Franchise/TheDCU'':
** The Heart of Darkness is a black crystal that can grant its host fearsome mystical powers. The cost? Said host [[spoiler: almost]] always becomes a flesh puppet to the evil spirit within the diamond, often referred to as "ComicBook/{{Eclipso}}".
*** The only time Eclipso was ever contained, the captor used special tattoos all over his body to turn himself into a living prison. Unfortunately, those were [[spoiler: broken by an accidental slice from his lover Nemesis, and the freed Eclipso ended up killing both of them]].
** Any of the various Franchise/GreenLantern Corps rings could become an Artifact of Doom under the right circumstances. The Orange Lantern ring curses its owner with ever-lasting greed and hunger. The Red Lantern ring causes heart stoppage and uncontrollable rage, and you can't take it off without it killing you. The Black Rings bring the dead back as undead Black Lanterns that crave hearts.
** ''ComicBook/TrinityWar'' has PandorasBox, which contained the Seven Deadly Sins of Man and can also re-contain them. It can only be opened by those with the [[PureIsNotGood strongest or darkest heart]]. Those that aren't get corrupted by it when they hold it. [[spoiler: And in the finale, it turns out to be an advanced piece of technology that opens a doorway to Earth 3, the birthplace of evil, and allows the [[EvilCounterpart Crime Syndicate]] to arrive on the Prime Earth.]]
** ''ComicBook/TheSandman'': when he is trapped in the opening chapter Dream has his mask, ruby and pouch of dream sand stolen. While the mask doesn't do anything (the demon who gets it knows how dangerous and powerful it is) the pouch of sand falls into the hands of a drug addict who uses it to get a high, only for it to start turning her home into a nightmare landscape. The ruby on the other hand is used by a mad scientist who starts using its powers to take over the world and is stopped by the Justice League. The items themselves aren't evil, just really powerful because Dream poured his power into them to make them what they were.
** How Creator/GrantMorrison describes ''[[ComicBook/TheMultiversity Ultra Comics #1]]'':
--->"It's a haunted comic book, actually, it's the most frightening thing anyone will ever read. It's actually haunted -- if you read this thing, you'll become possessed."
** The Helm of Nabu (ComicBook/DoctorFate's golden helmet) may be a ([[BlueAndOrangeMorality largely benevolent]]) version. Whether the Lords of Order (you'll note we didn't say Lords of ''Good'', though in general they're more kindly disposed to mortals than their enemies the Lords of Chaos are) merely ''advise'' or actually ''posess'' the wearer varies depending on the writer; in some cases it's an actual partnership that can be broken by the human host at will, and in some cases once the host decides to put the helm on it's the last decision they get to make until the helm decides to remove itself.
* The Cauldron of Blood in ''ComicBook/{{Arawn}}'' was created by an evil druid and its fueled by the power of human souls. The Cauldron has an will of its own, and it happens to be a [[ManipulativeBastard cuttroat bastard]], and is constantly corrupting people into desiring it, promising godhood and ultimate power. It might as well as qualify as the real BigBad in the story, as its machinations cause Arawn's StartOfDarkness and nearly every bad thing that happens can be traced back to it.
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity'' has the Sekhmet Stone, a giant Sphinx-like stone face that is somehow alive and claims to have mystic insight. It is the ultimate leader of the NebulousEvilOrganization Pyramid.
* The Winslowe in ''ComicBook/BuckGodotZapGunForHire'' is something of a subversion in that it is alive, slightly mobile, slightly intelligent [[spoiler: (actually ''quite'' intelligent)]], and to all appearances not the least bit malevolent or proactive in any way. That doesn't change the fact that any time it pops up, half the known universe goes violently crazy with avarice to possess it, because they're convinced it is the most important object/being in all of Creation.
* ''ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse'': A italian story center around a mysterious item from outer space that did absolutely nothing, but was still more an Artifact of Doom than a MacGuffin. It was so absolutely and completely useless anything done with it was automatically a waste of time and amounted to nothing. It was in the possession of Scrooge [=McDuck=] first, so he naturally tried to make money out of it, but his every attempt merely broke even, until he managed to sell it to Rockerduck (at zero profit). As time went on, the sheer uselessness of the item made it hold a peculiar fascination to people, and news of it apparently spread globally. Everyone was in fact so affected by the uselessness that they began to turn apathetic and think nothing was worth doing because it was useless, or were inspired to start doing completely useless things themselves. A researcher then came to the conclusion that the item could cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt unless it was launched back into space to remove its effect on the collective psyche. [[spoiler:But when they did this, the story subverted its own premise, because the item saved the entire planet; it was picked up by an alien armada of doom, whose leader consequently decided attacking the Earth would be pointless, and decided not to bother.]] Perhaps a TrueNeutral equivalent of the default evil Artifact of Doom.
* Although it's more of a TomeOfEldritchLore in the ''Franchise/EvilDead'' movies, the Necronomicon develops into this in the comic book ''Comicbook/ArmyOfDarkness'' spinoff, possessing a malevolent sentience, corrupting the people who stumble upon it for its own purposes, and generally trying its best to get rid of the hero once and for all. Oddly enough, as the comic books developed the Necronomicon into an Artifact of Doom, its Tome of Eldritch Lore traits seemed to diminish accordingly: more often than not, the comic book version of the Necronomicon simply uses its powers as it or its owner sees fit, with no spell recitation involved. This might've been a PragmaticAdaptation for the comic book's episodic format, since very few people in the ''Evil Dead'' universe are qualified to translate and read the book's [[BlackSpeech ancient language]] aloud.
* ''ComicBook/{{Iznogoud}}'': OncePerEpisode, Iznogoud acquires a bizarre magical artifact which the vendor assures will arrange a FateWorseThanDeath for a victim of his choice. No points for guessing ahead of time that it will backfire horribly on Iznogoud himself. Just to name a few examples:
** In "Dark Designs", Inzogoud acquires a magic pencil; when he draws a picture of someone or something and then tears the paper in half, the subject of the picture is banished to an alternate dimension. He can't get the spell to work until he takes art classes, and during an idle moment, [[CreatorCameo his teacher]] sketches Iznogoud. When Iznogoud's art skills have finally improved, he sketches the Caliph and tears the page in half... unaware his teacher's sketch of him is on the other side of the page, so that they are both banished, and the Caliph ends up as sovereign of the island to which they were sent.
** "The Box of Souvenirs" sees the title object, a camera, sold to Iznogoud by Japanese tourist Judoka Karate; when he takes a picture of someone or something with the camera, that someone or something is trapped forever in the photograph that results. Every time Iznogoud tries to take the Caliph's picture, someone or something gets in the way and disappears instead, and when he finally gets the Caliph alone, he is standing in front of a mirror and bends down at the crucial moment, causing Iznogoud to take a picture of his own reflection and disappear.
** The title character in "The Merchant of Forgetfulness", Mumbaijumbo, sells Iznogoud a perfume which, when sniffed, causes instant and total amnesia in the victim. Iznogoud sprinkles it on the Caliph's flowers and food and finally puts it in an atomiser, but they are all sniffed by other people before the Caliph can get to them, and inevitably, the final victim is Iznogoud himself, who is left an empty shell.
** In "The Jigsaw Turk", Iznogoud buys a 10,000 piece jigsaw from joke shop merchant Dokodah Bey; when the last piece is put in, the person of whom the puzzler is thinking will disintegrate into 10,000 pieces. There's one problem: there's a piece missing, which Iznogoud and Wa'at Alahf have to retrieve from the factory, several days' journey away. After several further failed attempts to finish the puzzle, Iznogoud is forced to retrieve the missing piece from the palace bins; meanwhile, Dokodah Bey has found the missing piece in his shop, but the Caliph is the one who takes delivery of it, and Iznogoud returns with his own copy of the missing piece... just in time to see the Caliph put the last piece in, beaming that he's always thinking of Iznogoud. The luckless vizier disintegrates immediately.
* In ''The Skull of Agarash'' graphic novel, a spin-off from the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' series, the eponymous demonic cranium is yet another evil artifact that needs to be destroyed by Lone Wolf. The series is actually rife with these, and has a bunch more examples listed under Gamebooks.
* The title artifact of ''ComicBook/TheMask'' grants its wearer NighInvulnerability and [[RealityWarper reality warping]] powers, but also loosens their inhibitions until eventually they become a cackling AxCrazy mass-murderer. It's also addictive, and can't be removed by anyone other than the person wearing it (unless the wearer himself allows it).
* Satirized in ''ComicBook/{{Nodwick}}'' by "This One Ring", which is a One Ring parody that inspired an epic ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''-esque plot based on ''hype'' alone. It has no actual powers, but only Nodwick [[OnlySaneMan realizes this and no-one else believes him]]. By the end of the story, history repeats itself when Nodwick bribes off the story's Gollum-equivalent with "this one rock". Yeah, it's just a rock. Cut to the DistantFinale...
** The print comic also features a straight example in the Gauntlet of Supremacy. It renders its wielder immune to harm, fires powerful energy blasts, and gives the wielder [[CharmPerson dominion over all living beings near them]]. Unfortunately, it was forged by a GodOfEvil and a God of War working together, and drives its wielder to conquer the world and kill anyone who opposes them. Only said GodOfEvil can control it.
* The Scythe in ''Comicbook/DeathVigil''. [[DontFearTheReaper Bernie]] uses it to raise the recently dead as Death Knights for induction into the Vigil, and create their veilrippers and clothes drawn from their most treasured memories. It's also the source of all her power. However Maria implies that the Scythe is ''far'' more than that, and [[spoiler:Alicia]] calls it "The Shard." What that means, and what the Scythe's true purpose is, was not revealed by the end of the first series.
* The ''Vector'' CrossThrough from ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' revolves around a Sith artifact called the Muur Talisman. Putting on the talisman makes you TheAgeless, gives you immunity to the [[TheVirus rakghoul plague]], and grants you the ability to [[ZombieApocalypse transform nearby (Forceless) humans into rakghouls that obey your every command]]. And you don’t even need to be Force-sensitive to gain these benefits, either! Unfortunately for you, the talisman is also the SoulJar of an ancient Sith Lord named Karness Muur. If you’re strong in the Force, Muur’s spirit will [[GrandTheftMe take over your body]]. If you aren’t, Muur will abandon you in favour of someone who is, leaving you at the mercy of your formerly-obedient rakghouls. To make matters worse the talisman can move under its own power, [[ClingyMacguffin cannot be dislodged once it has a firm grip on its host]], and cannot be damaged by lightsabers. A strong-willed Force-user can resist Muur’s control, but then you have to deal with him constantly whispering in your head until you either die, go insane, or give in.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Kyle in ''Fanfic/BeckaRangersNemoThunder'' goes AxCrazy the very second he touches the Jellyfish Staff. Even after they fix the staff so it won't make him completely evil, it ''still'' makes him a SociopathicHero [[ClothesMakeTheManiac when he's morphed]].
* The [[TomeofEldritchLore Black Book]] from ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'' is the Zebra equivalent of the [[Franchise/EvilDead Necronomicon]]. It also [[TheCorrupter corrupts everypony around it]], and its misuse [[spoiler: by Rarity and Princess Celestia]] was responsible for the downfall of Equestria.
* In ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' the Darkhold is very definitely this - kept in the vaults of a castle guarded by the most powerful technology, magic and soldiers that can be found, it has... a reputation. And it proves its reputation when a spell from within it allows the AxCrazy Gravemoss to create monsters that Odin specifically exterminated and had all knowledge of destroyed. But the Darkhold cannot be destroyed. And it never forgets...
** The Chitauri sceptre is treated as one. No one wants anything that has mind altering properties and that Thanos has had contact with in anywhere but the strongest vaults in Asgard.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'' has the Sliver of Darkness, which was responsible for Princess Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon, and more importantly to the story, Twilight Sparkle's transformation into Nihilus.
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'' we have Blackfire, the Hunter's {{BFS}}, even though the Hunter doesn't think it's evil. He is disabused of that notion eventually.
* In ''Fanfic/ClashOfTheElements'' [[spoiler: [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory The Dark Star]]]] turns out to be one of these, and it was [[spoiler:cloned by Fawful for Cackletta to use in her plans.]]
* ''[[Fanfic/AFutureOfFriendshipAHistoryOfHate A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate]]'' has the Tear of Covet, the gem that [[TheEeyore Miserain]] gives Scootaloo to enable her wish to [[PlotRelevantAgeUp become an adult]]. While it does as advertised, it turns out [[spoiler: it was feeding off the despair she felt when her wishes blew up in her face to power a creature called a woebeghoul contained within it, and when she enters a HeroicBSOD, the ghoul breaks free and absorbs her before attacking Ponyville]].
* ''FanFic/ShadowsAwakening'': The Dark Treasures, formerly the [[PublicDomainArtifact Imperial Regalia of Japan]] -- were corrupted into this by the Dark Champion of the Shadowkhan long ago. In addition to the fact that combined they can open the Forge of Shadows (the place where the Shadowkhan were originally created), they also have [[TheCorruption corrupting]] influences of their own:
** The Kusanagi sword can [[DemonicPossession possess]] the person using it and turn them into a BloodKnight berserker.
** The Mirror of Despair puts [[spoiler: Tohru]] in a coma when he looks into it, trapping him in a vision of a BadFuture until Uncle is able to wake him up.
** The Jewel can bring a person's self-doubts and darkest thoughts to life as shadow doppelgangers to torment them. They can't cause physical harm, but the emotional torment is a useful tool in battle.
* ''FanFic/FallenKing'' has the Millennium Eye and Ring, but the Millennium Puzzle is the one most touched upon. Being near its ''pieces'' lets those in proximity summon monsters, and Pegasus plans to use it to rewrite reality.
* ''FanFic/{{Zenith}}'' has [[spoiler:The Pillar of the Sun]]. [[spoiler:1,000 years ago, it was stolen by Sombra as a weapon to kill Celestia. Unfortunately, 1,000 years later, it ended up getting Twilight, instead]].
* The ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' fanfic "FanFic/SorryAboutTheMess" has [[spoiler: The Mirror, an ancient object created specifically to corrupt those who use it]].
* ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum'' has [[spoiler: the Bag of Tirek, which contains the soul of its maker, the same evil centaur from the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTVSpecials'' who wants to [[DisproportionateRetribution get revenge]] against [[UpToEleven the entire human race]] for Megan stopping them over a thousand years ago and enslave every living being under his will. Besides corrupting TCB!Celestia into an [[MadGod insane]] [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen tyrant]], it's also heavily hinted to have corrupted both universe's versions of Luna into Nightmare Moon]].
* ''FanFic/TheWorldOfTheCreatures'' features the Biolangra - a powerful magical object that grants the person who wields it the power to either unite or destroy all life in the eponymous world.
* The Book of Shadows from ''FanFic/OjamajoDoremiRiseOfTheShadows'' is a subversion. Even though it has everything the BigBad needs to complete her plans with (in addition to telling the history of the Shadows), it can also be used to defeat the Shadows once and for all.
* In ''FanFic/RomanceAndTheFateOfEquestria'', Trixie comes to Twilight asking for information on the Ears of the Beast, a magical artifact she's found. They turn out to be the actual fossilized ears of a chopped-up EldritchAbomination. The artifact is wielded by cutting off one's own ears and replacing them with those of the Beast, granting immortality and immense magical power but an obsession with putting the Beast back together. Later on, the story's TerribleTrio are revealed to be wielding other pieces of the Beast.
%% * The Dark Prognosticus from ''FanFic/TheEndOfEnds''.
* In ''Fanfic/SunsetOfTime'', the Dark Regalia are ancient relics that amplify a pony's powers, and when all three are worn together it turns them into an alicorn. The catch is they corrupt the user's mind, driving them insane and evil, and are powered by dark magic. And the transformation into an alicorn as one assembles the set is pure BodyHorror.
* ''[[FanFic/ThePrincessAndTheDragon The Princess and the Dragon]]'':
** The Shadow Items [[note]] Millennium Items in canon, and still referred to as such individually[[/note]] can be used to invoke Shadow Magic, which among other things, can turn people into "shadows", corrupted, insane beings.
** {{Orichalcum}}, which can enhance a sorcerer's magic and refine their control, but will corrupt their soul the moment they touch it.
* In ''FanFic/AtlantisRising'', the Orichalcos comes back with a vengeance.[[spoiler: The villain uses it to power his magic and his ultimate goal is to raise the Heartstone, the source of the Orichalcos' power, which has been quietly growing in the sunken city of Atlantis for millennia. A small piece of Orichalcum in Mariks unwilling possession also reawakens Yami Marik.]]
* A handful of then have been making their way into ''Roleplay/DemigodPower''.
** The first BigBad uses one to summon an army of Keres, wraith-like death spirits, which he uses to attack camp.
** Two are involved in the subsequent Ronin War, and they [[spoiler: almost destroy the gods.]]
** [[spoiler: As of the Rise of the Hierophant arc, whatever the Breath of Hyperion is, it will most likely turn out to be this.]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheElementsOfFriendship'', The Alicorn Amulet, as in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E5MagicDuel canon]], [[spoiler:with the added bonus of ripping its wearer's soul in two. And it seems that Trixie was not the first victim of its horrors.]]
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** The Alicorn Amulet is also this, with the twist that it actively ''wants'' a member of Trixie's bloodline to use it because [[spoiler:Trixie's ancestor Magic Star created it in the first place using the Rainbow of Darkness as the materials.]] Another twist is the Amulet originally ''wasn't'' this trope, it was corrupted when it [[spoiler:was used to seal away the majority of the evil PureMagicBeing Lilith, the First Witch, in order to defeat her]].
** In the LooseCanon SequelSeries Dark World Drabbles, a member of Trixie's family a thousand years later named Masquerade got her hooves on Alicorn Amulet. While it's largely offscreen, the Dark World Heroes apparently had quite a bit of trouble getting it off of her [[spoiler:and it attempted to get Magica to put it on her (implying she too is of Trixie's blood). It's implied that Anasi (Alicorn!Trixie from a previous loop) covertly helped them do so and purify it so it could be used to forge an independent set of Elements of Chaos for use by the new Bearers]].
** Hydia spent a good chunk of her time before dying creating a ''lot'' of these to scatter across Ponyland as a last act of spite on Ponykind. This included the Inspiration Manifestation.
** The Concept Killing Spear, AKA the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Most Feared Weapon in Creation]], is a unique case: it's not so much inherently evil or corrupting as so dang dangerous that using it for good is nigh impossible. This is because it [[RetGone erases anyone it kills from existence]] unless used very specifically, as was done with [[spoiler:Rancor to Dark World!Discord]], and everyone who's currently alive because of them, and everyone who's currently alive because of ''them'' ect., which can cause massive devastation. It was created by a ChildProdigy from Tirek's Chariot of Darkness to kill Cupid and Venus. She succeeded in killing Cupid with it, and the end result was sending countless lives to Oblivion along with him and drastically changing history for the worst, and until [[spoiler:Nightmare Eclipse]] eventually surpassed it, it was the greatest amount of devastation done to reality by a mortal ''ever''. The Spear is so dangerous that Strife (the literal AnthropomorphicPersonification of Conflict itself) considers it unfit to remain in the mortal realm and kept it sealed in her realm, one of the most dangerous places in existence, just to make sure it was never used unless absolutely needed. It's telling that the only reason the Concepts don't just destroy it is because they ''can't'', as [[spoiler:only Destruction could do so and Discord ate him]].
* The ''Fanfic/FacingTheFutureSeries'' story ''Royal Occupation'' has the Scepter of Fay, which makes anyone who possesses an Amulet of Aragon [[RealityWarper all powerful]].
* ''Fanfic/BaumannRevenge'': The All Stars Staff is the one responsible for giving Mr. Baumann the desire to get rid of Ben Tennyson. Turns out that it didn't follow Baumann's desires, and it has UndyingLoyalty to its one true master, DX-4. It has NighInvulnerability. When Verdona used her magic to damage it, it wasn't damaged. Black Hole was not able to damage it, because it was made from an unbreakable material despite his power. In the end, the only way to destroy it was to trick it into turning into its OneWingedAngel form and destroying the dragon inside it.
* ''Blog/AlwaysHavingJuice'': In the Juiceverse, the Chaos Emeralds turn out to be these, ''big time.''. They appear to grant incredible power to anyone who wields them, but it drives them ''completely '''insane''''' as a result and it's terrifying. While the primary example we see is Sonic himself (he becomes Super Sonic... albeit in ''Fleetway'' fahsion, so a very powerful psychopath and with ShockAndAwe powers), Knuckles has stated that Chaos and Gerald Robotnik also went insane (unlike Sonic, they didn't have Knuckles to help). If [[GodOfGood a benevolent deity]], [[FatherlyScientist a kindly scientist]], and [[TheHero even the main hero]] are driven to complete and utter bedlam because of their power, then AHJ's Chaos Emeralds definitely qualify as these. This makes the Master Emerald's role in keeping them at bay all the more important.
--> '''Knuckles:''' Too dangerous for ''anyone'' to use.
* ''Fanfic/GuardiansWizardsAndKungFuFighters'' has the Sword of the Berserker, also called the Sword of Thanatos, forged from the remains of the demon Abaddon. It can OneHitKill anything, but it also [[TheCorruption corrupts]] the user, turning them into a mindless [[TheBerserker Berserker]].

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
%%* The Loc-Nar in ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal''.
* Maleficent's spinning wheel from ''Disney/SleepingBeauty''. The interesting thing here is that ''any'' spinning wheel could have fulfilled the curse instead of one particular evil/powerful one.
* The Black Cauldron from... ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'' is ancient and can create an army of undead.
* The Kragle from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'', a device that can render the Lego universe forevermore static and frozen. [[spoiler:Actually a tube of '''Kra'''zy '''Gl'''u'''e'''.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'':
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls2013'' has an example overlapping with HolyIsNotSafe. [[spoiler:[[Characters/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsSunsetShimmer Sunset Shimmer]]]], who at that point is a pretty nasty piece of work, gets her hands on [[Characters/FriendshipIsMagicTwilightSparkle Twilight Sparkle]]'s own [[CareBearStare Element of Harmony]], and undergoes a horrific PainfulTransformation into a demonic form which behaves about like Nightmare Moon did relative to Princess Luna: much less inhibited, much less moral, and much more magically powerful, but still recognizably herself. Originally, [[spoiler:Sunset]] hasn't been willing to threaten a dog; after she transforms, she tries to kill a group of high-schoolers.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsForgottenFriendship'': The Memory Stone is an ancient Equestrian artifact that, in the wrong hands, can prove extremely disruptive. It can remove very specific memories with pinpoint accuracy, and is powerful enough to affect the whole student body of CHS at once. As Clover the Clever's story attests, pursuing a villain employing the Stone can be very frustrating, since you can be made to forget you were doing it in the first place. The Stone's only limitation is that it doesn't work across worlds, so those in Equestria remain unaffected. [[spoiler:Destroying it returns all the stolen memories, but if not done within three days, the memories are lost forever.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The One Ring from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' is the TropeCodifier and this page's image. It contains the bulk of Sauron's power and will corrupt whoever wears it. See Literature for more detail.
* The infamous videotape in ''Film/TheRing'' will kill whoever watches it.
* The Lament Configuration (the puzzle box) in ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' films, a key to open a portal to the hellish realm of the Cenobites.
* The gun from ''Juice''. The moment Bishop uses it, he is unable to stop using it even on his friends.
%%* The [[spoiler:eponymous ship]] in ''Film/EventHorizon''.
%%* The [[PublicDomainArtifact Spear/Lance]] in ''Film/{{Constantine}}''
* The Coke Bottle, from ''Film/TheGodsMustBeCrazy''. Although it's just a normal, ordinary soda bottle, its effect on a tribe of bushmen due to its usefulness and its rarity causes so much trouble (culminating in one of their number using it as a weapon to hurt another) that they decide it's an evil thing, which must be thrown off the edge of the Earth.
%%* The button in ''Film/DragMeToHell''.
* The "Key" with the blood of [[UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} Jesus Christ]] in it from ''Film/DemonKnight''.
* The cellar in ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' [[spoiler:is filled with Artifacts of Doom with the intention of getting the victims to play with the objects and doom themselves.]]
* In ''Film/TheBrassTeapot'' the titular artifact's power latches unto the slightest trace of evil in a person's soul and amplifies it until the person is utterly corrupted by greed. It has left a trail of death and destruction across the entire world in the two millennia of its existence.
* ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'': The Infinity Gauntlet, a {{Tricked Out Glove|s}} holding 6 {{Power Crystal}}s that can destroy entire worlds on their own. Together, they can unmake the Universe.
** Not that the Infinity Stones themselves are exactly safe either. The Aether scared the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Asgardians]] so much their plan for dealing with it was to put it in a box and forget about it, because it drains the life out of anyone who absorbs it (and seems to ''want'' to destroy everything, everywhere). The Power Stone kills anyone who touches it, causing them to burn up. The Eye of Agamotto is held by an order of mystics who freak out when Stephen Strange borrows it for a few minutes, on account of the fact misuse can irrevocably damage space and time (or just erase the user from existence). And while the Mind Stone and the Tesseract are less dangerous, it's implied they're sentient in some shape or form, and actively nudging folk around them for their own reason (also, the last person to touch the Tesseract hasn't been seen since). [[spoiler:Though it later turns out they were transported to another planet and became the Guardian of the Soul stone.]]
* In the hybrid live-action[=/=]animation movie ''Film/CoolWorld'', the Spike of Power created by Dr. Vincent Whiskers. It can breach the boundary between the real world and the cartoon Cool World. It fits this trope in that it can actually tear down the walls between worlds completely, leading to the RogerRabbitEffect on a massive scale -- and not in a fun way. The antagonist, Holli Would, craves it to anchor herself in the real world, but instead causes the chaotic Cool World to spill into real world Las Vegas.
* In the game world of ''Film/OfDiceAndMen,'' the ''Libris Mortis'' or Book of All Souls is this. It will cause, as Tara puts it, "massive, world-ending zombie badness" if not destroyed.
* ''Film/ReturnToHouseOnHauntedHill'': The cursed statue of Baphomet, which is the reason why Dr. Vannacutt's mental asylum is haunted by its previous inhabitants.

* The ''Literature/LoneWolf'' gamebooks: in addition to the evil armies, [[EvilOverlord demonic Evil Overlords]], various [[SealedEvilInACan Sealed Evils in Cans]], and [[EverythingTryingToKillYou hostile wildlife and environments]], Lone Wolf runs into several Artifacts of Doom.
** The Darklord weapons and the Death Staff are examples of evil weapons that have great power, but aren't healthy if their users aren't evil incarnate.
** Story-wise, the worst artifacts are the [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doomstones]]. The Doomstones are essentially crystallized BlackMagic created by a powerful demon that eventually corrupts and kills anyone who uses them that isn't ''already'' a being of pure evil. Meaning that the strongest antagonists can use them with impunity, but Lone Wolf collapses as soon as he gets ''near'' one. The Doomstone of Darke featured in Book 16 ''The Darke Crusade'' deserves a special mention here. [[spoiler:In the end, it turns out to be the REAL BigBad of the book, having made the DiscOneFinalBoss its frail, near-undead puppet.]]
** A weird example is the Moonstone, a ''good'' Artifact of Doom: crops grow better, children are born healthier, summers are longer... but it threatens to destroy the natural equilibrium of Magnamund. The ''Legends of Lone Wolf'' series elaborates: the gods have literally set up a BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil. The Shianti were outsiders who meant well, but by putting the Moonstone into Magnamund, this gives [[GodOfEvil Naar]] the right to match it.

* Creator/JRRTolkien:
** The quintessential example is [[RingOfPower The One Ring]] from Tolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The Ring [[AmplifierArtifact grants power proportional to that of the wielder]], so the effect on a mere {{hobbit|s}} is minimal (it just helps them "disappear" and makes them live forever), but in the hands of an elven mage or a demigod like Gandalf, it's a [[GameBreaker world-breaking]] artifact. The downside is: it contains the spirit of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron (a.k.a. the Necromancer), so it will eventually corrupt anyone who wears it, or owns it, or even sees it. Also, it's virtually indestructible, and the quest to destroy it takes about three-quarters of the plot.
** The ''palantíri'', also from ''The Lord of the Rings'', are basically just sort of far-seeing crystal balls, but they are functionally dooming at the time of the story, because Sauron got hold of one and used it to psychically attack anyone who uses the others. (Victims include [[spoiler:Saruman, Denethor and Pippin.]]) They also seem to exert a strong fascination and temptation to use them for some reason or other, but maybe that's just hobbit curiosity. [[spoiler:Aragorn [[BadassInCharge breaks the spell and wrests the palantír for his own purposes]] right after he ''spooks Sauron'' by showing him, reforged, the blade that cost him the ring and a finger]]
** The Silmarils (of ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'') aren't precisely doomy, but they seem to have a dooming effect on everyone around them, because everybody who sees one (or even hears about it) covets them. Including Morgoth, who wears them in his crown even though their [[HolyBurnsEvil holiness burns him]]. Also, Mandos lays a Doom on the Noldor who seek the Silmarils, and anyone who gets involved with them, including the Sindar, the Dwarves and Men.
* In the John Silke series of ''Death Dealer'' books (which are based on the painting by Frank Frazetta) the main character is given a helmet possessed by the god of death, which makes him a nigh-invincible warrior. On the flip side, it will put Gath (the name given to the death dealer) through slowly increasing discomfort, pain, and finally torture. The helmet can only be removed by an innocent young woman, and final love interest, named Robin Lakehair.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''Legion'', learning of the Black Cube causes the Cabal to change their plans. [[spoiler:They give up their subtlety to openly contact the Alpha Legion and tell them they must flee the planet at once: their enemies are using the BloodMagic to bring about the Black Dawn, which [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt will wipe life from the planet]].]]
* The first two books in Lloyd Alexander's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' series had the Black Cauldron, based on a Welsh myth, used by BigBad Arawn to create his army of the undead. (The Fates imply that the Cauldron once had other, more benign uses, but Arawn ruined the thing while he was "renting" it.) To destroy it, SomeoneHasToDie, and it can apparently corrupt former good guys who covet its powers. The Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon made a very loose adaptation simply titled ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron''.
%%* The Lifestone plays this role in ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle''.
* Somewhat subverted in ''Literature/{{Excession}}'' by [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]], in which the Excession is an object which ''does absolutely nothing'', but almost causes a galaxy-spanning war over who gets to say they own it.
** Then it's not a subverted Arctifact, it's just a {{MacGuffin}}
* The Piggy from Creator/WilliamSleator's ''Literature/InterstellarPig'' also does nothing, but causes a lot of trouble. The aliens chasing it believe that, when an unknown timer runs out, only the planet with the Piggy will be spared from destruction. But the Piggy itself later tells the human protagonist that it has the "hiccups" and will actually only destroy whatever world it's on during its next hiccup. The hero soon realizes these are both lies to keep "the game" going: the Piggy's real purpose is to study each alien species, and the story of the game exists solely to manipulate everyone into alternately chasing it and tossing it like a hot potato.
* In Steven Brust's ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' books, Morganti weapons have a cold, low-level intelligence that hungers to consume souls. The blades are so awful that they even unsettle their bearer. However, the most powerful Morganti weapons are called Great Weapons, and have a more developed intelligence that can be controlled, leading to a symbiotic relationship.
* The Blackened [[ThirtyPiecesOfSilver Denarii]] from ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Just ''touching'' a coin is enough to invite the fallen angel bound to it into your mind, where they will toy with your perceptions, offer you power, and eventually turn you into their flesh puppet. Mordite (a.k.a. "deathstone") is worse. Any entity short of an EldritchAbomination will suffer CriticalExistenceFailure simply by being near it.
* An example by Ramsey Campbell is the ''Messa/Massa di Requiem per Shuggay'', a morbid opera designed not only to [[BrownNote drive its audience mad]], but [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt to summon the blind idiot god Azatoth at the end of the performance]].
* Not a traditional artifact, but any copy of the play ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'', eponymous to the short story collection by Creator/RobertWChambers. The subject matter of the play ''The King In Yellow'' isn't entirely revealed, other than that it's set in [[EldritchLocation "the lost city of Carcosa"]], perceived to be very artistically written, though the first act is tame and the second act drops hard. Reading the play will either lead to madness or a dark fate. The King in Yellow ''himself'' is never seen, nor shown whether or not he actually exists, though he appears to be a HumanoidAbomination that embodies decadence.
* The Illearth Stone from the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' is pure evil and extremely powerful. Even shards cut from it are potent magic items that can corrupt people. Additionally, if the Illearth Stone or a shard of it is in one place for long, its evil anti-nature aura will kill off all the plants in a large radius around it.
* The grail in Creator/TeresaEdgerton's ''Literature/TheGrailAndTheRing'' became this because it was corrupted when its powers were first revealed. SubvertedTrope in that the object can be redeemed, and doing this is a necessary step to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong.
* Played straight in Simon R. Green's ''Literature/BlueMoonRising'' (the Infernal Devices).
** Things like this also turn up in his Literature/{{Nightside}} novels, but in weirder forms (e.g. the Speaking Gun).
** In the last ''Hawk & Fisher'' story, a thief is set free from Messerschmann's Portrait, a magical booby trap in which he'd been imprisoned for 23 years after an unwise attempt to rob a sorcerer. Although insane at first, he regains his senses by a fluke of events and subsequently discovers he's acquired superhuman strength, speed and stamina, as if all the concentrated energy of those twenty-three years is at his disposal.
* In P. C. Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', the Ivory Knife and the Book Bound in Pale Leather are this and yet not, in that they're given to the Kencyr by their God, and will be used by the three avatars of God, the Tyr-ridan. The Ivory Knife is the "very tooth of death", a pinprick from which is fatal, which rots and kills anything it touches. Heroine Jame keeps it in her boot sheath for the longest time.
* The short story "Literature/TheMonkeysPaw" by W.W. Jacobs. The monkey's paw grants the user's wishes, [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor but at a tremendous price]]. "''It had a spell put on it by an old fakir, a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow.''" The thing was created purely to cause suffering. It's pure evil.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' has a ''city'' that acts like this. Shadar Logoth will quickly corrupt anyone who stays too long. This isn't much of a problem when you consider that people who enter will quickly get killed by Mashadar, an evil cloud that hangs over the city. [[spoiler:Mat Cauthon]] picks up a dagger on his stay there, and this acts the same way. He quickly succumbs to hating people, and is nearly killed by the taint of the dagger before he is finally separated and healed of the taint. However, Rand eventually finds a way to use the city against the BigBad without being corrupted by it, namely by [[spoiler:making its power and the city's cancel each other out, albeit with the side effect of erasing the city and several kilometers of earth beneath it from existence.]]
* Creator/StephenKing's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' depicts two of a set of [[NumerologicalMotif thirteen]] Artifacts of Doom -- the Wizard's Rainbow, a scattered set of color-coordinated {{crystal ball}}s that inspire a covetous "''my precious...''" instinct. The pink one, [[TomTheDarkLord Grapefruit]], appears to cause addiction to the RealityTV-esque visions it shows, and also possibly the slow draining the viewer's vitality. But the ''Doomiest'' of them all, Black Thirteen, instead inspires a mixture of terror and murder-suicides, and is implied to act as a sort of WeirdnessMagnet for disaster when Jake and Father Callahan unknowingly decide to stash it [[spoiler:in a subway locker beneath the World Trade Center in June 1999.]] Black Thirteen's doominess is a bit of an InformedAttribute, however, as the protagonists are able to use it to get all sorts of plot-relevant errands done with few side effects beyond the occasional creepy voice in the head / hallucinatory creepy music.
* In William King's ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000: Literature/SpaceWolf'' novel ''Grey Hunter'', Ragnar and other {{Space Marine}}s encounter an artifact which makes vast promises to them. Ragnor only breaks free when it tells him he has to kneel to the Ruinous Power to get it. And the others don't break free on their own; he has to help them.
* May or may not be averted in Creator/CSLewis' ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', as the inscription over the enchanted bell only ''claims'' it'll drive you mad if you refrain from striking it. Even if it couldn't really cause insanity, ringing the bell awakened Jadis and introduced evil to Literature/{{Narnia}}, which is "doom" in a way.
* That [[TomeOfEldritchLore tome of ineffable horrors]], the ''Necronomicon'' originating in the works of Creator/HPLovecraft, though this is largely the result of being heavily {{Flanderized}}; a major percentage of the Lovecraft's protagonists read the book without becoming more than mildly neurotic. Breakdowns only tend to happen when what they've learned from the book seems to coincide with their recent experiences.
* Played straight with the original ''Necronomicon'' (only, any other copies are just books) in German author Wolfgang Hohlbein's ''Hexer'' stories, which is actively malevolent, extremely unsafe to read, and tends to draw supernatural evil to itself partly through its own power and partly because it's secretly one of the [[PlotCoupon Seals of Power]] that [[SealedEvilInACan keep the]] [[EldritchAbomination Great Old Ones]] [[SealedEvilInACan in their respective prisons]] after their defeat by the Elder Gods.
* In Creator/ChinaMieville's ''Literature/TheScar'', Silas steals a statue from the grindylow which grants him mysterious powers, yet has the unfortunate side effect of slowly turning him into a fish-person.
* The gauntlet in Karen Miller's ''Literature/GodspeakerTrilogy'' which is made from a PowerCrystal and fashioned by Hekat for her son Zandakar. It [[StuffBlowingUp destroys buildings]] and [[KillItWithFire fries people where they stand]]. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking It also makes his hair turn blue]]. Zandakar later abandons it as he find it too destructive, his brother Dmmitak uses the gauntlet and never takes it off, even when he has sex. The knife which [[spoiler:Vortka gives Zandakar]] is also an example of this.
* Stormbringer, the black blade, in the [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric]] novels, [[spoiler:forces Elric to kill everyone he loves]], brings about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, and ultimately survives the destruction and re-creation of the universe to spread its evil anew.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Creator/TerryPratchett created a device called the Gonne [[spoiler: ie. the world's first gun]] in ''Discworld/MenAtArms''. Anyone ([[IncorruptiblePurePureness almost]]) who so much as picks up the Gonne will think it "talks" to them; they begin to consider killing someone immediately. On the Disc, sometimes just being powerful or unique is enough to make something borderline magical, and the Gonne was both. What the Gonne feared most, though, was not destruction but ''replication''.
** In the ''Discworld'' novel ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', a primordial guitar bought at a [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday little mystical shop]] takes control of an aspiring musician and his band mates. The guitar isn't exactly evil, but it is selfish, destructive, and intent on making sure "The Band With Rocks In" dies young and goes out in a blaze of glory, whether they want to or not, in order to popularize its type of music.
* Crenshinibon, the Crystal Shard, in R. A. Salvatore's ''[[Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy Icewind Dale Trilogy]]'', is considered by many readers to be an homage to the One Ring. It's a sapient artifact forged from the souls of several [[OurLichesAreDifferent liches]], capable of constructing crystal towers that can focus sunlight into beams, and [[TheCorruption corrupts the wielder]]. The lore states that Crenshinibon was specifically created as a giant middle finger to the "good" races as it was powered by the symbol of all that is good -- Sunlight. The liches apparently had something of a sense of humour.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** The Horcruxes are sort of like the One Ring; they primarily function as {{Soul Jar}}s for Voldemort, but can exert a corrupting influence to defend themselves. Never mind that the creation of them is an act of evil; it requires the wizard to commit murder as part of the ritual.
** Not exactly doomy but definitely addictive is the Mirror of Erised in the first book. It shows you your greatest desire, but it is just an illusion. (In the movie Harry is shown sitting transfixed in front of it.)
** The Elder Wand [[spoiler:prior to coming into the possession of Dumbledore and later Harry]] would also qualify. It is ''the'' most powerful wand ever created so its users typically become drunk with power and knifed when they're sleeping.
* Brandon Sanderson's ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' features Nightblood, a sentient sword created for the purpose of slaying evil -- except being a sword, it has no real idea what evil ''is'', and as such continually goads its wielder to try killing everyone in sight just to be on the safe side. Also a DeadpanSnarker. Despite not having any meaningful understanding of what evil is, Nightblood fulfills its purpose fairly well. Anyone with evil intent will feel compelled to pick it up, and will soon be involuntarily killing their partners in crime. It does, however, like to urge its proper owner to kill almost anyone so... yeah, we'll call that a design flaw.
* In ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray'', the portrait itself. Dorian cannot age and stays young forever thanks to its power, but the painting turns more horrible and wretched with each evil act that Dorian performs, as a physical manifestation of his tainted soul. Dorian is drawn to and repulsed by it. By the end of the book, he has the painting locked in his attic, afraid to even look at it. In a fit of conscience, he decides to destroy it, unable to bear to look at his aged and wicked face from the canvas. [[spoiler:He stabs it, but in doing so, actually kills himself.]] While the portrait isn't actually evil, it reflects the evil in Dorian.
* The board games ''Literature/{{Jumanji}}'' and ''Literature/{{Zathura}}'', while not inherently evil or malevolent, still often rain down misfortune and disaster on the players in the form of lions, [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame homicidal big game hunters]], meteor showers, and invading aliens, depending on which game you're playing. In both games, the only way to get rid of them is to finish the game (assuming it hasn't killed you first). However, even if the heroes do manage to finish and dispose of the game, more often than not it will just worm its way into the hands of another group of unfortunate saps.
* In the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' book ''Literature/MidnightTides'', Rhulad Sengar's cursed sword (which he only grabbed to keep an enemy force from stealing it) grants him superhuman (super-Tiste?) strength and combat ability to match the greatest swordsman. And it even allows him to resurrect, as long as the sword remains in his hand, leaving him even stronger -- hence harder to kill -- than before. Unfortunately, the resurrection doesn't actually heal the wound that killed him (at least not immediately, or gently) and hurts, leaving Rhulad even less sane every time he's killed. And we've also seen, in the time between his death and resurrection, the Crippled God (the sword's creator and the series BigBad) takes the opportunity to pound on Rhulad's soul before sending him back. Did we also mention the sword is cursed so that Rhulad can't let go of it, even if he wanted to?
* The cricket ball [[spoiler:hyperspace junction bomb]] created by Hactar in ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything''.
* ''The Bottle Imp'' has shades of this, in the Creator/RobertLouisStevenson story of the same name. It will grant any material wish, but when its owner dies, he's doomed to go straight to hell. Ownership can be transferred to someone else but [[ClingyMacGuffin only if you follow the rules]].
* The demon bench end, from the story of the same name from ''Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror'' does this. It seems to do a combination of driving its owner mad and worming its way into their mind so they commit acts such as murder. It seems that one of the first acts it makes them do is the murder of the previous owner. Oh, and [[ClingyMacGuffin you can't give it away, throw it away and quite possibly you can't destroy it, or at least not by conventional means]].
* In Creator/MatthewReilly's ''Six Sacred Stones'' and ''The Five Greatest Warriors'', the sixth pillar gives the reward of "Power"; the ability to reshape the world according to its possessor's wishes. It also puts them through the ultimate version of [[ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil power corrupts]].
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian novel ''Literature/TheHourOfTheDragon'', the Heart of Ahriman. Even one of the evil conspirators tries to get it from the EvilSorcerer. Though interestingly, the Heart is actually noted to be a force of ''good'', and the EvilSorceror in question kept it close because he knew that it was the one power that could defeat his own dark arts and that he could never wield it himself. The conspirator in question only ''thought'' it was a source of dark power and intended to remove it under the belief it would weaken the sorceror, and Conan goes on a quest to get it back so he and his allies can defeat the sorceror.
* ''Literature/TheNeverEndingStory'': Subverted with Auryn, which removes memories from its user but can also change somebody's personality, as for [[RingOfPower The One Ring]]. The longer the Bearer has Auryn, the more he begins to be upset, irritable and angry. This is the case for Bastian, at last.
* The killer camera in ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}: Say Cheese and Die!'', which destroys or causes harm to persons or objects [[SpookyPhotographs that it takes pictures of]].
* In ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheApt'', the box. Scyla gets quite creeped out by its effect on her. The LivingShadow doesn't help.
* ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'': The [[CoolShip Nautilus]] is this for Captain Nemo: at the State of technology in 1869, a submarine could destroy any ship and then escape unpunished. By using it as a WeaponOfMassDestruction, Nemo discovers that WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity. Nemo last act in the book is to [[spoiler: direct the Nautilus to a Giant Whirlpool, dooming himself and his crew]].
* Questing Stones are reputed to be this in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap''. No Apprentice has ever returned after having been dispatched with one of them[[spoiler:, until Septimus is given one and survives the Queste in ''Queste'']].
* In Creator/MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', the Dancer, apparently. At one point two characters discuss whether one man who owned it had died when he disappeared -- after all, all other owners have.
* In the ''Literature/BookOfSwords'' series, the twelve Swords forged by Vulcan all fit this to varying degrees, since they were forged for the ultimate purpose of spreading strife in the mortal world for the gods' amusement. The Swords' power and doominess is such that [[spoiler:even the gods fall prey to them in the end.]] Tellingly, the only Sword that survives till the end of the series [[spoiler:is Woundhealer, the only Sword that cannot harm anyone.]]
* Sith Holocrons in the ''[[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse StarWars]]'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]]. Not exactly in the movies, though, except as harmless fan-service atrezzo.
* In Creator/TomHolt's comedic fantasy ''Literature/ExpectingSomeoneTaller'', which is a ''very'' loose sequel to Wagner's ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung'', the Ring itself, as in the original, makes the bearer ruler of the world, but has a curse that all who bear it will come to a tragic and untimely death.
* The Field Guide from ''Literature/TheSpiderwickChronicles''. Its creator, Arthur Spiderwick, made it to document the existence of mystical creatures that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Unfortunately, the BigBad Mulgarath wants the book so that he can use its knowledge for his own purposes.
* ''Literature/AdventureHunters'': The war golems found underneath a country town are so powerful and caused so much damage the last time they were used that they have become the local NuclearWeaponsTaboo and everyone who knows anything about them will insist they are a myth to discourage anyone from using them again.
* The Prince's Crown, in A. L. Phillips's ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'', is this except under specific circumstances. [[spoiler: To elaborate, anyone who touches the crown and is elementally aligned instantly dies unless an unaligned mage buffers them. A person who is not elementally aligned and touches the Crown will become a hoshek, a mage of pure evil. This can be averted by two people touching the crown at the same time, which instead allows one of them to bestow light magic on the other. The High Guardian of the Temple Of The Elements is capable of blessing the crown to negate these effects, allowing it to be used for the prince's coronation ritual.]]
* The Sword of Martin from the Literature/{{Redwall}} series, is considered magic, but is good or bad depending on who wields it. Good characters can use it no problem and even gains master swordfighting skills while holding it. Yet if an evil character steals it and uses it for... well.. evil. They'll be cursed with misfortune and doom.
* ''Literature/PleaseDontTellMyParentsImASupervillain'': Penny manages to find a cursed jade statue by accident in a school, which turns out to be guarded by an EldritchAbomination.
-->The mini-Machine reached The Machine itself, crawling up a leg to offer me the chunk of jade. Not just a chunk, a statue, a curling and elegant oriental dragon. I took it in both hands. Heavy, but not too much to carry. It looked mystical. What were the odds of finding a magical artifact here?\\
The odds? Well, now that I asked, I'd just gone treasure hunting in [[CityOfWeirdos LA, home of every cult, secret society, and unethical research project for the last 100 years]]. Oh, and I did it using experimental technology I didn't understand.
* The "Unmaking Nexus" from ''[[Literature/ZeusIsDead Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure]]'', a [[spoiler: living]] weapon that was [[spoiler: commissioned by Zeus and constructed by The Fates during the final days of the first Titan War]], is so powerful as to be able to kill an immortal god with a single sting. It can also just as easily kill the god who uses it, if they're not careful.
* The source of Prismia's power in ''Literature/TwilightSparkleAndTheCrystalHeartSpell'' is an amulet similar to the Alicorn Amulet.
* The Book of Secrets in Perri Rhoades' ''Literature/SpectralShadows'' could qualify as this. Especially since it supposedly contains [[spoiler: The magic Blair needs to resurrect Salocin.]]
* The Sharra Matrix in the ''Literature/{{Darkover}}'' novels. Superficially it is just a [[PsychicPowers psychic]] AmplifierArtifact that allows users to start PlayingWithFire. However, if used for its original purpose, as a weapon, it will goad them into summoning the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Form of Fire]], the "goddess" Sharra herself, who may or may not be an actual EldritchAbomination. When a well-meaning group of idealists tries to use it to achieve MagicFromTechnology, they end up calling the Form of Fire and destroying a spaceport as the start of a campaign against the Terran presence on their LostColony planet.
* One ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' short featured a pen which was used to commit a murder, but had no shutdown installed, so it would keep killing. Whoever picked it up would find themselves unintentionally writing out the idea of a horrible death in store for them, which soon comes true, though only the victim can see it happen. It causes you to die in a hallucination which is real but only for you - one holder is struck by lightning ''indoors'', while the item is found in the home of a man who has been splattered all over his living room due to being hit by a charging train, which others heard but no-one witnessed as it somehow appeared in the room without making a huge hole in the house. The Skeleton Detective solves the case just in time to prevent the latest victim from being eaten by a shark on dry land.
* ''Literature/TheSagaOfTheFaroeIslanders'': King Olaf urges Sigmund to trade the golden arm ring he got from Jarl Hakon and which was earlier worn by the statue of Thorgerd Hordabrud, because he foresees it will be the cause of his death. Sigmund does not want to let go of the ring. Years later, when Thorgrim finds Sigmund helpless from exhaustion on Suduroy beach, the ring induces Thorgrim to kill Sigmund from avarice. King Olaf's warning suggests this [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane may be Thorgerd's revenge for Sigmund's conversion to Christianity]].
* In Creator/KarlEdwardWagner's ''Bloodstone'', Kane attempts to obtain and use an ancient alien device of great power for his own purposes. Unfortunately, it has plans of its own...
* ''Literature/WordsOfRadiance'' (second book of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): The [[SoulCuttingBlade Shardblades]] represent the [[TheOathbreaker broken oaths]] of the old [[TheOrder Knights Radiant]], as well as centuries of blood and murder as people scrambled to win and steal them. When Kaladin touches one, he hears it ''screaming'', though only he and the wielder can hear it. [[spoiler:They're actually [[BondCreature spren]], killed by the broken oaths, given some semblance of life by bonding to a living being (enough to be [[SummonToHand summoned and dismissed at will]], but no more). Being touched by a Radiant who still holds his oath gives them life and memory of their pain for a moment]].
* ''Literature/TheJungleBook'': In Creator/RudyardKipling's "The King's Ankus", the eponymous object (an elephant-goad made from ivory and precious stones) looks like an ArtifactOfDoom to Mowgli when he discovers six men who have killed each other fighting over it. Being a WildChild he doesn't understand why men would kill for something they can't eat.
* ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity'': Valeriana's medallion is one of the last surviving {{Hellgate}}s (called Darkgates in the book). A very small one, yes, but a {{Hellgate}} nonetheless. [[spoiler: Given that, you'd think Sam would know better than to put the damn thing on, but that's part of its evil, tempting power...]]
* Lampshaded in ''Literature/BrokenAngels'' where the MacGuffin is a Martian spaceship. [[spoiler:Turns out the local revolutionary group had already found the vessel, which they were planning to use a bargaining chip to achieve independence from the UN Protectorate. However the spaceship turns out to be a warship; on realising they had a WeaponOfMassDestruction they could use to crush the Protectorate, the archaeologist who's helping them is horrified to see them become DrunkWithPower like they were being influenced by this trope, so she decides to KillEmAll to avert this.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Averted in ''Series/DoctorWho''. The ancient [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Time Lords]] created The Moment, an ultimate weapon described as a "galaxy eater" and possessing the power to control time even beyond their usual technology. However, they were savvy enough to know just how tempting the power of such an ultimate weapon would be. So they deliberately gave it a sentient, telepathic, user interface as well as a ''conscience'' and the right to pass judgment on anyone who actually uses it. The Moment will try to dissuade any potential user. Despite the awesome scale of the Time War, the Time Lords were scared to dust off The Moment and use it for fear of what it do to them as punishment.
* ''Series/FridayThe13thTheSeries'' ([[InNameOnly no relation]] to the [[Franchise/FridayThe13th movies]]) was about a group of do-gooders who find that a vault filled with these things were sold to various people via DealWithTheDevil. Naturally, they GottaCatchThemAll.
* They have a strange habit of being in Sunnydale in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. The best one is the Hellmouth, but there's others as well.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** The [[spoiler:evil law firm]] that Angel is given at the end of season four (not technically an inanimate artifact, but hey). It's a powerful weapon that will do whatever he commands, but it's always working to corrupt his thinking so that he will give it the commands it wants. The dare-to-use-it/get-rid-of-it argument keeps cropping up, too. Also worth noting: [[spoiler:The law firm exists to do business with evil. If they just plain stop helping evil with it, and instead try to use it only as a weapon for good, the business will fail, and another law firm, beyond their control, will pop up to replace it.]]
** ''Angel'' also had a more straightforward ArtifactOfDoom: the Shroud of Rahmon, a demonic shroud that drives anyone near it to go AxCrazy.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** In ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'', the mask of Zen-Aku resulted in Merrick going AxCrazy and having to be [[SealedEvilInACan locked away]] three thousand years ago, to be awakened by the villains to menace the Rangers in the present. By this point, he'd been so overwritten by Zen-Aku's personality that the result was an EnigmaticMinion version of Zen-Aku who didn't know what those pesky human tendencies were about and why a couple memories didn't seem to fit. Eventually, they're separated, and Merrick becomes the SixthRanger of the modern team. [[spoiler: [[OddCouple Merrick and ZA are getting along much better now]], as we learn at [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue season's end]]]].
** ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' also has the fifth Dino Gem. Thanks to Mesogog's meddling, it's more powerful than the others, but turns you into JekyllAndHyde, with the Hyde side eventually sticking. The evil is ultimately removed but [[RedemptionDemotion the White Ranger is no longer stronger than the other Rangers]] that he'd been handily beating up until now.
** Way back in ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', Rita armed the [[BrainwashedAndCrazy mind-controlled]] Tommy with the Sword of Darkness. The sword itself was not a corrupting influence; rather, its power was used to sustain Rita's spell. The sword's ''[[Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger Zyuranger]]'' counterpart, the Sword of Hellfreide, drove the wielder crazy. (Or, in Burai's case, crazi''er'')
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': The Sword of Kahless appears to have the same effect on Worf and Kor, though this perception was unintended by the writers. As Kor mentions at one stage (whilst using the famous sword as a spit to cook his dinner), it's just a sword, not a holy relic. Nevertheless Worf and Kor each believe that their role in finding the long-lost bat'leth means they're destined to rule the Klingon Empire (Worf did become Chancellor and head of the Klingon Empire, albeit for a few minutes). After nearly killing each other they realize the sword will cause more problems than it will solve, and so they [[TheWorldIsNotReady set it adrift in space]]. When the weapon is referenced in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', it is referenced as just a weapon that drew out people's dark sides because those who had it would have to deal with those who wanted it, thus going with the writers' intentions.
* ''Series/MastersOfHorror'': "John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns": Some guy, desperately in need to pay off his debts, goes in search for a [[BrownNote long-lost film]] called ''La Fin absolue du monde'' on behalf of a private collector. Only shown publicly during its premiere (which resulted in a massacre), everyone that came into contact with it was driven to kill someone else or themselves.
* A weekly Artifact of Doom provides the premise of the SciFi Channel show ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}''.
** Some are so bad that they have to be kept in a special room in the Warehouse and continually be covered in the purple goo they use to neutralize them. Even then it's best not to get too close. At least one artifact has the potential to cause an extinction-level event when used at a certain location ([[spoiler:the Minoan Trident when used in the caldera of a supervolcano like Yellowstone, the eruption of which would end human civilization]]). The [[spoiler:House of Commons Masonry]] is fueled by the rage of the entire Nazi war machine and can blow with the combined firepower of the London Blitz.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The sarcophagus is a device that creates eternal youth, and can even bring people back to life, but it's credited as the main reason the Goa'uld are as evil as they are. The Tok'ra don't use it, because "it steals the soul." In the episode "Need", Daniel Jackson gets addicted to it, and eventually gets to the point where he just doesn't care about anybody else (which is really remarkable for him, at the time).
** Also in ''Series/StargateSG1'' are the Ancients' Repository of Knowledge devices. Jack refers to them as Ancient head suckers because of the way they latch onto the recipients' heads to download the knowledge to them. These Repositories can download the entire knowledge bank of the Ancients into the mind of the user, however said information is too vast for the human mind to comprehend at our current evolutionary level. Therefore, anyone exposed to the knowledge bank will have their minds completely taken over by it, causing them to degrade and eventually shut down (die). Jack had his head sucked twice, and while he is able to build many advanced technologies, he becomes eventually unable to speak or comprehend anything other than the Ancient language and he nearly dies -- the second time he has to go into stasis to escape death.
* Parodied on ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juFTWhyC_Lc "Flowers for Wendy"]] (purchased from [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday the conveniently located street vendor who wasn't there yesterday]]) and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKZWZeo8Id8&feature=related "The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick"]].
* Parodied in the ''Series/RippingYarns'' episode "The Curse of the Claw."
* The Objects in ''Series/TheLostRoom'' have the potential to be these, but they ''can'' also been used for good. The worst ones, though, are ''very'' dangerous, such as the Deck of Cards, which [[BrownNote subjects you to terrible visions]], and there's at least one combination of Objects with the ability to cause something unspeakably awful.
* The Book of Pure Evil from the Canadian series ''Series/ToddAndTheBookOfPureEvil'' is a TomeOfEldritchLore that also functions as an Artifact of Doom. The book, which seems to be sentient and actively malevolent, appears to whoever has some great desire they wish to be fulfilled. In turn, the book (which can seemingly change its contents at will) provides a collection of spells that will grant that desire, though typically [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor twist it in some way]]. The main character, Todd, was the first to use the book and it [[DemonicPossession possessed him]], causing him to nearly slaughter his entire school with ThePowerOfRock.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': The Thirdspace Gate opens the way for {{Eldritch Abomination}}s to consume the universe. And they can make you want to open it when it's still closed.
** The Soul Hunters ([[WellIntentionedExtremist aliens who try to preserve the souls of especially wise beings at the moment of death]]) once created one of these by capturing the souls of an entire world at the moment of physical death...as they made a mass-transformation into energy beings. They were understandably upset about this. The Minbari observe "One soul can change the universe." What might a billion souls accomplish?
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** "Bad Day at Black Rock" deals with a rabbit's foot, taken from a rabbit captured in a graveyard at midnight during the full moon on Friday the 13th. It will grant its owner phenomenal good luck, until they lose it and will then have bad luck for the rest of their life (and after losing it, your luck will be so bad that "the rest of your life" won't be much longer).
** "Out With the Old" features a large collection of these.
** The First Blade, the "jawbone of an ass" with which Cain slew Abel, is selectively like this. For most people it would be harmless but not too useful, as bone doesn't make the most durable weapons. If you have the Mark of Cain on you it's potentially powerful enough to kill the highest-ranking angels and demons. If Dean is any indication, it's also a very thirsty knife, and warps the user into feeding it repeatedly. [[spoiler: And if you die while still in possession of it, it [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie brings you back as a demon]].]]
* ''Series/{{Salem}}'': The mallum.
* The short-lived series ''Dead Man's Gun'' revolved around one of these as the central {{MacGuffin}}--every episode the titular gun would fall into someone's hands, and possessing the gun brought trouble into that person's life until they either received their comeuppance or learned a valuable life lesson, at which point the gun would leave their possession and become someone else's problem.
* Azrael's Blade on ''Series/{{Lucifer}}'' is a weapon angels (even fallen ones) consider monstrous. Belonging to the Angel of Death, someone killed by it doesn't have their soul sent to Heaven or Hell, but is simply obliterated from existence. In the hands of mortals it's even worse because it takes any reason that someone might want to hurt someone else, no matter how insignificant that reason might be, and amplifies it a thousand fold.
-->'''Maze:''' So someone leave the toilet seat up...\\
'''Lucifer:''' Trip to stabby town, yes.

* The song "Black Blade", by Music/BlueOysterCult, is about a particularly nasty Artifact of Doom (see "Stormbringer", above; the song was written by Moorcock).
* "Dissolve," by Music/JonathanCoulton, seems to be about one of these, but the lyrics are a little vague.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* TheArkOfTheCovenant from ''Literature/TheBible''. More of a case of HolyIsNotSafe than a bringer of disaster, at least within authentic Judeo-Christian texts: anyone who touched the Ark without the proper ceremonies being observed would be instantly struck dead. This is why it is always depicted as being carried on staves. But, when used in accordance with God's commands, the Ark would cause good things to happen for Israel. In several cases where the Ark was captured by powers hostile to Israel, however, it is depicted as bringing disaster upon them ({{God}} apparently doesn't like it when His holy artifact is being kept as a trophy).
* Myth/ClassicalMythology: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necklace_of_Harmonia Necklace of Harmonia]], which was made by Hephaestus, for his wife Aphrodite's illegitimate daughter Harmonia. It allowed any woman that wore it to remain [[TheAgeless eternally young and beautiful]], but was also cursed to bring disaster to its owners. It was worn by the queens and princesses of Thebes, most notably Jocasta, the wife/mother of Oedipus.
* Myth/NorseMythology: The ring of the dwarf Andvari in ''Literature/ProseEdda'', from the tale of the Otter's Ransom. The ring had the power to increase gold, but when the gods robbed Andvari of the ring, he cursed it so it would cause the death of everyone that owned it. The further events suggest the curse of the ring is responsible for the death of Sigurd and the Niflungs.
* The Ring of Gyges, a metaphor for corruption in Plato's ''Literature/TheRepublic''. This ring merely turns the bearer invisible, as the One Ring had in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', but Plato argued that the temptations the ring presents would ultimately corrupt anyone who chose to use it. Inevitably, theft, murder, and betrayal would follow, as these were the easiest and most obvious uses of the ring. Ultimately, the use of the ring proves so addictive that its bearer cannot part with it, and can think of nothing else but his jealousy of keeping it.
* The Sword of Kullervo in ''Literature/TheKalevala'', which in the end talks to Kullervo and is willing to help him committing suicide, enjoying drinking his guilty blood as well as it has drunk many an innocent blood.
* In a Polish fairy tale, the fern flower will grant any wish, as long as it's only for yourself and you never share the benefits with anyone. If you are charitable even once, everything you wished for is taken back, and the flower disappears.


[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* The Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}} [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/il/shimmer/shimmer-s.html Singles Championship belt]] seems to have a habit of causing {{Face Heel Turn}}s, either in pursuit of it (Madison Eagles), or once a wrestler becomes champion (Wrestling/SaraDelRey, Wrestling/CheerleaderMelissa). The only {{Face}} to avoid turning heel the first twelve years was Wrestling/{{MsChif}}, who has a [[OurBansheesAreLouder banshee]] [[TheGimmick gimmick]]. Eagles in particular sparked this line of thinking, as she seemed to have been driven crazy by the belt itself, defining herself by it before her first run had been ended by Melissa, who promptly turned heel herself. Though after those twelve yeas a {{face}} with no [[TheFairFolk eldritch qualities]] managed to take the belt without turning. The Global Green Gangster Kellie Skater!
* The Eye of Tyr, a cursed amulet that has factored heavily into Wrestling/{{CHIKARA}} history. The Eye allows its holder to control the mind of one person, but it must willingly be given away after use or it will bring misfortune. Wrestling/UltraMantisBlack, who brought it into the promotion, refused to give it up after enslaving [[Wrestling/HunterJohnston Delirious]], leading to the formation of the Bruderschaft des Kreuzes. Even his attempt to free Delirious of its influence afterward backfired on him, eventually leading to [[spoiler: the destruction of the Spectral Envoy]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Crops up with depressing regularity in both ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000''. The Daemon weapons used by certain Chaos followers are somewhere between Artifact of Doom and EmpathicWeapon.
** Blackstone fortresses qualify, but [[UpToEleven is it a surprise that the artifact in question is a spaceship?]]
** On a slightly less grand scale than the Blackstone Fortresses, there are a number of brand new ones introduced in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' [=RPGs=] from FFG: the Halo Devices. Mysterious, but probably non-human in origin, these things ''can'' make the bearer immortal, but you wind up [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity unsane and inhuman]]. On the upside, that which does not kill you makes you stronger, and that which does kill you doesn't make you dead. You simply end up with [[spoiler:a mind completely unlike any human, including the insane worshippers of the Chaos Gods, and a body that slowly mutates into a vaguely insectoid monstrous form. And it doesn't work if you are psychic, or a Chaos worshipper.]] And "killing" the bearer, just hurries it along. Needless to say, these are rare, highly illegal, and are worth more than ''star systems''.
** A particularly notable daemon blade is the Kinebrach Anathame, which directly lead to the Horus Heresy and creation of the Chaos Space Marines.
** A daemon's TrueName can qualify. Not a physical artifact in themselves, but they can be contained in such. They corrupt whatever container they're placed in, leading to insanity or death if that happens to be a person's mind, and are one of the only things that can reliably summon or banish greater daemons. Needless to say they are both highly coveted and jealously guarded, and have been the MacGuffin in numerous stories.
* The Sword of Khaine (also an EvilWeapon) in ''Warhammer Fantasy'' was wielded by the Elven God of War Khaine. To drive back the first incursion of Chaos, the first Elven king picked up the sword, and after defeating the BigBad but not destroying it, it gradually turned him evil causing a sundering between the elf factions (one being led by his illegitimate son) and a civil war that continues to this day. The Dark Elves led by his son are still trying to reclaim the sword where it lies on its altar, which would give them to defeat the High Elves and possibly any further Chaos Incursions - it's possibly the most powerful weapon in Warhammer.
** The Crown of Sorcery (more accurately called the Crown of Nagash) grants whoever puts it on tremendous magical powers, but also allows part of the spirit of Nagash the Supreme Necromancer to speak to them. It influenced the creation of at least one culture devoted to necromancy before it was locked away.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has ''tons'':
** The [[EvilHand Hand]] and Eye of Vecna are the most notorious. One can give one's own eye and hand to use these artifacts, but you have to cut off your hand or gouge out your eye to use it, and WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity. Oh yeah, and both of them ''will'' eventually result in you being absorbed into [[EvilSorcerer their original owner]].
** And there's a story about the [[http://www.blindpanic.com/humor/vecna.htm Head of Vecna]], which is supposedly used in the same way, but doesn't actually do what the user expects. It does, however, do ''[[TooDumbToLive exactly]]'' what anyone with an ounce of sense expects. Even if it ''did'' work as advertised, it would still be a tremendously stupid idea to use it. His ''hand'' turns you evil, imagine what his ''brain'' would do.
** Another ArtifactOfDoom associated with Vecna is the Sword of Kas, a weapon he made and gave to his [[TheDragon second-in-command]], Kas the Bloody Handed. Kas [[TheStarscream turned against him]], and the resulting battle between the armies of the two evil beings killed both of them, leaving only the Sword and Vecna's Hand and Eye behind. Both were NotQuiteDead, of course; Vecna, as stated, became a demigod, while Kas became a very powerful vampire. The Sword of Kas is said to be a potent weapon for anyone who would oppose Vecna, but it is ''incredibly'' evil, and a hero who tries to use it for this purpose risks turning into a bloody, merciless warlord like Kas himself.
** The Demon Lord Orcus (the one who [[OrcusOnHisThrone has a Trope named after him]]) owns one of the most dreaded artifacts in the game, the Wand of Orcus, which is actually a rod topped with a skull. (In the 4th Edition, the shaft is part of a vertebra.) Orcus rarely lets it out of his sight, but some sources say that he "lends" it to worshipers occasionally to spread evil and chaos. The Wand not only kills victims, it turns them into powerful undead monsters under Orcus' control. (Just which type depends on which edition of the game.) No-one can agree on just who the skull used to belong to; some claim it was a god of goodness and light who Orcus murdered, while others say it was a great mortal hero who challenged him and failed (though, if that is true, magic must have been used to enlarge it). Whatever the case, the goodness of the soul the skull once belonged to [[ForcedIntoEvil has been corrupted into blackest evil.]]
** Evil-aligned artifacts in ''Dungeons & Dragons'' generally act like this; the ''Book of Vile Darkness'' {{Sourcebook}} lists some, and is named after a particular example.
** The 4th Edition took this to its logical extreme with the Heart of the Abyss; a shard of [[MadeOfEvil pure evil]]. [[{{Satan}} Asmodeus]] stole a ''sliver'' off the shard, crafted it into a rod, and used it to [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu kill the strongest of the gods]]. The [[EvilVersusEvil Blood]] [[ForeverWar War]] fought between the [[LawfulEvil devils]] and [[ChaoticEvil demons]] was spawned by this; Asmodeus wants the rest of the shard for himself, and the demons want the piece he stole back.
** The Book of Vile Darkness is, itself, a cursed artifact of sorts in ''Dungeons & Dragons''. Originally penned by a race that seeks to kill deities, other evil wizards, including Vecna, contributed to it, and it is now a spellbook that contains some of the most vile magic known.
** The Book of Keeping is not truly a cursed artifact, but still a dangerous one in the ''Dungeons & Dragons'' world. This book contains information on summoning powerful yugoloths, even giving the true names of a few of them. No-one knows who wrote it -- given that he would likely be the yugoloths' most hated enemy, he may no longer be alive. At least four copies of the Book exist, although some say as many as seven, and their owners tend to change frequently.
** Notably, even some ''good'' artifacts are like this. It's not so much that they're overtly malicious, as opposed to either [[HolyIsNotSafe being unforgiving]] or [[TheChosenOne intended for someone else.]] They don't necessarily mind being used for a bit, but be respectful. It is pretty much the rule for ''all'' major Artifacts throughout ''D&D'' that each of them must come with some curse or drawback. If it ain't cursed, it ain't an Artifact. This was stated explicitly in the 2nd Edition AD&D ''Book of Artifacts'', and is implied elsewhere.
* ''TabletopGame/IronKingdoms'': Madrak Ironhide's axe, Rathok. Its name even translates into "[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast World Ender]]."
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' gives us The Broken-Winged Crane, the ultimate TomeOfEldritchLore in the setting. Just reading it requires the unfortunate bastard in question to make a high-difficulty Willpower roll; if they fail, they pick up a form of insanity involving obsession over the tome and its contents. Its many-storied lore paints its various copies as imperfect reflections of the true tome that will come into existence at the dawn of a new dark age of Creation. [[spoiler: In reality, the "true" copy is the book the Scarlet Empress wrote to try to wrest immortality from the Yozis. [[AndNowYouMustMarryMe That]] [[MindRape did not]] [[BrainwashedAndCrazy go well]].]]
** The Third Edition supplement ''Arms of the Chosen'' contained examples such as the Forgotten Blade (a sword with powers to erase the memories of those struck by it, and ultimately erase people killed by it from the memories of others), Stormcaller (a katana containing a demon that causes a hurricane to start building every time it's unsheathed, and tries to instil a love of destruction in the wielder), Gorgon (a sword made from the prison of an EldritchAbomination, that can [[TakenForGranite turn people to stone]] and feeds on them), and Karvara, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Walking Devil Tower]] (a [[{{Mecha}} warstrider]] acting as the prison for a reality devouring EldrithAbomination, that can [[{{UnPerson erase people from existence]] by eating them, and [[DemonicPossession takes control of its pilot]] when they Limit Break).
* Every artifact in ''TabletopGame/HousesOfTheBlooded''. It's written into the rules: they can give you great power, but once a season, the Narrator can cause you to automatically fail a roll by saying [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom "DOOOOOOOM!"]] A good Narrator will do this at the worst possible time.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Kult}}'' has rules for possessed or otherwise evil items. One example is a machine gun that, when picked up, causes the wielder to go on a murdeous rampage, shooting everything in sight, friend or foe.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' has these things cropping up quite frequently:
** [[EmpathicWeapon Rune]] [[EvilWeapon Weapons]] have a personality all of their own, some are not exactly good, and are often out to get you.
** Angrar Robotics, seen in ''Rifts:Mercenaries'', offer a powered armour and a giant robot [[spoiler:which are actually demons, one for each crew member, forced to assume the shape of robot parts and sold to mercenaries. Slowly the crew takes on demonic qualities, and eventually the whole thing falls apart back into the shape of the demons, consuming the crews as the demons no longer need them.]]
** One episode of the Rifter featured a series of items, one of which was claimed to be terribly powerful, and grant great power to the user, but this is unknown as it is lost on Rifts Earth after a series of events in which the holders of the item were quickly killed by various means before they could work out how to use it.
* The Devils' Six-gun, from ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}:Reloaded''. While introduced in a comic book which shows the process of its creation, stats are given in the back to allow its use in the RPG. The thing can cause an explosion if all six of its special rounds hit the same traget without a miss or reload, which is shown to be sufficient to bring the house down. If you use it even once, for good or evil, the fates no longer smile on you, and certain uses of Bennies are denied to you - the more commonly used ones.
* ''1001 Science Fiction Weapons'' for D20 has some of these, from the Benadanitto Torc and Black Gauntlet, which are legendary items with minds of their own and their own agendas, and aren't evil but will often convince, or even force, people to perform unsavoury acts in order to fulfil their goals and stop at nothing; through the [[EvilWeapon Fulgichrome Blade]], which is a living sword capable of infecting wounds to cause nasty effects and telepathically communicating with its wielder in order to subvert them and make them bloodthirsty killers, as it likes to see suffering; to the Morituri Staff, capable of self-repair and self-powering but no longer working as well as it should, and permanently draining 1 HP per day from the user, and the Xugulor, which attaches to the users arm, can only be removed surgically, and permanently drains 1 CON per 2d10 of damage it does. Also there are minor examples under other chapters, such as the whole chapter on radioactive weapons. Some of these are somewhat sophisticated, but not much better than the most basic, which is just a bar of radioactive material.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' has the Relics of Kazavon, a set of seven powerful artifacts crafted from the remains of the dragon Kazavon. Bringing the seven relics together and resurrecting Kazavon is the goal of a religious group devoted to the god Zon-Kuthon, who had blessed the dragon and made him into His champion.

* The Ring of the Nibelungs from Music/RichardWagner's [[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung operatic cycle of the same name]], cursed by its maker to destroy all who possess or covet it. The curse comes with a truly ominous {{Leitmotif}}, which plays every time someone is killed because of it. Wagner, in loosely adapting the Myth/NorseMythology example above, extended the symbolism of the lust for gold, relating it (in typical 19th c. fashion) to the "''Wille zur Macht''", the fundamental anti-social aspect of which he symbolized in the idea that the Ring could be made only by one who had renounced all natural affections.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* There are a few in the attractions at Ride/DisneyThemeParks. A notable one is in the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' sequence of ''The Great Movie Ride'', where a real-life Cast Member plays the role of the poor fool who tries to take it.
%%* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'':
%%** The Ignika. On top of that, it was made exactly like the One Ring.
%%** The nui stone may also count as this.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[spoiler:The Apple, aka one of the [[LostTechnology Pieces of Eden]]]] from the ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' series. As observed by [[spoiler:Altaïr]] in the [[spoiler:Codex]], where he states [[spoiler:"I freed myself. But now I wonder... Did I really? For here I sit - desperate to understand that which I swore to destroy."]].
** Also reportedly observed by Ezio at the beginning of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'', who ends up in a similar situation.
** Other Pieces are even worse. The Shroud tries to get people to use it to heal themselves or others with a CompellingVoice, but it is either actively malevolent or just very, very broken. The results range from BodyHorror to CameBackWrong. Occasionally, it will actually heal someone.
** Subverted since the true purpose of the Pieces of Eden (at least seen in the games) [[spoiler:is to avert global destruction in the near future.]]
** Interestingly, in "The Tyranny of King Washington" DLC, it appears that this is the effect of the Apple that was given to UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, who then goes on to turn the new United States into a dictatorship bent on world domination. However, it was all a warning by the Apple as a vision. Seeing the vision horrified Washington into rejecting the idea of a monarchy out of hand and he chews out the next person who suggests it [[spoiler:who is really a hallucination embodying his lingering ambitions]].
* The demonic sword Soul Edge from the ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'' of fighting games. The sword invades the mind of its wielder and turns it into its host body, removing his self-consciousness and turning him into a bloodlusting machine whose only goal is to offer the souls of those he slay to the sword. The sword's influence can also affect the user's physical appearance in varying degrees, the most common effect being a demon-looking deformed arm.
** In ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur IV'', some of the characters' story paths imply that [[spoiler:Soul Calibur, the "good" counterpart of Soul Edge, may be evil as well. In one ending, it "covers the world with crystals in an eternal utopia"; essentially trapping the world in stasis forever.]]
*** [[spoiler:LightIsNotGood. Considering that [=SoulCalibur=] was created from a piece of Soul Edge, we probably should've seen this one coming...]]
*** Confirmed in ''[=SoulCalibur=] V'': [[spoiler: Soul Calibur has an avatar named Elysium living within it (just as Soul Edge has Inferno) who seeks this "eternal utopia", and [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith takes the form of Sophitia]] to trick Patroklos into doing its bidding]].
* In ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'', the Lifestone plays this role.
* In ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'', one can acquire an item called the "Skull of Mondain" (the villain of the very first ''[[VideoGame/UltimaI Ultima]]'') that can instantly destroy your enemies. However, it also destroys your KarmaMeter to the point that some people claim it makes the game {{Unwinnable}} (it doesn't, but each use brings you a quarter of the way from IncorruptiblePurePureness to evil in every virtue). Particularly sneaky, since the notion of a KarmaMeter was new at the time.
** VideoGame/UltimaVII brings us the Black Blade, a sword forged to devour souls and slay the unslayable, a demon bound within and cursed to never leave the Avatar's hand. [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot Except when it does in the next two games, and then the sword never returns.]]
* This is a recurring theme in ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} III''.
** In the Human campaign, the runesword [[MeaningfulName Frostmourne]] (a clear [[strike:knockoff of]] {{Homage}} to Literature/TheElricSaga's Stormbringer) curses Arthas.
** In the Orc campaign, the blood of the Pit Lord Mannoroth corrupts Grom Hellscream and his band, turning them into Chaos Orcs.
** In the night elf campaign, the Skull of Gul'Dan (a powerful warlock) turns Illidan Stormrage into a mighty demon, and after using his new powers to defeat the Dreadlord Tichondrius (a major threat to the night elves), he's exiled by his brother for being tainted with evil. In the expansion pack, he ''does'' end up becoming evil, so maybe his brother was on to something. (Although Illidan's problems go far beyond the artifact he absorbed, and it's not been directly confirmed that the Skull sent him over the edge.)
*** He also acquires the Eye of Sargeras (the actual eye of a corrupted titan who became pure evil, ironically created the Burning Legion which possessed the Skull of Gul'dan and which Tichondrious was a lieutenant in) in the expansion, which is to be one of those too, having the power to kill people on the other side of the world (shattering the world in the process).
** The novels bring us the Demon Soul, probably the worst of them all. Created by one of the Dragon Aspects under the influence of {{eldritch abomination}}s, it's immensely powerful (among other things, it can control all dragons except its creator and affects its user much like the One Ring does). Even the {{eldritch abomination}}s end up underestimating that attraction, and their scheme fails as a result. It's almost certainly an homage to the One Ring, as it appears to be a plain, unmarked gold disc (as the ring is a "simple gold ring"). This one is also the reason there's now a flaming god-dragon kept together by metal plates flying around destroying the world in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. He didn't use to look like that.
*** [[spoiler:The uncorrupted Dragon Soul returns via TimeTravel, and is used to destroy its own creator in the final battle of ''Cataclysm'']].
** The Orb of Domination in ''Warlords of Draenor'' is used by the Shadow Council to corrupt and control the minds of unwilling converts. The player steals it to free Garona [[spoiler:only for the Warden tasked with destroying it to be corrupted herself]].
* The ObviouslyEvil and [[PowerGlows ominously glowing]] Red Lyrium Idol from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. Found in a [[EldritchLocation Primeval Thaig]] located in one of the furthest depths of the Deep Roads, [[spoiler: it drives anyone who handles it for an extended period [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity stark raving mad]]]].
** Red Lyrium returns in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', having fallen into the hands of the "Red Templars", who apparently are using it as a substitute for the regular [[GreenRocks Lyrium]] they are [[FantasticDrug addicted]] too. The [[BodyHorror results]] aren't exactly pretty. It's also revealed just what makes Red Lyrium different from Blue Lyrium: [[spoiler:Red Lyrium is infected by the Blight.]]
** To a lesser degree, the Eluvian, although it was originally a perfectly "normal" MagicMirror before the Darkspawn got to it. Merrill believes that repairing it (even if it takes dealing with demons) could restore some lost elven heritage, while her mentor doesn't think it's worth the risk. [[spoiler: In the end, we never find out what it would have done.]] According to her mentor, the real problem wasn't the Eluvian itself [[spoiler:but rather the Pride demon (the same one Merrill dealt with to repair the Eluvian) that was waiting on the other side.]]
** [[InfinityPlusOneSword Vigilance]], the sword forged by Wade for the Warden-Commander from the bones of an Ancient Dragon. The epilogue of ''Awakening'' claims it was later stolen by the Antivan Crows and rumours abound that it's changing hands rapidly, steadily growing in power and possesses [[EmpathicWeapon a will of its own]].
* The Frozen Flame, from Chrono Cross. It's one of the most desirable "treasure" of El Nido and almost everyone wants to get it and have a life of fortune. In reality however it's a fragment of Lavos, and if you aren't the Arbiter [[spoiler:(Serge, the 17 year old boy that lives on Arni Village)]], having contact with it results in death. Oh, and it's also the source of power of [[spoiler: Chronopolis and it can't be accessed because the arbiter is now someone else.]] In a nutshell the thing is wanted by every single Big Bad of the game.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** The ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''. To put it in perspective; everything wrong in Termina when you get there? All of it was done either directly or indirectly by the Skull Kid wearing the Mask. And on top of ruining everyone's lives, he's planning to drop the [[ColonyDrop frickin']] ''moon'', destroying the entire land of Termina. And he ''can do it''. Oh, and it's not just a power-up artifact of doom: [[spoiler:the mask is intelligent, and is possessing the Skull Kid. And when Majora decides he's outlived his usefulness, the mask discards the kid like an old pair of socks.]]
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' has the Fused Shadows, which are hyped up to be an Artifact of Doom by the Light Spirits that Link rescues throughout the game. However, they all agree that, despite the potential for evil the Shadows hold, Link needs to collect them in order to have a chance of challenging [[BigBad Zant's]] power. Their power is proven when Link fights the creatures that possess them, which have grown into horrific beasts of great power: a Deku Baba, one of the least dangerous monsters in the game, became an enormous two-headed creature that could swallow a man whole when it grabbed a Shadow. We never do see them exert a corrupting power over Link or Midna, though... presumably they were too pure-hearted to be affected ([[spoiler:and Midna is eventually revealed to be the rightful possessor of their power anyway, so it makes sense it wouldn't affect her]]).
** The Mirror of Twilight from the same game turns demure, unassuming Yeta into the crazy ice-monster Blizzeta.
--->'''''"NOT TAKE MIRROR!"'''''
* ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'':
** The Chaos Heart, which BigBad Count Bleck creates by forcing the marriage of Bowser and Peach and uses to set in motion the end of the universe.
** The prequel ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' was built around an Artifact of Doom: Simply opening the damn door could doom the entire universe, and had already blown Rogueport sky high once.
%%* The VideoGame/{{Mario}} fangame ''VideoGame/MarioTheMusicBox'' has... well, take a guess.
* [=DarkChips=], in the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series.
** The [=OOParts=] in ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' aren't explicitly evil, but they do want to rebuild the tribe they are from, starting by taking over whoever possesses them.
** In the [[AlternateContinuity other continuity]], ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'' gives us the original Biometal, Model W, [[spoiler:which is what remained of Dr. Weil of the VideoGame/MegaManZero series.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' had the Black Materia whose only purpose (that was explained to the player at least) would bring a cataclysmic force against the planet and destroy it. On fear that Sephiroth would get through all of the traps and bosses and gain it for himself, the party of heroes decide to head in and retrieve it for themselves to keep it safe. [[spoiler:At that point, the [[BrainwashedAndCrazy indoctrination]] kicks in and [[MacGuffinDeliveryService Cloud delivers the goods]].]]
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' has Kunihiko Asou as the inventor of several of them in his lifetime. Mostly in the form of various Camera Obscurae, which allow the user to see ghosts. But it also has the threat of potentially leading to insanity and being DrivenToSuicide from overexposure of his artifacts.
* Most if not all of the twenty-seven True Runes in the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series are Artifacts of Doom. They give their host a supernatural ability and make them TheAgeless. However, each True Rune has a [[EvilWeapon will of its own]]. What a rue Rune wants is more often then not horrifically mentally scaring or deathly to the human that is in possession of it. Examples of this include:
** The ''True Rune of Punishment'' from ''VideoGame/SuikodenIV'' By the time characters figure out what it is, the rune has killed ''everyone'' who is seen using it. In an optional scene, the main character can overhear a discussion where other characters discuss who's going to get the rune next ''after it kills the main character!''
** The Sun Rune of ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'' grants nearly God-like power, but at the cost of [[AGodAmI their sanity]].
** The Soul Eater Rune from the original ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden|I}}'' ''will'' eventually kill the user's dearest friends and family to become more powerful.
** The Bright Shield and Black Sword runes are fine in and of themselves, but only two people that are close to one another (friends, family, etc) can use them, and they will be forced by the runes to fight each other.
** The True Elemental Runes (Fire, Water, Lightning, Wind and Earth) are trying to gain dominance over each other by forcing their hosts to over-use their powers.
** The Moon Rune turns one into a vampire.
*** Sealing them away won't work , since even if one is able to do so they will die once the last of the True Runes magic leaves their body. However there are ways of mastering the power of a True Rune, Often times this will involve the bearer of a True Rune gathering the 108 Stars of Destiny. In the case of the True Rune of Punishment [[spoiler: this requires forgiving Snowe, whose cowardice and mistakes in the beginning of the game led to the main character's exile and disgrace in the first place]]. The Rune of Punishment governs atonement ''and'' forgiveness, so this act shifts it into the "forgiveness" phase. Some other True Runes require other means for example, The mind altering effects of the Sun Rune can be dealt with by two control runes branded on each hands to use properly.
* The Terror Mask from the ''VideoGame/{{Splatterhouse}}'' series is a sentient, diabolic mask (roughly shaped like a grinning skull) that grants its wearer tremendous power. Its true goal is a BatmanGambit to ''take over Hell''.
* In the ''VideoGame/ChzoMythos'' series of games, there are quite a few Artifacts of Doom, the most obvious being [[spoiler:the cursed idol that innocently sits in a bell jar in the first game until the jar gets broken]].
%%* The Rings in ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier''.
%%** The Egg from ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier2''.
%%* The Silver Armlet from ''VideoGame/BeyondOasis''
* In the game based on the manga of the same name, the Anubis Stand from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' is the Stand of a sword, rather than a living being. In a similar way to the above Soul Edge, the Anubis Stand possesses whoever removes it from its scabbard and turns them homicidally insane. Three characters in the game (all from the manga) use the sword while being controlled by the Anubis Stand. The Anubis Stand is still capable of controlling others even when the sword had been broken into pieces by Jotaro (although its attempts to make a child throw a large piece of the sword at Jotaro's back leads to the stand's defeat as it ends up at the bottom of the River Nile).
* Phazon from the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series. The Space Pirates (and, in the third game, [[spoiler:TheFederation]]) seem to think it's just a nifty AppliedPhlebotinum that gives them lots of power. It is, however, strongly implied that Phazon has its own sentience and desires to spread and corrupt everything.
** [[spoiler:TheFederation]] knows about the corrupting effects of Phazon. [[spoiler:That's why they hire Samus to help them get rid of it all]]. They just like the extra power it gives in the short term.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series is positively rife with them. Each game seems to feature at least one as part of its main quest, with others showing up in the side quests or deep backstory. To note:
** Throughout the series, the LegendaryWeapon sword, Umbra. In ''Literature/TheElderScrolls'' novels, it was too much for even [[spoiler:Clavicus Vile, a ''[[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]]'', to handle. It steals a good chunk of his power before he manages to get rid of it.]] The sword [[YourSoulIsMine absorbs the souls]] of the people it kills and corrupts the wielder - one to the point where the sword supplanted her identity and she was known by its name as a remorseless killer. Though it has [[GameplayAndStorySegregation no apparent effects in gameplay]], it always has a new wielder by the next game...
** A number of artifacts associated with the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Princes]], especially the more [[JerkassGods malevolent ones]], qualify throughout the series. Most don't have an 'air' of "doom" on their own, but the means to acquire them often gives them one. For example, a person carrying Mehrunes Razor or the Mace of Molag Bal had to do ''something'' for the Daedric Prince of [[OmnicidalManiac Destruction]] or the Daedric Prince of [[GodOfEvil Domination and Corruption]] (respectively) to make that person worthy of receiving the artifact.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'' features the Staff of Chaos. The Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn used it to imprison the emperor and usurp his throne. He then broke it into pieces which the [[PlayerCharacter Eternal Champion]] has to recover.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' has the Numidium, a HumongousMecha of Dwemer craftsmanship which may have been responsible for the [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] vanishing utterly. It was used to forge Tiber Septim's empire and each of the main parties wants the Mantella (Numidum's control rod, powered by the soul of the Underking, a possible [[GodInHumanForm Shezarrine]]) for themselves. [[spoiler: [[MultipleEndings Which one gets it is up to the player.]]]]
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' has the Heart of Lorkhan, which crosses over with being a CosmicKeystone. The literal heart of the [[GodIsDead "dead" creator god]]. The Dwemer tapped into it using the "tools of Kagrenac" (Wraithguard, Keening, and Sunder), causing them to disappear. [[BigBad Dagoth Ur]] and [[PhysicalGod the Tribunal]] then used the tools and the heart to achieve divinity. [[spoiler: [[PlayerCharacter The Nerevarine]] will need to gather the tools and unbind the heart in order to defeat Dagoth Ur.]] The ash statues, which [[spoiler: connect people to Dagoth Ur and slowly infect them with corprus]], are another.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' also has several. The [[TomeOfEldritchLore Mysterium Xarxes]] plays a part in the game's main quest.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''
*** Several Daedric artifacts are acquired by doing some extremely unsavory and "doomy" things. One can [[spoiler:kill their companion, a [[SaintlyChurch Priest of Mara]]]], to acquire the Skull of Corruption, an artifact MagicStaff associated with Vaermina, which gains power by stealing the dreams of people and giving them nightmares instead. Likewise, the Ring of Namira is acquired by [[spoiler:luring a Priest of Arkay to a cave, murdering him, and ''[[ImAHumanitarian eating him]]'' along with a coven of cannibals]]. The ring then allows you to gain health by consuming the flesh of the dead.
*** The Eye of Magnus, an ancient artifact associated with Magnus, the god who served as the architect for Mundus, the mortal plane, but abandoned it part way through creation. While it's unclear exactly ''what'' it does, it clearly possesses enough raw magical power to potentially destroy the entire world. [[spoiler:Which is exactly what the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]] ambassador to the College of Winterhold tries to do with it]]. Indirectly, the Eye of Magnus doomed the ancient Falmer civilization. Due to both the Ancient Nords and the Falmer vying for control of the Eye, it led to a war in which both Saarthal and the Eye were lost. The Ancient Nords drove the Falmer underground into the arms of the Dwemer, who betrayed, enslaved, and twisted them into the blind, bestial [[{{Morlocks}} Morlock]]-like creatures they are today.
* The Mani Mani from ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' is very desirable, and emits an aura that causes anyone who gets near it to be consumed with greed. These factors allow it to play a prominent role in the BigBad's rise to power.
* The web-based MMORPG Mojo Ave had the ultimate example of an Artifact of Doom: "The Skull of Tony Teulan", a usable item which has the effect of turning off the game. Not the game of the user who used it, the ''entire game for everyone''. Since there was no way to reverse the effect, it only got used once.
* The Geneforges and canisters in the ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series. You ''will'' become violent and crazy if you use the Geneforge or too many canisters. [[EvilFeelsGood By the time you realize that, you won't care.]]
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** The Keyblades shattered the world from one large one into millions of small isolated world-shards, due to a war between good Keyblade wielders and evil ones (the shards were saved from ''total'' destruction by the hearts of children, although the good keyblade wielders may have helped). It's not for nothing that the general reaction of people who recognize the Keyblades for what they are goes something along the lines of "oh god, get away from my world-shard NOW".
** The real ArtifactOfDoom in the ''Kingdom Hearts'' franchise is the χ-blade, the legendary blade that is believed to grant control of Kingdom Hearts to anyone who wields it. The Keyblade War that shattered the world into its current state was fought over this thing, and the Keyblades themselves are artificial (and not anywhere near as powerful) imitations of it. [[spoiler:The original χ-blade was shattered at the conclusion of the Keyblade War, and the BigBad's ultimate, series-spanning goal is to recreate it.]]
* The Marker from ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''. [[spoiler:Subverted. It's actually a government-manufactured copy of the real one. Doubly subverted in that it's not that the Marker itself is the Artifact of Doom. The Marker is, in fact, a sentient containment device for the BigBad that spawns the Necromorphs.]] It's also what creates the titular [[TitleDrop "dead space"]] -- [[spoiler:an energy field that repels the Necromorphs.]]Even if it does [[spoiler: create the dead space that suppresses the Necromorphs]], the Marker still makes people slowly go crazy, see their dead relatives, write strange messages on the wall in their own blood, and kill themselves. In ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2'', [[spoiler: Isaac inadvertently creates another Marker that does all the same things minus the suppression, that almost starts something called a convergence event.]]''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'' reveals the Markers' true purpose, and it is ghastly. [[spoiler:They are the tools an incomplete post-convergence Necromorph is using to gather the [[HumanResources raw material]] it needs to make itself whole.]]
* The Artifacts from ''VideoGame/UnrealIITheAwakening''. [[spoiler:Your boss sends you off to gather the bits under the guise of beating the corporations/etc. to the punch, but he's really gone mad with power. When he finally gets all the bits together and assembles it, it turns the previously innocent alien chef/janitor/etc. folk into giant monstrous things with ''hands that shoot singularities'' that will kill ''anything'' in a single hit. Even themselves. After killing one, you get to use one of their hands as a weapon... and with who knows how many of them crawling over the ship. Let's just say you'll need it.]]
* The Celestial Stone in ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}} 64: The Second Attack'' is a priceless gem that's said to contain limitless power, but much of its story is forgotten by time, so it's only natural that when a space pirate finally locates the stone, his body is possessed by an [[SealedEvilInACan ancient demon god of chaos]].
* The Star Forge in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. Described as "an artifact of TheDarkSide", it's a piece of {{Magitek}} that feeds off the evil impulses of those who use it. According to the sequel, [[spoiler:only a strong-willed individual can use it with anything approaching safety.]]
* In one installment of ''Curiosities of Lotus Asia'' (a series of [[AllThereInTheManual side stories]] to VideoGame/{{Touhou}} written by the creator), [[TheOneGuy Rinnosuke Morichika]] finds a gray box made of inorganic material, and his {{Namedar}} power tells him that it can control people, force them to fight, cause wars, and potentially even end the world ([[SuperpowerLottery but it doesn't say ]] ''[[SuperpowerLottery how]]'' [[SuperpowerLottery the device is used)]]. He spends most of the story agonizing about it falling into the wrong hands, especially those of local RealityWarper Yukari Yakumo. When he finally decides to destroy it, Yukari simply snatches it away using her gaps; the next day, Marisa shows up with a message from Yukari, clarifying that the device is [[spoiler:a handheld game machine]][[note]]It's all but explicitly stated to be a first-generation UsefulNotes/GameBoy, with Yukari talking about how old it is and mentioning that the most popular one at the moment [[UsefulNotes/NintendoDS has two screens]][[/note]].
* The Demon Crown in ''VideoGame/CaveStory''. The ultimate irony is that Misery, who is enthralled by the Crown's curse, was the one who had it made in the first place, most likely in a bid for power.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vangers}}'' allow you access to several powerful artifacts, which are hidden on cursed worlds. One of them is particularly standing out - the Mechanical Messiah, a CreepyDoll that looks like ClockPunk African idol. It allows you to use its functions with destructive powers, such as burning everyone around with fireballs, robbing their cargo holds or forcibly taking their weapons, or even [[spoiler:destroying the Spobs escave with [[LostTechnology Parapheen]] by causing a cave-in and turning the whole escave into soil]] under certain circumstances. No wonder the Messiah is considered to be cursed and no one wants to see you in their escaves carrying this menace. One of the functions, though, is called [[SchmuckBait Lucky]], and activating it grants you [[spoiler:NoFairCheating NonStandardGameOver, where TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou]].
* ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' gives us the ominous, Lovecraftian obelisk in the Dunwich Building's Virulent Underchambers. Not the cause of any doom so far, but it did drive [[ApocalypticLog Jaime]] pretty insane, and you do hear those "dark whispers of power" mentioned in the article description when around it. ''Point Lookout'' added the Krivbeknih (Necronomicon knock-off) into the mix, which you can destroy by pressing it against the obelisk, which absorbs the book and grows in power.
* In ''VideoGame/VanguardBandits'', the excavated [[HumongousMecha ATAC]] Zulwarn has the power to possess its rider's enemies; according to the worst ending, it can also grant immortality. Unfortunately, it also has a tendency to overwhelm its rider's mind and make them into megalomaniacs. [[spoiler:This happens to Puck in the Ruin Path ending.]] It's not clear whether [[BigBad Faulkner]] was possessed or was evil enough for Zulwarn's approval. Zulwarn is so evil that merely activating it requires mass human sacrifice since it's powered by ''blood''. [[spoiler:Though Puck finds a way to reduce the requirement down to a few drops.]]
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception'' introduced the Datusha Kris, Ashrah's weapon of choice. Originally said to purify its user with each evil slain, ''MK:Armageddon'' revealed it was a sentient-sword that manipulates (or even ''forces'') its user into becoming a BloodKnight, apparently so it can use itself on slaughtering the Vampire race, of which the kris is its only "natural" enemy.
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' has Shinnok's prized amulet. Various groups seek to use the amulet's power for themselves, but after Shinnok is released from his amulet by Quan Chi, which he then uses it to conquer Earthrealm. [[spoiler:TheStinger of ''MKX'' reveals that after Shinnok was reduced to a mere head, a corrupted Raiden dons it on his chest as a battle trophy.]]
* PandorasBox fits this Trope in most settings, but in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', it was probably more responsible than Kratos was for what happened. The whole plot starts when Ares opens it, and the evils within it proceed to corrupt the other gods with the evils of the Titanomachy, which caused them to become paranoid and power-hungry. Zeus himself fell prey to Fear, causing him to begin his campaign to destroy Kratos and ultimately betray him. In the third game, as Kratos slays each infected god, the evils of the Box are released upon the world, causing cataclysms. When Kratos finally gets ahold of it, he finds it empty, and... [[DarkestHour then the trouble really starts.]]
* The Artifact from ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3''. It was created by the forces of Hell to counter the Soul Cube the martians created to fight them, and to act as a key many years later when humanity has colonized Mars. It gives the wielder the powers of super speed, OneHitKill, super strength and invulnerability but it has to be fuelled by human souls and as long as it's on the living world, Hell'll always have a way there. The only way to make sure that Hell won't conquer Earth is to destroy The Artifact in Hell for good... which [[spoiler:Betruger]] will not tolerate.
** ''VideoGame/Doom2016'' has the Crucible.
* The Shabby Doll from ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'', which causes unremovable hauntings if you put it in the item chest.
* ''VideoGame/{{Nethack}}'' has some dangerous items, such as the Cursed Potion of Sickness and the Amulet of Strangulation.
* ''VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery'' has a Ring of Doom, which, once worn, can only be removed by uncursing the ring in some manner (at which point it retains the dooming effects, but may be removed... but will curse itself again if worn again). Many other items in the game are also "autocursing", including some literal artifacts. Particularly nasty artifacts include [[spoiler:the Scythe of Corruption and the Medal of Chaos, both of which, in addition to autocursing, corrupt the player]].
* [[spoiler:The ARI]] from ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'', since [[spoiler:it's highly addictive, and can eventually kill Norman Jayden, the character using it. If it does, his CowboyCop partner Blake puts it on, and he sees a digital version of Jayden standing over him, with a scary smirk on his face]].
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', there's a [[EldritchAbomination Rea]][[SapientShip per]] which died 37 million years ago. It still indoctrinates people.
-->"Even dead gods can dream."
** In the mission [[spoiler:Arrival]], a science team discovers [[spoiler:Object Rho, a Reaper artifact]] which [[spoiler:indoctrinated the scientists to make them lure Shepard into a trap]].
** Any Reaper tech can act like this. Even the seemingly simply Dragon's Teeth can brainwash nearby people into impaling themselves on the spikes, thus transforming into Husks.
* The Nox Nyctores from the ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' series have fairly nasty side effects. Tsubaki's Izayoi [[spoiler: which eventually robs its user of sight]] is so nasty that Ragna's arcade win quote consists of him recognizing it and warning Tsubaki that she should get rid of it as soon as possible.
** It is arguable that Ragna isn't one to talk, though. Especially not considering the fact that his RedRightHand is the Blaz Blue, an artifact of doom that, if he ever lost control over it, could spawn a monster with the potential to destroy what is left of the world.
* The Dark Star from ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory''.
* All four of the Ancients' essences from ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' -- the Heart(s) of Mantorok, the Claw of Chattur'gha, the Sigil of Xel'lotath, and the Veil of Ulyaoth.
* ''VideoGame/WarioWorld's '' BigBad is a [[RealityWarper reality-warping]] black jewel.
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken'' has Pandora, a box-shaped artifact from space that reacts to conflict from around the world, greatly augmenting the fighting abilities and physical prowess of those that are affected by it, but at the cost of potentially corrupting their souls.
* The Skull Heart from ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}''. Supposedly, a woman (it doesn't work for males) who makes a wish on the Heart will have it granted, but only if her intentions are pure enough. If there's even the least taint of corruption within her, the Heart will mutate her into a demonic, supernaturally powerful being, one of the Skullgirls. Fourteen years prior to the events of the game, Squigly's mother was in possession of one from Double, when Dahila and her goons busted in and killed everyone in the party including Squigly herself, she wished for her family to return, but in sense of desperation at the loss of her family, she became the Skullgirl, and her family her servants. Seven years later, the game world is recovering from the aftermath of a long war that screeched to a halt when a powerful queen got hold of the Skull Heart and wished for peace; she got her wish, but in a twisted fashion -- she was turned into the most dangerous Skullgirl of all time, and the quarreling nations ''had'' to stop the war in order to concentrate on the task of killing her before she could destroy them all. [[spoiler:Even worse, one of the characters' endings reveals that the Skull Heart is ''sentient'', and [[JackassGenie actually ''wants'' to create more Skullgirls.]]]]
* The [[BonusStageCollectables Chaos Emeralds]] from the ''SonicTheHedgehog'' series become this in the wrong hands; they've been revealed to be the power source for a BFG enormous cannon held within a space station, and said cannon can end the world when at full power.
* Spoofed in the second ''VideoGame/FantasyQuest'' game with the Golden Cufflink of Fire. You never learn precisely what it does, and the villain who possesses it is a bit of a joke.
* ''Department 42: The Mystery of the Nine'' involves the recovery of nine cursed artifacts with a limited intelligence that enabled them to escape the safekeeping of the eponymous agency and do various funky things to their unlucky possessors.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' has several. First and foremost, the Magatama - demonic parasites/symbiotes used as combination of armor and spellbook, capable of transforming humans into half-demons. This ability alone is enough to make them inscrutably dangerous, and considering the [[{{Satan}} apparent maker]], this can't be a good thing. There are also several cursed items called Deathstones, slivers of misfortune and death, used in [[FusionDance devil fusion]] to summon the Incarnations of Death as servants, and can only be found as you progress in the [[{{Hell}} Labyrinth of Amala]]. Finally, the Amala technology strewn around the Vortex World serves as the game's AkashicRecords, but peering too deeply into the knowledge the drums offer [[MySkullRunnethOver is a surefire way to irreversible insanity]].
* The Messiah Armor in ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny'' has been cursed by the failure of Messiah candidates who put it on before and the grudges that infested it. While it can turn someone into the Messiah, they'll go on a killing rampage and risk destroying the world [[spoiler:which is exactly what the Messiah is actually supposed to do, leaving it questionable what the curse on it truly does.]]
* The Relic of Moirai in ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}: Shattered Soldier'' is revealed to be [[spoiler: the mysterious force that the alien attackers were trying to recover, but it was taken and hidden by [[GovernmentConspiracy the Triumvirate]], as revealed by Lance Bean after you defeat him.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gyossait}}'', the eldritch organs of the titular Earth goddess can mutate mortals into horrifying gods.
* ''Runescape'' has several quests that involve artifacts of doom. The Stone of Jas is a artifact containing a nearly limitless amount of power, it is the original source of the runestones that are needed for casting spells in the game and touching it briefly during a quest causes your combat levels to temporarily increase to more than double the maximum level you can reach by training. Prolonged contact with it can turn a mortal into a god. However, it has a huge price for using. When somebody uses the stone of Jas, the Dragonkin, a race that is cursed with protecting the stone, become enraged to the point of turning into OmnicidalManiac until they calm down by committing acts of destruction. And every time somebody uses the stone their power increases, currently they have nearly become gods themselves.
** Though on the plus side it has no direct effect on the users sanity unlike many of the powerful Artifacts on this page, and there is at least one Dragonkin who has not yet gone insane and they wish to free themselves of the curse, so if someone managed to break the curse by working with the sane Dragonkin, they could use the stone without needing to worry about the Dragonkin as the Dragonkin would now most likely try to get revenge on Jas.
* The stone tablet in ''[[VideoGame/VampiresDawn Vampires Dawn II: Ancient Blood]]'' is considered to be this by most people. Even the heroes have doubts whether to use it or not.
* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'' and ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' has the Stone-Like.
* The black block from ''VideoGame/{{Antichamber}}''. It floats around emitting darkness wherever it goes, and tends to show up right as you get to gun upgrade rooms. What it is, what it is doing, and why it tends to pass by the block guns is never touched upon at all. However, it's a prominent moving thing doing something, so it's worth investigating.
* The Master Crown in ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand'' gives off this vibe. On a closer observation, it appears to be controlling [[spoiler: Magolor]], as it has a tendency to squirm around shortly before he performs many of his attacks and it takes on an appearance reminiscent of a parasite while he's using it. [[spoiler: Magolor Soul]] is also described as being an EmptyShell that's been possessed by its power, which further implies that the thing has a will of its own.
* The aptly named Artefact from ''VideoGame/TheWhiteChamber'', a powerful device which appears to serve as [[spoiler:an execution machine for the guilty, and which Sarah murdered all her other crewmembers to get.]]
* [[spoiler:The Monado]] in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}''. It's not inherently evil, but it happens to double as the SoulJar of [[spoiler:Zanza]] who [[spoiler:gives Shulk "visions" to push him in his desired direction, all while whispering advice to [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope take out his vengeance on Egil and the Mechon]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/QueenAtArms'', certain dialogue trees may lead to the revelation that [[spoiler:the crown of Orthera is enchanted to make the wearer bloodthirsty, power-hungry, and deeply paranoid]].
* ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'':
** The Eyeless Skull. You need to find at least one to unlock the [[BonusDungeon Cave of the Nadir]], but holding on to one for too long will cause you to draw cards that substantially drain your stats when played. The kicker? You ''cannot discard these cards'' until you get rid of the skull.
** This is the true identity of [[spoiler:Jack-Of-Smiles: A large set of Polythremian knives that will possess their wielders with their shared consciousness, and get to murdering everything in sight. The forge that produces them qualifies as well]].
* The Pontiff's Eye Rings in ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII''. Wearing one will eventually cause the user to lose their mind until they become a crazed berserker, and if worn for even longer, will eat at their humanity until it transforms them into bestial abominations.
* The Eye from the ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' video game trilogy. To sum up its role in the first game, ''VideoGame/ThiefTheDarkProject'', Garett's main objective throughout the majority of the game is to locate a magic stone known as The Eye within a monster infested cathedral for an aristocrat named Constantine. The catch is that this artifact is likely responsible for the monsters in the first place. Oh, and it's sentient. [[spoiler: When you do overcome the ordeals surrounding The Eye and bring it back to Constantine, he reveals one last detail about the artifact. Namely that it's evil powers can only be restored by its organ namesake. And then he commands his aquaintence Viktoria to extract Garett's eye after they both reveal themselves to be demons. Yep, Garett just lost his eye. Ouch.]]
-->'''Constantine:''' Viktoria, are you prepared to give Mr. Garett his... COMPENSATION?
* The Crystals are revealed to be this in ''VideoGame/RaidenV''. [[spoiler: It's revealed they have the ability to [[YouWillBeAssimilated assimilate entire worlds and reshape it in their image]].]]
* The ''VideoGame/BlackMirrorVideoGames'' trilogy has the titular Black Mirror. [[spoiler: Hidden in a massive cave system under the castle of the same name, it transports the souls of anyone evil who dies near it to some kind of hellish dimension (if not ''the'' Hell), generates shadow versions of people that can torture said souls or kill the living, and literally radiates evil that only certain people can resist. It's heavily implied that the trilogy's BigBad Mordred was a heroic person until he was corrupted while studying it. No one knows why it exists or who made it, but one character claims there's proof that it's as old as the universe itself.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Planetside}}'': It's heavily implied that the [[{{Precursors}} Vanu]]'s LostTechnology has some memetic mind-altering effect on people and [[BrainwashedAndCrazy drives them to try to bring others into contact with the stuff to propagate the effect]]. The people in the Vanu Sovereignty do weirdly keep claiming to be "enlightened".
* ''VideoGame/RandalsMonday'': The ring is this incarnate. Those who touch it end up having their minds distorted and actions manipulated by the object's will, if the business bum is to be believed. Add in its incredible power, and it could potentially turn someone into a mad god.
* {{VideoGame/DLIRIUM}}: The Casket at the beginning of the game apparently transforms the setting from a land of cute Ponies into an EldritchLocation crawling with demons, [[spoiler: and grants the protagonist a myriad of dark powers in the bad endings.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/DokiDokiLiteratureClub'' has ''The Portrait of Markov''. [[spoiler:It hints to the events of Project Libitina and is the first of several references to "The Third Eye".]]
* The [[spoiler:Fuyuki Holy Grail]] in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''Literature/FateZero'', after it became [[TheCorruption corrupted]] by [[spoiler:granting a wish to create the source of "All The World's Evil"]].When it appears in the spinoffs, it's still bad news. In ''VideoGame/FateExtra'', [[spoiler: the Holy Grail War is even bloodier since there are at least 128 Masters, and ThereCanOnlyBeOne. And that's not counting everyone who failed the preliminaries. And it's all orchestrated by an NPC who wants to use the Grail to sustain a ForeverWar.]] And in ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'', EIGHT of them end up scattered throughout time at various points in humanity's development in order to screw up the future.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Book of E-Ville from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Or at least that's how most of the characters treat it. While it contains more than one spell for summoning world-destroying demons, it has yet to actually do much of anything malevolent aside from following Gwynn around. Later gets a big upgrade. [[spoiler:The book is the prison for K'z'k, a recurring BigBad OmnicidalManiac who wants to destroy all of reality and has ''done so'' numerous times. The book is a ClingyMacGuffin because it also contains the pharoah K'z'k was possessing when he was imprisoned, who thanks to the TimeyWimeyBall is in love with Gwynn.]]
* The motorcycle [[spoiler:containing the soul of an OmnicidalManiac, EvilOverlord [[LightIsNotGood unicorn]] named [[FluffyTheTerrible Sparklelord]]]] from ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'':
** The Axe of Prissan is a major subversion: while Big-Ears initially senses a palpaple aura of evil around it, and we initially see it in the hands of a monster, it's actually a ''Good'' weapon. The aura comes from the fact that it's a RestrainingBolt against a powerful demon, and it won't hurt a [[KnightInShiningArmor Paladin]] unless the Paladin wants it to... which is unlikely at best.
*** ''Mmmmaybe'' a bit less of a subversion than it initially appeared; the Axe ''is'' holding a powerful demon imprisoned, but when it's used for motives that aren't ''absolutely'' pure, it weakens the demon's prison. When the goblins used it in a tricky way to [[spoiler: hurt a paladin (a Blood Knight Templar paladin, but somehow a paladin nonetheless)]] it was severely weakened and came ''very'' near to breaking outright; one accident later, it's actually starting to fall apart, which will release the demon.
** The Shield of Wonder is a straight example: it provides a random, usually very squicky, effect each time it blocks a weapon.
* The statue of Eris in ''[[http://www.discordiacomic.com Discordia]]'' behaves like this (for the few scenes before it is destroyed) because it [[SealedEvilInACan contains the Goddess of Strife]] within it.
* The Omega Keys in ''Webcomic/DeviantUniverse'', which when used [[spoiler: revive the [[BigBad Dark God Omega.]]]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the Crimson Mantle qualifies. It's not clear that it has any direct control over the wearer, but it does give a divine command to enact a plan that could destroy all reality. It also halts the bearer's aging, which has the apparent side-effect of preventing he or she from maturing as well. Its current bearer is, in many ways, still the angry vengeful teenager he was when he first took up the Mantle.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** The Sburb Beta... sort of. It's [[ZigZaggedTrope never really clear]] whether it is the cause of anything or not.
** Caliborn believes that the puppet Lil' Cal is a juju, an artifact whose sole purpose is to turn the lives of everyone who lives in the same universe with it into a nightmare. It's apparently so evil that one of the only times [[EvenEvilHasStandards he gives sincere advice]] to the main characters is to tell them to get rid of it ''right now''. [[spoiler:Turns out ''he'' is the reason Lil' Cal is so dangerous, because Lil' Cal is destined to be his SoulJar. He didn't know this at first, and when he does learn of it, he ceases being horrified by Lil' Cal and is instead ''proud'' of the suffering it brings.]]
%%** The Codpiece.
* The "Holiday Spirit" serves as this in the webcomic ''Webcomic/HolidayWars'' and is deeply coveted by the EasterBunny.
* The swords Grace and Éclat from ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfWiglafAndMordred''.
* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'', the device -- maybe. [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Issue3/ib069.html Caspian complains that no one knows what it does]], and they are chiefly afraid of it because it comes from the Ancients.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', the Banestone. The most powerful overstone, and it drives its rockers mad.
* In ''Webcomic/ConsequencesOfChoice'' The Invisus is a powerful stone entrusted to the class of Necromancers by the demigods of death.
* Windows installation disks are treated this way in ''Webcomic/UserFriendly''. One was once microwaved (with the goal of creating the pretty effect created in the plastic by destroying a CD this way). It ''crashed the microwave''. Piotr suggested putting an Elder Sign Seal on it and leaving it alone.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/HundredCompanions'' we have Alister, a demonic executioner trapped in a sword for crimes [[EvenEvilHasStandards hateful]] even to his fellow [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Chaotic Evil]] [[EldritchAbomination outsiders]].
* ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'' plays with this trope. In its [[LowFantasy relatively non-magical]] present timeline (the v3 version, at least), the myriad of blessed weapons used by the {{precursors}}' PraetorianGuard have become the stuff of legend, including nasty ones. While the weapons themselves aren't evil per se (a PlayerCharacter and descendant of said PraetorianGuard uses one with no side effects), their very existence has triggered a race between two rival empires to [[GottaCatchEmAll collect more than what the other has]], presumably to use them as [[WeaponOfMassDestruction WMD's]] in an anticipated war.
* Lightsabers are treated like Artifacts of Doom in ''WebVideo/ThreeInTheAfternoon'' -- especially in its sequel.
* Collecting and containing these is the whole point of the fictional ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''. The SCP Foundation has dozens of these, given the classification "keter" from the Hebrew word "crown", which is used in Qabalah to describe the highest principle of the universe. The methods used to contain these things are... intricate. The "euclid" and "safe" ones are easier to contain but most of them are still incredibly dangerous.
** Some of the artifacts aren't in any way evil or malevolent, but could end up destroying the world anyway, often very weirdly. Like by burying the whole world under cakes, or causing everyone in the world to ignore basic biological necessities in favor of arguing over some trivial subject.
** Some of the creepiest artifacts are ones that are not, in themselves, in any way dangerous but allow access to things that are so obviously too dangerous to experiment with that they should be left sealed away but, given the SCP Foundation's nature, aren't being left alone. There are literally whole ''universes'' filled with things they should ''obviously'' leave alone but aren't.
** There's even a set of loosely-interconnected drabbles about the many ways ''Safe-category'' [=SCPs=] could end humanity and/or the world. Like the peace-inducing doves.
* ''TabletopGame/TechInfantry'' has the magical sword Kuar, which grants you invisibility and increasing magical power, then sucks out our soul. There is also The Orb, a mystical artifact of untold power which is sought by the Caal.
%%* The [[spoiler:gyroids]] in ''LetsPlay/TheTerribleSecretOfAnimalCrossing''.
* The Book of Stories in the eponymous ''WebOriginal/TheBookOfStoriesOCT'' is as old as time and holds every Story ever told in every World. It's on its way of becoming this due to a mistake one of its guardians made.
* The Heart of Darkness in ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'' corrupts Phylis Alince into rallying TheAlliance in attacking the Sith en masse and nearly converts her to the dark side.
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'': Linkara's [[spoiler:Magic Gun]] is a subversion of this. The cultists who created intended it to be a [[spoiler:a weapon powered by pure hate and agony, and used their own daughter to power it. But the weapon backfired, killed them, and the spirit inside the gun eventually became more benevolent and a partner of sorts to Linkara.]]
* ''WebVideo/TheAdventuresOfTheLeagueOfSTEAM'': In the webisode "Curses!", the League have a cursed artifact appraised, in a curio shop run by [[Series/MythBusters Grant Imahara]] that apparently specializes in Artifacts of Doom. When our heroes realize what they have they keep passing it to each other, greatly confusing the {{Mummy}} that's [[FailedASpotCheck sneaking up on them with hands outstretched]].
* In ''WebVideo/TheGamersLive,'' the Vorpal Blender of Mordor is this (and also a ShoutOut to the One Ring).
--> '''Lodge:''' It's really powerful, and it's obviously evil, and you need to cast it back into the [=KitchenAid=] factory that made it.
* Pretty much anything created by the Drylon in ''Literature/BeyondTheImpossible''. Their technology is advanced enough to bend the rules of reality, but repeated use turns you insane. The effect is once described as “watering down your soul”.
* The Grand Relics in ''Podcast/TheAdventureZoneBalance'' are a set of seven incredibly powerful magical items which cast a powerful thrall over anyone who picks them up. They encourage their new owners to use them, invariably with catastrophic results. The Bureau of Balance is trying to find and destroy them so that they can't do any more damage. [[spoiler:As it turns out, it's more complicated than that. They were originally intended to protect the world, not destroy it, but that didn't really pan out...]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/PiratesOfDarkWater'', Dark Water itself can be hazardous to your health.
* In the 90s' ''[[WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries Spider-Man]]'' animated series, the EvilFeelsGood factor of the alien costume was added, with him growing more dependent upon the suit the longer he used it.
* In the animated series based on ''ComicBook/WildCATs'', the series MacGuffin that the heroes and villains are in a desperate race to find, the Orb, is an artifact left behind by the {{Precursors}} on Earth that can give anyone power on a cosmic scale. [[spoiler: It's also evil to the core, possibly more evil than the BigBad himself]]. Guess the {{Precursors}} hid the thing on Earth for good reason.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'':
** The Eye of Odin isn't exactly ''evil'', but it is incredibly dangerous to use because it enhances the dominant trait of the users' personality into what often amounts to a SuperpoweredEvilSide. [[DarkActionGirl Fox]] became a werewolf, and [[TheHero Goliath]] became a godlike KnightTemplar. The only people who seem to be able to use the Eye safely are Odin himself and the Archmage, who is ''already'' a crazy EvilSorcerer.
** This stands in contrast to the Phoenix Gate, which is a subversion. Though many groups in the setting desire it as readily accessible time travel, it only allows the creation of a StableTimeLoop. [[WildMassGuessing Fans have inferred]] this to mean something else is controlling the gate and its users.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', an OmnicidalManiac summons a golden flute with the power to destroy the world. He used [[Film/LordOfTheRings The Ring Inscription]].
* A few Shen Gong Wu from ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' probably qualified. One that ''definitely'' qualified was the Sapphire Dragon.
* Spoofed to epic levels on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers''. The ORB in is a small round device constructed by the greatest minds in history over hundreds of years, with the power to destroy the world. It is so feared that the Guild of Calamitous Intent, the OSI and the Venture Family each set up decades-spanning {{Batman Gambit}}s to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. After all that fuss, it turns out that over 100 years ago, someone had the good sense to just ''break'' the stupid thing to keep it from causing trouble. Thus the century-long conflict over the ORB was a complete waste of time.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'' episode "Armored and Dangerous" has the invincible armor of Kileem, a powerful warlord who was undefeated in battle generations ago. The Sultan, who puts on the armor in order to stop a minotaur threatening Agrabah, becomes invulnerable and immensely strong, but is possessed by the spirit of Kileem, who turns out to be an inflammable tyrant and warmonger, who not only plans to conquer the Seven Deserts and later the world but condemns Jasmine to death for resisting him. Aladdin stops him by tricking him into destroying the statue that is the source of Kileem's power, releasing the Sultan from his control and saving Jasmine.
* From ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'', the Eliacube is the most powerful artifact in the world, created as the acme of the magical science of the Eliatrope race. It acts as a very efficient AmplifierArtifact as long as it is feed with wakfu -- the magic lifeforce found in all plants and beings. At first, you could think its great potential was simply misused by [[BigBad Nox]], who's a madman, but the StartOfDarkness episode "Noximilien" reveals that, 200 years before, the Eliacube already exercised a dangerous fascination over Nox, slowly turning him obsessed and insane. To further prove the point, it also drove ''his [[RightHandAttackDog dog]]'' insane.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' has the cursed Treasure of Crystal Cove (which holds a SealedEvilInACan) and the equally cursed Planespheric Disk that reveals its location.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'':
** The second episode circles around an amulet with a bright green gem that causes the bearer to transform into the spirit of the Dragon of Aaragon when angry.
** Later in the series, there's the Scepter of Dul-Aman. It gives the wielder (Tucker) neat powers, but it also causes him to become proud and imperious.
* The two-part episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' where Finn and Jake went through [[spoiler: Ice King]]'s tapes revealed [[spoiler:his crown]] to be one. It gives the wearer immense magical power and immortality... while simultaneously slowly driving them to utter madness and amnesia, aware of their mental degeneration the entire time. Notably, an AlternateUniverse saw [[spoiler:Finn]] suffering the same possession, minus the ''slowly'' part. This has led fans to come to the conclusion that [[spoiler:Ice King/Simon]] must have had an amazing amount of self-control to last as long as he did. Even the final result of said Artifact of Doom's powers isn't nearly as bad as what could have happened in anyone else's hands.
* In the animated ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice,'' the [[ComicBook/DoctorFate Helmet of Fate]] is this because of the much less equitable relationship between the spirit of the Lord of Order, Nabu, within and the wearer as compared to other versions. When someone puts on the Helmet of Fate, Nabu, the spirit in the helmet, takes over their body and becomes Doctor Fate. The wearer's mind become nothing more than a voice in Doctor Fate's head. The helmet can only be removed if Nabu wants it to. Since Nabu needs a body to keep order, the chances of him releasing the wearer from the helmet is slim. [[spoiler:That wasn't so for Kid Flash and Aqualad when they donned the helmet in the episodes "Denial" and "Revelation" respectively. However, in the episode "Misplaced", John Zatara had to take his daughter Zatanna's place to free her, and has been his new body ever since. Nabu ''was'' kind enough, though, to relay Zatara's concerns about Zatanna joining the team.]]
* A substance rather than an object, but otherwise, Dark Energon from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', which is said to be the blood of [[EldritchAbomination Unicron]], fits the bill perfectly. Turns dead Cybertronians into mindless berserker zombies. Powers up Megatron, but likely at a horrible cost to his sanity... He claims he can hear Unicron speaking to him, and it's ''entirely posible'' he isn't hallucinating, but it'd probably be more reassuring if he ''is''. Can also be hazardous to your health just to be in contact with... Just ask Arcee or Raf, the first becomes dizzy and sick after contact with the stuff, while Megatron nearly ''kills'' the latter with it. If that isn't bad enough, Megatron forges himself a sword made out of the stuff that [[spoiler: shatters the Star Saber.]] One final side effect is revealed during [[GrandFinale Predacons Rising]]. Anyone who dies with Dark Energon in their system is not allowed to enter the [[BarredFromTheAfterlife afterlife]] and can be [[DemonicPossession possessed]] by Unicron as puppet.
* As a fantasy series, ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has a number of examples.
** The Alicorn Amulet from "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E5MagicDuel Magic Duel]]". It [[AmplifierArtifact amplifies the user's magical powers to tremendous amounts]], but [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity also brings on paranoid megalomania]] and [[ClingyMacGuffin can only be removed by the user]]. By the end of the episode, [[spoiler:The Great and Powerful Trixie]] is ranting about how she doesn't trust wheels.
** The "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E23InspirationManifestation Inspiration Manifestation]]" spell is inscribed on a stone tablet-like book covered in spikes, kept in a secret part of an ancient castle, on top of a pedestal the stairs leading up to which start to collapse if the book has been moved, guarded with a barred and locked gate. ''This should have been a hint.''
* It's been speculated that Gideon Gleeful's amulet from ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' is one, but nothing has been confirmed. [[spoiler:The second book itself, though, is most likely the cause of Gideon's madness.]]
* "Dodj or Daar" from ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' counts as one, as whatever punishment card you pull is made reality until the game finishes. This includes one player's arm doing whatever another's does, making you unable to walk on the ground due to it being 'lava', and most terrifying of all, ''making all the players physically unable to breathe''. There's a reason Gumball and Darwin first hid the game under their bed, then threw it away.
* Both versions of ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse'' are full of these things, but likely the worst is the Star Seed from the original version. Supposedly created as an aftereffect of ''the creation of the universe'', anyone holding this small, glowing sphere can do ''anything'' simply by requesting it. The problem is, nobody can hold such omnipotent power without being tempted by "its dark side" (as the Sorceress described it), and even He-Man almost succumbs to it when foiling Skeletor's attempt to claim it, though eventually, HeroicWillpower is enough to resist doing so.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'' features the Scimitar, an evil talking sword that bends its user to its will and compels them to kill for it. It turns the heroic Thriffith completely evil, while Puss in Boots manages to subdue it with a little bit of struggle, and the (almost) IncorruptiblePurePureness of Dulcinea allows her to wield it for an extended duration, but even she starts to become gradually more evil as time passes. El Moco, however, is evil enough that the sword doesn't need to control him entirely, because their beneficial goals put them on the same page.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' special "The Smurfic Games", Gargamel's cousin Argus gives Papa Smurf a powerful and dangerous magical item called the Medallion of Poseidon that he wants to see buried. Gargamel, hearing about the medallion from his cousin before he died, rescues the only book that didn't disappear with his cousin when he died and from it puts together all the items necessary to unleash its destructive power. Although Papa Smurf has buried the medallion and rendered its power inert, Brainy mistakenly unearths it and has Painter paint gold over it to present it as the Smurfic Games medal. As Clumsy is awarded with the medal which turns out to be the medallion, Gargamel recites the incantation that unleashes its destructive power ("Ravage the land as never before, total destruction from mountain to shore.") and thus the entire forest and village is rocked by a serious earthquake. Papa Smurf uses his magic to bury the medallion into the earth, thus stopping its destructive power from consuming everything.
* The Inferna Copula from ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollhunters}}'' is a ring that houses the sorcerer/bounty-hunter Angor Rot's soul. Should another wear the ring, Angor's will is forced under the control of the one who wields it.
* The Infinity Sword of ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow'' turns out to be this in Season 2, turning the person who holds it evil. Turns out one needs the Infinity Gauntlet armed with the six Infinity Gems to be able to hold the damn thing without it possessing you.