At first the curse just brought him bad luck, causing vital equipment to break and provoking frequent but small injuries to him and his crew. Soon, however, the curse darkened and diggers the man had hired to help work his claim began to die in bizarre ways.
One was killed by an African scorpion that should never have made it to Alaska, let alone have survived the cold. A second drank a gallon of the mercury used to separate the gold from the ore. A third was found with a tree growing up through his body.
The man himself who owned the claim became more and more pale. His eyes became all white. His skin began to give off an overpowering smell of sulfur. He slept all day and at night he wandered the mountain above his claim, coming back each day looking more like a beast than a man.
The curse became so bad the last worker alive ran away to the nearest town to tell the authorities what was happening at the claim.
In an attempt to save the claim owner's life and lift the curse, a priest was brought in by dogsled to perform an exorcism on the man.
A sherriff from the town came with the priest as a bodyguard.
The exorcism was long, but apparently successful. Immediately the man's color returned, the sulfur smell disappeared, and he was able to sleep through the night for the first time in six months.
After the man awoke, the sherriff immediately arrested the man and brought him back to town with the priest. Standing in front of the judge, the sherriff was asked what charge the law had against the claim owner whose life had just been so dramatically turned around.
The sherriff looked at the man, then looked back at the judge and said in a slow and rumbling voice, "Possession as a miner."