With the popularity of ghost-hunter shows on television, it’s clear that people want to believe. Most people associate hauntings with houses, castles and other things that go bump in the night, but hauntings can include objects, like the oft-mentioned Hope Diamond, tchotchkes available in antique shops, or even items on eBay. In fact, hauntings have gone so mainstream that eBay has a “Guide to Buying Haunted Items.” But are these items really haunted, or just objects imbued with good stories to help make a quick buck? Click ahead for 10 of the most haunted objects out there. Let the buyer beware.
“Hands Resist Him” is a painting by Bill Stoneham in 1972. Years later, a family found the painting in a dumpster and thought they’d found some free artwork. Cue bad things. First, their 4-year-old daughter claimed the children in the painting were fighting. As an experiment, the family recorded the painting over several nights and believed the figures were moving. They also claim that the owner of the gallery where the painting was first displayed and a Los Angeles Times critic who reviewed the show were both dead within one year of that art show. The family sold it on eBay along with the story for $1,025.
Crying Boy Painting
Painted by Bruno Amadio, “The Crying Boy” painting isn’t just one painting, but a mass-produced print with numerous alternative versions, all with young boys or girls crying, distributed in the 1950s. The haunting stories began in the 1980s after a fireman in England claimed he kept coming across the paintings in burned houses, except the paintings were remarkably untouched. People who owned the painting found their houses burned down. It reached such a fervor that newspaper The Sun gave readers a chance to bring in the paintings and destroy them in a bonfire. Psychics claim the painting is haunted by the spirit of the boy or girl it depicts. Supposedly, to lift the curse, you must hang a boy and girl crying together, or like the movie “The Ring,” give the painting to another person. Comedian Steve Punt had another theory: many of the paintings came from one person who never liked the picture and saw a good opportunity to get rid of it.
Robert the Doll
Once owned by painter Eugene Otto, the doll is allegedly cursed. Otto got the doll as a gift in 1906 from a servant who was supposedly skilled in black magic. Neighbors reported seeing the doll moving from window to window. Otto would scream at night and claim the doll turned over furniture. When he died in 1974, the doll fell into the hands of a 10-year-old girl who also screamed at night and claimed that the doll tried to kill her. Robert is now in the Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens in Key West, Fla., where guests can take a picture with him. A word of warning: you must ask nicely, or Robert will curse you. Was this doll the inspiration for Talky Tina from “The Twilight Zone,” perhaps?
Chairs of the Gothic Ballroom of Belcourt Castle
Located in Newport, R.I., the castle was completed after three years of construction and opened in 1895. It now conducts ghost tours and visitors claim that when they are near two chairs in particular, they feel chills. Some, when trying to sit in the chairs, feel resistance and may even find themselves on the floor. Is it possible they were touched by spirits, or just stupidity?
Wedding Dress at Baker Mansion
Is nothing more sacred to a bride-to-be than her wedding dress? Supposedly the wedding dress of Anna Baker is haunted. In the mid-1800s, Anna got engaged to a man her father did not approve of and had him sent away. The wedding never took place, the dress sat unused, and Anna later died an old maid. Since then, visitors of the mansion in Altoona, Pa. (bought by a historical society) have seen the dress flutter in its glass case.
Mirror at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Famous as the address of the first Academy Awards in 1929, as well as where Marilyn Monroe stayed as a resident for two years, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is now a swank party place for Hollywood’s hip crowd. While there have been “sightings” on the ninth floor, Cabana Suite 213 and Blossom Ballroom, it is the mirror that used to hang in Monroe’s room (now in storage) that attracted most of the attention. When looking into the mirror, you might see more than your own reflection; you might see a busty blond. Marilyn, perhaps?
Annabelle the Haunted Doll
Dolls are straight-up creepy. Annabelle was a Raggedy Ann doll given to a girl named Donna in the 1970s. Soon after, messages started appearing on parchment paper in a child’s handwriting. There was no parchment paper stored in the house. The family contacted a medium and learned that a young girl named Annabelle Higgins died, but placed her spirit in the doll because she felt comfortable with the family. With a friendly spirit trapped in a doll, what could go wrong? Well, the father Lou started to have nightmares about the doll trying to kill him, and once got clawed in the chest from something unseen. The family felt they had been deceived through the medium by "the Father of Lies" and didn’t think there was anyone named Annabelle in the doll, but something far more sinister. (BellaOnline) They had an exorcism performed and got rid of the doll. It now resides in an occult museum.
Mirror at Myrtles Plantation
Known as “one of America’s most haunted homes,” the plantation is supposedly the home of 12 ghosts. Not only that, but it’s also reputedly built over an Indian burial ground. To make it a trifecta of terror, people were murdered there, too. But it’s the mirror that contains the spirits of Sara Woodruff and her children that gets our attention. After their deaths, per custom, the mirrors were covered, but someone forgot this one. Presto! They are now trapped. Visitors have reported seeing handprints in the mirror.
The Santa Chair
Look at that photo. Jeeper’s creepers. The chair has supposedly claimed 13 lives, and all 13 died while sitting in the chair. The chair cannot be photographed either. However, research can’t confirm the deaths. A spooky story, but as for being real, methinks not.
Next: Ghostly Photos, Vol. 3
For those of you who ever had to share a room with a sibling as a child, bunk beds are ripe for pranks, snores and other discomforts. Who knew about hauntings? In 1987, Allen and Deborah Tallman from the town of Horicon, Wis., bought a bunk bed from a second-hand shop. Weird events then occurred: noises, a snowblower moving for no reason, and unexplained illness. Their diagnosis? They claimed their children’s bunk beds were haunted, and ultimately buried the beds in a landfill. It also aired on “Unsolved Mysteries.”