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Famous cases of Haunted Objects

It will come as no surprise that we are not alone in our fascination and study of haunted objects. 
There have been hundreds if not thousands of cases reported all over the world. 

Some of these you will no doubt be familiar with, and some you won't. Which are genuine, we must all decide for ourselves.



In 2000, an anonymous eBay seller listed a painting  called "The Hands Resist Him." The artist is  Bill Stoneham, and this painting is now largely considered to be one of the world's most haunted works of art.

The painting features a quite scary looking boy and a creepy life sized doll standing in front of a glass door. No one knows what this door leads too, whether it's a shop front or a home. It was painted in 1972 and purchased by John Marley, a Hollywood actor. It was later owned by a Californian couple before going up for sale on eBay along with a very severe warning about the problems involved with owning it. 

According to the couple, the figures in the painting moved around at night, sometimes disappearing from the canvas entirely. The boy in the painting was said to actually enter the room where the painting hung, and everyone who viewed the painting reported feeling sick and weak. Small children would take one look at the painting and run from the room screaming. Adults sometimes felt like unseen hands were grabbing them, and others said that they felt a blast of hot air, as if they had opened an oven.

Even those who viewed the painting online claimed to feel a sense of unease, dread, or terror when looking at the painting. One person even claimed that their brand new printer refused to print the photo of the painting, however it worked fine on every other print job.

The painting was purchased by an art gallery in Grand Rapids, MI. When the gallery spoke to the artist who had created it, he was surprised to hear that his work was at the centre of a paranormal investigation, but he did mention that two people who originally displayed and reviewed the painting had died within a year of viewing "The Hands Resist Him."


(moving figures, sickness and fear)


A favourite across the generations  most of us are familiar with Elmo. Since 1996 these dolls have been massively popular bringing joy to many children around the world. However, one particular Elmo was much more sinister. 

In 2008, two-year-old James Bowman from Florida was the proud owner of an “Elmo Knows Your Name” doll which as the name implies could be programmed to say its owner’s name. This particular doll however, not only said the owner’s name, but also added the words “kill” before it. Literally, the doll would chant “kill James” repeatedly until the mother decided to remove the doll from the home.

Fisher Price apparently agreed to 'examine' James toy Elmo to try to identify the cause of the problem, but to this day the family have never received an explanation.



This 15th century silver vase was given to a bride on the eve of her wedding. However, on this night, the bride was brutally murdered with the vase in her hands. Many believe her soul became attached to the vase and in a evil twist, set out for revenge. The vase was then passed down her family line but anyone who claimed it died shortly after. It took many deaths before the family finally hid the vase but it resurfaced in 1988 with a note that said “Beware…This vase brings death.”

When the Basano Vase was auctioned however, the note was not included in the item description and the pharmacist who bought it died within three months. There would be three more deaths before finally a desperate family begged the police to take it away and it has never been seen publicly again. 


The Thirsk Museum, North Yorkshire  is home to the infamous chair of Thomas Busby. Thomas Busby, coiner and drunkard, murdered his father-in-law Daniel Auty in 1702. This was his favourite pub chair. He was arrested, tried and condemned to death by hanging. He was on his way to the gallows  when he put a curse on it, claiming that anyone who sits in it will soon die. The chair hangs on a wall, about five to six feet up, in order to prevent anyone from sitting on it. Legend holds that the chair is cursed, and anyone who dares sit in it will meet an untimely end soon after.  It remained in a pub for centuries, and people were dared to sit in it. During World War II, airmen from an nearby base made the pub a hot spot, and people noticed that the ones who sat in it would never come back from war. In 1967, two Royal air force pilots sat in it, and while driving back, they crashed into a tree and died. A few years later, two brick layers decided to try it, and that afternoon, the brick layer that sat in it fell to his death. The cursed chair has apparently “killed” every person who sat in it, no matter what. Some instances include a roofer who sat in it died after the roof he was working on collapsed, and a cleaning woman stumbled into it while mopping, and was later killed by a brain tumor. 


A Wedding Dress Baker Mansion Museum  is said to be haunted by the daughter of the man who owned this house. Elias Baker built Baker Mansion in 1849. He was a very proud and powerful man and controlled his entire family through fear. When his daughter Anna fell in love with a local steelworker, Elias told her she was forbidden to marry him because he was poor. Anna already had her wedding dress but heartbroken she never did marry and died with a heavy heart over her lost love, and so grief stricken that she was never able to forgive her father. It is believed that Anna was determined to claim her dress back after death by wearing it in eternity,

When Baker Mansion was turned into a museum, the wedding dress was put on display in Anna’s old room. Over the years, the wedding dress has gained a reputation for being haunted. Numerous visitors claim to have seen the wedding dress move within its glass case. It is claimed that during a full moon the dress has been seen the shake quite violently in it’s glass case, sometimes threatening to shatter the display. They say that it is Anna’s ghost  enraged at the sight of the wedding gown because she never got to wear one or marry the man she loved.
The Historical Society decided to conduct their own study into the reasons why the wedding dress never remains still and concluded that after hidden cameras picked up obvious and deliberate movement while no one else was in the room that Anna Baker’s spirit lives on and she has come to reclaim her dress. However the ghost and spirit sightings does end here. People have claimed to see an older female spirit dressed in a heavy black dress walking slowly up the stairs. Most believe that this particular ghost is none other than Anna’s mother Hetty. The apparition of a male dressed in a uniform that is reminiscent of a steamboat crew member has been seen near the cellar. This spirit is believed to be Anna’s older brother David whose frozen lifeless body remained in the basement until the ground thawed so that he could receive a proper burial after being killed in a boating accident in 1852. Visitors to the museum along with several staff members have also seen the ghosts of both Elias and Anna Baker.


Countless copies of this painting have been found undamaged amongst the remains of house fires across the globe. The story goes that the image of the crying boy is cursed and will burn down any home in which it is placed. In 1988 a terrible blaze broke out in a home is Heswall, UK. Amongst the remains the firefighters found a crying boy painting completely preserved, not even singed. Not long afterwards, in Bradford, another crying boy painting was found in perfect condition in similar circumstances.

So who is the boy in the painting? It is believed to have been painted by artist Bruno Amadio, also known as Bragolin. He had fled to Spain soon after the end of World War Two. Here Amadio met a young boy named Don Bonillo, a mute orphan who had seen his parents perish in a house fire during the war. Amadio soon adopted the boy, although he was warned off of doing so by a local priest, the boy being the centre of many mysterious fires that broke out wherever he went. The boy was known locally as the devil child. Amadio refused to believe such stories, and the new family did well, Amadios paintings were selling well, and the two were living easy.
Unfortunately, one day Amadio found that his house and studio had burned to the ground. Remembering the priest’s warnings, he immediately blamed Don and kicked him out of the family. Don Bonillo was not heard from again until 1976, and surrounding another bizarre event. Just outside of Barcelona a car smashed into a wall and burst into flames. The driver was killed and was so horrifically burned; he was not able to be identified. However, upon investigation back at the police yard, the glove compartment was pried open. There, among burned items, was an untouched driver’s license. The name on the license was Don Bonillo.


This scary-looking painting was kept in Sean Robinson's grandmother's attic for twenty-five years before he inherited it from her. She had always told him that the painting was evil, explaining how the artist who created it had used his own blood mixed with the paint, and had killed himself shortly after completing it. She claimed to hear voices and crying when the painting was displayed, and to see the shadowy figure of a man in her house, which is why she locked it away in the attic.

As soon as Robinson took the painting into his home, he and his family started experiencing the same kinds of creepy phenomenon. His son fell down the stairs, his wife felt something stroking her hair, and they saw the shadow man and heard crying.  

Robinson decided to set up a camera overnight to try to capture some of the strange events on tape. Robinson's YouTube videos show slamming doors, rising smoke, and the painting falling from a wall for no reason.


Frightened, Robinson soon put the painting down in his basement, but occasionally brings it out into public view for research purposes. Recently he took the painting to an overnight paranormal investigation at Chillingham Castle. It was on the evening of 18th May 2013 that a group of people experienced events that were both terrifying and unexplainable. None of the guests were prepared for what was about happen in the early hours of that Sunday morning.The room went icy cold, a large dark figure appeared in the middle of the séance circle, and a large wooden bench banged on the floor of its own accord in response to John Blackburn’s questions to the painting. Then, the bench suddenly flipped upside down by what was believed to be John Sage, one of Chillingham Castle’s resident powerful spirits. We think John was showing his anger to a foreign, uninvited spirit in his castle. John Blackburn stated it was the strangest experience in all his years of investigation.”


No list of famously haunted objects would be complete with the inclusion of Robert. When Key West artist Robert Eugene Otto — or Gene, as he was more commonly known to his family — was four years old, he was given this doll as a gift. As the story goes, the doll looked kind of human in a weird way. He wore a sailor suit and carried a toy of his own, a miniature stuffed lion. Gene named him Robert, and from the moment he first appeared, weird events plagued the family’s home. 

Gene’s parents would periodically hear Gene giggling with someone (an unknown person with a deep-sounding voice)  as they walked by his closed bedroom door. Furniture overturned in rooms in which Robert sat, Gene began having horrible nightmares, toys would disappear and reappear, mutilated, and whenever something went wrong Gene would utter the phrase, “Robert did it.” 

Even after Robert was banished to the attic, passersby claimed to see a small figure moving from window to window. Many believe the doll to be cursed.These days, Robert is kept under lock and key at Key West’s Fort East Martello Museum. You can visit him, but make sure you ask his permission before taking his picture. He doesn’t take kindly to unapproved photographs being taken. 


Across cultures mirrors are believed to hold the key to opening a doorway between the world of the living to the world of the dead. This particular mirror is believed to be one such mirror.
The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, LA claims to be “one of America’s most haunted homes.” Though dozens of legends surround the historic property, most of them relating to a series of murders which took place there, the tale of the haunted mirror is one of the most famous.

According to popular legend, a slave named Chloe baked an oleander-laced cake and poisoned three members of the prominent Woodruff family: Sara, the lady of the plantation, and her two daughters. Some say Chloe purposely killed the family, while others insist she only meant to make them ill. In any event, Sara and the children died and their souls are now trapped within the old mirror, or so the stories go.

Visitors at the 217-year-old plantation report seeing handprints on the glass, apparently having been made from the inside, showing fingerprints allegedly belonging to the Woodruffs. Strange “drip” marks also run the length of the mirror, and no amount of cleaning can remove the residue. Visitors have also spotted figures in old-fashioned clothing lurking inside the mirror’s warped glass. The Myrtles Plantation is now a thriving Bed & Breakfast and guests are free to view and photograph the mirror. 


Who hasn't heard of Anabelle? After Hollywood chose this particular case to make a movie about recently, practically the whole world knows about Anabelle.

In 1970, a woman shopping in a thrift store bought a Raggedy-Ann style doll for her daughter, who was in college. Her daughter liked it and put it in her apartment, but soon she and her roommate both noticed odd things happening involving the doll. It would move by itself, often being found in another room even though no one had touched it. They found small scraps of parchment paper, which they didn't even own, with childish handwriting scrawled on them. They even found the doll standing impossibly on its rag doll legs one day.

The frightened girls contacted a psychic medium, who told them that the doll was possessed by the spirit of a young girl who had died in the apartment building. "Annabelle" said that she liked the college girls, and wanted to stay with them, so they told her that she could. Unfortunately, granting the spirit this permission lead to increased paranormal activity in their apartment, including having a male friend get attacked by the dolls spirit  one night, leaving vicious scratch marks all over his chest and torso.  

At their wit's end, the girls contacted renowned psychic investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The married duo soon found that the doll is not possessed by the spirit of a child at all; rather, it is possessed by a demon who had lied about its identity in order to get close to the girls, perhaps intending to possess one or both of them. The girls gave "Annabelle" to the Warrens, who encased it in a glass display cabinet in their Occult Museum in Connecticut. The sign on the glass reads, “Warning: Positively Do Not Open.”



Again, this case is now pretty well known following the movie "The Possession" made in 2012. 
The story began in September of 2001, when an antique buyer and refinisher attended an estate sale in Portland, Oregon. The auction was held to sell off the belongings of a 103-year-old woman, and her granddaughter informed the antique dealer of the woman’s past when she noticed that he had purchased a simple wooden wine cabinet. The old woman had been Jewish, the only one of her family members to have survived her time in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. When she immigrated to the United States, the wine cabinet and two other items were the only things she brought with her.

The woman’s granddaughter explained that her grandmother had always kept the box hidden away, and said that it should never, ever be opened because it contained a malicious spirit called a dybbuk. She requested that the box be buried with her, but since doing so went against Jewish tradition, her family did not oblige. When the antique dealer asked the granddaughter if she would like to keep the box for sentimental reasons, the woman vehemently refused, becoming very upset and told him “We made a deal! You have to take it”. 

He attempted to give the gift to several more people, but it was always returned to him within a few days, usually because people just didn’t like it, or because they felt that something about it was evil. He began suffering from a recurring nightmare, and he later found that all of his family members who had been around the box were having the same dream. He started seeing shadow figures darting around in his peripheral vision, too. He felt very much that someone, or something was now with him at all times. After finally admitting that there was something paranormal happening, he went online to research and fell asleep at his computer. When he woke up, he felt like something was breathing on his neck, and when he turned his head he saw a huge shadow figure dashing away from him down the hall. He then decided to list the item on eBay, along with a detailed account of what had happened to him since obtaining the box. Jason Haxton, the curator of a medical museum in Missouri, purchased the box from the eBay auction. He later wrote a book detailing the strange story of the dibbuk box, and in 2012, a horror movie based on the book entitled The Possession was released.


A mysterious doll possessed by the spirit of a child has captured the curiosity of people across Japan for decades. The legendary Okiku doll, named after the girl who long ago used to play with it, is a 40-centimeter (16-in) tall kimono-clad figure with beady black eyes -- and hair that grows.

The Okiku doll has resided at the Mannenji temple in the town of Iwamizawa (Hokkaido prefecture) since 1938. According to the temple, the traditional doll initially had short cropped hair, but over time it has grown to about 25 centimeters (10 in) long, down to the doll's knees. Although the hair is periodically trimmed, it reportedly keeps growing back.

It is said that the doll was originally purchased in 1918 by a 17-year-old boy named Eikichi Suzuki while visiting Sapporo for a marine exhibition. He bought the doll on Tanuki-koji -- Sapporo's famous shopping street -- as a souvenir for his 2-year-old sister, Okiku. The young girl loved the doll and played with it every day, but the following year, she died suddenly of a cold. The family placed the doll in the household altar and prayed to it every day in memory of Okiku.

Some time later, they noticed the hair had started to grow. This was seen as a sign that the girl's restless spirit had taken refuge in the doll.

In 1938, the Suzuki family moved to Sakhalin, and they placed the doll in the care of Mannenji temple, where it has remained ever since.

Nobody has ever been able to fully explain why the doll's hair continues to grow. However, one scientific examination of the doll supposedly concluded that the hair is indeed that of a young child.

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