Over the years, many household items have been said to be cursed and haunted. They are regular objects you’d find in any home: chairs, mirrors, vases, cabinets, dolls, paintings, and the like. The story always goes that a demon or spirit resides in the item, although the object’s owner may not always know why their possession is possessed.
These purportedly haunted items have been blamed for causing disasters, and some have even been accused of attempted murder. Many have repeatedly changed hands due to the mayhem attributed to them. Here are ten reportedly cursed or haunted household objects.
10 Busby Stoop Inn Chair
The Busby Stoop Inn chair was cursed by Thomas Busby, just before he was hanged for murdering Daniel Auty in 1702. Prior to the murder, Busby ran a coin counterfeiting operation with Daniel, who was also his father-in-law. Both started having problems, which came to a head one evening when Daniel visited the Thirsk, North Yorkshire, inn where Busby lived with his wife, Elizabeth.
Some sources say Daniel wanted to take Elizabeth back home, while others say he was just visiting. Whatever the reason, a drunk Busby arrived to find Daniel sitting in his favorite chair. This infuriated Busby and led to a fight. Daniel left after the fight, but Busby followed him home and killed him with a hammer. Busby was sentenced to death for the murder.
On his way to his execution, Busby requested a stopover at the inn, where he cursed the chair. Ever since, lots of people who have sat in the chair have died under mysterious circumstances. Some committed suicide, some fell off buildings, some had accidents, some went to war and never returned, and so on. Nevertheless, this did not deter people from sitting in the chair.
In the 1970s, Tony Earnshaw, who owned the inn, got so fed up with the deaths attributed to the chair that he took it to the cellar to keep people from sitting in it. Some determined people still went to the cellar to sit in the chair. Earnshaw finally had enough after an ignorant delivery driver died in a car crash a few hours after sitting in the chair. He donated the chair to the Thirsk Museum, where it is suspended from the ceiling to deter people from sitting in it.
9 The Crying Boy
The Crying Boy was not a single painting but a mass-produced print, with multiple versions existing. The original one was made by Italian artist Bruno Amadio under the pseudonym “Giovanni Bragolin.” The painting was very popular in the UK, where lots of people hung it in their homes.
The first claim of the painting being cursed was made on September 5, 1985, when The Sun published an article about a couple whose house burned down. According to The Sun, the Crying Boy painting was all that was left of the mishap. The Sun published a follow-up piece the next day, revealing that it had received several calls from people with similar issues.
One woman said the painting was all that was left after her house burned down six months after she purchased the painting. People also blamed the painting for other unfortunate incidents. One said her son’s privates got caught in a hook, and another said she’d lost her husband and three children since she first bought the painting in 1959.
The whole thing came to a head after another house containing the painting burned down. The fact that the painting involved was a lookalike by another artist changed nothing. The Sun offered to help readers rid their homes of the evil paintings. In response, readers turned in 2,500 Crying Boy paintings, which The Sun burned in a giant bonfire.
In 2010, Steve Punt, a comedian and radio presenter with the BBC, tried burning a surviving Crying Boy from the era. The painting did not burn, which made him speculate that it was protected with a fire retardant. However, he wasn’t taking any chances and refused to take the painting into his home. He just left it on his porch.
8 Belcourt Castle Chairs
The 60-room Belcourt Castle in Newport, Rhode Island, is one of the most haunted houses in the US. The haunting is believed to be connected to some of the antique items kept inside the mansion, including the chairs found in its ballroom. Visitors often complain of an uneasy feeling when standing next to the chairs. Some say an unseen force resists them when they try sitting in the chairs. Others who managed to sit in the chairs say they were mysteriously thrown out of them.
Besides the haunted chairs, the ballroom contains a suit of armor that screams at intervals. The screams are said to be that of its owner, who was killed sometime in March of some year, which is the same month the screams are most frequent. He is said to have been killed after a spear was struck through the armor’s eye slit.
7 Basano Vase
The existence of the Basano Vase is doubted. Its backstory is shrouded in myth and folklore, and its present location is unknown. The vase is said to have been made in a town just north of Napoli, Italy, sometime in the 15th century. Someone gave it to a bride the night before her wedding as a gift. However, the wedding never happened because the bride died overnight.
The vase was given to a member of the bride’s family, who also died soon after receiving it. It was given to another family member, who suffered the same fate. It was at this point that the bride’s family deduced the vase was haunted. They buried it someplace, where it remained until it was unearthed in 1988.
The vase contained a note warning of the mysterious and fatal consequences for anyone who came into its possession. The man who found the vase ignored the warning and sold it to a pharmacist, who died three months later. The pharmacist’s family sold the vase to a doctor, who soon followed the pharmacist to the great beyond. It was later sold to two more owners, who also died.
The family of the last victim wisely opted not to sell the vase and reportedly threw it out the window. A police officer found it and returned it, but they refused to collect it. No museum accepted the vase, either, and it is currently said to be buried in a secret location.
6 Dybbuk Box
The Dybbuk (or Dibbuk) Box is a wine cabinet said to be possessed by an evil spirit referred to as a dybbuk. The box remains in the possession of antique collector Kevin Mannis, who bought it from a woman who said it was owned by her grandmother. Mannis opened the box after buying it. There wasn’t much inside, just a few curious items, including a candle, a wine goblet, and two locks of human hair.
However, someone or something ransacked Mannis’s shop the same day he opened the box. It definitely wasn’t a thief because nothing was stolen. The store clerk also reported that the light bulbs mysteriously broke, and she heard someone cursing. Mannis himself noted that the store smelled of jasmine flower.
At first, Mannis didn’t connect the incident with the box, which he gave to his mother. She suffered a stroke just five minutes after receiving it and quickly returned it. Mannis gave the box to his sister, who returned it after complaining that it mysteriously opened and gave her nightmares. Mannis gave the box to his brother and wife, who also returned it after similar complaints.
Mannis finally put the box up for sale, but the buyer soon returned it over complaints that it contained something evil. Unable to rid himself of the box, Mannis just kept it in his basement. He soon started complaining of seeing ghosts in his home. Curiously enough, visitors also complained about the same thing. Mannis also had nightmares in which he was beaten and would often wake up with scratches and bites from the beatings.
Mannis finally sold the box to Iosif Nietzke, who bought it for $140 in 2003. Like the rest, Nietzke, too, soon started complaining of mysterious events in his home. He reported objects mysteriously moving around his home and the lights suddenly going on and off. He also sold the box, and the latest buyer, Jason Haxton, complained of excessive tiredness and unexplained rashes. He added that he coughed blood and that his mouth tasted of metal. He visited Jewish rabbis to calm the spirit inside the cabinet before putting it away.
5 The Cursed Mirror Of The Myrtles Plantation
The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is another haunted home in the US. Its most haunted item is a 200-year-old mirror. The story goes that the mirror became haunted after a slave called Chloe poisoned a cake, killing Sara, the wife of the owner of the plantation, and two of her daughters. The souls of the deceased were trapped in the mirror, from which they haunted the plantation.
Visitors to the plantation often note strange handprints and drip marks on the mirror. Some even confirmed seeing people dressed in old-style clothes inside it. The mirror’s backstory is somewhat disputed, since there is no record of a slave named Chloe ever working on the plantation. Also, according to the plantation’s records, Sara and one of her daughters died of yellow fever, while the other one survived into adulthood.
4 Annabelle The Doll
If you have watched any of The Conjuring (2013), Annabelle (2014), or Annabelle: Creation (2017), you should have seen that creepy doll named Annabelle. She is based on a real, but less creepy-looking, doll called Annabelle, which is on display at Ed and Lorraine Warren’s Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut.
The story of Annabelle’s creepiness began in 1970, after a woman bought her for her daughter. People soon started accusing the doll of random attacks and even attempting to strangle a family friend. Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the criminal activities of the doll and concluded she was possessed by an evil spirit.
They decided to take Annabelle to their museum, but their car’s brakes and steering mysteriously refused to work until they sprinkled holy water on the back seat, where Annabelle sat. Ed kept the doll inside a glass box fortified with prayers. That probably didn’t stop Annabelle from committing more atrocities, though. A boy and his girlfriend once had an accident on their way home after Ed sent them out of the museum for mocking Annabelle and banging on her box.
3 The Anguished Man
The Anguished Man is a panting owned by the family of Sean Robinson. Sean says it was originally owned by his grandmother, who had always complained that it was evil. His grandmother often spoke of a man walking around her house at night and several mysterious sounds, including that of an unseen person crying. Sean’s grandmother added that the artist who created the painting mixed his blood with the oil paint he used. After he completed the painting, he committed suicide.
Sean claims his family started experiencing strange events after receiving the painting, following the death of his grandmother. Sean himself complained of seeing a mysterious person crying, a strange mist at the top of his stairs, and a man standing at the foot of his bed, staring at him.
Sean sometimes took the painting on tours to haunted locations across the UK. During one such tour at Chillingham Castle, John Sage, one of the most powerful spirits in the castle, reportedly angrily threw a bench upside down because of the presence of the uninvited spirit.
2 The Hands Resist Him
The Hands Resist Him depicts a young boy standing on a porch with what looks like the life-size dummy of a girl. Behind them is a glass door with lots of hands. The painting was created by Bill Stoneham and is a recreation of a similar photograph his parents had taken of him and a neighborhood friend when he was just five.
In 1972, Stoneham, now grown and married, was contracted by Charles Feingarten to create two paintings a month for his gallery. It was during this contract that Stoneham created the painting and titled it after a poem written by his wife. The poem, titled “Hands Resist Him,” was about Stoneham’s adoption and the fact that he never got to meet his real siblings.
The painting was almost like the photograph, except that Stoneham added lots of hands to the glass door behind the children (and made the girl into a dead-eyed dummy). Whether the hands have bodies or not is left to the viewer to decide, although no bodies are visible. In 1974, actor and producer John Marley bought the painting.
The story of the painting being haunted started after three people involved with it (including Marley) died between 1978 and 1984. However, Marley sold the painting before his death, and it appeared on eBay in 2000. The family selling it claimed their daughter saw the children leaving the painting and fighting.
No one in the family believed the girl at first, and her father even set up a motion camera to prove her wrong. To everyone’s surprise, the camera supposedly caught the girl leaving the painting and forcing the boy out at gunpoint.
The painting was bought by Kim Smith, who soon started complaining of several mysterious anomalies, which he claimed started right from the moment he sent the first e-mail to bid for the painting. Several people who viewed the painting’s ad on eBay also had similar complaints. This is the reason why the painting is sometimes called the “haunted eBay painting.”
1 Robert The Doll
Robert is said to be the world’s most terrifying haunted doll. He has been accused of causing every unfortunate incident, from car accidents to broken bones to divorce. Some have even blamed him for losing their jobs.
Robert was originally owned by artist Robert Eugene Otto, who received him as a birthday present from his grandfather when he was still a child. Otto kept Robert into adulthood. At one time, he displayed Robert at one of the windows of his house. However, schoolchildren soon noticed that Robert frequently appeared and disappeared from the window, which made them avoid Otto’s house.
Myrtle Reuter became Robert’s new owner after she bought Otto’s house in 1974. Visitors to the house soon started complaining of strange footsteps and laughter. Some even claimed that Robert changed his countenance whenever someone spoke ill of Otto. Reuter herself complained that Robert walked around the house when no one was watching. In 1994, she donated Robert to Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida.