Do you believe spirits can attach to dolls, paintings, clothes or furniture? From Annabelle The Doll to the Dead Man's Chair, check out our list of six of the most haunted objects in the world. Would you dare encounter them?
1. The Hands Resist Him
Terrifying people for decades, both face-to-face and on the Internet, this supremely creepy painting – created in 1972 by artist Bill Stoneham – was posted on the online action site eBay in 2000, with claims that it was haunted and carried a curse.
Depicting a life-size doll and a stern-looking boy stood before a doorway behind which disembodied hands reach towards the children, rumours of the supernatural powers of the painting soon spread across the Internet. The anonymous seller on eBay warned that the figures in the painting changed form at night, fighting each other and even coming out of the painting into the house – with the doll also coming to life on the canvas and holding a gun to the boy’s head.
The seller included pictures that purportedly proved that the figures shifted form. The ad also contained the warning, ‘Do not bid on this painting if you are susceptible to stress-related disease, are faint of heart or are unfamiliar with supernatural events.’
People who viewed the painting online reported fainting, being violently ill or children running screaming, terrified of the image. Take a look – what do you think?
2. Annabelle The Doll
Displayed behind a sign saying ‘Warning – Positively Do Not Open’, Annabelle – a Raggedy Ann doll – is currently in a glass case on display at the Occult Museum in Connecticut, which was run by world-famous psychic investigators and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. And what’s Annabelle done to deserve a place there? She’s possessed by a demon…
This devil-doll was purchased from a hobby store by a mother in 1970 for her daughter, a student, who lived with a roommate. After taking the toy home, both girls quickly noticed that it appeared to move positions on its own. This intensified, until they’d start to find in a different room from which they’d left it in – sometimes with the door closed behind it.
Afraid, the girls turned to a medium for help, who told them that the spirit of a 7-year-old girl named Annabelle was trapped inside the toy. Feeling compassion for the spirit, the roommates allowed the doll to stay – but they soon realised that the doll was deceiving them, and it wasn’t what it seemed.
After a visiting friend claimed he was physically attacked and clawed by Annabelle, they sought the advice of a priest, who contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren. Following an investigation, they concluded an inhuman spirit had attached itself to the doll with the intent of eventually possessing a human host. It’d manipulated the medium to make the girls think the spirit was a harmless child, thus rendering both girls vulnerable to attack.
The apartment was exorcised by a priest, and the Warrens took the doll away with them when they left – driving extra carefully as they went, since their car inexplicably swerved and stalled throughout their journey home.
3. Haunted wedding dress
Housed in a museum, this gown is said to sway eerily from side to side on its own accord. Investigators have so far failed to explain how this dress appears to dance on its own – especially during a Full Moon – ruling out draughts and other natural causes.
The frock was once owned by Anna Baker, a Pennsylvanian girl from a rich family who, in 1849, fell in love with a poor iron worker. Ashamed, her father refused to let Anna marry her sweetheart. Angry and bitter, Anna never fell in love again and lived a life of spinsterhood until she died in 1914.
Before the sad event, Anna had bought herself a beautiful wedding dress – the one now housed in the museum. Some say the dress bobs and sways on its own within its glass case, as Anna’s spirit returns to admire herself in her wedding gown.
4. Robert The Doll
Once owned by a boy named Robert Eugene Otto who lived in Key West, Florida, it’s believed this spooky toy dressed in a sailor’s uniform was given to the child by a family servant who practiced black magic and disliked the family, having been maltreated.
The little boy Robert named the 3ft-high doll with black, beady button-eyes after himself, and used to talk at length with the toy. He took the doll everywhere, snuck it bites of food at the dining table and treated it like a living person – even going to the lengths of insisting his mother call him by his middle name, Gene – as ‘Robert’ was the doll’s name.
Gene soon began to blame mischief on Robert and, when he was chatting to the doll, servants claimed they could hear responses spoken in a low voice… Neighbours also said they’d see Robert moving from window to window when no-one was home.
As Gene grew up, the doll was put in the attic and remained in the house after his death in 1974. Subsequent tenants said they’d hear footsteps up there, while a plumber who’d heard giggling had turned around only to see Robert The Doll had moved across the room on his own.
A reporter who visited the doll claimed he could tell it was listening to his conversation, and that Robert’s expression soured after one person called Gene an old fool.
Robert now resides in the Fort East Martello Museum. Those who visit him believe they must ask his permission before taking a photograph – and the exhibition is full of letters from those who didn’t, begging for Robert’s forgiveness after runs of bad luck…
5. Busby’s Stoop Chair
Also known as the Dead Man’s Chair, it’s alleged that this haunted piece of furniture has claimed lives. It currently hangs from the ceiling of Thirsk Museum, North Yorkshire – where it can hopefully now do no more harm.
The chair is said to be cursed… Back in 1702, murderer, counterfeiter and drunkard Thomas Busby faced execution by hanging having been found guilty of killing his father-in-law.
After his death, Busby’s corpse was covered with pitch and suspended inside a gibbet, making a gruesome spectacle for passers by. The gibbet sat at a crossroads, near which an inn stood. On the day he was set to die, Busby is said to have cursed his favourite chair at that inn, saying all who sat in it would meet a violent death – just as he was about to.
Wartime bomber pilots thought it was unlucky to sit in the chair as many airman who’d done so had never returned from combat. And, after a series of fatal accidents in the 1970s linked to people who’d sat in the chair just days or hours before, in 1978 the landlord asked that it be removed and hung up where no-one can sit on it – and no-one has since. Traffic accidents, a hanging and a construction accident have all been attributed to its curse – as well as the deaths of the wartime soldiers. Some believe the number of fatalities linked to it is as high as 60.
6. The Anguished Man
This terrifying-looking artwork was created partly from paint, and partly from the artist’s own blood. He then committed suicide shortly after its completion.
Sean Robinson’s grandmother stored the painting away in her attic for 25 years – it was an unwanted gift that she claimed was evil, causing black shadows to appear and disembodied moans and cries.
Once Sean inherited the painting, he and his family soon began to experience the same phenomena, as well as slamming doors, scratching, bangs and the painting falling from the wall on its own accord. Sean uploaded what he believes is video evidence of the haunting on YouTube… What do you make of it?