Anyone looking for true ghost stories can usually find a host of tales with striking similarities. These are the tales of departed spirits and voices calling out from the great unknown. However, often overlooked are the creepy stories about objects—not people—that are just as haunted. Here are three stories featuring three rather ordinary objects that may cause you to look slightly askance at that old family heirloom sitting in your basement.
The Chair Of Death Of course, you’re thinking an electric chair, right? Haunted house stories seldom focus on a single article of furniture. What if we told you that this was just an ordinary wooden chair you’d find in any antique store? The story, like The Anguished Man tale below, is something right out of the pages of folklore. Thomas Busby, a convicted murderer, was sentenced to hang in 1702. He’d strangled a man to death for sitting in his favorite chair in his favorite pub. As he walked past the pub on his way to the gallows, he pronounced a curse: Whoever sits in his chair henceforth will die. Nonsensical ramblings from a deranged killer?Perhaps.
However, it wasn’t long before people began to notice that soldiers who’d stopped to dine in that pub, and who sat in that chair, were found never to return from battle. A bricklayer fell into a hole on the jobsite after sitting in it. A roof collapsed under the roofer who worked on it – after he had sat in the chair on his lunch break. The pub’s cleaning lady even stumbled on it while tidying up, crashing to the floor and dying soon after of a brain tumor.
Annabelle, The Demon Doll
Few chilling stories of poltergeists pack the same punch of terror as this one. In the early 1970s, a woman shopping in a thrift store purchased a Raggedy Ann doll for her college-aged daughter. It wasn’t long before the strangeness began. Scraps of foreign paper with childish handwriting were found scattered about. The doll was seen to move on its own, and even seen to stand on its own legs. After a psychic alleged that the doll was possessed by the spirit of a young girl who’d died in their house, the daughter and her roommate contacted a renowned psychic duo, who indeed confirmed that the doll was not possessed by the spirit of a little girl: It was possessed by a demon. Today, Annabelle is enclosed under glass with a warning never to open it.
The Anguished Man Painting
This one sounds like something fresh out of the pages of an old pulp magazine tale featuring unexplained phenomenon stories: A found painting, grotesque, purported to have been painted with the artist’s own blood!
Such was the story told to Sean Robinson by his grandmother, who kept the picture hidden in her attic for twenty-five years before passing it on to him. His grandmother told him that she heard anguished cries whenever the painting was displayed.
Of course, Sean wasn’t buying any of it. That is, until he got hold of the painting and heard the voices for themselves.
To look at this painting is to understand how anyone would think it was haunted. It is truly a horrific work.
The next time you look at something very old and worn, something, say, in a Civil War museum, remember the life that touched it once, long ago, that was snuffed out so horribly. Who knows, as you look around your house what history is held in such ordinary objects, waiting to be unleashed at the touch.
Today’s ghost hunters are fast arriving at this very point. Simon Murik Author of True Ghost Stories and Hauntings: Chilling Stories of Poltergeists, Unexplained Phenomenon, and Haunted Houses