A haunting occurs when a ghost or other supernatural being refuses to move on after death, instead choosing to dwell among the living. Though most people associate hauntings with houses, a spirit or demon can attach themselves to just about any object, from jewelry to paintings.
Read on to learn about ten of the most haunted objects ever recorded in history.
#10 The Dibbuk Box Contains an Ancient, Malevolent Spirit
A dibbuk box is a wine cabinet which, according to Jewish folklore, is said to be haunted by a restless, evil spirit that is capable of haunting and possessing the living. One particular dibbuk box became famous when it was listed on eBay along with a terrifying backstory.
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 dibbuk. 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 saying, “We made a deal! You have to take it!”
The dealer took his purchase back to his shop and placed it in his workshop in the basement. Immediately, strange and frightening things started happening. He was called by his frantic shop assistant, who said that the lights had gone out, the doors and security gates had locked, and she heard terrible sounds coming from the basement. When he investigated, he discovered a terrible odor of cat urine lingering in the air, and every light bulb in the place had been smashed.
The dealer gave the wine box to his mother as a gift, and the woman immediately suffered a major stroke. In the hospital, she spelled out, “H-A-T-E G-I-F-T” as tears spilled from her eyes uncontrollably. 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, as well.
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.
#9 Annabelle, The Doll Possessed by a Lying Demon
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 doll 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.”
#8 The “eBay Haunted Painting” Causes Sickness, Screaming, and Fear
In 2000, an anonymous eBay seller listed a painting created by artist Bill Stoneham called “The Hands Resist Him.” This painting is now largely considered to be one of the world’s most haunted works of art.
The painting features a boy and a creepy doll standing in front of a glass door. The painting was created in 1972 and purchased by Hollywood actor John Marley. It was then bought by a California couple before going up for sale on eBay along with a dire warning about the problems involved with owning the object.
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 center 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.”
#7 The Myrtles Plantation Mirror Contains the Spirits of a Woman and Her Children
Myrtles Plantation is an allegedly haunted bed and breakfast that is largely considered to be the most haunted home in the United States, as well as one of the most haunted houses in the world. The plantation dates back to 1796, and it was built on a Native American burial ground. Additionally, it is rumored to be the location of at least ten murders, and paranormal events are an almost daily occurrence.
Perhaps the most haunted item on the premises is a mirror that was added to the home in 1980. Guests of the plantation have reported seeing figures lurking in the mirror, as well as child-sized handprints on the glass. Legend claims that the mirror contains the spirits of Sara Woodruff and her children. The Woodruffs were poisoned to death, and though custom dictates that mirrors should be covered after death to prevent spirits from getting trapped, this mirror was not covered, so the belief is that the Woodruff souls are very much present and active within the mirror.
#6 Haunted Wedding Dress Dances On Its Own
In 1849, a girl from a rich family named Anna Baker fell in love with a low class iron worker. Anna’s father, Ellis Baker, refused to let her marry her beloved, banishing the young man from their hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania and dooming his daughter to a life of spinsterhood. Anna was so angry with her father that she never fell in love or married, and remained bitter and angry until her death in 1914.
Before her father sent her true love away, Anna had chosen a beautiful wedding dress that she intended to wear at their wedding. When the wedding did not occur, another wealthy woman from a local family, Elizabeth Dysart, wore the dress instead, gloating the entire time. Years later, the wedding dress was given to an historical society, and eventually the Baker mansion was turned into a museum. The wedding dress was placed in a glass case in what was formerly Anna Baker’s bedroom. After her death, visitors claim to see the dress move on its own, especially during full moons. The dress sways from side to side, as if an unseen bride is standing in front of her mirror, admiring herself in the gown.
Investigators who have searched for drafts and other naturally occurring circumstances have come up empty handed. No one can be sure why the dress sometimes moves by itself, though many speculate that the spurned bride, Anna Baker, has reclaimed her dress at last.
#5 Chairs Push People Out of Them and Make People Feel Sick
Newport, Rhode Island is one of the oldest towns in the United States. Settled in 1690, by the early twentieth century the seaport town had become a hot summer destination for some of America’s wealthiest families. The mansions of Newport are legendary, as are the many ghost stories that accompany buildings that have been around for so long.
Belcourt Castle was founded by Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, a wealthy American socialite and politician, in 1894. There are many different documented hauntings within this lavish home, but perhaps the most famous haunted objects in the castle are two chairs that reportedly have spirits attached to them. Visitors who sit in the chairs say they immediately feel cold, queasy, and uncomfortable. Their hands feel like they’re pricked by static electricity when held near the chairs, and many people have claimed that they’ve felt like they’re sitting on someone when they attempt to sit in the chairs. Several visitors have actually been ejected from the chairs by an unseen force.
#4 Haunted Doll Curses Those Who Take His Picture Without Permission
In 1896, this creepy doll belonged to a child named Robert Eugene Otto in Key West, Florida. The doll had been given to him by a servant who practiced black magic, and who disliked the boy’s family. The little boy adored his doll, and would often talk to him at length. Servants in the Otto home became concerned, however, when they swore they could hear a phantom voice talking back to the boy, and neighbors claimed to have seen the doll moving from window to window in the Otto house when no one was at home.
Soon, the doll started causing mischief, and the frightened child would claim that he had no part in it. Rooms would be messed up, vases smashed, and little Robert would be blamed, even though he seemed extremely afraid and insisted that his doll had done the deeds.
Robert inherited the house and died in 1972, so the house was purchased by another family. A little girl who had just moved into the home found the doll in the attic and was instantly afraid of it. She said the doll was alive and wanted to kill her. The doll finally wound up at an art gallery and historical museum in Key West, where it remains on display to this day. Oddly enough, visitors to the museum claim that they must ask permission to take a photograph of the doll. If they don’t, legend has it that the doll will curse you. The museum displays letters from so-called “cursed” individuals who have written to the doll, apologizing for not asking to take his picture, and asking to be released from his spell.
#3 The Women from Lemb Statue Brings Death to All Owners
Nicknamed “The Goddess of Death,” The Women from Lemb is a statue carved from pure limestone that was discovered in 1878 in Lemb, Cypruss. The item dates back to 3500 B.C., and is believed to represent a goddess, similar to a fertility idol. The statue was first owned by Lord Elphont, and within six years of having the statue in his possession, all seven of the Elphont family members had died from mysterious causes.
Both of the next two owners, Ivor Manucci and Lord Thompson-Noel, also died along with their entire families just a few short years after taking the statue into their homes.
The fourth owner, Sir Alan Biverbrook, died as well, along with his wife and two of their daughters. Two of Biverbrook’s sons remained, and though they weren’t big believers in the occult, they were scared enough by the sudden and strange deaths of four of their family members that they decided to donate the statue to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, where it remains today.
Shortly after the item was placed in the museum, the chief of the section where the statue dwelled suddenly died as well, though no museum curator will admit that the statue may have supernatural properties. No one has handled the statue since that first museum worker who passed away, and the item is safely under glass and protected from human hands.
#2 “The Anguished Man” Captured On Video
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 Robinson 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 he is not interested in selling it.
#1 The Cursed “Chair of Death” Kills All Who Sit in It
In 1702, a convicted murderer named Thomas Busby was about to be hanged for his crimes. His last request was to have his final meal served at his favorite pub in Thirsk, England. He finished his meal, stood up, and said, “May sudden death come to anyone who dare sit in my chair.”
The chair remained in the pub for centuries, and patrons would often dare one another to sit in the cursed seat. During World War II, airmen from a nearby base frequented the pub, and locals noticed that the soldiers who sat in the chair would never return from war.
In 1967, two Royal Air Force pilots sat in the chair, only to crash their truck into a tree just after they left. In 1970, a mason tested his fate in the hot seat, only to die that same afternoon by falling into a hole at his job site. A year after that, a roofer who sat in it died after the roof he was working on collapsed. When the pub’s cleaning lady tripped and fell into the chair, she died shortly afterwards from a brain tumor.
This list goes on, and finally the pub owner moved the chair into the basement. Unfortunately, even in storage the chair claimed another victim. After a delivery man took a quick rest while unloading packages in the store room, he was killed in a car accident that same day.
Eventually, the pub owner donated the chair to the local museum in 1972. The museum displays the chair by hanging it five feet in the air so that no one can possibly sit in it by mistake again. Fortunately, no one has sat in the chair since.