8 Infamous Haunted Objects You Should Probably Avoid
By Rob Schwarz
Do you believe an object can be haunted? Or, through some strange power, bewitched? Perhaps these are just stories, but here are eight allegedly haunted and cursed items you should probably avoid, in any case.
THE ANGUISHED MAN
Sean Robinson felt himself called to this painting, known as “The Anguished Man,” from a very young age. It depicts a strange human figure with its mouth agape, and brought about a deluge of paranormal activity when Robinson decided to hang it in his family’s home: odd noises, doors opening and closing, and intense nightmares involving what may have been the figure in the painting.
Robinson uploaded a video to YouTube back in 2011 that allegedly shows off some of this activity, including scraping noises and a door swinging shut on its own.
THE BUSBY STOOP CHAIR
Thomas Busby murdered his father-in-law because he’d sat in his favorite chair. The very same chair that he cursed on his way to the gallows, declaring that anyone else who sat in it would endure a terrible fate.
And maybe the curse worked. Airmen who stopped by the Busby Stoop Inn during World War II would avoid the chair, noting that anyone who sat in it never came back from the war. A number of sudden deaths followed throughout the years, with those sitting in the Busby’s cursed chair meeting their end not long after. These days, it can be found hanging safely out of reach at the Thirsk Museum.
THE SCREAMING SKULLS
There are a number of screaming skull legends in England. One of the more famous is that of the skull at Bettiscombe Manor. The manor has become known as “The House of the Screaming Skull” for its macabre legend involving the skull of a Jamaican slave from the 17th century. From Wikipedia:
“As he lay dying, the servant swore that he would never rest unless his body was returned to his homeland of Nevis, but when he died, John Frederick Pinney refused to pay for such an expensive burial and instead had the body interred in the grounds of St. Stephen’s Church cemetery. After the burial, ill fortune plagued the village for many months and screams and crying were heard coming from the cemetery.
Other disturbances were reported from the manor house, such as windows rattling and doors slamming of their own accord. The villagers went to the manor to seek advice. The body of the servant was exhumed and the body taken to the manor house. In the process of time the skeleton has long since vanished, except for the skull where it has remained in the house for centuries.”
In general, it’s said that removing one of these skulls from a house leads to unending poltergeist activity, as in the story above, until the skull is returned.
ROBERT THE DOLL
A cursed gift from a disrespected servant, Robert the Doll once haunted a Key West, Florida family — by tossing objects, running through the halls, and even speaking — until it wound up at the East Martello Museum. Behind glass.
But the doll, they say, is still very much haunted. Those who take pictures of the doll must first ask for permission. Those who forget are haunted by bad luck, and eventually send letters asking for forgiveness. You can read more about The Curse of Robert the Doll here.
ÖTZI THE ICE MAN
In 1991, a couple of German tourists discovered Ötzi the Ice Man, a stunningly well-preserved “natural mummy,” while on a walk in the Ötztal Alps. He lived around 3300 B.C.E., and while his naturally preserved state is remarkable enough, the string of deaths involving those who studied Ötzi are even more intriguing.
One of the German tourists who found Ötzi, Helmut Simon, died in a “freak blizzard” (while walking in the same area Ötzi was found, no less). Rainer Henn, lead investigator of Ötzi’s forensic team, died in a car crash on the way to a lecture about, you guessed it, Ötzi. Rainer Hoelzl, the man who filmed the mummy’s removal from its icy grave, died of a brain tumor.
Those are just three of the deaths associated with Ötzi the Ice Man, all within a relatively short number of years. There are others.
THE WOMEN FROM LEMB STATUE
If the legends are true, the Women from Lemb Statue has a rather impressive death count, involving at least four families and the museum curator who finally put the statue behind glass.
It’s also known as The Goddess of Death, made circa 3500 B.C.E., but it’s unclear why this mysterious statue possesses such a horrible power. If you’d like to read more about it, check out The Curse of the Women from Lemb Statue.
ANNABELLE THE DOLL
Who would think an old Raggedy Ann doll would be the subject of such terror? Purchased at a second hand store back in the 1970s, the doll was given to a nursing student named Donna by her mother. But it didn’t take long for Donna and her roomate, Angie, to realize something was off.
The doll would move. Donna would leave a room, only to return and find Annabelle had shifted position, or even “wandered” into another room entirely. And then the messages started to appear, little bits of paper with handwritten notes saying “Help us” on them.
But slight movements and innocuous notes are one thing. Finding the doll covered in blood, and having one of their friends discover “claw marks” on his chest, was a clear sign that the doll had an evil disposition. Eventually, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called in, the couple who helped with the Amityville Horror. They determined that the doll was haunted, but not by a demon — it was an evil spirit seeking to possess a human.
Today, the doll can be found at the Warren Occult Museum in Connecticut, behind glass like all the other cursed artifacts that are too dangerous for the outside world. There’s also a horror movie based on the Annabelle doll that just released called — well, it’s called Annabelle. Fancy that.
Wait — I’m not saying you should avoid Ayers Rock. It’s a celebrated natural landmark in Australia, called Uluru by the indigenous people there. But like Robert the Doll, there are rules to be followed, and one of those rules is that you don’t take rocks from the area as souvenirs.
Why? Because those who disturb Uluru by taking chunks of it home with them seem to develop a serious case of bad luck, including illness and death. In fact, this is so common that many tourists have mailed the rocks back to the national park with apology letters, hoping to break the curse.