The South Shields Poltergeist

The South Shields Poltergeist

Back in December of 2005, in South Shields, England, a happy couple and their son were preparing for the Christmas holidays when some very strange disturbances began to happen in their home.

The couple decided not to include their family names in their report to protect their son (naturally), so for the sake of this article we will call them mum, dad and the son.

Lets take a closer look at the South Shields poltergeist…

Paranormal Activity

The paranormal incidents started off very slowly – simple tapping within the walls and doors opening and closing by themselves.

Suddenly the activity began to snowball – tables and chairs would stack themselves into towers in different rooms and huge and heavy chests of draws would scrape across their living room floor.

Paranormal Activity

At the time, the family reported that they never actually saw any of the furniture move by itself – but they could hear it happening.

By the time they got to the room involved the furniture had already made it’s new destination.

Something Supernatural

At this point both mum and dad realized that something supernatural was taking place in their house – even though they had not yet managed to spot any paranormal presence.

Next came the rather creepy toy incidents – it seems as though the son’s toy box got targeted by some sort of paranormal entity. Various toys would dance around the room and even turn themselves on.

Mum actually woke up one night when she felt a sharp pain against the side of her head. When she got up to investigate she found her son’s toy dog lying right next to her.

She was obviously scared – so she woke up her husband who sleepily laughed it off as nothing more than a weird dream she had experienced.

Within seconds another of her son’s toys flew across the room smacking her directly on the same side of her head. Both mum and dad were awake – and this was the first time they had actually seen the poltergeist activity in action.

Terror

But the entity had not finished with them on this night – it began throwing toy after toy at the couple who sat petrified in their bed.

They pulled the sheets up above their heads to act as a sort of shield against the flying objects – but something invisible inside the room was pulling the sheets right back down!

Entity in the toys

Suddenly dad screamed in complete agony and the barrage of flying objects stopped…

Mum turned to dad to find out what had made him scream in that manner and discovered 13 animal-like scratch marks across his back.

The Toys

From this point onward the entity in the house seemed to target the son’s toys and use them to frighten the occupants.

Both mum and dad would frequently hear certain toys creating some sort of distant moan – it’s as if the poltergeist wanted the family to believe that the toys were alive in some way.

These freaky toy incidents were soon followed by horrible text messages on their phones informing them that they were ‘going to die today!’.

On closer inspection the couple realized that these messages were somehow being sent from their own home landline.

Mike Hollowell and Darren Ritson

The couple went down many paranormal investigative roots before ending up on the phone to Mike Hollowell and Darren Ritson – they agreed to look into their case.

At first, The paranormal investigators were more than a little skeptical but that didn’t last for long – they eventually witnessed all the activity the family members had described to them!

The longer Mike and Darren investigated the more intense the haunting got. Kitchen knives would be thrown at the two men and the toys would seem to direct angry voices right at them.

The Entity

Mike and Darren eventually managed to come face to face with the entity that was terrorizing this innocent family.

They claim that:

“The entity walked slowly from the bathroom, across the landing into the bedroom. As it passed the door to (the son’s) room, it paused and stared at me. Its face, devoid of all features such as eyes, nose or mouth, was cold and menacing. It felt like it was burrowing into my soul. It was large  –  maybe two meters in height  –  and midnight black. It was a three-dimensional silhouette that just radiated sheer evil”

They eventually concluded that this entity had a problem with the father of the family – he seemed to be the only one that was targeted by these strange scratching frenzies.

Without warning – the poltergeist activity stopped during the final stages of Mike and Darren’s investigation.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the South Shields poltergeist please leave them in the comment section below.

The Haunted Wedding Dress

The Haunted Wedding Dress

We’ve all heard of haunted places and haunted houses but the Baker Mansion packs a new kind of weird! The tale of the haunted wedding dress begins sometime in the mid-1800’s…

So what’s the story behind this haunted bridal dress?

Now a county museum, the popular Baker Mansion was once a happy home; built by Elias Baker himself back in 1849 after he had bought a fizzling ironwork furnace in 1836 in partnership with his cousin, Rolland Diller.

The duo later turned the business into a success but Elias bought his cousin out in 1844 to become the sole owner and one of the richest men in Blair County.

In fact, he did so well that he could afford to hire the most distinguished architect in Baltimore at the time; parting with a whopping $15, 000 for the Greek-revival architectural design which was prevalent with the affluent of the time.

The contractor was Robert Cary Long Jr. for those who know a thing or two about America’s history of pioneering learned professionals.

Elias also went all out with the interior; Italian decorative marble for the fireplace, handcrafted furniture shipped in from Belgium and outstanding exterior decorative ironwork that could only be the work of a true master.

The Elias family had it all and they were really living the life!

And now we jump to the all-important question…how did this fairy tale life suddenly go south for the Elias’ family?

Forbidden Love in Paradise…

Remember the saying that money doesn’t buy happiness? Well, this became very apparent to Elias a few years later when his daughter Anna got engaged to a low-class iron worker at her father’s factory.

Although Anna’s mother Hetty was okay with the union, Elias could not stomach giving his daughter’s hand in marriage to a nobody.

And thus, the saga of the wedding dress from hell began.

Anna was beside herself with joy and eagerly looking forward to settling down with her lover. She went out shopping and got the best that money could buy, and this included a wedding dress fit for a goddess.

Too bad she never got to wear it and this was the genesis of Anna’s misery.

Her father’s overbearing decision to stop the wedding left Anna a sad broken woman and she vowed never to get married. That’s exactly what she did until her death as an old spinster in 1914.

So how did the wedding dress end up in Anna’s former bedroom at the Baker Mansion which is now the Blair County Historical Museum?

Do you know how Bellwood town got its name?

It was named after Edward Bell, another high-rolling businessman who also had a daughter, Elizabeth Dysart.

Now, Elizabeth was also getting married and she was not going to let Anna have peace of mind either…

To add salt to injury, Elizabeth went ahead and got the wedding dress that Anna had chosen for her wedding and made sure Anna felt the pinch by openly taunting her for never getting married in the beautiful dress…or getting married at all.

People say that this might be the reason why Anna’s spirit sometimes gets angry and bangs on the glass display where the dress is presently on display.

It seems like she took all that bitterness to her grave.

The Ghostly Museum Curators…

It wasn’t until 1922 that the Baker Mansion was opened for public tours as the Blair County Historical Society Museum.

The museum also houses a few historical exhibits from the Civil War and some from early railroad transportation in addition to Anna’s wedding dress.

After some time, people also started noticing funny things happening around the building with some claiming to see ghosts walking all over the place.

Several investigations by ghost hunters have been carried out and the Historical Society once set up cameras in front of the wedding dress to find out why it moves on its own, or why the glass display is sometimes shaken hard almost to a point of shattering the look-through glass on the wooden display case.

Some reports also say that the display has been rocked almost off its hinges on numerous occasions by an unseen entity that everyone has come to conclude must be Anna’s ghost.

And she’s not the only Baker in the house…

Her brother David who perished in a boating accident is also said to haunt the cold room at the building’s basement where his body had been kept before his burial.

Another ghost is that of Hetty which appears as a lady dressed in a black dress.

Elias himself is known to haunt the dining room while another one of Anna’s brothers, Sylvester, likes banging on floors and causing a ruckus.

More strange noises come in the form of footsteps, and a music box that goes off at sporadic times without anyone’s intervention.

Fans of paranormal activities continue to swarm the County Historical Museum hoping to catch any exciting ghostly activity and see whether Anna will one day reclaim her haunted wedding dress and take it with her to the other side…

…where we all hope she’ll finally have a happy ending to her fairy tale love story.

The Shivapur Levitating Stone

The Shivapur Levitating Stone

The Shivapur levitating stone is a legend within India linked to a saint named Qamar Ali Darvesh. The stone lies near his burial grounds in the village of Shivapur and is a tourist attraction for many Muslim visitors.

The 200 pound stone is said to levitate under specific spiritual circumstances when invoking the name of the deceased saint.

Many paranormal instances can also be linked to levitating objects, so the site of the stone draws many who are interested in both the spiritual as well as the occult.

The Saint – Qamar Ali Darvesh

A Muslim Sufi saint named Qamar Ali Darvesh lived 700 years ago in Shivapur, a small village right outskirts of Poona, India.

He was said to be a quiet, reserved boy who grew up in a family of outgoing brothers who were known for their physical size and strength.

He was the odd one out in his family and instead focused on his spiritual side.

He devoted many years to prayer, fasting, and meditation and eventually became known as a great healer who was seen by many people from the surrounding villages and revered as a saint.

He lived only until his teenage years, and when he died, he instructed two stones to be laid outside of his grave.

The Levitating Stone

There are two stones placed, but the more notorious of the pair is a 200 pound round stone. The other stone is smaller in weight and requires a lesser number of men to levitate it.

Both are placed outside of the tomb.

The 200 pound stone can be lifted by 11 men who place their right index finger on the stone at the same time.

Only men are allowed to stand in the circle and women are frowned upon inside of the shrine because Qamar Alil died so young and was a pure virgin at the time of his death.

Before his death Qamar Ali is said to have promised that a group of 11 men who chanted his name could levitate the stone above their heads.

He said that they would not be able to do so in a group of more or less and that a single strong man would only be able to lift the stone a few feet.

This was said to be a manifestation of the need for working together to invoke spirituality. Only by combing their faith and diligence and chanting his name could they honor him and Allah and levitate the mysterious stone.

Levitation?

Do the stones really levitate?

Depending on who you ask, the The Shivapur levitating stone really does levitate. Accounts from a large number of men who have attempted the levitation claim that the levitation only works when Qamar Ali’s directions are followed exactly.

Many have tried to explain the phenomenon through natural elements or science, but the fact remains that the results are extraordinary.

The site of Qamar Ali Darvesh’s body is shrouded in mystery. Many have sworn that 12 or 10 fingers do not work and only 11 people can levitate the stone.

Whether the explanation is a spiritual or natural one is yet to be proven.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today please leave them in the comment section below.

The Anguished Man Painting

The Anguished Man Painting

Art is one of the ways people can express themselves with great passion. Artists pour their heart and soul into their work to create a piece that speaks to the viewers.

What happens when the energy put into the painting takes on a life of its own?

Read on to find out more…

History of the Anguished Man Painting

When Sean Robinson’s grandmother left him a painting of a man with no eyes who appears to be screaming, he didn’t think much of it.

His grandmother had kept the painting hidden away in her attic for the previous twenty-five years.

She had claimed the painting was evil and needed to be kept locked away. The old woman did not want to destroy it, as it had been a gift from a friend.

As a child, Sean’s grandmother had regaled him with stories of the painting. The artist is unknown, but he had reportedly mixed his own blood with the paints to create the image.

He then proceeded to take his own life soon after the work was finished.

Skeptical of his grandmother’s tales, Sean and his wife placed the painting in their home. Initially, they stored it in their cellar, but heavy rains and flooding caused them to bring it into the main part of their house.

Anguished Activity

Shortly after bringing the painting into their home, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson began to experience the activities that Sean’s grandmother had warned them about.

Often they would hear a man crying when there was no one else in the house. At night they would wake up to see an adult male standing at the foot of their bed, staring intently at them as they slept.

They could also hear scratching and banging from the room the painting was in and hear whispers.

Over the following weeks, the couple began to suffer from night terrors and constantly felt as though someone was watching them.

At one point Sean’s son fell down the stairs and hesitantly told his father it felt as though someone had pushed him.

Eventually, Sean’s wife became so terrified she adamantly refused to stay in the house with the painting.

Investigations Into the Anguished Man Painting

Several paranormal investigators have looked into the effects of the painting, including John Blackburn from Mysteria Paranormal.

After his inquiry, Blackburn stated that the activity brought on by the painting was some of the strangest he had encountered throughout his career.

In the course of the examination, Blackburn and almost two dozen other investigators took the painting to Chillingham Castle in Northumberland.

This castle is considered one of the most haunted locations in the United Kingdom.

While at the castle, the group conducted a séance. Everyone present reported feeling the room become freezing cold and seeing a tall male figure appear in the center of their circle.

Blackburn asked the painting several questions, and in return the group heard a series of banging as a response, and a heavy wooden bench flipped itself upside down.

It is unclear whether this was done by something in the painting, or by a spirit in the home reacting to the presence of the painting.

Sean Robinson has also done some tests of his own. When the family started to experience things they couldn’t explain, Sean set up cameras around the home to attempt to capture the activity in action.

The cameras caught various sounds and movements, including a door slamming shut without the aid of a breeze.

For a while, Sean temporarily stayed with his parents and took the painting with him. After only a few days in their house, he began to hear the same noises that had plagued him at his own home.

On the third night in his parent’s house, Sean’s father fell down the stairs, much the same way Sean’s son had. When asked about his fall, he said he felt like someone had shoved him.

Conclusion

Sean has since placed the painting into storage. He continues to hang on to the painting despite several offers to purchase it, as the gift from his grandmother has sentimental value.

The family tries to learn more about the artist and the origin of The Anguished Man painting in the hopes that they will be able to figure out what is trapped within it.

Annabelle The Possessed Doll

Annabelle The Possessed Doll

As her daughter’s 28th birthday approached, one American mother looked out for a unique and special gift to give her favorite child. Nothing too expensive, but something that showed she had chosen with care.

Spotting an antique Raggedy Ann one day, the mother knew at once that she had found the ideal present. Harking back to childhood days she knew her daughter would find the traditional doll both sweet and quaint.

Before long the little ragdoll found herself ensconced on daughter Donna’s bed in the tiny apartment she shared with a fellow student nurse, Angie.

Of course, the daughter loved her gift and the story should have ended there. There was just one problem, though, Donna’s mother had unwittingly gifted her daughter, Annabelle the possessed doll.

A terrible nightmare was about to unfold, one that would only end when the doll was safely locked away by a pair of paranormal investigators.

Strange Events

Almost immediately, Donna and Angie began to be unnerved by the doll who they both found a little creepy. Donna became convinced that the doll was moving around her bedroom while she was away.

Returning to her room in the evening she would discover that the doll had moved position. Her arms and legs were crossed and uncrossed or she was discovered standing up when she had been left lying down.

On one occasion the little ragdoll was discovered kneeling upon a chair, a feat which proved physically impossible to recreate.

After initially putting down the doll’s movements down to an over active imagination, both young women had to admit that something truly bizarre was going on.

Increasingly, they would arrive home from work to discover the doll had moved from room to room in the apartment, yet the apartment had remained empty all day and all of its doors were closed.

Things took on an even stranger turn when tiny pieces of parchment paper began to appear around their home. The writing on the paper appeared to have been written in a childlike hand and included messages such as ‘Help us’ or ‘Help Lou’.

Lou it transpired, was the fiancée of Angie. He often stayed over in the apartment and was later to become the focus of Annabelle’s anger.

Not quite believing what was taking place in her apartment and reluctant to destroy or give away her mother’s gift, Donna was eventually forced to take action when she discovered blood on the hands and chest of the little doll.

When no reasonable explanation could be found for the blood, Donna and Angie concluded that the source must be paranormal and resorted to drastic measures.

The Séance

Turning to a psychic medium the two young women held a séance in the apartment. During the séance, the medium invoked the spirit of a seven-year-old child, Annabelle Higgins.

Annabelle had played on the plot of land where the apartment had once stood. Tragically, she had been killed young, run down by a car whilst playing nearby.

According to the psychic, she was essentially a harmless spirit who had chosen to occupy the ragdoll, possibly because she wanted to be close to the two young women.

Assured that she meant them no harm and pitying the poor dead child, Donna and Angie decided to keep the doll in their apartment, a decision they were both later to regret.

Lou’s Experience

Lou, Angie’s fiancée, was the third person who unofficially occupied the apartment. Unlike the two women, he felt no fondness for or compassion towards the Raggedy Ann.

In fact, it wouldn’t be too far off the mark to say that Lou hated it!

He warned both women that far from being occupied by a childish spirit, Annabelle was evil and malevolent and they should be very wary around the doll.

Lou should have taken his own advice…

One day when Donna was at work, Lou heard rustling noises coming from her room. Approaching the bedroom cautiously, he quietly opened the door and turned on the lights.

The little ragdoll was lying on the floor in the corner. As he walked over to Annabelle, he sensed that something was behind him. Turning quickly around he discovered that nobody was there.

Suddenly, feeling a sharp pain Lou discovered that he had been scratched and blood was pouring from his chest, opening his shirt he could see a clear and very distinct claw mark.

Unfortunately, Lou’s experience didn’t end there. Sleeping alone in the apartment one night he awoke with a start. Disorientated he looked down at his feet to see Annabelle, slowly moving up his body.

Paralyzed with fear he could do nothing to throw off the doll. Creeping gradually, she eventually reached his neck and began to strangle him. Eventually, Lou blacked out, unconscious.

The next morning he awoke but was convinced that he had not experienced a nightmare. It was time for Annabelle to go.

Ed and Lorraine Warren

In desperation, the three friends turned to an Episcopalian priest and asked him to perform an exorcism on the doll.

Realizing that this case wasn’t entirely within his remit he called in Ed and Lorraine Warren, two paranormal investigators, to support him.

Almost immediately the Warrens realized that it was not the innocent spirit of a child but an evil demon that was occupying the Raggedy Ann doll.

The aim of the demon was to possess the soul of Donna and the ragdoll was merely the means to an end.

While the priest exorcised the small apartment, the Warren’s removed the doll from the home. During their trip home, their car repeatedly broke down, the power steering failed and they suffered numerous punctures.

Eventually, they were forced to sprinkle Annabelle with holy water before continuing their journey in safety.

It wasn’t long before Annabelle settled into her new home and returned to her old tricks. She began to move about their home and at one stage was discovered levitating above a desk.

When a priest visited their home and dared to scoff at Annabelle’s supposed abilities, he was the victim of a terrible automobile accident on his way home and only just survived.

The Warren’s decided that Annabel had caused enough damage and suffering and resolved to stop her hurting anybody else.

Warren’s Occult Museum

The Warren’s solution to the problem of Annabelle was to lock her in a cabinet and put her on display in their occult museum.

Displayed with a sign ‘Warning positively do not open’ she attracts thousands of visitors intrigued by her history.

Despite the warning there are still those foolhardy enough to provoke and tease the embittered spirit daring her to do her worst.

Some visitors have reported that Annabelle has nodded at them when they approach the case.

Others who have taunted Annabelle for being locked in her cabinet have suffered automobile accidents on their way home. At least one of these accidents has been fatal.

The Warren’s themselves believe that despite being exorcised a lingering evil still occupies Annabelle.

Conclusion

What started out as an innocuous Raggedy Ann doll bought as a birthday present has become one of the most famous if not infamous dolls in the world. Annabelle, the possessed doll has even become the subject of a major Hollywood movie.

Now residing securely in a museum dedicated to the occult, some have suggested that her story is merely an elaborate hoax, fabricated to attract visitors.

But looking at this innocent little ragdoll in her cabinet, you can’t quite shake the feeling that she is just itching to get out of that cabinet and wreak havoc.

So would you grant her wish and release Annabelle once more onto an unsuspecting world, I know I wouldn’t.

The Thomas Busby Chair

The Thomas Busby Chair

For some of us, a trip to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside would not be complete without a traditional roast dinner and a pint of real ale.

For the many tourists who pass by each year, there are few places better to stop than the quaint little inn that stands at the crossroads of the small village of Sandhutton.

Warm and welcoming, this Olde Worlde pub with its pristine whitewashed walls and baskets of tumbling flowers, tempts the passing traveler with the promise of genuine Yorkshire puddings and the finest beer in the county.

Look a little closer though and all is not as it seems…

Is that really a noose hanging above the door and what is the meaning of the unremarkable chair painted on the tin sign that swings silently in the wind?

The answer is that this is no ordinary English pub with a token ghost and a twisted past. This picturesque little tavern is the home of the most cursed chair in England, the Thomas Busby chair.

The Curse of Thomas Busby

The story of the cursed chair begins with a career criminal, Thomas Busby, in 1699. Sometime earlier in the seventeenth century, one Thomas Awety moved to the nearby area of Kirby Wiske and bought himself a farm, which he renamed Dannoty Hall.

Not content with farming, Awety continued his old occupations of coin clipping and forgery. When his daughter married, he brought his son in law, Thomas Busby, into the family business.

A foul-mouthed drunken reprobate, Busby enjoyed more than a tipple at the local inn and was notorious for being a violent and nasty drinker.

Sometime in 1699, a row began when Awety sat in the favorite chair of Thomas Busby in the aforementioned hostelry.

Busby, drunk and unreasonable, flew into a blind rage with his father in law and vowed he would take his revenge.

Later that night he sneaked onto Awety’s farm on the isolated Yorkshire moors and bludgeoned the older man to death with an iron bar.

After burying his father in law in nearby woodland, he no doubt thought he had got away with his crime. Fortunately, the body was soon discovered and Busby was dragged from his home to stand trial at York assizes.

In 1702, Busby was convicted of murder. Condemned to be dipped in tar before being hung, he was to die outside the inn where his crime began.

As the time of his death approached a large crowd gathered at the crossroads, no doubt keen to witness the gruesome spectacle that was to take place.

Bitter and angry to the end, Busby was dragged to the gallows not pleading for mercy and forgiveness but cursing the crowd around him.

Focusing his bile on the inn opposite he cursed anyone who had the audacity to sit in his favorite chair after his demise, promising that if they did, death would surely follow.

The event made such an impression on those who witnessed the hanging that after his death the pub was renamed the Busby Stoop Inn.

With the curse of Thomas Busby ringing in their ears the chair remained undisturbed and unoccupied for many years, the regulars too frightened or too sensible to tempt fate.

The Chair of Death

The story may well have ended there if it were not for an unfortunate chimney sweep who inadvertently sat in the chair in 1894.

Unaware of the curse he continued drinking with a friend until the pub closed. Tired and drunk, the unfortunate chimney sweep decided that he could not venture home until he had slept off a little of his over indulgence.

Lying down on the grass verge opposite the inn he settled to sleep. The following morning he was found hanged from a gatepost next to the old hanging gibbet where Busby’s body had been left to rot.

Murder, suicide or the curse of Thomas Busby, we will never know.

In recent times the curse of the Busby chair has gathered pace as either accidentally or filled with false bravado, people visiting the pub have sat in the chair.

Perhaps knowing that their life expectancy was short anyway, the young men in the RAF camp nearby tempted fate during the Second World War by daring each other to occupy the seat.

It wasn’t until they noticed that those that did so were less likely to return from bombing missions, that the daring temporarily ceased.

In 1967 two RAF men once again dared each other to sit in the chair. Young and foolhardy they were convinced that the curse was just a local superstition and they were safe from harm.

On the short journey home from the pub to their camp, the two young men crashed their car into a tree and were killed instantly.

Some years later a group of men were working nearby repairing a roof. Teasing the youngest member of their group, an apprentice, they dared him to sit in the chair.

The young man obliged and later fell to his death the same day.

The landlord was so shaken that he took the chair and locked it in the pub’s cellar determined that no one else was going to fall victim to the curse.

Unfortunately, the chair of death continued to wield its strange powers. Whilst cleaning the cellar a female employee stumbled and briefly sat in the chair as she tried to save herself from falling. Later developing a terrible headache, the poor lady died of a brain tumor.

In 1978 the chair was to claim its last victim. Delivering barrels of beer to the inn, a local drayman interested in antiques spotted the chair in the corner of the dark cellar.

Clearly unaware of the curse placed on the chair, he sat in it admiring its comfort and elegance before leaving the pub and continuing his rounds.

Later that same day his vehicle left the road for no obvious reason and he was killed instantly.

Thirsk Museum

At his wit’s end but loathe to destroy the historic object, the landlord of the pub decided it was time for drastic action and appealed for someone to remove the chair and keep it in a safe place.

The nearby Thirsk Museum eventually took the chair and placed it on display. It remains on display to this day but following the wishes of the pub landlord, it is fixed high upon a wall so that nobody is tempted to take a seat.

Despite this the museum receives requests and cash offers each year from visitors who want to sit in the chair.

A Japanese film crew went so far as appealing to the local council when their request to examine and sit in the chair was declined.

Conclusion

It seems absurd that a petty argument over a chair in a small village inn could cause so much death and destruction but it is undeniable that the fate has been sealed for many who have come into contact with this mysterious chair.

The question is, is the chair truly cursed or is there a sense of self- fulfilling prophesy?

If we are to believe the stories, some of the chair’s victims knew nothing of its macabre history before inadvertently taking a seat and dying soon after.

For now the cursed object is safe in a local museum. Despite constant requests by the brave, foolhardy or just plain mad, it is never taken down from the wall where it is displayed.

The owners of the museum are keen not to tempt fate any further. As long as it remains in their hands they have forbidden anybody from taking a seat on the Thomas Busby chair, ever again.

The Haunted Dibbuk Box

The Haunted Dibbuk Box

We’ve all done it, got carried away at an auction or made that mad impulsive purchase on eBay which we’ve immediately regretted. Most of us of course just end up a little out of pocket, poorer but wiser.

But for one Portland man attending an estate sale in 2001, the acquisition of an innocuous looking wine cabinet was to turn his world upside down.

Now known as the Haunted Dibbuk Box, the story of that antique wine cabinet and what happened to it, has gone on to capture the imagination of the paranormal world.

The Estate Sale

In 2001 antique dealer Kevin Mannis attended an estate sale and successfully bid on a small box shaped wine cabinet or cupboard that had caught his eye.

Keen to know a little of its provenance he was delighted when the granddaughter of the previous owner approached him and gave him a little of its history.

The cupboard had been owned by a Jewish lady called Havela. After escaping the holocaust in the Second World War, she made her way to Spain where she purchased the small cabinet.

She then traveled on to America where she lived until her death. Strangely the granddaughter referred to the cabinet as ‘the Dibbuk box’, a term Mannis had not heard before.

When he asked her what it meant, the lady explained that it was a term that her grandmother used to describe the cabinet.

On one occasion when she was asked about the origins of the cabinet, she spat three times and told her granddaughter it was a Dibbuk.

The old lady stressed that the box must never be opened or touched by anyone else. In fact she had been so concerned that it would be opened she insisted on the cabinet being buried with her.

For religious reasons this proved impossible. Hearing her story and realizing that the cabinet was a family heirloom Mannis offered to return it.

At this point the woman became agitated and upset making it very plain that she did not want it. Attributing her strange reaction to grief, Mannis took the box to his shop.

He was later to discover that a Dibbuk was the trapped soul of a malicious spirit and opening the cabinet he had just purchased was possibly the biggest mistake of his life.

Strange Events

Arriving back at his store, Mannis placed the box in the basement where he intended to clean and polish it before giving it to his mother as a birthday present.

He then left his business for a short period to run an errand. Almost immediately he received a phone call from his assistant.

She was hysterical and screaming claiming that there was an intruder in the basement smashing glass and shouting profanities.

Mannis rushed back to the store and ran into the basement. Strangely, every light bulb and fitting had been smashed and the smell of cat urine hung in the air.

There was no intruder in the basement and definitely no cat. The assistant left and never returned.

Two weeks later Mannis decided to make a start on refinishing the box.

Opening it he discovered that it contained two old pennies, a lock of blonde hair, a lock of black hair, a gold goblet, a dried rose bud, a statue engraved with the word ‘Shalom’ and a candle holder.

A strange collection of things but nothing sinister.

After polishing and tidying up the box, Mannis presented it to his mother when she came into his shop a few days later. Almost immediately his mother collapsed suffering a stroke.

Rushed to hospital, partially paralysed and unable to speak she managed to spell out H-A-T-E-G-I-F-T to her bewildered son. There was clearly no way that she was going to accept the cabinet.

Mannis then attempted to gift the box to various family members. Almost immediately they returned their gift.

Some complained that it smelt like jasmine flowers others like cat urine. Everyone who received the box reported feelings of dread, strange smells and unexplained happenings.

When a middle aged couple came into the shop and bought the cabinet, Mannis was relieved that it was out of his possession.

Three days later he found it sitting on the step of his store with a note attached ’This has a bad darkness’.

Almost everybody who came into contact with the box began to suffer from terrifying nightmares.

The nightmares often featured an old hag who would attack and terrorize the dreamer. Strangely the same old woman appeared in the dreams of different people.

Within months Mannis was at the end of his tether but loathe to destroy the box in case he unleashed even more mayhem, he made a very bizarre decision.

Ebay Auction

In June 2003, Mannis listed the wine cabinet on an eBay auction. Deciding that honesty was the best policy he recounted the box’s history and the paranormal phenomena he had experienced since purchasing it.

The strange listing attracted many watchers with some even offering to pray for Mannis and his family.

Of course the sensible amongst us wouldn’t dream of buying such a cursed object but human nature being what it is, bidding was brisk.

The successful bidder was a young man called Losif Neitzke. A student at Truman State University in Missouri, Neitzke began recording information about the box on his blog as soon as he received it.

What his motive was for buying the Dibbuk Box is unclear but if he thought he would be immune to its mysterious powers he was wrong.

Before long the student’s hair began to drop out, he suffered horrific nightmares and the lights in his home continually burnt out.

Jason Haxton

Jason Haxton, Director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri had been following Neitzke’s blog with interest and offered to buy the Dibbuk Box from the young student.

A relieved Neitzke readily agreed.

Again the new owner or caretaker as he likes to call himself, began to suffer from bad dreams, vision problems, welts and hives as well as fleeting glimpses of shadow people.

This time though, instead of disposing of the box, Haxton decided to tackle the problem head on.

Removing the box from the vicinity of his family he worked with scientists, Kabbalists, Wiccans and experts in the paranormal, to put the box in what he calls a rest state.

He then sealed it in an Acacia wood ark lined with 24 karat gold. Haxton believes that as long as the box stays in its contained state, it cannot hurt anyone else.

Today it sits in his study, sealed and untouched.

So why not destroy it completely, it is clearly a very dangerous object?

Haxton himself confesses that he like others before him is strangely attracted to the Dibbuk Box and would regret losing it.

He can never envision a time when he is without the box and insists, like one of its previous owners, that it must be buried with him when he dies.

Conclusion

Curiosity surrounding the Haunted Dibbuk Box has not dampened over the years. Now the subject of books, films and documentaries, it’s story is known worldwide.

Despite its terrifying history there are still those who wish to own and possess it. Haxton receives countless requests from those who wish to examine or buy the box.

He declines them all.

Fortunately the Dibbuk Box is in safe hands, for now.

The restless soul trapped within is silent and powerless. Bought as an innocent looking wine cabinet and then sold in an online auction, the history of this little cupboard and the consequences of owning it are terrifying.

Any one of us could have bought this item and who can tell how many more there are out there in the world.

The story of the Dibbuk Box is a fascinating tale but it also provides a very important lesson. When it comes to buying at auction caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

The eBay Haunted Picture – The Hands Resist Him

The eBay Haunted Picture

In February 2000 a strange listing appeared on eBay. Today the item is referred to as “The eBay Haunted Picture” and its history is rather spooky.

The listing described that the children depicted in the painting had been seen climbing out of the painting, and enter the room the picture was housed.

Even more disturbing were a series of photographs, which were said to be evidence of this paranormal activity.

The interesting post was quickly spread around the internet, and soon had over 30,000 views. Some of the people who viewed the listing and attached photographs reported that even after this brief exposure they had experienced unexplained and supernatural incidents.

Strange Paintings

This was not the first time a haunted picture captured the imagination of the public. There was the case of “The Anguished Man” which was was said to be possessed by the spirit of the artist, who painted the picture using his own blood and soon after committed suicide.

Another very popular case involved a range of prints showing children crying in distress, staring straight out of the picture at the observer. The most well-known of these was “The Crying Boy”.

In 1985 stories started being circulated that fires were occurring in the homes that contained these pictures and that after the fire the prints remained undamaged.

Stoneham’s Painting – The Hands Resist Him

The painting depicts a small boy standing next to a female doll, with a glass paneled door behind them. Behind the door there are many disembodied hands pressed up against the glass.

The artist, Bill Stoneham, created the painting in 1974 using a childhood photograph of himself and a poem, as inspiration.

Stoneham had been commissioned to deliver a painting and presented his finished piece to Charles Feingarten, who then featured it in his gallery.

The painting was reviewed by Henry Seldis who wrote a review about it in the Los Angeles Times. It’s first owner would be actor John Marley, well known for his part in The Godfather.

Within the next ten years Feingarten, Seldis and Marley were all dead and the painting slipped into obscurity for almost 3 decades, before being discovered by the couple who would eventually sell it on eBay.

When the couple found the painting they put it on display in their home where it remained until their young daughter started reporting some creepy events that were occurring.

She claimed that the boy and the doll in the picture where fighting and leaving the picture during the night.

Thinking this to just be a creation of the girls imagination, the father set up camera’s in the room to prove to her that there was nothing to fear.

But the images he captured did nothing but create more terror.

Paranormal Photographs

The photographs depicted the doll in the painting moving and using what appeared to be a gun to force the young boy out of the picture. Another showed the boy crawling out from the painting.

These eerie details were added to the eBay posting along with a disclaimer that indemnified the sellers from any liability.

The picture was sold for $1,025.00 to Kim Smith, another art gallery owner, and today it is housed in a storage room in the gallery.

Smith has been asked to display the painting a handful of times and each time the viewers have reported strange and uncomfortable feelings.

Even people who have bought prints of the painting have reported mysterious occurrences that they are convinced are caused by the picture.

Despite this Smith has been said that nothing serious has happened since he acquired the painting.

The artist, Bill Stoneham, has explained the representation of the images in the painting. He said that the doorway depicts the dividing line between the world as we know it and the world of fantasy beyond.

The doll represents a guide, which will escort the boy into this unknown realm, while the hands represent possibilities and alternative lives.

Stone said the picture left you wondering whether the hands were attached to bodies or whether they were dismembered.

Whether or not the eBay haunted picture truly is haunted or whether the hype surrounding it is purely fiction one thing is for sure; after viewing the image you cannot help but feel ever so slightly disturbed.

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Cases

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Cases

If you see Lorraine Warren today, you’ll probably see a frail 89 year old woman but looks can be deceiving! Back in day, Lorraine and Edward Warren were what you’d call the “Bonny and Clyde” of ghost busting.

You’d have to be from another dimension if you haven’t heard of the Ed and Lorraine Warren cases.

The couple’s profound interest in the supernatural led to the establishment of a ghost hunting team and an organization called the “NESPR (New England Society for Psychic Research)” which began in 1952.

The NESPR has and still is a big part of America’s history and involvement with the underworld.

The Paranormal Pair

These two were literally a match made in heaven to uncover hell! Staunch Catholics; self proclaimed demonologist and medium (clairvoyant – light trance), the perfect recipe for something very, very unnatural.

And let’s not forget that Ed served in World War II and again as a cop. We all know what happens with guys who’ve been to overseas war right? …the PSTD?

Probably one of the reasons why the ghost hunting duo has so many critics. Their fascinating stories and adventures during their ghost hunting days have also created a massive following too.

Some of their real life cases have been adapted into hair raising horror movies and blood chilling books.

With an impressive 10, 000 paranormal investigation cases under their belt(s), it’s no wonder Hollywood came knocking on their door to borrow their diaries to develop scripts.

Some of the most notable encounters with the supernatural which started in 1970 include (not in chronological order):

The White Lady of Union Cemetery – This was a case where Ed claims to have captured the essence of the ghostly lady on camera during an investigation following reports of the cemetery being haunted. He later wrote a book about it which was published in 1992.

The Annabelle Doll Mystery – The story goes that two roommates discovered that their doll (an old raggedy Ann doll) was possessed by a demon going by the name of Annabelle.

The couple is said to have confirmed the doll’s possession by an unearthly spirit and actually took it and included it as one of their prized collections in their backyard “Occult Museum”.

The Controversial Amityville Haunting – Now this is one story that has stirred up a lot of talk and people still continue to throw shadows of doubt on this famous couple based on this particular case.

Okay, the case went on to attract a few negative public reviews plus a couple of lawsuits in a bid to uncover the truth about the whole Lutz family haunted house saga.

A book published in 1977 and written by Jay Anson titled The Amityville Haunting is one of the many ways the Ed and Lorraine legend has been kept alive.

The haunted house tale is said to have been started by two sisters (11 and 13) when they told their mother of strange knocking on walls and moving furniture. See why it’s so easy to doubt it?

More ghost stories include the werewolf demon case, the demo possessed murderer, the witch haunting the Perron family and Smurl family haunting among others.

Some of the infamous cases like the Amityville case, the possessed doll (Annabelle) and the Perron family house haunting have been adapted in Hollywood movies.

Conclusion

Going by the large number of divided believers and skeptics, it’s extremely hard to tell whether the Ed and Lorraine duo really encountered any real ghosts during their ghost hunting career.

The fact however is that they used many credible factions in their investigations and this included members of the clergy, law enforcement and other professionals (notable figures) in the field of supernatural happenings.

This to some extent throws a little weight behind their bizarre claims and collected “evidence” over the years.

We wonder if the late Ed still calls in to check on his wife from the “other side”…..now that, would be some interesting headline!

We are still waiting for someone to come up with concrete proof that these two actually met some real ghosts or if they helped people get out of their haunted situations. We are not saying that the Ed and Lorraine cases are a hoax and neither do we say that we believe them but… yeah, there’s a but there.

The opposing sides (believers and skeptics) almost match each other in terms of the following which is the number one reason we are letting you have the final word on this matter.

What do you think?

Robert The Doll Curse

Robert The Doll Curse

The history surrounding the Curse of Robert the Doll started during the early 20th century with the Otto family in the town of Key West, Florida.

The doll’s involvement surrounded Mr. and Mrs. Otto’s young son, Robert Eugene, with whom the doll was eventually gifted to.

The cursed doll was made in 1906 by one of the family’s Haitian servants before she was dismissed by the household over allegations of practicing black magic and voodoo.

The Otto family were known to not treat their servants well and were reported to even mistreat them. It is believed that for this reason, the dismissed Haitian servant had placed a curse upon the doll before presenting it to the Otto’s young son as a gift.

The Doll

The doll stood an estimated three feet tall dressed in a sailor’s uniform and decorated with beaded eyes and straw-colored hair.

The DollHe appears with his own doll, a small stuffed animal that he holds underneath his arm. Due to the mistreatment the former servant endured, it is thought that she constructed the doll of human blood, hair, and clothes saturated with liquid of the deceased.

It was also thought that she infused the doll with dark spirits and the famous curse as an act of revenge against the Otto’s mistreatment of her.

She then presented the doll to the young family’s son as a parting gift. The Otto’s son took an immediate liking to the doll, naming it after himself and treating the doll as his constant companion.

Robert the Doll accompanied the Otto’s son on family outings, sat at the dinner table with them and even slept in the bed of the family’s son. This companionship continued throughout the boy’s childhood and into his adult life.

Gene

As the boy got older, he started to refer to himself by his middle name, Gene, after believing that the name Robert was that of the doll’s and not his to have.

Gene often had closed door conversations with Robert the Doll, in which servants sometimes noted a deeper voice answering to the son’s higher voice.

The Otto’s themselves witnessed moments in which their son was found cowering in the corner in apparent fear of the doll, with Robert hovering motionless above him in a menacing manner.

Gene was also becoming increasingly agitated, having outbursts towards his parents and the family’s’ servants in which he always connected to Robert the Doll.

Strange occurrences began to happen, with objects being thrown across the room apparently of their own volition. Additionally, the son’s other toys and possessions were often found mutilated.

When the Otto’s questioned their son about any of the strange events, he was always quick to blame the mischief on Robert the Doll, often quoting “Robert did it”. The boy’s aunt decided to pack up the doll and store him in the attic, to which the mischief resided.

Adult Life

Robert the Doll appeared in Gene’s life many years later after he inherited the Otto family home due to the death of his father. Having grown up to become an artist, Gene moved into his childhood home with his new wife.

Upon moving back into the house, Gene resurfaced his childhood toy and his attachment to Robert the Doll resumed as it had in his younger years.

Gene continued to have Robert the Doll attend outings with the couple, evening dinners and even sat him in a bedside chair next to the newlyweds’ bed.

Gene even built a specific room for Robert the Doll in the turret of the Otto’s home, and eventually Robert spent much of his time there.

Gene accompanied him, spending time on his paintings while conversing with the doll. Neighbors reported seeing the doll move around in the turret windows, and servants spoke of evil laughter or footsteps coming from the apparent uninhabited room.

There were even reports of people being locked in the room against their will…

Fort East Martello Museum

Gene passed away in 1974 in which the Otto house sat empty for a number of years, with Robert the Doll still residing in the Turret Room.

The tenants to follow continued to hear sounds and reported strange happenings with the residing doll, including sounds of demonic giggling and seeing the doll’s facial expression change.

In 1994, Robert the Doll was moved to a local museum, the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. He sits in a glass box still holding his toy for visitors to see.

Museum staff warn visitors of the continued curse on the doll. The staff notify curious visitors that they must ask Robert to take his photograph, and only to proceed if he has nodded back.

If he has not nodded, a curse will be set on any person who photographs Robert without his permission.

Robert the Cursed Doll’s glass box is decorated with letters from unfortunate visitors who took his picture without his consent, in which they beg Robert to remove his curse upon them.