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.
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.
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.
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.