Tracing History: World’s Most Haunted Objects
Spotting a cursed object is usually easy, take, for instance, the Annebelle doll. With her scarry eyes, dull face, and dusty suit- it’s easy to embrace why people are so scared of this century-old yet simple doll. The malevolent and unsettling sights of cursed objects have always been a fascination for many fright fanatics, however, sometimes these objects turn out to be much more than the creepy tales behind them.
Here are a few cursed objects around the world that still seem to be as haunted as the legend goes
The deathly stoop chair of Thomas Busby
While visiting the Thirsk Museum in the UK, you would stumble upon a rather strange sight of an oak chair hung from the ceiling in the display area. Many people requested to be seated on the artifact, but the museum has maintained its promise made to the owner of the chair that prevents anyone from ever sitting on this chair. Not even the cleaners of maintenance workers are allowed to sit on the chair- why? Let’s find out!
As per the background stories, the chair originally belonged to Thomas Busby, a thug of the 1600s. He was married to Elizabeth, the daughter of a small-time petty crock, Daniel Awety who lived at the nearby inn. Though Elizabeth was never Busby’s priority, he always adored his brown oak chair. The details of what happened the night that changed everything are vague. However, as per the records, Busby’s feud with Awety was less official but personal. One day Awety sat on Busby’s favorite chair to irritate him, but soon his little move turned out to be so brutal than he could ever imagine. Agitated seeing Awety sitting on his oak chair, Busby bludgeoned his father-in-law to death.
He was soon caught and jailed over the murder. In the summer of 1702, Busby was tried and sentenced to death for murder at the York Assizes. His punishment was to be gibbeted. However, before he died, he cursed the chair declaring that death would come shortly to anyone who sat in it. As per the records, Busby’s chair has been responsible for more deaths than most serial killers, one estimate puts the number of its victims at over 60.
Over the years, several people tried sitting on the chair, yet none survived the aftermath. In 1978, the chair was finally donated to the Thirsk Museum over the condition that the museum will allow absolutely no one to ever sit on the chair.
Robert The Doll
A little unshaped doll in a sailor suit remains the most celebrated haunted object residing at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida. But the thing that many people would agree with is the fact that Robert’s The Doll is scary and haunted. The museum still receives complaints of the evil attributed to the object. Before Robert ended up in a museum, he was the property of Robert Eugene Otto, an artist who also happens to be a member of the Key West Family. The doll was the birthday doll by Otto’s grandfather who bought it from Germany. Over the years, Otto and the doll became intimately close to an extent when Otto started talking about Robert as if it isn’t a doll but a person he sees every day. Otto would also blame the doll for various things that happen to him.
When Otto died, the new owners of his house could feel the doll change its expression if anyone bad-mouthed Otto. They would also sense it walking through the hallway at night and giggling. At last, the house lady donated the doll to the East Martello Museum where it has remained till now.
Robert the Doll receives several letters each day from people mostly apologizing for bad-mouthing him or from those who seek revenge over those who did them wrong. Not just the hand-written letters, it also receives hundreds of emails from its fans every day. Robert the Doll’s email is handled by its caretaker.
The Great Bed of Ware
The beautifully carved oak bed resides at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. But the more the bed is visually intoxicating, it is believed to be a cursed object. The Great Bed of Ware dates back to the 16th century, made by Jonas Fosbrooke, a German craftsman for an inn in Ware. The huge bed is over 3 meters wide and weighs about 641kg and is believed to be able to easily accommodate four couples. Though giant beds weren’t uncommon those days, the great bed of ware turned out to be the most unusual considering how famous it got over time. Even Shakespeare mentioned it in his play ‘The Twelfth Night’. It was also referenced in Ben Jonson’s 1609 play ‘The Silent Woman’ and in George Farquhar’s 1706 play ‘The Recruiting Officer’.
However, the bed is reportedly haunted by the ghost of its maker. There are two tales circulating the object, first that the spirit takes offense at any person of a lower rank than royalty sleeping on the bed, and second that it completely dislikes couples having sex on it. Whether the spirit is of Jonas or the royalty that he crafted the bed for? No one knows. But it lost its value when frustrated civilians ruined the beauty of this pinnacle of craftsmanship by carving out their initials on its marvelous pillars and headrests.
The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is a 45.52-carat (9.104 g) diamond originally extracted in the 17th century from the Kollur Mine in Guntur, India. Among all the cursed objects, the notorious 45-carat blue Hope Diamond, once known as the Tavernier Blue is also believed to be cursed. People who had owned or even been close to the stone were said to have suffered terrible fates. The story goes back centuries when a diamond was laid at a Hindu temple but was stolen and the temple priests then laid a curse on whoever might possess the missing stone.
Some tales suggest that people who owned the diamond were sometimes killed in the most horrifying way one could ever imagine. One person was torn apart by wild dogs in Constantinople, another was shot onstage, and, in the case of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, they are remembered to be beheaded during the French Revolution. Today Hope sits in the high security of the Smithsonian Institution.