The Quick Seven: Seven Haunted Objects
As promised, we're back to our Halloween-related posts here on the Q10. Haunted objects have long been the subject of many a horror tale "“ haunted vehicles (Christine, of course), haunted dolls (the dreaded Chucky, among others) and haunted clowns (that creepy toy in Poltergeist, ugh). But haunted objects exist in real life, too "“ at least, they do if you believe these seven stories. Here are a few inanimate objects that might just be a little more animated than we think.
1. Robert the Doll. I personally find all dolls to be more than a little bit creepy, but Robert is certainly spookier than most. Robert has been around since at least 1896 and belonged to a little boy (who grew up to be famous artist Robert Eugene Otto) in Key West. The two of them were as thick as thieves and the little boy often chatted with his doll "“ but, servants and family members said, Robert the Doll often talked back. Neighbors claimed they saw Robert move to different windows of the house when they knew no one was inside; entire rooms were trashed and the little boy, seemingly terrified, would claim that Robert had done it. The boy eventually inherited his parents' house, and in 1972, he died and another family bought it. The family had a little girl who discovered Robert in the attic and was terrified of it, claiming even 30 years later that the doll was alive and wanted to kill her. These days Robert resides at the Martello Gallery-Key West Art and Historical Museum. If you want a picture of him, you have to ask "“ a slight tilt of his head means yes. If you don't get the tilt and take a picture anyway, beware "“ Robert will curse you. I haven't been there to verify this, but supposedly there are letters in the Museum from people apologizing for taking pictures of Robert or for not believing in his powers. Has anyone seen Robert in person?
2. The Haunted Mirror at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Even though Marilyn Monroe has been dead for nearly 50 years, you can still see her at the Hollywood Roosevelt"¦ at least, if you believe the stories. Marilyn lived at the Roosevelt a couple of different times during her life, and especially loved Suite 1200. At some point the mirror from Suite 1200 moved to the manager's office, and when a housekeeper was cleaning it one day, she got quite a fright "“ a beautiful blonde woman was staring right back at her. Not one to shy away from publicity, the Roosevelt moved the mirror to a public area so guests could experience Miss Monroe as well. And supposedly they have "“ lots of people have reported seeing her image. But that makes sense "“ the Roosevelt has cleverly decided to hang a portrait right next to it.
3. The Haunted Mirror at the Myrtles Plantation. Our own Miss Cellania wrote about the Myrtles earlier this week. If you're looking for a spooky read, you should definitely click on over.
4. Annabelle the Haunted Doll. I've always thought Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls looked particularly evil, and here's my proof. Raggedy Ann was given to a little girl named Donna in the "˜70s, and she and her family immediately began to notice strange things. The doll would seemingly repose itself when no one was looking, and once it was even found in a kneeling position. When Donna tried to replicate the pose with the doll, she couldn't "“ it was too soft to stay in that position and would just fall over. Childish writing began to appear on the walls and the family got scared. They found a medium and held a sÃ©ance, where they found out that a little girl named Annabelle had once lived there, long before the apartment building was there, and wanted to play with them. Even worse things began to happen afterward "“ Donna's father received inexplicable burn marks on his chest and everyone in the house began having nightmares. You can read a really detailed account of the whole thing here, but suffice it to say, Donna and her family got rid of Annabelle the Doll. It's now in an occult museum; she apparently makes new "friends" every day.
5. Haunted Wedding Dress. At the historic Baker Mansion in Altoona, Pa., there lives a wedding dress that sits in a display case and moves all by itself. The story goes something like this: In the mid-1800s, Anna Baker got engaged to one of her father's employees. She bought her wedding dress and was secretly making preparations when her father caught on, fired the man and had him sent away. She never married and the dress went unused. When the Blair County Historical Society bought the mansion, they found the dress displayed it under glass. Apparently Anna thought she would finally get some use out of the dress, because ever since then, it's been moving and swaying of its own accord from behind the glass. The Historical Society pooh-poohed it, saying that some of the floorboards under the display case were loose, so when people came near the case would be slightly disturbed, making the gown appear to move. But at least one story says that the Society caught it moving on its security cameras when no one else was in the room, and that's why it's no longer on display at the Baker Mansion.
6. Haunted Chairs. Not just one, but two haunted chairs furnish the Gothic Ballroom of Belcourt Castle in Newport, R.I. The Castle is open to tours, and people who have come to view this gorgeous mansion have reported feeling chills and a strange energy when they get near two chairs in particular. The word is that if you're daring enough to actually try sitting in one of the chairs, you'll get a definite feeling of resistance and may even end up on your butt on the floor. There's supposedly a documented case of just that happening, but I sure can't find it. If you live nearby, you should check out the current ghost tour at Belcourt and let us know if the hype is true. (That's the Ballroom in the picture.)
7. Haunted Painting. I've purposely avoided mentioning "haunted" items on eBay, because anyone can throw something out there and claim it's haunted. But this one seems to have garnered a lot of press, so I'm going to include it. Artist Bill Stoneham painted "Hands Resist Him" in 1972 and then lost track of it after a gallery show (it had been purchased by actor John Marley, who played the dude that found the horse's head in his bed in The Godfather). Fast forward many years, where a family found the painting abandoned at a dumpster behind a brewery and wondered why anyone would throw out such cool art. They took it home, and shortly thereafter, the four-year-old daughter of the family announced to her mom and dad that the children in the painting were fighting. They then recorded the painting over a period of several nights and thought the figures were, in fact, moving, and decided that they didn't really need the painting in their house anymore. They sold it on eBay, accompanied by their story, for $1025.00. Bill Stoneham later surfaced and said that he remembered that the owner of the gallery that originally showed the painting died shortly after the show, as did a Los Angeles Times critic who reviewed it.
There are plenty of other "haunted" items out there, but when it comes to things like, "Haunted Barney Doll" or "Haunted Grilled Cheese" I have to draw the line. But do you know of any other famously haunted objects that I missed?