9 (Supposedly) Haunted Things Put Up for Sale on eBay

iStock
iStock

by Jenny Morrill

Everything on eBay has a backstory, and sometimes, it's a pretty spooky one—at least according to whoever is trying to offload the item. Everything is more interesting if you add ghosts, especially when it comes to bras, jewelry, and Ziploc baggies. Here are just a few of the supposedly haunted items we found that have sold or are selling on the auction site.

1. ANGUISHED MAN PAINTING

HVERAFUGLAR, eBay

The seller of this oil painting describes it as a "horrific paranormal portrait." The artist is unknown, but according to its owner, the artwork may be responsible for a number of spooky goings on around the house. "Since owning this painting, I have experienced a number of strange paranormal events that cannot be easily explained," the seller writes in the listing. "These include hearing disembodied footsteps from elsewhere in the house, the sound of bird song appearing out of the air in the living room, and finally, observing a heavy metal door latch lift by itself and the kitchen door open by itself." Even if you don't need a haunted painting for yourself, "it could make a great gift for a less-than-loved one," the listing suggests.

2. SEXY SPIRIT BRA

TONYA_ROSE, eBay

This bra reportedly contains the "spirit of a sexy woman," and wearing it will allegedly ensure not just great support, but a constant stream of admiration and gifts. Made in the 1950s, it's a size 32A, so you've got to be rather petite to harness its powers. But some of its benefits can be enjoyed even if you don't plan on wearing it. You can "place the bra by a lit white candle to see her spirit in full body apparition," the seller notes, and if you break out a red candle, you can have an erotic encounter with the spirit, according to the seller. That certainly sounds scary.

3. THE MYSTERIOUSLY SMELLY PHOTO

THE_ASYLUM_ATTIC, eBay

This historic daguerreotype is reportedly inhabited by a “Victorian gent” named Martin. It was initially found in the eaves of an attic, and its owner would bring it out for guests to see. Eventually, people began to notice that “certain smells would mysteriously appear and just as mysteriously disappear—such as the scent of roses and cigar or pipe smoke, or even the odor of smoke from a wood fire,” the seller writes. When questioned with a Ouija board, the spirit inside “was sometimes talkative and even playful, but other times reticent." But some spooky things started happening in the house, like objects disappearing or being moved, and "footsteps and whispers faintly heard.” These strange goings-on became more frequent, until finally, the image was removed from the house and sent to a collector “who reports some continued activity.”

4. THE RING OF A GENIE QUEEN

HOODOOHOUSE, eBay

The seller of this ring claims it contains the spirit of Micilia, an “omnipotent genie queen" who—just for the record—"has given permission and requested that we use her name in her listing here on eBay to help find her next master.” At least you can be sure she'd be friendly. Micilia isn't the worst spirit to keep around—she communicates telepathically and can grant unlimited wishes.

5. HAUNTED DONKEY

GRIFFEY911NY, eBay

This small decorative juice container has a surprisingly spooky backstory. According to the owner, it spontaneously fills up with water. The inherited piece of kitsch has been exhibiting the odd behavior for years, since the owner was a child. At first, they suspected that their grandmother, who owned the item at the time, was filling it with water, but once she died, they discovered that there was something else at play. One night, the seller knocked against the jug by accident, and noticed it sounded like it had liquid in it. “When I investigated I found there was indeed water in it,” they write. “I thought maybe it was a mistake,” they explain, but it has happened sporadically ever since. Writes the seller: "I'm not scared or anything but I'm just not into this type of stuff. I wish my nana well in the afterlife but just not for me."

6. THAI DJINN MASK

RAINBOWS*AND*FAIRYDUST, eBay

The person selling this mask claims that they personally witnessed a witch in Thailand capture a djinn (or genie) in it. Among the mask's alleged talents are the ability to bring the owner riches and the ability to keep vampires away. Both are useful skills, but they come with a price—you must make offerings of food and drink to keep the djinn happy. Not to mention the fact that for the first month you have to meditate on his name three times a day for 20 minutes each.

7. WITCH'S DYBBUK BOX

MAB_22, eBay

In Jewish lore, a dybbuk is a restless spirit that has the power to possess a living person. You might be familiar with the concept from the 2012 horror flick The Possession, which was inspired by the real story of a wine cabinet—supposedly haunted by a dybbuk—sold on eBay in the early 2000s. (It’s now owned by paranormal investigator and TV star Zak Bagans.) Since that initial haunted offering, more boxes reportedly haunted by malicious dybbuks have begun to surface online. 

“This spirit attached is very mischievous,” the seller of this dybbuk box writes, but will “become violent if tested or disrespected,” so they advise keeping the box in a trunk or glass case where it can’t be touched. It was reportedly found buried beneath an abandoned house where screams could often be heard “even though the house hasn’t been occupied in over 30 years.” The current owner doesn’t detail what violent events the box has unleashed—or how one might disrespect a wooden box—but it is a relative haunted bargain at just $75.

8. SHOES THAT GO TAP IN THE NIGHT

HAUNTED_HEARTS, eBay

Said to contain the spirit of a little girl called Lisa, these shoes were found by someone who was curating their late aunt's estate, tucked in a nursery closet alongside various Victorian clothes and toys. They suspected they were haunted, the seller writes, "since there was a lot of knocking in the nursery closet. If actually possessed, tap dancing might wake one up in the middle of the night!" The noise wasn't the only indication of the shoes' other-worldly nature. The house they were found in was rumored to be home to a number of ghosts, including that of a woman who had murdered her baby there in the 19th century and the spirit of a 9-year-old who died of sepsis.

9. THE HAUNTED ZIPLOC

RUSTY_RACCOON, eBay

Go ahead and banish stale bread to another realm. According to the seller of this $25 paranormal sandwich bag, the simple plastic pouch can restore or heal anything (and anyone). “There is no wrong way to use the haunted Ziploc bag of restoration,” the listing says, but it works best on snack foods: “The most effective way to use the bag, we have discovered, is to purify, decontaminate, revive, and give new life to food items such as Cheetos, sandwiches, pizza, chopped veggies, and granola.” The ad says it's haunted, but it may not actually involve a ghost. If you stick a lock of a loved one’s hair inside, it can “heal, resurrect, protect, or lessen the burden” of that person through some sort of interplanetary higher plane, the seller claims. The bags come in sets of three, six, and nine.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

When a Long Island Housewife Handed Out Arsenic to Kids on Halloween

This Halloween procession in Massachusetts was poison-free.
This Halloween procession in Massachusetts was poison-free.
Douglas DeNatale, Lowell Folklife Project Collection, American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress // No Known Restrictions on Publication

On October 31, 1964, 13-year-old Elsie Drucker and her 15-year-old sister Irene returned to their Long Island home after an evening of trick-or-treating and dumped their spoils onto the table. Among the assortment of bite-sized sweets were two items that looked like bottle caps and bore the warning: “Poison. Keep away from children and animals.”

It wasn’t an ill-conceived, Halloween-themed marketing ploy—the tablets were “ant buttons,” which contained arsenic and could help rid a house of insects and other pests. They could also seriously threaten the life of any small child who accidentally swallowed one.

Alarmed, the girls’ father called the police.

A Criminally Bad Joke

The authorities notified the community, and people immediately began spreading the word and inspecting their own candy bags, unearthing another 19 ant buttons around town. Meanwhile, Elsie and Irene helped the police trace the toxic treats to 43 Salem Ridge Drive, where a 47-year-old housewife named Helen Pfeil lived with her husband and children.

Once other trick-or-treaters confirmed that Pfeil had indeed doled out the poison—and police discovered empty boxes of ant buttons in her kitchen—she was arrested. Fortunately, none of her would-be victims ingested any hazardous material, which meant that Pfeil was only charged with child endangerment. If convicted, however, she could still face prison time.

At her arraignment on November 2, Pfeil tried to explain to a baffled courtroom that she “didn’t mean it maliciously.” After having spent most of Halloween bestowing actual candy on costumed kids, Pfeil had started to feel like some of them should’ve already aged out of the activity.

“Aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating?” she had asked the Druckers, according to the New York Post.

So Pfeil had assembled unsavory packages of ant buttons, dog biscuits, and steel wool, and dropped those into the bags of anyone she deemed “a little old” to be trick-or-treating. She maintained that it was a joke, and her husband, Elmer, reiterated her claim to reporters at the courthouse. While she had been “terribly thoughtless and she may have used awfully bad judgment,” he said, she hadn’t planned to cause harm. Elmer himself wasn’t in on the scheme; at the time, he had been out trick-or-treating with their two sons—who, ironically, were both teenagers.

Her spouse may have been sympathetic, but Judge Victor Orgera was not. “It is hard for me to understand how any woman with sense or reason could give this to a child,” he said, and ordered her to spend 60 days in a psychiatric hospital.

Dumb, Not Dangerous

The following April, Pfeil went on trial in Riverhead, New York, and switched her plea from “Not guilty” to “Guilty” when proceedings were already underway. With about two months until her sentencing date—and the possibility of up to two years in prison looming overhead—Pfeil’s neighbors got busy writing character references to send to the judge.

Though Judge Thomas M. Stark was just as bewildered by Pfeil’s indiscretion as everyone else, the letters convinced him that she was not a danger to society, and he suspended her sentence. “I don’t understand why she had done such a stupid thing as this,” Stark said, “but I feel incarceration is not the answer.”

So Pfeil got off with nothing more than a guilty conscience, and Long Island teenagers continued to pound the pavement for Halloweens to come. But the misguided ruse did scare at least one child into giving it up forever: Little Elsie Drucker never went trick-or-treating again.