One very unusual phenomena of the paranormal world is that of the haunted object. In these cases all manner of normally mundane items will be permeated and imbued with supernatural forces, sometimes to the point that the object in question will be deemed cursed and locked away. There have been cursed or haunted paintings, cars, and others, but sometimes the item in question seems like the last thing one would expect paranormal weirdness to gather about. Here we will look at some very usual examples of cursed items, in which the most normal sounding things become beacons for the paranormal.
Most of the strangest cursed items can be found in various museums out there, locked away from the unsuspecting public, and a weird addition to one collection is none other than a supposedly haunted wedding dress. The story behind this dress goes back to the mid 1800s, and revolves around a rich girl at the time named Anna Baker. In 1849 she allegedly fell in love with someone out of her upper class, a lowly iron worker who her family forbade her to marry. Of course when has this ever stopped two young fools in love? The two went about planning a wedding anyway, and even bought a dress for the occasion, but their plans were dashed when her father found out about the secret wedding and squashed it. Anna would apparently go on to live out the rest of her days without marrying, and died in 1914 a bitter and reclusive old lady. The dress is now kept in Anna’s old house, which has been turned into a museum, and it is said that it will move about on its own or change positions within its display case when no one is around, perhaps inhabited by Anna’s restless spirit.
Just as strange as the haunted dress is a cursed chair, kept at the Thirsk Museum in the UK. The chair supposedly once belonged to a convicted murderer by the name of Thomas Bugsby, who brutally killed his father-in-law after sitting in his favorite chair without permission. He would be executed by hanging in 1702, but before the execution was carried out he was granted his last wish to sit in his beloved chair and have one last drink and meal at a local pub while sitting in it. Just before he was led off to be hanged, Bugsby supposedly stood up and proclaimed that from that moment on anyone who was to sit in that chair would meet an untimely end. After that, the lore has it that everyone who has sat in the chair has been the victim of some accident of freak death, with some of them even reported as having heart attacks as they sit upon it. So intense is this supposed curse that when it was donated to the museum in 1972 the chair was hung up above the ground hanging from the ceiling to prevent any foolhardy people from trying to sit in it.
At the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a rather unimposing figurine on display. It is pretty ordinary-looking, yet ancient, dating back to around 3500, and is said to be a representation of some goddess of fertility, but its more well known nickname in modern times is “The Goddess of Death," and this is because this worn down ancient figurine is supposedly intensely cursed. The statue itself was originally dug up in Lemb, Cyprus, in 1878, after which the mysterious statue was called the “Woman from Lemb.” It then went about accruing a history of bringing death to whoever owned it, starting with a Lord Elphont. Shortly upon receiving the statue seven people in his family would die in quick succession, and the same thing happened to the next owner, Ivor Menucci. This would happen to every family the statue was passed on to, ending with the ownership of a Sir Alan Biverbrook, who would also die in its possession, along with his wife and two daughters. It was then donated to the museum by the last victim’s two sons, and the curator of the museum allegedly also died within a year of handling it. Ever since then, the enigmatic Woman from Lemb has been kept behind thick glass for everyone's protection.
One museum that has more than its fair share of unusual haunted and cursed objects is that of paranormal investigators Dana and Greg Newkirk, called the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult. Here among the many haunted and cursed items on display are some truly unique ones that go well off the beaten path. One is an old iron pike about a foot and a half in length, which was originally found at the very haunted Crescent Mine, in Oregon. It has been speculated that the rod is a drill, and that the owner was crushed to death by a cave-in at the site. When paranormal investigators studied the so-called “Ghost Mine Drill,” they uncovered EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recordings of an old man’s voice saying “Tell Jennifer I’m sorry.” There have also been seen shadow figures lurking about the object, and a haunted drill certainly has to win some award for weirdest haunted object.
At the same museum is the “Conjuring Drum,” a wooden drum that supposedly once belonged to a Voodoo family residing in Detroit, and which allegedly has the power to conjure up dark spirits. The family got rid of the accursed thing when they brought into the world a violent and malevolent spirit they call “The Criminal,” and no one has dared played it again. The museum also has a 200-year-old wooden idol from the Congo that somehow had ended up stuffed away in the attic of a home in Dayton, Ohio. The owner of the home had chronic recurring nightmares after finding the idol, and brought it to the museum, where it was nicknamed “Billy.” The idol apparently makes EVP equipment malfunction or break down, and guttural screams can supposedly be heard in its vicinity. There is also the Tibetan “Begging Bowl,” which is an ornate hollowed out monkey skull used for rituals, which long tormented the man who owned it, after which it fell into possession of his grandson, who soon experienced intense poltergeist activity in his home before offloading it onto the museum. Pretty wild stuff, and the skull is creepy enough on its own without all of the supernatural activity surrounding it.
While all of these items are certainly very weird, I’d say one of the strangest of all has to be an object in the collection of West Virginia’s National Museum Of The Paranormal. The museum already has an eclectic and very unsettling variety of haunted dolls and various other cursed or haunted objects, but the one that takes the cake has to be none other than a haunted Dr. Seuss book. Yes, you heard that right. The book apparently was owned by a family who claimed that every time their daughter read it, there could be heard children’s voices whispering in the dark, as well as the potent sense of being watched. When a paranormal investigator checked out the history of the book, it was found to have come from a house where there had been a quadruple homicide, and that a red stain on the cover of the book was from blood. Needless to say, no one has been reading it since, and it sits in a glass display case.
What is it that draws these forces to such seemingly normal every day objects? Why should these items be so animated by forces past our comprehension? It seems that there may be some sort of spirit attachment going on here, wherein ghosts or other apparitions become tethered to some person or object through processes we will likely never understand, but could it also be that this is all urban legend and spooky stories? Whatever the case may be, it seems that there is really no limit to the type of object that can be targeted by such forces, and it really makes one think about what is going on here.