In February 2000 an item was posted on Ebay, with a sinister warning attached. It was a painting called The Hands Resist Him by Bill Stoneham, which the seller claimed was "cursed".
According to reports the figures in the painting - a young boy and his creepy doll - would move during the night, and were even known to leave the confines of the painting and step out into the owner's bedroom.
The ensuing viral brouhaha ended when the painting was purchased for $1025 by Perception Gallery in Michigan. Chillingly, when interviewed years later about the rumours, the painter himself recalls that the gallery owner and the art critic who reviewed The Hands Resist Him both died within one year of coming into contact with the painting...
2. Myrtle's Plantation Mirror
Believed to be one of the most haunted homes in America, Myrtle's Plantation is supposedly home to at least 12 ghosts, maybe more. But the most terrifying artefact of all is one added to the house in 1980...
The former plantation's large wall mirror has been the subject of many supernatural claims, sightings of spectral handprints on the glass and strange figures lurking in the reflection chief among them. Some believe that within the mirror are contained the spirits of Sara Woodruff and her children, the mirror's previous owners who were poisoned to death.
3. Dybbuk Box
According to Jewish folklore a dybbuk box is a wine cabinet, inside which a demon is said to reside. One particular story involving this cabinet begins in 2003 when, upon the death of a 103 year old Jewish woman, her dybbuk box was purchased by an unwitting antiques dealer.
The deceased woman's granddaughter offered a warning, explaining to the dealer that when her grandmother first came to America in the 40s to flee from the Nazis in Poland, the dybbuk box was one of only three items she brought with her. The box had been fiercely guarded by her grandmother for as long as the family could remember; she forbade anyone from touching it, fearfully claiming that a demon lived inside. Even in her will the old woman demanded to be buried with the box but, as this was against Jewish tradition the request was refused, and the box was included in the estate sale.
Unfazed, the antiques dealer laughed the story off and left with his new purchase... But as soon as he'd placed the box in his antiques shop strange things started happening. On the first night all the shop's doors and windows locked of their own accord, lightbulbs smashed, and terrible noises began emanating from the basement. After a few similar incidents the dealer got so spooked that he tried to give the dybbuk box away, eventually selling it to an intrigued Ebay buyer.
Before the box left his possession however, the dealer swears that he encountered the demon face to face, after waking in the middle of the night to the feeling of hot breath on his neck, and turning to see a huge, terrifying shadowy figure retreating down the hallway.
4. The Chair of Death
When Thomas Busby was convicted of murder in 1702, he was granted the request to eat his last meal at his favourite pub in Thirsk, his hometown. Upon finishing his final plate of grub Busby stood up, wiped his mouth and ominously exclaimed "May sudden death come to anyone who dare sit in my chair".
This exclamation became the stuff of legend, and even centuries later patrons would dare one another to sit in the chair. Needless to say a number of deaths occurred including: two Royal Airforce pilots who in 1967 crashed their car shortly after each sat in the chair; a mason who fell down an open shaft on his worksite mere hours after parking his keester on the cursed seat; and the pub's cleaning lady, who died of a brain tumour after tripping forwards onto the wooden deathtrap.
Would you dare sit on Busby's seat?
5. Haunted Wedding Dress
When Anna Baker, a young girl from a rich family, fell in love with a low class iron worker in 1849, her father Ellis hit the roof and forbade Anna from marrying the man. Anna was so angry at this that she refused to love anyone else and resigned herself to a life of solitude, which she fulfilled until her death in 1914. But what her father didn't know was that, prior to sending Anna's love away, his daughter had already chosen a beautiful dress to wear at her wedding...
When Anna failed to marry the dress went to another buyer, Elizabeth Dysart, from whom it was acquired in turn by a local historical society decades later. After the Bakers' deaths their impressive home was turned into a museum and, when news of Anna's tragic story surfaced the dress was returned to her bedroom. And that's when things got a bit supernatural, for many night-time visitors began to claim that they'd seen the dress swaying back and forth behind its protective glass, as if appraising itself in the mirror. Many conclude that it was the spirit of Anna, perpetually admiring the dress on herself but unable ever to wear it on her special day.