Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Haunted ebay Painting

Haunted objects have always held particular fascination for me and I found this story particularly creepy.   I have always wondered about the haunted items on eBay, but this haunted item, known as the eBay painting seems to have turned into a legend.   The ebay painting's official name is  "The Hands That Resist Him.."  The painting  was done by Oakland, California artist Bill Stoneham in 1972.    The painting was made notorious by a ghost story on eBay.  The painting was first shown in the Feingarten Gallery in the 1970s and it received a bad review.  It was later purchased by actor John Marley of The Godfather.  Mr. Marley passed away and the painting was bought by a California couple.   In February of 2000, it was listed on eBay with the following information.  This is the original text from the eBay auction: 


WHEN WE RECEIVED THIS PAINTING, WE THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY GOOD ART. A " PICKER " HAD FOUND IT ABANDONED BEHIND AN OLD BREWERY. AT THE TIME WE WONDERED A LITTLE WHY A SEEMINGLY PERFECTLY FINE PAINTING WOULD BE DISCARDED LIKE THAT. ( TODAY WE DON'T !!! ) ONE MORNING OUR 4 AND 1/2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER CLAIMED, THAT THE CHILDREN IN THE PICTURE WERE FIGHTING, AND COMING INTO THE ROOM DURING THE NIGHT. NOW, I DON'T BELIEVE IN UFOS OR ELVIS BEING ALIVE, BUT MY HUSBAND WAS ALARMED. TO MY AMUSEMENT HE SET UP A MOTION TRIGGERED CAMERA FOR THE NIGHTS. AFTER THREE NIGHTS THERE WERE PICTURES.THE LAST TWO PICTURES SHOWN ARE FROM THAT 'STAKEOUT'. AFTER SEEING THE BOY SEEMINGLY EXITING THE PAINTING UNDER THREAT, WE DECIDED, THE PAINTING HAS TO GO.PLEASE JUDGE FOR YOURSELF. --- BEFORE YOU DO, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING WARNING AND DISCLAIMER. ----WARNING: DO NOT BID ON THIS PAINTING IF YOU ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO STRESS RELATED DISEASE, FAINT OF HEART OR ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH SUPERNATURAL EVENTS. BY BIDDING ON THIS PAINTING, YOU AGREE TO RELEASE THE OWNERS OF ALL LIABILITY IN RELATION TO THE SALE OR ANY EVENTS HAPPENING AFTER THE SALE, THAT MIGHT BE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PAINTING. THIS PAINTING MAY OR MAY NOT POSESS SUPERNATURAL POWERS, THAT COULD IMPACT OR CHANGE YOUR LIFE. HOWEVER, BY BIDDING YOU AGREE TO EXCLUSIVELY BID ON THE VALUE OF THE ARTWORK, WITH DISREGARD TO THE LAST TWO PHOTOS FEATURED IN THIS AUCTION, AND HOLD THE OWNERS HARMLESS IN REGARD TO THEM AND THEIR IMPACT, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.------------ NOW THAT WE GOT THIS OUT OF THE WAY, ONE QUESTION TO YOU EBAYERS. WE WANT OUR HOUSE TO BE BLESSED AFTER THE PAINTING IS GONE, DOES ANYBODY KNOW, WHO IS QUALIFIED TO DO THAT? THE SIZE OF THE PAINTING IS 24 BY 36 INCHES, SO IT IS RATHER LARGE. AS I HAVE HAD SEVERAL QUESTIONS, HERE THE FOLLOWING ANSWERS. THERE WAS NO ODOR LEFT BEHIND IN THE ROOM. THERE WERE NO VOICES, OR THE SMELL OF GUNPOWDER, NO FOODPRINTS OR STRANGE FLUIDS ON THE WALL. TO DETER QUESTIONS IN THIS DIRECTION, THERE ARE NO GHOSTS IN THIS WORLD , NO SUPERNATURAL POWERS, THIS IS JUST A PAINTING, AND MOST THESE THINGS HAVE AN EXPLANATION, IN THIS CASE PROBABLY A FLUKE LIGHT EFFECT. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO BID ON THE ARTWORK, AND CONSIDER THE LAST TWO PHOTOGRAPHS AS PURE ENTERTAINMENT, AND PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THEM INTO CONSIDERATION, WHEN BIDDING. AS WE THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO BLESS ANY HOUSE, WE STILL WELCOME INPUT INTO THAT PROCEDURE.
 
The first bid on the painting was $199 and it eventually sold for $1025.  The buyer was Perception Gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The legends that spread around the painting were viral.  People who viewed the painting on eBay claimed that just looking at the painting on the eBay listing made them sick and others claimed that terrible things happened to them from viewing the painting on eBay.  One Native American medicine man claimed he could feel evil seeping out from the painting and that he needed to cleanse his house with rosemary after his viewing of the painting.  It is interesting to note that the first owner  of the painting died within a year of purchasing the painting and the reviewer who gave the painting a bad review also met a bad end within a year.   The owner of the Feingarten Gallery also died shortly after showing the painting.

Since the eBay auction that made Stoneham's work famous, he has painted two other paintings in this series which can be viewed on his website at http://www.stonehamstudios.com/ .

Many believe "The Hands That Resist Him" is actually cursed and haunted, but others think that this painting is a classic example of the viral nature of Internet urban legends and the power of mass hysteria. Either way, the painting does have a creepy quality about it that makes you wonder what those scary little children are up to.  I certainly wouldn't want this painting in my house.   I'm way to superstitious to put this painting on my blog.   Not to mention the fact that I'm already blaming  all the bad things that have happened  in my house this morning on those stupid creepy children.  Glass broke?  Obviously stupid creepy children's fault.  Son fell and hurt his arm?  Obviously stupid creepy children's fault.   I lost my car keys? Stupid creepy children did that.  Clearly, the painting is cursed.

7 comments:

Ali @ Ginger-read said...

I loved this post! What a great story. All of his art has a nice creep factor to it. I am debating googling the "The Hands That Resist Him' but I really want to keep all my glasses in tact today! :)

Jessica Penot said...

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. The picture is really creepy looking. I couldn't resist looking at it myself.

Adsila said...

How is the couple who sold the painting on ebay? I loved this post and got chills reading it. I don't think I will be googling the painting anytime soon.

Sandra said...

Dang! I totally wanted to see it when I first started reading your post. But, by the time I finished reading it, I think I'll past. You never know.

magikalseasons said...

Ok very creepy! I almost want to see it for myself but I have enough odd things goung on right now. Thanks for sharing. Oh and a haunted acorn will be on the way to you soon. I have to find your addy again I know its somewhere. I do not,think the acorn will cause you any trouble.

Jessica Penot said...

The acorn looked to cute to cause much trouble. Thank you so much for sending it. My mushroom is lonely and will enjoy the company.

Justine's Halloween said...

How interesting! I've often run across "haunted" objects on ebay. Everything from haunted dolls to haunted jewelry. I've never seen a haunted painting, though. Sometimes the ebay items look scary enough to be possessed objects, and other times the explanation sounds silly.

I went to the artist's web site, and I have to agree that the painting is creepy! I preferred his next painting, where the boy is now an adult man and the doll is an actual young lady. The artist is talented, although some of his subject matter is weirding me out! What got to me in the haunted painting wasn't the boy and doll, so much as the hands pressing against the window.