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.