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19 March 2013

Haunted paintings: "the Crying Boy" and "the Hands Resist him"


Another creepy story for our "mystery section".


In the last years in England, there have been many fires. In each scene, there was nothing left, but a painting of a crying boy.. Here's the story:

From around 1985 onwards, (meaning there are still cases like this) a series of mysterious house fires were brought to the attention of the general public, following the discovery that in each case, the buildings and all their contents were completely destroyed apart from a painting - the "Crying Boy", which remained unscathed. In the years that followed, some 40-50 cases were recorded in which a housefire had destroyed everything except for that same picture. It became known as the "Curse of the Crying Boy", and even made headline news at one point.

The Crying Boy is a mass-produced print of a painting by Spanish painter Bruno Amadio, also known as Giovanni Bragolin. It was widely distributed from the 1950s onwards. There are numerous alternate versions, all portraits of tearful young boys or girls.

The picture itself was a portrait of an orphan painted by an Italian artist called Bruno Amadio. It is said that his studio burnt to the ground, and the, supposed, boy was later killed in a car crash, in which no one claimed his body. This is why it's "supposed". Since no one claimed or identified the body, police suspected it was him. Before he died, the boy became known as Diablo, because everyone who had taken him in, found bad luck as their homes burned to the ground. The picture is one of the first to be mass produced in the UK. There are several thousand of them in circulation and the curse still appears to apply to all the copies. It is said that the curse will only effect someone if the owner of the painting becomes aware of it. Some psychics have claimed that the painting is haunted by the spirit of the boy it depicts.


By the end of November 1985 belief in the painting's curse was widespread enough that The Sun was organising mass bonfires of the paintings, sent in by readers.
To lift the curse it is said you must give the painting to another or reunite the boy and the girl and hang them together.

Steve Punt, a British writer and comedian, investigated the curse of the crying boy in a BBC production programme. The only conclusion reached by the programme, following testing at the Building Research Establishment, was the reason why the painting would never burn during the fires: apparently the prints were treated with some varnish containing fire repellent, and that the string holding the painting to the wall would be the first to perish, resulting in the painting landing face down on the floor and thus being protected.

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The Hands Resist Him

Another curious painting (which in my opinion is even creepier) is The Hands Resist Him, also known as the eBay Haunted Painting, is a painting created by Oakland, California artist Bill Stoneham in 1972. It depicts a young boy and female doll standing in front of a glass paneled door against which many hands are pressed. According to the artist, the boy is based on a photograph of himself aged 5, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the waking world and the world of dreams and possibilities, and the doll is a guide who will escort the boy through it. The hands themselves represent alternate lives or possibilities.


It became the subject of an urban legend in February 2000, when it was posted for sale on eBay along with an elaborate backstory implying that it was haunted.

The painting was first displayed in an Los Angeles gallery during the early 1970s, at which point it was reviewed by the art critic at the Los Angeles Times. It was then purchased by actor John Marley, notable for his role as Jack Woltz in The Godfather.

At some point in time after Marley's death, the painting was said to have come into the possession of a California couple, after being found on the site of an old brewery. The painting appeared on the auction website eBay in February 2000.

According to the seller, the aforementioned couple, the painting carried some form of curse. Their eBay description claimed that the characters in the painting moved during the night, and that they would sometimes leave the painting and enter the room in which it was being displayed. Included with the listing were a series of photographs that were said to be evidence of an incident in which the female doll character threatened the male character with a gun that she was holding, causing him to attempt to leave the painting. A disclaimer was included with the listing absolving the seller from all liability if the painting was purchased.

According to the artist himself, the object presumed by the eBay sellers to be a gun is actually nothing more than a dry cell battery and a tangle of wires.

Stoneham recalls that both the owner of the gallery in which the painting was first displayed, and the art critic who reviewed it, died within one year of coming into contact with the painting.



Also, a few months ago I saw this very cool SUPERNATURAL episode called "Provenance" featuring an haunted portrait. If you like this kind of things you'll surely want to check it out. Here's the plot:

After a young couple is found brutally murdered in upstate New York within a locked house, the brothers investigate, and learn from their father's journal that similar deaths have occurred in the area over the past few decades. All of the couple's belongings were taken to an auction house, so they check to see if a spirit may have attached itself to an object. After asking Sarah, the daughter of the auction house's owner out on a date, Sam is able to get copies of the provenances of the items. Dean discovers that a painted portrait from 1910 of the Isaiah Merchant family had belonged to all of the other murder victims, and that Merchant had killed his entire family and then himself. Realizing that the painting is haunted, the brothers burn it, but it later repairs itself..


info taken from:
www.hauntedamericatours.com/
www.ghoststudy.com



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