May 17, 2024 | Sarah Ng

10 Of The World's Most Haunted Artifacts

Historical Nightmares

Some artifacts have dark pasts and have gained grisly reputations. If you believe in curses and historical mysteries, these are the objects to steer clear of.


Annabelle The Doll

Annabelle is no ordinary Raggedy Ann doll. After all, what kind of doll would be locked up in an occult museum—one owned by the paranormal investigator Ed and Lorrain Warren, no less? A haunted doll—that's what.

Photo of Raggedy Ann a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle nose.Bernard Spragg. NZ, Flickr

She Was Possessed

In 1970, the doll belonged to a student nurse. After it began exhibiting odd behavior, a psychic medium claimed that the spirit of a girl named "Annabelle" possessed the doll.

Photo of Raggedy Ann a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle nose.slgckgc, Flickr

They Moved Her To An Occult Museum

Although Annabelle's owner tried to respect the doll as best she could, its frightening behavior eventually led to a consultation with the Warrens. From there, Anabelle earned herself a one-way ticket to The Warrens' Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut, until it eventually closed its doors. But that wasn't the end of her story.

Photo of Raggedy Ann a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle nosePrisencolinensinainciusol, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

She Inspired Hollywood

Thanks to Annabelle, horror lovers get to watch films based on her. She plays a big part in The Conjuring Universe: Annabelle, Annabelle Creation, Annabelle Comes Home, The Conjuring 2, and more.

Photo of Raggedy Ann a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle algorithm, Wikimedia Commons

The Crying Boy

Painted by Giovanni Bragolin, The Crying Boy became a very popular print. Beginning in the 1950s, it made its way into countless homes. Unfortunately many believe that this particular print was cursed—and for good reason.

Close-up Photo of a painting depicting a crying boyLars Kristian Flem, Flickr

It Was Fire Resistant

In 1985, a chilling rumor about The Crying Boy began to circulate. In the British tabloid The Sun, a firefighter reportedly noted that he often came across the painting in the rubble of destroyed homes. The creepy part? The prints were always in pristine condition.

photo of old abandoned burned house interiorZastolskiy Victor, Shutterstock

They Were Burned En Masse

The story about the cursed print captivated the minds of tabloid readers everywhere—so much so that they sent their prints into The Sun, who organized to have them all burnt en masse.

Photo of South side of The News BuildingStephen Craven, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Anguished Man

The Anguished Man is one of the most terrifying painting to behold—and it also comes with a chilling backstory. The owner of the painting, Sean Robinson, inherited the frightful piece from his grandmother.

Empty wooden picture frame hanged on the wall, viewed from asideDejan Krsmanovic, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

It Caused Paranormal Activity

In possession of The Anguished Man, Robinson began experiencing odd sounds in his home, including crying and moaning. He also claimed to see a "figure of a man".

Silhouette of person with hands on glassRon Lach, Pexels

The Painter Took His Own Life

You see, the painter of The Anguished Man was anguished himself, and reportedly mixed his blood in with his paints. The disturbed artist eventually took his own life.

The Anguished Man is so famous that the film rights for a movie about it were acquired in 2016. 

Purple Crocus in Bloom during Daytime in a graveyardPixabay, Pexels

Busby's Stoop Chair

Busby's stoop chair, also known as the Dead Man's Chair, has a dark history. As the story goes, Thomas Busby placed a curse on the oak chair before he was hung in 1702 in North Yorkshire.

The sign of the Busby Stoop pub, where the chair was previously in useMaigheach-gheal, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Don't Sit On It

Following Busby's demise, the chair took up residence at the Busby Stoop Inn. But those who sat on the chair often met unfortunate ends.

Busby Stoop Inn and garage, cloudy sky in background.Nick W, Wikimedia Commons

The Airmen Didn't Survive

Allegedly, during WWII, a group of Canadian airmen visited the pub. Unfortunately, the men who sat in Busby's chair didn't escape the war alive. Then, in the 1970s, even more accidents were attributed to the haunted chair. Something had to be done.

Busby Stoop inn where The Busby's stoop chair or the Dead Man's Chair is an oak chair that was supposedly usedThe Busby Stoop, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

It Was Stored Out Of Reach

In 1978, the landlord of Busby Stoops Inn donated the chair to Thirsk Museum. However, nobody was allowed to sit in the chair from then on. Hung from the ceiling, not even maintenance workers could get their hands on it.

 Birthplace Of Thomas Lord now Thirsk MuseumTim Green from Bradford, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is gorgeous but dangerous. The piece is 45.52 carats and is insured for $250 million, but it's probably a good thing that it's behind glass at the Smithsonian.

The Hope Diamond, one of the largest of all blue diamonds, 45.52 carats, exhibited at the National MuseumUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Those Who Wore It Perished

Allegedly, the Hope Diamond's curse dates back to the 17th century. Many who have worn the heavy necklace have met terrible misfortunes. There were many cases of owners taking their own lives or meeting gruesome ends.

The Hope Diamond in its new, temporary setting. in Washington DCMetal Chris, Flickr

It Was Taken Without Permission

According to the myth, the original Hope Diamond came from a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. However, after it was stolen, the reports of bad luck began.

Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington DCMbalotia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

James Dean's Car

It's widely known that the young James Dean passed in a tragic car accident on September 30, 1955, but some believe that his crashed car was cursed.

 James Dean's last hours September 1955. Stood beside his Porsche 550 just before he was to set of to a race meeting at Selinasalan farrow, Flickr

A Chilling Prediction

A week before his accident, Dean actor showed the silver Porsche to fellow actor Alec Guinness. Reportedly, Guinness told Dean, "Please, never get in it. It is now ten o'clock, Friday the 23rd of September, 1955. If you get in that car you will be found dead in it by this time next week". He was right.

Close up Photo of Porsche 550 SpyderKirill Borisenko, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

There Were Mysterious Accidents

In 1956, man named George Barris put the wrecked Porsche on display and marketed it as being cursed. He claimed that between 1956 and 1960, there were a number of accidents linked to the parts that came from Dean's car.

Photo of Porsche 550 Spyder 1500 RS racing carStefan Lambauer, Shutterstock

Others Met Fiery Ends

In Barris's book Cars of the Stars, he writes that the man "driving a car powered by the engine from Dean's car, was killed when his vehicle went out of control and struck a tree in the first race in which the motor had been used since Dean's mishap".

Close up Photo of Porsche 550 SpyderAlexandre Prévot, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Porsche Disappeared

In a bizarre twist, Dean's car also disappeared in 1960. Barris claimed hat the porsche had been transported in a sealed boxcar, traveling from a traffic safety exhibit in Florida. However, when it reached LA, there was nothing inside the boxcar. The car was gone.

1949 Mercury Series 9CM 6-Passenger Coupe (James Dean) & 1954 Porsche 550 SpyderFlickr, Jack Snell

The Woman From Lemb

The Woman From Lemb is a limestone statue dating back to 3,500 BC—and it was discovered in 1878 in Cyprus. But this statue cursed any family who owned it.

Lemba Lady, a cruciform female figurine, c.41st century BC, Cyprus MuseumHéctor Ochoa 'Robot8A', CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Its Owners Met Dark Ends

Reportedly, the first family who owned the Woman From Lemb only lasted six years. By the end, all seven members had lost their lives. But that was just the beginning.

Building of the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia, CyprusA.Savin, Wikimedia Commons

She Went On A Rampage

Ivor Menucci, the second owner, also perished after owning the statue for just four years. After that, the Woman From Lemb seemingly disappeared, but when it finally reared its head, the curse struck again.

Lemba Lady, a cruciform female figurine, c.41st century BC, Cyprus MuseumHéctor Ochoa 'Robot8A', CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

They Washed Their Hands Of Her

The third family to lay claim to the Woman From Lemb also saw so tragedy—but finally came to their senses and gave the unlucky artifact to the Royal Scottish Museum.

National Museum of Scotland, Old Town, Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, ScotlandBilly Wilson, Flickr

The Dark Mirror

The Dark Mirror is an artifact that belongs to the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult. However, the mirror's original owner supposedly bought the piece from a psychic fair.

Grayscale Photo of Oval Mirror hanging on a wallVinícius Estevão, Pexels

It Shows You A Nightmare

The original owner of the cursed mirror reported seeing terrible things in the artifact's reflection. Even now, it is common for visitors to see their own deceased bodies when looking into the mirror's depths.

 Grayscale Photo of Southern German Mirror frame Woodwork-Furniture, hanging on the wallMetropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons

The Dybbuk Box

The Dybbuk Box is such an infamous object, it helped inspire the horror flick, The Possession. Allegedly, it is a wine box that has been possessed by a malevolent demon known as a dybbuk. This spirit comes from Jewish mythology.

This box, often related to the story of a KennyBiddle, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

A Terrifying Auction

In 2001, the Dybbuk Box earned its notoriety after being sold on eBay. The seller claimed that the original owner was a Holocaust survivor, and that he'd purchased the artifact from an estate sale. Unfortunately, the box seemed haunted.

Close-up Photo of a Vintage Trunk BarMichael Villanueva, Pexels

It Caused Bad Dreams

The seller also claimed that paranormal activity came hand in hand with the Dybbuk Box, and that he'd been the victim of terrifying nightmares. 

Today, the artifact belongs to the paranormal enthusiast Zak Bagan, who became its owner in 2017. It can be found in Zak Bagan's The Haunted Museum.

Portrait Photo of Zak (Zachary) Alexander Bagans wearing black outfitAlejamte, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Tomb Of Tutankhamun

In 1922, the archaeologist Howard Carter and a group of excavators made the fantastic discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. It quickly became the most renowned pioneering moment in Egyptology's history. But dark rumors swirled around the occasion.

Discovery of the tomb of TutankhamunMaynard Owen Williams, Wikimedia Commons

Rumors Flourished

During the excavation, disaster struck. One of Carter's patrons—the Earl of Carnarvon—lost his life to an infection. Many began whispering that his demise was the result of the tombo's curse. This was only reinforced when other bizarre and tragic events became linked to the historical site.

Tutankhamun Tomb PhotographsHarry Burton, Wikimedia Commons



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