Can an object be haunted? It’s a question that has a different answer depending on who you ask, though many stories over the years have suggested that departed souls can – and have – used inanimate objects in order to make contact with the living.
Here on iHorror we’re incredibly fascinated by stories such as those, and given the lasting popularity of our post about Robert ‘the haunted doll,’ it seems that you guys are right there with us on that. So if you’ve been hungry for more paranormal thrills and chills round these parts, we’ve got a real doozy for you tonight.
Gather round the campfire, won’t you?
The story of the so-called ‘Anguished Man’ begins some 25 years ago, when a man by the name of Sean Robinson was gifted a strange painting (above) by his grandmother. According to the story she told him, the old oil painting was made by an artist who killed himself shortly after it was complete, and he allegedly mixed his own blood in with the oils.
When Sean was given the painting by his grandmother, his wife insisted that it be kept in the cellar, as she wasn’t amused by the creepy art or the story that came along with it. But it seems the Anguished Man did not want to be relegated to the cellar, and it wasn’t long before a flood forced Sean to bring it into the house.
Almost as soon as the painting was brought up, Sean claims that life for his family started to get real strange. Mysterious cries became a regular part of their nightly routine, and everyone inside the home claimed to have caught fleeting glimpses of a black figure. On several occasions, Sean saw this figure standing at the foot of his bed, describing him as a tall, middle-aged man with undefined features.
One night, when Sean’s wife went to bed before he did, she felt someone getting into the bed beside her. Thinking it was her husband, she turned over and found herself staring into the eyes of a stranger, an experience that led her to insist that the painting be locked backed up in the cellar – and the family dog refused to go down there, once it was.
Wondering if the painting truly had some sort of spirit attached to it or if he and his family were merely imagining things, based on the story they were told about it, Sean set up cameras in an effort to document any strange activity, which recorded various noises and orbs. In order to film the painting, it was brought back into the house, and it again wasn’t long before it brought paranormal activity along with it.
Sean says he was particularly spooked when his young son told him that he was pushed down the stairs by an unseen force, as that was the moment when he realized it wasn’t just he and his wife imagining things. Thankfully, his son wasn’t hurt, though his story was the final straw: the painting was once again put down into the cellar.
More recently, this past May, Sean claims to have taken the painting to the UK’s haunted Chillingham Castle, as part of an investigation with a group of paranormal researchers. He says that twenty witnesses saw a large black figure materialize in the middle of a seance circle, and a wooden bench banged on the floor in response to questions asked of the painting.
The bench was at one point violently flipped over, and the investigators believed that one of the Castle’s restless spirits was angered by the invite they sent out to a foreign spirit: the spirit of the Anguished Man.
Despite extensive research, Sean has never been able to find out the name of the artist responsible for the painting, nor has the paranormal activity ceased. Is this mysterious artist trying to tell Sean something? Or has a totally unrelated spirit – perhaps a demon – attached itself to the art?
Your guess is as good as ours…
*If you want to read Sean’s full story, head over to paranormal website Who Forted?*