Haunted Possessions
Can furniture, jewelry, or toys be haunted?
By Sarah Harrison
If you're a paranormal investigator you've heard stories about haunted furniture,
toys, jewelry, etc. Is it possible to buy some antiques and bring home more than
you paid for?  Can spirits be attached to an item rather than a place? Some seem
to think it's possible. On a certain TV show (Paranormal State) a piano was
haunted by a malevolent spirit and was dispatched by chopping up the piano and
burning it. Seems a waste of a beautiful antique. If someone had a favorite piece
of jewelry and wore it constantly, perhaps the spirit would be attached to this
jewelry. But would a person be attached to a chest of drawers or a wash stand?

I had the experience of living in a haunted house. Many people told me my
ghosts came with the antique furniture that I bought at an estate auction. I was
rather skeptical, not about the ghosts, but about ghosts hitchhiking on furniture
and other items. When I bought my current home and moved, the ghosts did not
move with me. That tells me the ghosts were attached to the place, not my

There is the story of the death chair in the English village of  Thirsk. The legend
states that a condemned prisoner sat in the chair to eat his last meal before
being hanged. When he finished this meal, he cursed the chair and said all who
sat in the chair would die. Well, it seems that people who sat in the chair were
dying left and right, so the chair was hidden away. The chair came into the
possession of a pub owner who put the chair in a corner with a sign that read
"do not sit in this chair." Well, that was like catnip to a cat for some people. The
pub owner told the story of a couple of soldiers drinking in the pub, who were
told the cursed chair story. Armed with liquid courage, they took turns sitting in
the chair. They left the pub and died in a car accident a mile down the road. Soon
after, a cleaning lady was cleaning around the chair and tripped and fell into it.
She died soon afterwards. After that, the pub owner hung the chair from the wall
so no one would be able to sit in it again. Was the chair haunted?  Or because of
the curse legend and few coincidental deaths, a ghost legend was born? As
skeptical as I am, I would not sit in that chair. (OK, I'm a coward.)

The most famous story of a haunted toy is Robert of Key West, FL. Robert the Doll
was given to Robert Eugene Otto as a child. Young Gene (as Otto was known),
loved the doll and played with it constantly. But Robert seem to take on a life of
his own. Objects were found broken in Robert's presence, the family heard the
pitter patter of tiny feet around the house, and Gene seemed to grow afraid of

After Gene grew to adulthood and married, Robert was banished to the attic. To
her horror, Mrs. Otto heard the pitter patter of little feet in the attic and even
heard singing coming from the attic. After Gene passed away in 1972, the house
stood empty for a long time. The house gained a reputation for being haunted
and people claimed to see Robert looking out the attic window. After the home
was finally purchased, Robert was donated to the East Martello Museum. Of
course, the museum workers claim that Robert wanders the museum at night.
Some security guards claimed to have seen him. He was finally placed in a glass
case to make him stay put. Peppermint candy is placed in the case to bribe
Robert not to roam. The peppermint candies allegedly disappear during the
night. There is a story that during a hurricane, the museum was flooded. Robert
was found up in the rafters, even though the museum only flooded about a foot,
no where close to the rafters.
There are other stories of haunted toys, such as a child who had a rocking horse
he loved to play with. After his death, the rocking horse would rock by itself.  
There is the story of a man who collected "Lost In Space" memorabilia. After his
death, the robot toy would turn on by itself.  The widow would turn the robot off
only to have it turn on again.

With the exception of  Robert the doll, are these last examples really haunted
possessions, or are the spirits of the owners merely returning to interact with
favorite items?  According to Sylvia Browne, "a spirit might have a lingering
fondness for an object and want to come visit it. Also, every object is capable of
holding an imprint that may or may not be a happy one." So if it's an imprint, this
would be more of a residual haunting than an actual possession by a human
spirit. For example, someone who buys an antique ring, may experience images
of a different time and place and feel emotions, good and bad, when handling the
ring. This phenomenon is called psychometry. Psychometry means the ability to
read objects. Sensitive people are able to read an object and discern some of
the history associated with it.

Haunted mirror stories seem to be very common. There are many photos of what
looks like faces or figures in mirrors. Some can be explained away by matrixing,
but not all. It is said that mirrors can become portals to the other side. I've been
told never to hang a mirror on an outside wall (ie. a wall with no room on the
other side) or it would become a portal. A famous haunted mirror resides at the
Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana. Contrary to popular belief, the mirror is not
original to the house. It was purchased in the '70's by the home's owner in a New
Orleans antique shop. Over the years people have photographed this mirror and
it's said that something paranormal will show up 50% of the time. Many in the
world still believe that you should cover a mirror if someone dies in a room and
their image is reflected in a mirror. They believe that the mirror will capture the
dead person’s soul, thus preventing it's entry into heaven. Many folks cover all
the mirrors in the house for a set number of days after a death so the spirits will
not see themselves in the mirror on their way out. Some passed down oral
traditions state the Devil invented mirrors for the specific purpose of ensnaring
souls. A horror movie called
Mirrors, staring Kiefer Sutherland, demonstrates
this idea of souls becoming trapped in a mirror. With the typical gory Hollywood
outcome, of course.

An excellent book about a haunted item is
Ghost by Katherine Ramsland. In the
book, the author comes in possession of a ring that belonged to a murder victim.
I recommend the book to learn everything you should NOT do as a paranormal

Selling "haunted" items seems to be very popular on the internet. Go to Ebay
and type in haunted and you will find page after page of "haunted" items. From
jewelry blessed by witches to items haunted by ghosts. I bought a "haunted" cat
statue from Ebay. The item description stated the statue would move from room
to room by itself, never staying in the same place. The owners were too spooked
to keep it.  I've now had the statue several years and it has never moved from
the spot I placed it. I guess the haunted statue likes it's new home.

While amusing myself trolling the Haunted section of Ebay, I came across a little
"haunted" plastic toy in the shape of a black cat. It looked like one of those
cheap prizes you win in arcades. The seller stated that he found the toy in a
abandoned haunted house while doing an investigation and brought it home
with him. He went on the detail all the dire things that have happened to him
since bringing the toy home. He was asking $2,000 for it!  And people were
actually bidding on it. P.T. Barnum was right when he said, "there's a sucker born
every minute."

Do you need to be fearful of buying or inheriting items with a history?  I would
say not really. Many people, myself included, buy antiques or inherit things from
deceased relatives and have had no problems. If you start having haunting
activity in your home after you have brought home an item you recently acquired,
contact a psychic. Do not tell the psychic the item you are suspicious of. Let the
psychic do a walk through and see what he/she says. You might then have the
item blessed or call in paranormal investigators. I would really make sure your
possession is guilty of being haunted before chopping up and burning it. If it's
haunted, make every effort to rid it of the ghost before passing the problem on
to someone else by selling it.
"Haunted" Cat Statue owned by Sarah Harrison.