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Cursed Painting – The Hands Resist Him

As somebody who has been interested in all aspects of the paranormal, I love it when I come across unsettling true-life accounts. Of course, the true-life bit is often up for debate, but when I read about so-called cursed painting, The Hands Resist Him, I couldn’t help but dig a little deeper.


The Hands Resist Him, artist Bill Stoneham

Painted by artist Bill Stoneham in 1972, The Hands Resist Him is a painting which seems to unnerve a lot of people. Taking a good look at it myself – I can see why. The legend of the curse aside, there does seem to be something creepy about the painting itself. I’m not sure if it’s the toy girl (who has come to life) on the left hand side, or the disembodied hands clawing at the darkened window, but there is just something off about this depiction.

According to Stoneham, the boy is based on a photograph of himself at age five, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the waking world and the world of fantasy and impossibilities, while the doll is a guide that will escort the boy through it.

One family who purchased this painting said that the children’s figures moved, and that they had even caught this movement on camera. The family sold this painting on eBay, declaring that it was haunted. The eBay listing was viewed thousands of times. Some of these viewers complained to the seller about experiencing paranormal phenomena after merely visiting the listing.

One reported hearing an exorcist-type voice, along with a blast of hot air,” the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review reported.

“Another reported that he became ill while viewing the painting and had to burn white sage to cleanse his house afterward. Another reported ‘blackout/mind control experiences.'”

By the time the painting was sold to gallery owner Kim Smith for over a thousand dollars, its legend had spread across the Internet.  Rumours of previous owners dying, and people hearing disembodied voices whilst viewing it became legendary.

Today, the painting rests in a storage pocket in Smith’s gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Do I believe that a painting or object can be cursed or haunted? I’m not sure, but this story certainly creeps me out!



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