This week, I read an interesting and frightening book by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, called The Heart-Shaped Box, about a ghost sold on Ebay. It just so happened that I also watched a story from King’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes called “The Road Virus Heads North.” I started to wonder if anything haunted had ever been sold on Ebay . . . for real. Of course there was . . . seems you can find just about anything you desire at that cyber shop.
The haunted item could not have been more perfect: a painting called “Hands Resist Him.” The piece was completed in 1972 by Bill Stoneham, an artist from Oakland, California (www.stonehamstudios.com). You can view the strange painting at that site, or at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28609492191.
Stoneham modeled the young boy in the painting after a picture of himself at the age of five. The doll-like girl is a representation of a neighbor, also in the picture with him.
Stoneham explains that the glass door is “a thin veil between waking and dreaming.” The hands beyond the glass door represent other lives or opportunities. The girl is his guide through the door.
In 1973, “Hands Resist Him” was purchased from an art gallery in Los Angeles by a character actor, John Marley. The owner of the gallery and an art critic from L.A. who reviewed Stoneham’s show both died soon after the piece was sold. Marley died in 1984.
Oddly, the painting somehow made its way to an abandoned brewery before it was found by a couple with a four-year-old little girl in 2000. The family hung the piece in their daughter’s bedroom.
The child began complaining that the boy and girl in the painting “were fighting” and “coming into the room at night.”
The father captured several photos with a motion-triggered camera which some believe show the boy departing the picture, and the girl appearing to threaten the boy. I can’t quite see this, but the family decided to sell the painting on Ebay.
It was listed in February of 2000 as “Haunted Painting.”
Becoming quite a phenomenon, viewers of the painting started to complain of odd experiences such as hearing voices, having visions, feeling ill, and experiencing blackouts.
In late summer of 2001, the Perceptions Gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan purchased the painting for $1,200 on Ebay, where it remains to this day.
Stoneham is a little perplexed about how his piece of art has become such a spooky sensation. That was not his intention.
You can check out the original advertisement on Ebay at the following sites.
For further information/References: