The Tale of Busby’s Chair

The Tale of Busby’s Chair
In the late 1600s, Daniel Awety (sometimes spelled “Auty”) moved from Leeds to a farm just outside the small country village of Kirby Wiske, northwest of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, England, to continue with his illegal work of counterfeiting.

Dan Awety named his freshly acquired farm “Dannoty Hall” after himself. Soon after his purchase of the property, Awety added on to the house, including a hidden room accessed by a secret passage from the cellar, where he conducted his counterfeiting activities.

Thomas Busby, known to be a local drunkard and a brute, married Awety’s daughter, Elizabeth. Awety also took Busby into his counterfeiting business. It is difficult to say which event occurred first.

Awety and Busby had a falling out in early June of 1702, possibly over Busby’s excessive drinking. Awety showed up at the Inn three miles from Dannoty Hall where Thomas and Elizabeth were living (there is some research to indicate that Busby owned the Inn) to confront Busby, who was out at the time.

When Thomas arrived home to find his father-in-law waiting for him in his favorite chair, he became livid; and, the two men argued vehemently. Awety eventually left, and returned to Dannoty Hall.

Busby couldn’t get past his anger at his father-in-law for sitting in his favorite chair. He followed Awety over to Dannoty Hall that evening, where he killed him with a hammer and hid his remains in the nearby woods.

It wasn’t long before Awety’s body was found; and, Busby was arrested at the Inn. He was sentenced to hang. The legend says that he began yelling curses as he was led to the gallows. His curse was for an untimely death to fall on anyone who sat in his favorite chair from that day forward.

Busby was hanged from a makeshift gallows in front of the Inn, and his body was left on display for several days afterwards.

Not only is the ghost of Thomas Busby (with a noose around his neck) reported often in the area of the Inn; but, over the last 300 years there have also been many verified accounts of people dying - soon after sitting in Busby’s favorite chair.

So many individuals have passed away shortly after sitting in the chair; that, in the 1970s, the owner of the business, Tony Earnshaw, had the chair removed from the property.

Since 1978, the famous Busby Stoop Chair has been located in the Thirsk Museum where it is mounted and displayed on a wall high enough that on one can sit in the chair again to tempt the curse of Thomas Busby.

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