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July 2002
The Ebay Haunted Painting
The Hands Resist Him by Bill Stoneham
'The Hands Resist Him' by Bill Stoneham
Over the past two years, the Internet has been buzzing with rumours about a curious item labelled 'the E-bay Haunted Painting'. Here Gavin Bevis takes a look at the phenomenon that got the web world talking...
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The case of the E-bay Haunted Painting has now become part of Internet folklore.

E-bay is a popular shopping website where people can put their unwanted goods up for auction and sell them to the highest bidder.

In February 2000, an anonymous seller started an auction for a 'Haunted Painting'.

The ad included grim warnings about possible supernatural powers held by the image and told the story of how the painting had affected the sellers' lives since they bought it a year previously.

The Haunted Painting on display
The 'Haunted Painting' as displayed in the original seller's house'

The advert also included a series of pictures of the picture 'changing form' at night - caught on film by a webcam.

The last two pictures purport to show the doll coming to life and using a 'gun' held in her hand to force the boy to leave the painting.

Within hours of the painting appearing on E-bay, its story and link were being passed around the world via the Internet.

Reports began coming in of strange reactions upon viewing the pictures. These included people being violently ill or fainting, children screaming upon seeing the painting and observers being gripped by an 'unseen entity'.

There is no firm evidence to substantiate these claims, but what is without doubt is that the bidding price of the painting shot up - from a first bid of $199 to a final price of $1050 in just 30 days.

The buyer, who wished to remain anonymous, later gave an interview to paranormal website 'Surfing the Apocalypse' about their experience with the 'haunted' painting.

Reports included people being violently ill or fainting, children screaming upon seeing the painting and observers being gripped by an 'unseen entity'.

They said that whilst they had experienced nothing strange themselves, they had began receiving emails from people who had viewed the painting over the Internet.

The buyer said: "Experiences include an exorcist type of voice along with a blast of hot air like standing in front of an oven door.

"A new Epson printer that ate and mutilated page after page when the user tried to download images of the painting."

Revealingly, the buyer revealed plans to sell reproduction prints of the pictures over the Internet and eventually sell the painting on.

So it looks likely the painting is haunted more by hype than by the supernatural. But who knows? Take a look at the images and let us know if you experience anything out of the ordinary....

See more pictures and read the ad >>

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