5 Haunted Paintings You Should Never Hang in Your Home

Bare walls never looked so good.

By Diana Vilibert
5 Haunted Paintings You Should Never Hang in Your Home

Art entertains, enriches, and inspires … but can it haunt you? The viewers and owners of these creepy paintings certainly say so. Join us in gazing upon five allegedly haunted paintings that ensure you’ll buy all future artwork from Ikea.


1. The Hands Resist Him, by Bill Stoneham

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Photo Credit: Copyright Darren Kyle O’Neill

Creepy children, creepy dolls, and disembodied hands … this one has it all. Based on a childhood photograph of the artist Bill Stoneham, “The Hands Resist Him” depicts a young boy standing next to a doll. Behind them, hands are pressed against a glass-paneled divider, said to represent the barrier between the waking and dream world. The painting was included in a gallery show and purchased in 1974. By 1984, the gallery owner, the buyer, and the art critic who first wrote about the painting had all died…and that was just the beginning of the painting’s chilling story.

A family selling the painting on eBay claimed their young children saw the boy and doll in the artwork come to life, with the doll pointing a gun at the boy. Some merely viewing the eBay listing claimed they became physically ill and suffered blackouts. The painting eventually sold to gallery owner Kim Smith for $1,025. It now sits in the gallery’s storage space … far away from our walls, thankfully.

2. The Anguished Man, by Unknown

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Still of “The Anguished Man” via MrModnation / Youtube

This painting’s creepy factor begins with its unsettling backstory—Sean Robinson, who got the painting from his grandmother, says the unknown artist used his own blood mixed with oils to paint it, committing suicide shortly after finishing. Since then, Robinson has reported all kinds of chilling occurrences whenever’s he’s displayed the painting—like strange banging noises, a dark figure looming over his bed, and family members falling down the stairs. It’s been locked away in Robinson’s basement, despite offers to buy it—though Robinson updates fans about the painting’s latest creepy incident on his YouTube channel.

3. The Crying Boy, by Bruno Amadio

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Photo Credit: “The Crying Boy” via The Sun

Lucky you—you can actually find a copy of Bruno Amadio’s crying boy print, or one of its many spin-offs. You might grow to regret your acquisition, however. The curse of “The Crying Boy” dates back to 1985, when British tabloid newspaper The Sun reported a tragic house fire in South Yorkshire. As the tale goes, the owners of the house possessed a copy of the teary-eyed portrait when the blaze broke out. Their home was destroyed, yet the framed print survived. The family soon blamed the painting for the fire. A follow-up story was filled with claims from additional victims of the seemingly cursed portrait, many of whom suffered house fires that “The Crying Boy” survived. Readers even reported trying to destroy the painting by setting it on fire … only to discover that it wouldn’t burn.

4. Love Letters, by Richard King

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Photo Credit: “Love Letters” via The Richest

Hanging in The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas (one of the most haunted hotels in the world), “Love Letters” is said to be a replica of another painting by Charles Trevor Garland. The girl in the painting resembles Samantha Houston, the 4-year-old daughter of a U.S. senator who fell to her death while chasing a ball down a staircase. Though the piece doesn’t depict Samantha, hotel visitors think that the little girl attached herself to the painting—they’ve reported feeling nauseous while viewing the work, seeing the little girl’s facial expressions change, and encountering her ghost bouncing a ball throughout the hotel.

5. The Dead Mother, by Edvard Munch

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Photo Credit: “The Dead Mother” via Wikiart

The creepy children muse continues to inspire in this unsettling work. While you may know Expressionist artist Edvard Munch as the artist behind “The Scream,” it’s another one of his eerie paintings that some say is haunted. Painted about 30 years after Munch’s own mother died from tuberculosis, the piece depicts a horrified young girl standing in front of her mother’s body in bed. Viewers of the painting claim the girl’s eyes follow their movements—and some have even said they heard the dead woman’s bed sheets rustling.


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Feature photo: MrModnation / Youtube