Monday, March 11, 2013
The Haunted Ebay Painting
In February, 2000 the sudden appearance of a rather strange painting with the accompanying title of "Haunted Painting" made it's debut on Ebay.com.
Of course a title like this is going to attract attention and it's still discussed to this day whether the painting is genuinely haunted or not.
Even stranger is the reactions that the general public had when viewing the photos of the painting.
Artists, especially visual artists, are barometers for the currents which run through this collective.
Dreams are a common experience people may have with this. Anyway, my own experience is a sensitivity to place– physical, geographical place.
There are memories, echoes of all the life within a place. Maybe it's what's called channeling.
When Bill Stoneham painted the `Hands Resist Him` in 1972, he used an old photo of himself at age five in a Chicago apartment.
The hands are the 'other lives.'
The glass door, that thin veil between waking and dreaming.
The girl/doll is the imagined companion, or guide through this realm.
Both the owner of the Gallery where 'Hands' was displayed and the Los Angeles Times art critic who reviewed his show were dead within a year of the show.
"I'm sure it was coincidence, but some of what I paint resonates in other people, opening the inner door, or basement. By the way, I still have no idea what happened to the character actor ( John Marley, who died in 1984) who bought the painting at the show, or how it ended up abandoned in a building, though I could speculate." - Bill
The original ebay text that accompanied the painting
WHEN WE RECEIVED THIS PAINTING, WE THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY GOOD ART. A " PICKER " HAD FOUND IT ABANDONED BEHIND AN OLD BREWERY. AT THE TIME WE WONDERED A LITTLE WHY A SEEMINGLY PERFECTLY FINE PAINTING WOULD BE DISCARDED LIKE THAT. ( TODAY WE DON'T !!! ) ONE MORNING OUR 4 AND 1/2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER CLAIMED, THAT THE CHILDREN IN THE PICTURE WERE FIGHTING, AND COMING INTO THE ROOM DURING THE NIGHT. NOW, I DON'T BELIEVE IN UFOS OR ELVIS BEING ALIVE, BUT MY HUSBAND WAS ALARMED. TO MY AMUSEMENT HE SET UP A MOTION TRIGGERED CAMERA FOR THE NIGHTS. AFTER THREE NIGHTS THERE WERE PICTURES.THE LAST TWO PICTURES SHOWN ARE FROM THAT 'STAKEOUT'. AFTER SEEING THE BOY SEEMINGLY EXITING THE PAINTING UNDER THREAT, WE DECIDED, THE PAINTING HAS TO GO.PLEASE JUDGE FOR YOURSELF. --- BEFORE YOU DO, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING WARNING AND DISCLAIMER. ----WARNING: DO NOT BID ON THIS PAINTING IF YOU ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO STRESS RELATED DISEASE, FAINT OF HEART OR ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH SUPERNATURAL EVENTS. BY BIDDING ON THIS PAINTING, YOU AGREE TO RELEASE THE OWNERS OF ALL LIABILITY IN RELATION TO THE SALE OR ANY EVENTS HAPPENING AFTER THE SALE, THAT MIGHT BE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PAINTING. THIS PAINTING MAY OR MAY NOT POSESS SUPERNATURAL POWERS, THAT COULD IMPACT OR CHANGE YOUR LIFE. HOWEVER, BY BIDDING YOU AGREE TO EXCLUSIVELY BID ON THE VALUE OF THE ARTWORK, WITH DISREGARD TO THE LAST TWO PHOTOS FEATURED IN THIS AUCTION, AND HOLD THE OWNERS HARMLESS IN REGARD TO THEM AND THEIR IMPACT, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.------------ NOW THAT WE GOT THIS OUT OF THE WAY, ONE QUESTION TO YOU EBAYERS. WE WANT OUR HOUSE TO BE BLESSED AFTER THE PAINTING IS GONE, DOES ANYBODY KNOW, WHO IS QUALIFIED TO DO THAT? THE SIZE OF THE PAINTING IS 24 BY 36 INCHES, SO IT IS RATHER LARGE. AS I HAVE HAD SEVERAL QUESTIONS, HERE THE FOLLOWING ANSWERS. THERE WAS NO ODOR LEFT BEHIND IN THE ROOM. THERE WERE NO VOICES, OR THE SMELL OF GUNPOWDER, NO FOODPRINTS OR STRANGE FLUIDS ON THE WALL. TO DETER QUESTIONS IN THIS DIRECTION, THERE ARE NO GHOSTS IN THIS WORLD , NO SUPERNATURAL POWERS, THIS IS JUST A PAINTING, AND MOST THESE THINGS HAVE AN EXPLANATION, IN THIS CASE PROBABLY A FLUKE LIGHT EFFECT. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO BID ON THE ARTWORK, AND CONSIDER THE LAST TWO PHOTOGRAPHS AS PURE ENTERTAINMENT, AND PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THEM INTO CONSIDERATION, WHEN BIDDING. AS WE THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO BLESS ANY HOUSE, WE STILL WELCOME INPUT INTO THAT PROCEDURE.
This auction is nearing the end. I want to thank the more than 13000 people that took the time to look at this image on Ebay. I appreciate the more than 30 suggestions, that I received regarding blessing the house, exorcising and cleansing. 7 e-mails reported strange or irregular events taking place, when viewing this image. And I will relay two suggestions made by the senders. First not to use this image as the background on the screen, and second not to display this image around juveniles or children. Last not least, thanks for appreciating the art as well.
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.
What is the truth?
The buyer, who wished to remain anonymous, later gave an interview to paranormal website 'Surfing the Apocalypse' about their experience with the 'haunted' painting.
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?