The eBay haunted painting
                                                       (Appeared in the
Clermont Sun on 02/14/19)

Here are a few things you can find on the internet: cars, pets, food, computers, and even a date! But have you ever heard of anyone buying a ghost or a haunted painting? Apparently, you can buy haunted items on the internet. Let’s go back to an interesting eBay item that sold. Someone had auctioned off a painting called the “Haunted Painting.” The item even came with an extensive disclaimer.

It said the buyer assumed all liability for any medical mishaps associated with supernatural events. I found this the most interesting part of the story. The disclaimer almost encourages potential buyers not to buy the painting. So what happens if you buy a haunted painting and it releases supernatural forces?

Could someone sue another person for selling them a haunted painting? I have seen where people have tried to sue realtors for not disclosing that a house might be haunted.


An artist named Bill Stoneham was born in Boston in 1947. In 1972, he painted The Hands Resist Him.” I admit the painting is a little strange, but I have never heard of a haunted painting. In Stoneham’s painting, there is a boy and a girl doll standing in front of a glass pain with several sets of hands in the background. According to Stoneham, he is the five-year-old boy in the painting. Here is how he explains his painting:

“There are memories, echoes of all the life within a place. Maybe it's what's called channeling. When I painted the Hands Resist Him in 1972, I used an old photo of myself 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.”

An actor named John Marley, who appeared in a film titled “The Godfather” bought the painting in the 1970s. He owned the painting until he died in 1984. Afterward, a couple found the painting abandoned near a brewery. They found the painting interesting and kept it.

This is where things got weird. The couple had a young daughter who said she could hear arguing coming from the painting. The arguments involved the boy and the doll. She even said the battery the doll was holding turned into a gun. The doll then used the gun to force the boy into leaving the painting and entering reality.

The family claimed they tried to reassure their daughter the painting wasn’t real by setting up a special camera to monitor the painting. They claimed on the third day, the camera captured the boy leaving the painting as their daughter had claimed.

After this incident, the couple sold the painting on eBay in 2000. They even included a picture of the boy leaving the painting. I have read the eBay ad and it is creepy.

I then wondered if the picture caused some strange mass hysteria. It’s alleged that some people who followed the auction experienced headaches from just gazing at the picture. The sellers even asked that people not use the picture as a background image on their computer.

The couple opened the bid at $199, but sold it for $1,025.00. The new owners must be satisfied with their picture because I saw no additional complaints or strange stories involving the painting.

Since Stoneham’s original painting, he has done progressions which depict the doll becoming human and the boy becoming an old man. The works are titled:

  • Resistance at the Threshold (2004)
  • Threshold of Revelation (2012)
  • The Hands Invent Him (2017)

I am not an art collector, but I found this to be an interesting story. Was the original painting haunted? Although I can neither prove nor disprove the claim, I don’t receive any strange vibes from looking at it.  Just know I won’t be buying any prints anytime soon. 

Marc is a longtime resident of Clermont County and an avid reader. He can be contacted through his website at, through Facebook: or his twitter account @themarcabe. And be sure to listen to his podcast at