< Back to blog

Stories Behind The Most Haunted Paintings

Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash

It goes without saying that art is powerful. It can bring people to tears, make them feel joy, and much more. But can pieces of art actually be haunted? In many cases around the world and throughout history, art is rumoured to be haunted by the figures within them. Whether just a feeling that people get when around the painting, or actual eerie events occurring in the surroundings, haunted paintings can cause havoc in many ways. As we countdown to Halloween, we’ve put together a list of some of the most haunted paintings around the world. 

Need supplies for your own Halloween art ideas? Cowling & Wilcox’s range of artist materials at affordable prices is sure to have what you’re looking for, from paints and brushes to canvas and easels.

The Hands Resist Him

The Hands Resist Him is a notoriously haunted painting completed by Bill Stoneham in 1972 depicting a young boy and girl standing in front of a shop window. Though the artist had no bad intentions, the painting has been blamed for the death of a gallery owner and the first critic to ever review the painting. The painting gained a reputation as it was sold on eBay with claims that it was cursed, accompanied by a webcam video of the small boy climbing out of the painting. The little girl’s hands could be seen to be holding a gun and people claim she is forcing the boy out of the painting to cause havoc in the real world. It’s also been said to cause strange things to happen when being viewed, from fainting, black outs, children screaming, and technology malfunctioning.

The Stagecraft or The Hanging Man

This eerie painting is an adaptation of a photograph, which was taken by commercial photographer James Kidd. The photo was taken of the wooden cart and the figure of a headless man was only found after the picture was developed, with no evidence of it being tampered with. The artist, Laura P, was drawn to the photograph and felt she had to paint it. Her oil painting of the photograph was hung in her house, causing inexplicable events. She claims that it has been responsible for a mysterious leak, objects being knocked over, broken items, and even mysterious knocks on doors. Laura has had many offers to buy the painting, however fears what will happen in the homes of buyers.

Source: Wikipedia

The Crying Boy

The Crying Boy has been blamed for countless house fires. Bruno Amadio completed the painting as part of a series of crying orphans and published it under the name Giovanni Bragolin. He made many prints of the painting to sell to tourists following the second World War. Following its distribution, the painting has been found untouched in many burned down homes. Found untouched in many cases, a story began to develop about the boy in the painting: His parents allegedly died in a fire and the orphaned boy cursed every home into which he was taken in. Despite no truth being found in this story, many people refuse to have the painting in their homes.

Source: WikiArt

The Dead Mother

Edvard Munch, the famous painter known for ‘The Scream’, is responsible for The Dead Mother. The painting shows a young girl with her hands at the sides of her face in shock or despair, with her dying mother lying in bed behind her. Munch’s childhood saw the death of his mother and two siblings to Tuberculosis, which appears to be the inspiration of the painting. Many people claim that they feel uneasy around the painting, with her eyes following them round and the sounds of rustling bed sheets echoing near the painting.

Source: Texas Hill Country

Portrait of Samantha Houston

This seemingly sweet painting of a little girl has a dark story behind it. The subject, Samantha, is said to be the 4 year old daughter of a Senator in Texas. Samantha’s father brought his daughter when he stayed at the Driskell Hotel in Austin in 1887, where she unfortunately fell down the stairs when playing with her ball. Since then, her ghost is said to haunt The Driskell where she died. Her painting, completed by Richard King, was hung in the hotel where she died and has focussed the spirit’s alleged activity. A bouncing ball can often be seen in the Hotel lobby, door handles beside the painting rattle, and her expression seems to distort as guests view the painting. Guests have also reported feeling nauseous or a falling feeling around the artwork.

If you’re looking for less spooky inspiration for your art projects, check out our blog on How to Find Inspiration for Your Art.

< Back to blog

Related Products

You may also like....

What is a Medium in Art?

July 11, 2022

Some things you simply can’t know until you look them up. But there’s no need to worry, we’re here to help. When it comes to the fine art world, countless terms can be confusing or misleading when you first start out. A great example of this would be the term “medium”, a word we all […]

read more

How Do Paint Markers Work?

June 08, 2022

Markers are becoming a more and more popular artist medium. With all the benefits of acrylic or oil-based paint without the associated preparation or mess, paint markers are a great way to get into painting if you’re an avid drawer or sketch artist. And with so many surfaces to choose from, from glass to ceramics, […]

read more

Creative Pumpkin Painting Ideas For Halloween

October 23, 2020

Halloween is nearly upon us, and that has many people considering how to decorate this year’s Jack O’Lantern. The Irish tradition of carving turnips for the ancient feast of Samhain has evolved over generations into what we now enjoy today as pumpkin carving for Halloween. The Irish took their traditions of carving a turnip with […]

read more

How To Paint On Wood With Acrylics

April 17, 2020

Wondering how to paint with acrylics on wood? It’s easier than you think to transform a piece of old wood into something beautiful using just a little paint. For this, acrylics on wood are your best choice. While it’s possible to paint on wood right away, there are a few steps that we recommend to […]

read more

Amazing Acrylic Painting Techniques

August 22, 2019

Are you looking for some new acrylic painting ideas? There are some amazing acrylic painting techniques that you may want to try to give your creations a new style. The techniques used for acrylic painting are varied and are specifically tied to its properties, so it’s helpful to have some background knowledge of these acrylic […]

read more

How to Use Pouring Medium When Painting with...

June 01, 2019

Acrylic pour painting, sometimes called fluid or flow art, is a style that captivates many artists and art lovers alike. The unique, smooth swirls and bright colours associated with this form of fluid art appeal to many different types of artists. Using a variety of techniques in your art allows you to create some spectacular […]

read more