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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Haunted or Cursed Objects (Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area book tour) + giveaway

Haunted or Cursed Objects

by Pamela Kinney

I have a new release tomorrow from Schiffer Publishing: Paranormal Petersburg, and the Tri-Cities Area. This is my fifth nonfiction ghost book. I have five ghost images the reader will be able to see and other spooky things that happened to me. But let me talk about haunted or cursed objects.

Can spirits be attached to objects? Haunt them? Items like jewelry, furniture, statues, and other things a person owned in life? Just as they can haunt buildings or land? There is belief that ghosts are attached to objects they owned in life.

Most hauntings are associated with houses, castles, and other things that go bump in the night, but hauntings can include articles—like the Hope Diamond. When a person buys something from antique shops, or purchase something on eBay, if it is old and previously owned by someone who passed away, that dead person may still have an attachment to that object and unable to give it up. There is even items on eBay that people admit carry paranormal activity or are cursed. Hauntings have gone so mainstream, that eBay has a “Guide to Buying Haunted Items.”

One such famous cursed item is the "Hope Diamond.". It had a curse that foretold bad luck and death not only for the owner of the diamond, but for all who touched it. Several centuries ago, a man named Tavernier made a trip to India. While there, he stole a large blue diamond from the forehead (or eye) of a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. For this transgression, according to the legend, Tavernier was torn apart by wild dogs on a trip to Russia (after he had sold the diamond). This was the first horrible death attributed to the curse.

Whether or not you believe in the curse, the Hope diamond has intrigued people for centuries. Its perfect quality, its large size, and its rare color make it unique and beautiful. Add to this a varied history which includes being owned by King Louis XIV, stolen during the French Revolution, sold to earn money for gambling, worn to raise money for charity, to end up donated to the Smithsonian Institution where one can view it. 

There are other “haunted, or cursed” items. Like a painting titled “Hands Resist Him.” It was done by Bill Stoneham in 1972. Years later, a family found the painting in a dumpster and thought they’d found some free artwork. After taking it home, their 4-year-old daughter claimed the children in the painting were fighting. An experiment was done, by the family as they recorded the painting over several nights. Supposedly, the figures moved within the painting in the video. They made a claim too, that the owner of the gallery where the painting was first displayed and a Los Angeles Times critic who reviewed the show died within one year of the art show. Of course, was this due to the painting? The family sold it on eBay along with the story for $1,025. Someone apparently believed it was cursed to purchase it..

“The Crying Boy” was painted by Bruno Amadio, and is not just one painting, but a mass-produced print with numerous alternative versions, all with young boys or girls crying. These were distributed in the 1950s. The stories about these particular paintings began in the 1980s after a fireman in England claimed he kept coming across the paintings in burned houses. Funny thing, the paintings were remarkably untouched. The newspaper, The Sun, gave readers a chance to bring in the paintings and destroy them in a bonfire. Psychics said the painting was haunted by the spirit of the boy or girl it depicts. If someone wanted the curse lifted, the owner must hang a boy and girl crying together, or pass the painting onto another person.

I watched an episode on William Shatner's paranormal TV show on SyFy one time. It was about a doll called Robert that had been owned by painter Eugene Otto, and allegedly was cursed. Otto got the doll as a gift in 1906 from a servant supposedly skilled in black magic. Neighbors reported seeing the doll moving from window to window. Otto screamed at night and claimed that the doll turned over furniture. When he died in 1974, the doll fell into the hands of a 10-year-old girl who also began to scream at night, saying that the doll tried to kill her. Robert is now in the Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens in Key West, Florida, where guests can take a picture with him. But if they make fun of him, visitors declared that bad things happen to them. They send letters to the doll and ask him to forgive them, so their curse will be lifted. The doll is the inspiration for the movie “Child’s Play.”

The wedding dress of Anna Baker at Baker Mansion is supposedly haunted. In the mid-1800s, Anna became engaged to a man her father did not approve of. Her father sent him away. The wedding never took place, the dress sat unused, and Anna died an old maid. Since then, after it was bought by a historical society, visitors of the mansion in Altoona, Pennsylvania have seen the dress flutter in its glass case. Does the spirit of Anna still want to wear it, or maybe she wanted to be buried in it?

The Roosevelt Hollywood Hotel is famous as the address of the first Academy Awards in 1929. Marilyn Monroe also stayed as a resident for two years. Now, it is now a swank party place for Hollywood’s hip crowd. While there have been “sightings” on the ninth floor, Cabana Suite 213 and Blossom Ballroom, it is the mirror that used to hang in Monroe’s room—now in storage--that concerns being on this list. It is said, that when you gaze into the mirror, you might see more than your own reflection. A busty blond is what has been seen. Is it Marilyn Monroe?

Ah, here is another paranormal active doll for your pleasure—Annabelle. Annabelle was a Raggedy Ann doll given to a girl named Donna in the 1970s. Messages started appearing on parchment paper in a child’s handwriting, and yet, there was no parchment paper stored in the house. The family contacted a medium and learned that a young girl named Annabelle Higgins died and that she “possessed” the doll because she felt comfortable with the family. The father Lou had nightmares about the doll trying to kill him. He even gotten clawed in the chest from something unseen. The family felt they had been deceived through the medium by "the Father of Lies” and not by any young girl. They had an exorcism performed and got rid of the doll. It now resides in an occult museum. If you saw the 2014 horror movie, Annabelle, you seen Annabelle, except they did not use a Raggedy Ann doll. 

Who hasn't heard of the "curse" of James Dean's car "Little Bastard?" It has become part of America's cultural mythology. Warren Beath, a James Dean archivist and author, believes the source of the myth is Hollywood's George Barris, the self-described "King of the Kustomizers." This man said he was the first to purchase the wrecked Little Bastard. Barris promoted the "curse" after he placed the wreck on public display in 1956. Over the years, Barris described a series of accidents that mysteriously occurred from 1956 to 1960 involving the Little Bastard, resulting in serious injuries to spectators and even a truck driver's death. Porsche historian Lee Raskin states many claims regarding the "curse" of the Little Bastard appear to have been based on Barris' 1974 book, Cars of the Stars.

Myrtles Plantation is known as “one of America’s most haunted homes.” The plantation is supposedly the home of twelve ghosts, and reputedly built over an Indian burial ground. To make it a trifecta of terror, people were also murdered there. But it’s the mirror that contains the spirits of Sara Woodruff and her children that gets the haunted object award. After their deaths, as per custom back then, the mirrors were covered to keep souls from entering them, but someone forgot to cover this one. It is said that they are trapped forever in it. Visitors have reported seeing hand prints in the mirror.

Let’s talk about the bunk bed aired on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries.” In 1987, Allen and Deborah Tallman from Horicon, Wisconsin bought a bunk bed from a second-hand shop for their kids. Suddenly there are noises, a snow blower moving for no reason, and unexplained illness. The parents began to believe their children’s bunk bed was haunted. They buried the bed in a landfill. Nothing after that.

So next time you check out eBay and noticed a curse object for sale, like the dybbuk box, which is a cabinet with a demon in it, don’t. Or take it with a grain of salt and go ahead, purchase it. Just if thong happen in your place, do not said I did not warn you…..

Pamela K. Kinney
Journey to worlds of fantasy, beyond the stars, and into the vortex of terror with the written word of Pamela K. Kinney.

Excerpt from Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area: 

Poe’s Honeymoon Suite on the Second Floor

I walked into the sitting room of the suite and dropped my bag of paranormal investigating equipment and my purse on the old-fashioned couch. Two matching chairs stood on each side of the couch and an old-fashioned chest of drawers stood between the two windows that looked down onto the street, where you could see the Siege

Museum. A fireplace loomed behind the couch and, across the room, a table stood against the wall. In the other room I found a bed; however, I doubted it was the original bed Poe and his bride shared. Back in the sitting room, I took note of a female mannequin, wearing skimpy underwear and a wedding veil, perched on the ledge of the window, and she appeared to be staring out. An old-fashioned typewriter with a pair of disembodied hands on the keys nestled against the far wall just behind her dangling feet.

The horror writer in me expected them to begin typing at any minute.

I took some pictures with my camera, then employed my pendulum to see if anyone or anything was there and asked if they would swing it back and forth.

Not moving my arm or hand—as I told them, they had to do it—the pendulum went immediately into a heavy swing. After I thanked them and asked them to stop, it came to a standstill. Did that mean Poe and Virginia were there? Or could it be the first owner, Richard Rambaut, the man the psychic sensed? Maybe Hiram himself or even someone else?

Next, I took out the recorder, turned it on, and began an EVP session.

Nothing was noted from the regular EVP session on the second floor when I listened to it later at home, except when I knocked on the table and asked, “Can you do a knock like that?” I did not hear it live when I was present in the house; but on the recording, I heard two knocks exactly like mine, lighter and from elsewhere in the room.

When I used the ghost box for a session, I got interesting results. I’d asked

if Edgar Allan Poe or his wife Virginia were in the room with me; I didn’t receive an answer. Maybe they had been so happy honeymooning here, they felt no reason to return to the building to haunt it. And to be honest, I did not sense Poe at all that day.

“Is there anyone else with me?” I asked.

A man’s voice came across the ghost box. “Yes.”

“Richard Rambaut, are you here?”


“Can you speak in French to me, Richard, to prove it is you.”


“Why are you haunting this building? Can you tell me?”


Either he knew why and did not want to tell me, or he really had no idea why. Maybe, since he’d committed suicide, this caused the doors to the other side to remain closed to him.

I asked, “Can you give me the date of your death?”

There was an answer, but too low to hear. I asked for the date of the spirit’s death again and I heard a partial, “18—”

Then I heard a partial word, sounding like “threat…” The rest cut off or the spirit couldn’t get the balance of it out.

Was this still Richard? Perhaps another spirit? Had he been threatened, or was he threatening me?

I asked if the spirit that had said the name Derek, down in the Rue Morgue, was on the second floor with me. I got an answer to this question with “Yes.”

Who was Derek? I wanted to know, but received no answer.

I asked if Haines was there. Again, I received no answer.

I asked what the spirits thought of Jeff, who now owned the building, or any of the workers downstairs. Nothing.

Then another word popped out. “Fort.” Civil War maybe? I asked, but no one answered me. Maybe this was from a Confederate soldier who had been hospitalized in the building during the Siege.

I left the room to snap more pictures and a “Hello” came out from my box that I’d left with the recorder hear it until I listened to the recording at home. When I drew closer to the room a few minutes later, I heard a man’s voice loud and clear, “Hello!”

I called out, “Hello?”

No one answered me. It was on my recording, but it did not sound as if it came from my ghost box. Had one of the spirits missed me? Richard?

The Derek person?

I used my EMF meter, hoping the ghosts would register on the dial as well, but nothing happened. Finally, after a few more pictures shot in the sitting room (one of the photos of the fireplace had a shadow in it, and yet no shadows were in the picture before or afterwards), I grabbed my flashlight, EMF meter, recorder, and ghost box, and slung the camera around my neck.

Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area
Travel to Petersburg, and the rest of the Tri-Cities area of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Prince George, Dinwiddie, and the nearby areas of Ettrick-Matoaca and Chester to discover what spirits, monsters, UFOs, and legends await the unwary. Find out why the War Between the States is still being fought at Petersburg Battlefield. Why the lady in blue might be still haunting the rooms at Westover Plantation. What the phantoms at Peter Jones Trading Post will do to keep from being photographed. Learn about runaway slaves still hiding on the top floor above the Blue Willow Tea Room. Figure out why the ghostly soldiers enter Centre Hill Mansion January 24th, only to leave again. What phantoms share the Hiram Haines Coffee Shop and Ale House with the living? Is the Goatman still stalking young lovers? Meet the ghosts of Violet Bank Museum that are still greeting guests at the house. All this and many more, haunt these cities and counties. The dead refuse to give up their undead residency.
Schiffer Publishing-Amazon-Barnes and Noble 

About the Author:
Author of Haunted Richmond, Haunted Richmond II, Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales, and Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, & Other Haunted Locations, Pamela K. Kinney has written fiction that enables her readers to journey to worlds of fantasy, go beyond the stars, and dive into the vortex of terror. One of her stories proved heart-stopping enough to be runner up for 2013 WSFA Small Press Award. As Sapphire Phelan, she also writes bestselling paranormal romance with dark heroes and heroines with bite!


  1. I believe spirits are capable of possessing objects. My favorite objects are my books and my grandfather clock my father built

  2. Can't wait to read this it sounds great. Nancy Jones @

  3. How spooky to own a possessed object. Thank you for sharing with us. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com.

  4. I love watching shows about paranormal activity - and horror movies too! Great post. :) My email:

  5. Ah, are you saying that the grandfather clock and your books have spirits haunting them, Steve Degnim? Or that they are just favorite objects of yours?

    1. The clock hasn't worked since he passed, and my books will probably be possessed when I pass

  6. Thank you for your comments, Steve, Michelle Willms, CJ Burright, and Nancy Jones. Good luck on winning the signed copy.

  7. I've always been frightened by things I can't see. Funny that I love horror stories though. When I retire I plan to spend time visiting some haunted places. Never too old for a good scare.

  8. sounds scary

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  9. Sounds like a great read for this time of year!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  10. not sure how I feel about spirits being attached to objects or buildings. But I've always loved watching shows about paranormal activity or horror films

    tiramisu392 (at)

  11. Thanks for all the comments. Good luck on winning the signed copy of the book.

  12. I too believe objects can be haunted, why not? The unknown has always been so interesting to me, I ofeten wonder when I pass if all the secrets are than unlocked. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Kim Bishop

  13. What an intriguing book! Thanks for sharing the very interesting post on haunted objects.

  14. You're welcome, BookLady. God luck on the winning the signed copy.

  15. Totally creepy! I love your blogs, Pamela!!!!

  16. The winner for this virtual book tour is CJ England. Congratulations to her.