Is This Painting of a Young Girl Haunted? Every Owner Seems to Think So
Delayed flights, malfunctioning wi-fi, and even a fatality have surrounded the painting.
The portrait looks perfectly ordinary: a blank-faced young girl wearing a red dress with a matching bow.
Over the past six months, however, the girl’s impact on those who have encountered her has been abnormal. The portrait has been called haunted and garnered considerable internet and tabloid attention. It’s now the property of The London Bridge Experience, an immersive horror attraction.
The portrait first appeared in a charity shop in St. Leonards-on-Sea, a small town on the south coast of England. The shop’s manager said the portrait was donated along with a number of other pictures and frames and sold quickly.
Within two days, the buyer had returned the picture, claiming it had a creepy aura. The manager duly placed the portrait in the window, pricing it at £20 ($24) and adding a note that read “possibly cursed.”
A second woman bought the painting and then returned it, saying it had terrified her and left her feeling distressed. The manager put the young girl back in the shop window, now with a note that read “She’s back!!! Sold twice and returned twice! Are you brave enough?”
In a twist, the second buyer changed her mind, following the attention she gained from posting about the portrait on social media, and took it back. The London Bridge Experience, in turn, bought it back from her on eBay for $2,042.
According to the attraction’s manager, James Kislingbury, the portrait’s strange effects continued. Upon picking up the portrait, his car broke down. Staff placed the young girl in the entrance to The London Bridge Experience and before long the wifi cut off, the security cameras stopped working, the washing machine broke, and the televisions turned off. The tech support could find no reason for the malfunctions.
Kislingbury said the haunting gained a personal element once he went on holiday. He dislocated his shoulder in a bizarre waterslide accident, someone died on a ferry where he was a passenger, and his flight was delayed.
“As the U.K.’s top scare attraction, nothing normally scares us,” he says. “We’ve had previous paranormal experiences – but this has been off the scale. We’re hoping that she will finally be able to rest here with us.”
Located beneath London Bridge, the London Bridge Experience takes visitors on a tour of the dark side of England’s capital with actors introducing figures such as Jack the Ripper and Guy Fawkes and events such as the plague and the Great Fire of London.
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