Hands Resist Him - The eBay Haunted Painting

Before the Ghost in a Jar, before the possessed Coke can, there was the eBay haunted painting. This genuinely creepy painting, titled Hands Resist Him, appeared for sale on eBay in February 2000, accompanied by claims that it was haunted. Disturbing things happened to those who owned it, and the figures in the painting itself supposedly moved. Even people who simply viewed it online were said to be gripped by terror attacks and fainting spells.

It ended up selling for $1050, and I believe it might have originated the haunted-items-are-worth-more phenomenon on eBay. The BBC has a good description of the auction that includes pictures and text from the original auction.

Hands Resist Him was painted by Bill Stoneham in 1972. On his site Bill notes that "Both the owner of the Gallery where 'Hands' was displayed and the Los Angeles Times art critic who reviewed my show were dead within a year of the show." Spooky! Bill is also selling prints of the painting.

eBay Paranormal Art Urban Legends

Posted on Tue Jun 22, 2004


I just looked at it on the net...oh no...I feel faint...I just fainted...I am laying here...out like a light...and am terrified.
Posted by Gee...  on  Tue Jun 22, 2004  at  02:54 PM
If it is haunted let me know.

I'm in contact with alien beings who can un-haunt it for you 😉
Posted by Peter  on  Tue Jun 22, 2004  at  03:21 PM
I know I wouldn't want it in my house. I think that the story was made up to unload it for a pretty penny and hype it up (and I'm usually superstitous, too), but that is one damn creepy painting. You'd have to pay me to take it, and you couldn't make me hang it up. That's the kind of crap nightmares are made out of.
Posted by Goo  on  Wed Jun 23, 2004  at  06:16 PM
And although I don't like the thing, some of my friends do, namely my friend Lyssa who wants a print. If you don't mind me asking, Alex (or anyone who can answer this), how much was the print going for when/if you bought it? The site just gave the artist's e-mail address and Lyssa doesn't want to e-mail him about a print just to find out it's too much.
Posted by Goo  on  Wed Jun 23, 2004  at  06:22 PM
Goo, I didn't actually buy it. Just thinking about it. And now I'm having second thoughts because I'm superstitious too, and I think I'd get spooked about the idea of the figures in the painting moving when I wasn't looking. 😖
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Jun 24, 2004  at  11:33 PM
Thanks anyway, Alex. I totally don't blame you, and I'm sure in the years you've been researching hoaxes you've probably come across some pretty creepy crap. I'll tell Lyssa to e-mail the guy, since after looking at his other artwork (namely the one of the school bus stalled on train tracks with the train coming) I really don't want to try to contact that guy.

Although his poetry is amusingly bad, if anyone wants to give that a whirl.
Posted by Goo  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  07:34 AM
And finally daring to dive further into the site, the prices are there. Probably just as well you decided not to get a print, Alex: for a 24
Posted by Goo  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  07:40 AM
I'm sorry. This painting looks wooden and artificial. I've seen much more chilling paintings before, for instance Munch's The Scream. I wouldn't pay $5 for it. It's really rather bad IMHO. But then, everyone's freaked out by different things.
Posted by Charybdas  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  02:37 PM
The supposed webcam captures here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/derby/unexplained/2002/haunted_painting/ebay_haunted_painting_04.shtml) are pretty fake. The original owner claimed that the first image shows the doll using a gun to threaten the boy out of the painting. The "gun" is just the wooden object the doll is holding and a strip of wood from the window frame. The lack of light just makes the brighter colors stand out against the dark window glass and the boy's shadow.

The second image depicts how the boy has supposedly left the painting because he is lighted up. Strange since if he were leaving a painting under duress from a possessed doll, you would think he wouldn't bother to take a part of the window frame with him. Part of the frame as well as a corner of the glass also changes color.
Posted by Mary  on  Sat Jul 03, 2004  at  11:09 PM
Love the site keep it going. The world is and can be a very strange place, if you have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it and the mind to comprehend it. I paint, in the automatic style of pollock, never underestimate what the unconscious mind can produce. Its easy to condem what we do not understand but very hard to view something that challenges our ingrained sceptasism.
Posted by Patrick lavin  on  Sun Sep 05, 2004  at  05:07 AM
this guy who hates me and wante me to faint in front of my comp send me this URL.now how funny is that
Posted by Ave  on  Wed Oct 13, 2004  at  05:54 PM
"The original owner claimed that the first image shows the doll using a gun..."
No, she didn't claim anything, actually. She even seems very keen on dismissing the whole haunted painting story (as you seem to have missed this part): "To deter questions in this direction, there are no ghosts in this world, no supernatural powers. This is just a painting and most of these things have an explanation - in this case probably a fluke lighting effect..."

I applaud your scepticism, but don't go dismissing the wrong people as superstitious kooks...
Posted by Crhr  on  Mon Feb 21, 2005  at  07:35 PM
Pfft. The "haunted" images look so fake (refer to link to BBC site).

The painting was probably done on canvas, so all you need to do is shine a strong light from behind the painting to create the glowing effect. The areas that are glowing correspond to areas that have thinner layers of paint on them. I know this because I paint with oil on canvas and frequently examine my paintings' undersides with my lamp on the opposite side.

The second picture that claims the boy "left" the painting was created by shining a light from BEHIND the girl and white light from IN FRONT OF (and overhead, it seems like) the boy.
Posted by RR  on  Mon Jun 20, 2005  at  06:04 AM
I know it sounds lame, but I saw the ebay site and thought it was funny how everyone said they could feel the effects even from a computer screen.
Course I was reading it over my father's shoulder and he turned around and asked, "So do you think its real?"
"Nah," I said, "its a complete fake. There's nothing haunted about it."

... and thats when all our power shut off.
'cept the computer. It can run on a battery, which makes a off tune ringing noise when its in use.
So we stared at this glowing picture over this terrible ringing noise.

... I keep my mouth shut about it after that.
Posted by Easy to Scare  on  Wed Jun 29, 2005  at  09:58 PM
Um well...
This painting is for real...
Bill Stoneham was the original author, and he painted this picture in '72.
On http://www.stonehamstudios.com, Bill states that the 11 Hands, were souls, and that Doll [Ya'll think it's a girl. It's not. It has no eyes, it's black, and it has a huge line where the arm and forearm join like a vintage doll.] was a guide to something...
There have been a lot of stories about scary stuff happening to them when they had the painting in their home.
It's not a hoax, but it's an authentic painting by Bill Stoneham.
Posted by superdoughboy4  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  11:46 AM
please don't mess with this image, to feel its power, VIEW FULL SCREEN AND WAIT

Posted by lost  on  Thu Oct 27, 2005  at  09:14 PM
The painting is just scary. Some deamonic doll with a gun? Sound like what I'd think up.
Posted by Dracul  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  06:29 PM
The more I think about it, the more I want this painting. I mean, I REALLY want it. A lot. I don't know why, but I feel drawn to it. That's pretty strange, isn't it? My parents wouldn't let me have a print though, which is sad. They think it's too scary to put up in my room. (I'm 14 so their opinions are law) I WANT IT!!! *Cries*
Posted by Dracul  on  Sun Jan 22, 2006  at  03:35 PM
They say that animals are more perceptive than humans. I put my cat in front of those pics and all he did was totally ignore the screen. I admit I was spooked by it the first time but looking at it in a rational way makes me feeling silly. I doubt that the influenceof a ghost or spirit would spread through the net. -_-;
Posted by emy  on  Thu Feb 23, 2006  at  07:56 AM
This supernatural (negative) power residing inside the panting does not come from the painting itself but from the canvas below. It was used for covering a dead person probably the first owner, some how this piece of cloth has been bought second hand and found it's way to be the canvas of this painting. End of story.
Posted by David Addison  on  Mon Feb 27, 2006  at  01:05 AM
I think it's creepy. I've never believed in aliens or ghosts. When I view it I don't pass out or my moniter gets possesed. I just think it's wierd and creepy, viewing makes me feel drawn in yet I have a fear for looking at it. I was haunted by the image all night while looking at it.
Posted by Max  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  02:27 PM
I know it seems silly to think that a person can be affected by a picture of a painting on the internet but I am. No, I did not faint, or die for that matter, but I can actually "feel" energy from photos sometimes, it's called clairsentience, and when I first saw this picture it made me feel really sick. I just felt scared for the children, and heard screams and a woman crying. I don't know what it means, to me absolutely nothing, but anyway....
Posted by empathy.  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  06:31 PM
Haunted or not either or that is by far the creepiest painting I HAVE EVER Seen, I want it!
Posted by Jay  on  Sat Feb 17, 2007  at  12:35 PM
I see comments about the high price of the prints which suggest the artists is trying to rake in some profit off notoriety. In reality, he is a successful artist in his own right and a graphic designer. The price for the prints of Hands Resit Him are in line with other prices in his store and also in line with other fine art prints. He has since been commission to paint a sequel which he did. it is called Resistance at the Threshold and shows him at his present age. The doll has gotten a little creepier though. She is also feaured in another subsequent painting entitled Guardians which I find more disturbing than the other two. If you look at it long enough you will be able to "see" more than a dozen faces in the doorway. The faces are possibly intended illusions. Bill stonehams work is somehwat surreal in nature and Hands Resist Him is not a departure from his style. The only thing that makes it unique is the unusual manner in which it came to fame. I'm glad that it did because it has brought his larger work to the attention of many more people. He is a very talented artist. Take a look at his work:http://www.stonehamstudios.com/
Posted by LMF  on  Sun May 13, 2007  at  06:35 AM
I think the power of suggestion is the only force at work...
Posted by Vortex  on  Thu Aug 16, 2007  at  09:48 PM
Rtards, does anyone smell a marketing vamp up for the price of this painting here.
Posted by Sceptic  on  Sun Dec 16, 2007  at  05:58 PM
I don't know about anyone else but as for me being a "rtard", at least I know that "sceptic" is actually spelled sKeptic. who's the rtard now?

I love this painting and scam or not, it does have a spooky vibe.
Posted by empathy  on  Mon Dec 17, 2007  at  07:27 AM
I was on the internet browzing last night before coming across an article of 'The hands resist him'. I have never heard of this painting until then. As I looked at the picture, I started getting a headache and felt really dizzy. I felt this really strong uneasy feeling. I can describe it as a feeling like there was someone really close up to me, like near my right ear feeling like my personal territory being invisibly being invaded. I really cant explain this. It wasn't until I read the next few paragraphs which started talking about the effects this painting supposedly has had on others that I freaked out a little. The most weird thing about all this was that the second I had clicked off the webpage all my symptoms disappeared in around 5 seconds or so. I don't personallly believe that it is haunted but I can certainly vouch for what I experienced. Maybe the pic was painted in a certain way to subconsciously trigger a negative response like a subliminal message or something. I dont know and I know I sound like a fool but I don't want to believe this picture is haunted as it cant be possible. Ghosts do not exist. But then what did I experience?
Posted by Misty  on  Wed Jan 16, 2008  at  02:24 PM
:sick: omg that is a cool pic
Posted by durre  on  Sat Mar 01, 2008  at  05:50 PM
I agree with David Addison comment, canvas is really important part of high quality painting. Yes Bill Stoneham is author of picture, may be one of the best new age artist
Posted by Canvas Art  on  Thu May 22, 2008  at  05:42 AM
this was the artists final description upon the painting,-- "the boy is based on a photograph of himself aged 5, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the waking world and the world of dreams and possibilities, and the doll is a guide who will escort the boy through it. The hands themselves represent alternate lives or possibilities",-- i think we all know that there is a darker secret behind this painting, i think the girl is not just a doll, its an empty shell of a person, could represent the victom of something serious. the dark moon in the sky tells the story of something bad happeneing, the act was the hands in the painting, more than one person was involved and kept a secret due to only seeing hands and behind the children in a window, as for the face of the boy, he is describing what he saw as a child. possibly he feels guilty that he did nothing!! or he could be apart of what happened
Posted by jacamo  on  Tue Jul 08, 2008  at  06:42 AM
my dad bought the painting and when it was late at night the little girl was sitting on my sisters bed changing the channel. i am not kidding. my dAd had to sell it because he believed me because he read the original story and i was 8.
Posted by jenna  on  Mon Aug 10, 2009  at  10:14 AM
I was looking at this picture and Ifelt like my head was cracking open. Then I felt like I was going to puke, but I went to your site after I played this murder mystery game. The game had 2 pictures the girl with the pearl earring and hands resist him. The game was really freaky it's about this schitzaphrenic (that's not how you spell, I just don't know how) who died and his house was abandoned. there was like music that is supposed to be like hypnotic, but my computer was on mute. anyway at the end there is this tape you put in a tape player and this weird fast talking starts going and it sounds like mumbling and crumbling then this hands come out just like in the picture and that's the end. its really weird they try to make you feel like you hear voices in your head and there is this article and some paper. the paper said that the killing looked liked a homicide but he had suicidal thoughts. the article said that there were cuts on his wrists but bruises in the shape of hands.I was just totally freaked out my mom told me to get off the site before I even saw the really freaky stuff. i'm just scared because i went to the site of the person who sold the painting. whoever bought it is crazy!!!!
Posted by hognoti  on  Sun May 09, 2010  at  11:17 AM
I would not play that game with the schitz i would pee my pants
Posted by bug  on  Sun May 09, 2010  at  11:20 AM
wow no one ever goes on this site it seems like!
Posted by gvyfgvbrgbb;r  on  Sun May 09, 2010  at  11:22 AM
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