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The Cursed Chair

By Chris Capps    1/11/11

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Is it possible an object could become so linked with the paranormal that the very act of using it could cause premature and unexplainable death?  That's precisely what the chair of death allegedly does.  Nestled away in the corner, no longer on display even with a felt rope, the chair hangs suspended from the wall in a small North Yorkshire town.  And even those who clean it are warned not to physically touch it and definitely not sit in it.  They say if you sit in it even for a moment death will soon follow.

Busby's Stoop is the name of the object.  And it's a chair that has been the center of several legends over the course of many years.  But unlike other alleged cursed objects, this chair is said to have a disturbingly high fatality rate, claiming every single victim that sits on it within only a short period of time afterward.  The deaths always occur under the guise of coincidence, and have a good chance of being some of the most unlikely deaths or be terribly common.  Skeptics say that those who would ignore the warning and the curse would also likely ignore other warnings and engage in high risk behaviors.

The legend begins with a man who had been sentenced to die.  Thomas Busby had killed a coin counterfeiter after an argument with a hammer, bludgeoning him to death.  After standing trial in 1702 he was granted one last wish before execution and requested that he be given the right to enjoy one final drink in his favorite bar chair.  That night as he sat in his favorite chair, he proclaimed to the silent room awaiting his final words, "Death will come swiftly to whomsoever sits in my chair."  Shortly after that, Busby was hanged.

No one thought much of the claim made by Busby, but out of respect didn't sit in the chair for some time.  Decades passed and finally a chimney sweep and his partner came in and, upon discovering that no chairs were free he sat upon it much to the shock of the crowd.  Proclaiming that he felt fine after the experience, he paid out his tab and promptly died of falling off a roof.  Words of the curse would soon follow and the Busby Inn Stoop became notorious for its haunted chair that killed all who sat in it.

Finally the chair was put away after the body count rose unexplainably.  Legends were told of the favorite chair and others who sat there suggested that the curse was finally laid to rest.  Unable to part with such a historically significant piece of furniture, the owner of the inn warned cleaners not to sit in the chair.  After a motorcycle accident, a downed bomber pilot, and several others, the chair was finally pulled up on a piece of rope to keep anyone from breaking into the back room where it was housed.

Can an object become so cursed and so interlocked with negativity that it can actually cause those who use it to die?  The question once again bears mentioning as this chair has been said to be one of the most cursed objects in the known world.  And though no one has sat in the chair in decades, there are still stern warnings about it and plenty of people who come near it but decide they do not wish to tempt fate.

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