A "cursed" painting that left previous owners reeling after a number of spooky events has finally found a home – and the Daily Star paid it a visit to see if we could beat the curse.
The mysterious portrait of a rather unnerving-looking young girl was first bought from an East Sussex charity shop for just £25, but returned just two days later as it had "an aura about it". The painting's second owner also promptly sent the artwork back after she deduced it was responsible for a series of mishaps in her life.
The work of art has since become an urban legend and now hangs proudly in the hallway of the London Bridge Experience, a creepy walk-through attraction that tells the capital's history in a particularly haunting way. With the infamous artwork now a stone's throw from the Daily Star offices, I had to go and have a look for myself.
READ MORE: 'Cursed' painting blights UK tourist attraction as staff suffer spooky mishaps
Just how cursed could this painting possibly be? Turns out, pretty cursed.
Manager James Kislingbury wasted no time telling me of the many unfortunate incidents that had taken place since he picked up the painting four weeks ago. James said the issues began as soon as he got his hands on the picture.
"On the journey back I had problems with the car, the electrics were playing up, the radio wasn't working and my phone wasn't connecting," he told me. "We took the painting out of the car, it was wrapped in paper and cardboard and there was a drop of water on her forehead, which was bizarre, because water wouldn't just sit there on a car journey.
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"Within a matter of days we had reports from staff members that they could hear footsteps following them down the stairwell. That happened to me on one occasion. We've also had mysterious noises downstairs."
James said staff members also reported seeing the handcuffs that hang in the attraction's Slammers cocktail bar inexplicably swing and shake, and a mysterious figure dubbed "Shadowman" has started appearing in the corner of people's eyes. The venue's WiFi, TV and phone signal also stopped working after the painting was collected.
"There have been a lot of odd things that have happened on site," he continued. "You just can't put two and two together. It's really bizarre."
One staff member won't even look directly at the painting – and she's not the only one creeped out by the eerie presence. As soon as I stepped through the door I felt as though someone was watching me, and I couldn't help but notice the little girl's eyes appeared to be following me around the room.
I even felt a pressure in my chest and a sweat develop across my brow as James described the series of unfortunate events that had befallen him and his employees.
Originally the team had planned to give away the painting as a competition prize but after the series of bizarre events they decided it would be irresponsible to pass the apparent curse on to someone else and have chosen to keep it. Asked what he would do with the painting if he couldn't handle its otherworldly abilities, he told me: "It's not really been discussed, but because the site has had so many unusual things happen historically, I think it's a home for her. And hopefully she'll settle."
Having been sufficiently scared, I decided it was time for me to get out of there before I, too, succumbed to the curse. Now I can only hope my boss will let me book an exorcism on the company dime…
The painting is now on display as part of the Cir-Cursed Halloween Show at the London Bridge Experience. Tickets for the show are available here.
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