11 (Supposedly) Haunted Things Put Up for Sale on eBay

iStock
iStock

by Jenny Morrill

Everything on eBay has a backstory, and sometimes, it's a pretty spooky one—at least according to whoever is trying to offload the item. Everything is more interesting if you add ghosts, especially when it comes to bras, jewelry, and Ziploc baggies. Here are just a few of the supposedly haunted items we found that have sold or are selling on the auction site.

1. ANGUISHED MAN PAINTING

An oil painting of a screaming man
HVERAFUGLAR, eBay

The seller of this oil painting describes it as a "horrific paranormal portrait." The artist is unknown, but according to its owner, the artwork may be responsible for a number of spooky goings on around the house. "Since owning this painting, I have experienced a number of strange paranormal events that cannot be easily explained," the seller writes in the listing. "These include hearing disembodied footsteps from elsewhere in the house, the sound of bird song appearing out of the air in the living room, and finally, observing a heavy metal door latch lift by itself and the kitchen door open by itself." Even if you don't need a haunted painting for yourself, "it could make a great gift for a less-than-loved one," the listing suggests.

2. SEXY SPIRIT BRA

A white strapless bra
TONYA_ROSE, eBay

This bra reportedly contains the "spirit of a sexy woman," and wearing it will allegedly ensure not just great support, but a constant stream of admiration and gifts. Made in the 1950s, it's a size 32A, so you've got to be rather petite to harness its powers. But some of its benefits can be enjoyed even if you don't plan on wearing it. You can "place the bra by a lit white candle to see her spirit in full body apparition," the seller notes, and if you break out a red candle, you can have an erotic encounter with the spirit, according to the seller. That certainly sounds scary.

3. THE MYSTERIOUSLY SMELLY PHOTO

A historic daguerreotype is open to show a man in a suit.
THE_ASYLUM_ATTIC, eBay

This historic daguerreotype is reportedly inhabited by a “Victorian gent” named Martin. It was initially found in the eaves of an attic, and its owner would bring it out for guests to see. Eventually, people began to notice that “certain smells would mysteriously appear and just as mysteriously disappear—such as the scent of roses and cigar or pipe smoke, or even the odor of smoke from a wood fire,” the seller writes. When questioned with a Ouija board, the spirit inside “was sometimes talkative and even playful, but other times reticent." But some spooky things started happening in the house, like objects disappearing or being moved, and "footsteps and whispers faintly heard.” These strange goings-on became more frequent, until finally, the image was removed from the house and sent to a collector “who reports some continued activity.”

4. THE RING OF A GENIE QUEEN

A ring with a red stone emits a mysterious vapor
HOODOOHOUSE, eBay

The seller of this ring claims it contains the spirit of Micilia, an “omnipotent genie queen" who—just for the record—"has given permission and requested that we use her name in her listing here on eBay to help find her next master.” At least you can be sure she'd be friendly. Micilia isn't the worst spirit to keep around—she communicates telepathically and can grant unlimited wishes.

5. HAUNTED DONKEY

A small decorative brown jug with a donkey pulling it is set on a checkered tablecloth.
GRIFFEY911NY, eBay

This small decorative juice container has a surprisingly spooky backstory. According to the owner, it spontaneously fills up with water. The inherited piece of kitsch has been exhibiting the odd behavior for years, since the owner was a child. At first, they suspected that their grandmother, who owned the item at the time, was filling it with water, but once she died, they discovered that there was something else at play. One night, the seller knocked against the jug by accident, and noticed it sounded like it had liquid in it. “When I investigated I found there was indeed water in it,” they write. “I thought maybe it was a mistake,” they explain, but it has happened sporadically ever since. Writes the seller: "I'm not scared or anything but I'm just not into this type of stuff. I wish my nana well in the afterlife but just not for me."

6. THAI DJINN MASK

A Thai mask in front of lit candles
RAINBOWS*AND*FAIRYDUST, eBay

The person selling this mask claims that they personally witnessed a witch in Thailand capture a djinn (or genie) in it. Among the mask's alleged talents are the ability to bring the owner riches and the ability to keep vampires away. Both are useful skills, but they come with a price—you must make offerings of food and drink to keep the djinn happy. Not to mention the fact that for the first month you have to meditate on his name three times a day for 20 minutes each.

7. WITCH'S DYBBUK BOX

A wooden box with a classical piece of art depicting nude women on top
MAB_22, eBay

In Jewish lore, a dybbuk is a restless spirit that has the power to possess a living person. You might be familiar with the concept from the 2012 horror flick The Possession, which was inspired by the real story of a wine cabinet—supposedly haunted by a dybbuk—sold on eBay in the early 2000s. (It’s now owned by paranormal investigator and TV star Zak Bagans.) Since that initial haunted offering, more boxes reportedly haunted by malicious dybbuks have begun to surface online. 

“This spirit attached is very mischievous,” the seller of this dybbuk box writes, but will “become violent if tested or disrespected,” so they advise keeping the box in a trunk or glass case where it can’t be touched. It was reportedly found buried beneath an abandoned house where screams could often be heard “even though the house hasn’t been occupied in over 30 years.” The current owner doesn’t detail what violent events the box has unleashed—or how one might disrespect a wooden box—but it is a relative haunted bargain at just $75.

8. A "HIGHLY ACTIVE" RING

A silver ring inset with a large yellow stone
EARTHBOUND_6, eBay

According to the seller—described in the listing as “a small paranormal investigation society”—this stainless steel and stone ring is possessed by a ghost named Adain, and if you wear it or keep it close by, you’ll bond with the “highly active” spirit. The 19-year-old Adain supposedly died in a motorcycle accident, and now appears as light streaks or in visions. “He will turn lights on and off, close and open doors, [and] a faint smell of men's cologne can be [smelled] in the air when he is active,” the seller writes.

9. SHOES THAT GO TAP IN THE NIGHT

A pair of black leather girl's shoes
HAUNTED_HEARTS, eBay

Said to contain the spirit of a little girl called Lisa, these shoes were found by someone who was curating their late aunt's estate, tucked in a nursery closet alongside various Victorian clothes and toys. They suspected they were haunted, the seller writes, "since there was a lot of knocking in the nursery closet. If actually possessed, tap dancing might wake one up in the middle of the night!" The noise wasn't the only indication of the shoes' other-worldly nature. The house they were found in was rumored to be home to a number of ghosts, including that of a woman who had murdered her baby there in the 19th century and the spirit of a 9-year-old who died of sepsis.

10. THE SPIRITED SCREWDRIVER

A vintage screwdriver sits on a beige surface.
ANGEL031002, eBay

This reportedly haunted tool is, according to the seller, inhabited by the ghost of Xander, a 32-year-old who died after a car he was repairing fell on him. He appears as a “smokey white apparition” and you may hear him laughing and talking. “This is a very positive energy item,” the seller promises. Also, like any regular dude, he really loves TV.

11. THE HAUNTED ZIPLOC

A medium-sized clear plastic bag
RUSTY_RACCOON, eBay

Go ahead and banish stale bread to another realm. According to the seller of this $25 paranormal sandwich bag, the simple plastic pouch can restore or heal anything (and anyone). “There is no wrong way to use the haunted Ziploc bag of restoration,” the listing says, but it works best on snack foods: “The most effective way to use the bag, we have discovered, is to purify, decontaminate, revive, and give new life to food items such as Cheetos, sandwiches, pizza, chopped veggies, and granola.” The ad says it's haunted, but it may not actually involve a ghost. If you stick a lock of a loved one’s hair inside, it can “heal, resurrect, protect, or lessen the burden” of that person through some sort of interplanetary higher plane, the seller claims. The bags come in sets of three, six, and nine.

10 Historical Divination Methods for Predicting the Future

The Liver of Piacenza, a model of a sheep's liver used in Etruscan divination and unearthed in Italy in 1877.
The Liver of Piacenza, a model of a sheep's liver used in Etruscan divination and unearthed in Italy in 1877.
Shonagon, Wikimedia // CC0 1.0 (cropped)

Humans have been trying to predict the future since long before the Magic 8 Ball was invented. Divination, often using bones and entrails, was a common practice in the ancient world, and perhaps even earlier. Since then, it's seemed like just about any handy object lying around—books, chickens, even cheese—has been used to attempt a glimpse at upcoming events, leading to a host of compound words formed with the suffix -mancy (which can be traced back to the Ancient Greek for "seer" or "prophet"). Here are some of the more intriguing forms of historical divination—some may even still be practiced today, depending on who you ask—from the widespread and better known to the more delightfully obscure.

1. Hieromancy (Divination Using Entrails)

Beginning in Mesopotamia and then in classical Greece and beyond, animals were sacrificed in divinatory rituals and their internal organs (notably the liver) were inspected for omens. Aside from oracles, it was the most important divination method of the classical world: In his De Divinatione ("On Divination"), the Roman orator, statesman, and writer Cicero wrote "nearly everybody employs entrails in divining." The gory practice went by a few different names, including extispicy (from the Latin exta, or "entrails") and haruspicy, and was practiced by specialists, sometimes called extispices or haruspices. Though details on how exactly the interpretations worked can be scarce, a healthy liver was generally a positive sign, but if the organ lacked a lobe, doom was all but certain. Defects in the heart of the animal were also seen as a very bad portent, as was extra bloodiness. The Etruscans were famed practitioners of hieromancy, and at least one life-size bronze model of a sheep liver (likely made for educational purposes) has been unearthed, marked with names of various gods in each quadrant—a little like the entrails version of old phrenology heads.

2. Ornithomancy (Divination Using Birds)

Interpreting the behavior of birds is one of the oldest forms of divination, and was a common part of Greek religious life. In Aristophanes's comedy The Birds, the leader of a chorus of birds brags of their usefulness in divination: "Before undertaking anything, whether a business transaction, a marriage, or the purchase of food, you consult the birds by reading the omens." (However, the bird also says: "With you a word is an omen, you call a sneeze an omen, a meeting an omen, an unknown sound an omen, a slave or an ass an omen.") In Rome, ornithomancy was practiced by public priests known as augurs, who "took the auspices" by observing birds and other natural signs, such as thunder and lightning, to interpret the will of the gods. The number, flight, and cries or songs of both wild birds and caged sacred chickens could be used; if food fell from the beaks of the chickens while they were eating, it was a very propitious sign.

3. Pyro-osteomancy (Bone Oracles)

Pieces of oracle bone engraved with early Chinese writing from the Shang dynasty.
Pieces of oracle bone engraved with early Chinese writing from the Shang dynasty, collection of Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University
BabelStone, Wikimedia // CC BY-SA 3.0

In ancient China, bones were used to tell the future. During the Neolithic period, the Shang dynasty, and beyond specialists would inscribe questions on animal (often cattle) shoulder-blades and tortoise shells, then chisel pits into them and insert heated points. The cracks made by the heated points were then interpreted as answers to the questions—either as positive or negative omens, or with more specific meanings. Some scholars even think the meanings of these cracks formed the basis for early Chinese script, and the oracle bones, as they're now known, are definitely the oldest evidence of Chinese writing. The oracle bones had been forgotten by history until their rediscovery around the early 20th century, when large caches were found; previously, they had known as "dragon bones" and ground up into medicine. Similar forms of pyro-osteomancy were found throughout East and Northeast Asia, and even North America, and in some cases may still be practiced by indigenous peoples.

4. Bibliomancy (Divination Using Books)

The practice of asking a question, opening a book at random, and interpreting the first passage your eyes (or fingers) hit upon as an answer was once widespread among the Greeks and Romans, the Muslim world, medieval Europe, and elsewhere. The Bible, the Book of Psalms, the Koran, and the works of the Roman poet Virgil were among the books most commonly used. Divination employing Virgil's writing even had its own name, the sortes Virgilianae. (Because it's the 21st century, you can now practice it online.) And you didn't even necessarily need to read the books to use them for divination—in Russia, people would tie books to the ceiling using string, and then pay attention to which way the books swung when certain names were mentioned. The direction of the swing could indicate the name of a future spouse, or girls who would marry within the year.

5. Alectryomancy (Divination Using Chickens)

Chickens weren't just a handy food source in the ancient world—they could also predict the future. Various divinatory methods were employed in which chickens were offered a choice of grain in a particular location or direction, which corresponded to an answer to the subject in question (the parties in a battle, say, or the direction from which a future husband might come). According to The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, one famous example of alectryomancy took place during the reign of the Emperor Valens (364-378 CE), in which a group of Roman courtiers sought the name of Valens's successor. During the ceremony, a circle was drawn and divided up into segments, with each segment corresponding to a certain letter, and a grain of wheat was placed in each segment. After various arcane incantations, the chicken pecked the grains corresponding to the letters t,h,e,o, and d, which was understood to mean "Theodotus," a local official who was known to be ambitious. Sadly, Valens found out about the episode and had everyone killed—including Theodotus. (It's less clear what happened to the chicken.)

6. Tyromancy (Divination Using Cheese)

The use of cheese as a divination tool was known in the ancient world and the Middle Ages, although the details aren't very well-recorded. Some say the shapes of the holes in the cheeses were thought to hold meaning—a heart shape could indicate love, and certain holes could be read as initials. According to occultopedia.com, young women in the countryside would predict future husbands by writing the names of suitors on pieces of cheese. The first to mold was believed to be the ideal mate. It may be worth noting, however, that the Greek diviner Artemidorus did not feel that cheese divination was very reliable, and included cheese diviners among his list of "false diviners," alongside dice diviners, sieve-diviners, and necromancers. (The interpretation of dreams and livers was far more dependable, he felt.)

7. Ceromancy (Divination Using Melted Wax)

A drawing of women practicing divination with lead or wax
A drawing of women practicing divination with lead or wax
Čeněk Zibrt, Wikimedia // Public Domain

The swirling shapes made by pouring melted wax into water were used as a divination tool in both ancient and medieval Europe. One common method was to melt the wax in a brass container, and then pour the liquified wax into a vessel full of cold water, after which the diviner would interpret the shapes floating in the water. A related practice, molybdomancy, used the shapes in molten metal, usually lead. One 19th-century Irish book instructs women curious about the trade of their future spouse to take a small lump of lead and put it under their pillow on Midsummer's Eve. The next day they were to heat the lead until boiling, take a pail of water, and pour in the lead—"take it out, and you will find … emblems of his trade; if a ship, he is a sailor, [if] a book, a parson … and so on."

8. Cledonomancy (Divination by Words Overheard)

For the ancient Greeks and Romans, chance utterings weren't always just that. The art of cledonomancy, or divination from overhead words, could be practiced either inside or outside of a specific ritual. In De Divinatione, Cicero relates a story about the Roman general Lucius Paulus, who was then readying his armies to fight King Perseus of Macedonia. Coming home one evening, he noticed that his young daughter Tertia looked forlorn. "What is the matter, Tertia, my dear? Why are you sad?" he asked. His daughter replied, "Oh! father, Persa is dead." Persa was the name of the little girl's puppy, but her father interpreted the words as an omen meaning he would defeat Perseus, which he did.

Specific Greek oracles, such as the oracle of Hermes at Pharai, were also designed around cledonomancy. After burning incense and making offerings, those who wished to know their future would whisper a question into an ear of Hermes's statue, cover their ears, and walk away. The first words they heard when they uncovered their ears were interpreted as the answer to their query.

9. Ring Oracles and "Under-the-Bowl Songs"

In Russia, divination was once a popular pastime for the days just after the New Year, known as the strashyne ("fearful") days, when evil spirits were said to be particularly active. According to W. F. Ryan's The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia, divination performed between midnight and 3 a.m. on these days was especially effective. One popular practice involved "under-the-bowl songs," in which rings and other personal objects were placed in a bowl and special divinatory songs sung, with each verse corresponding to a particular fortune (poverty, spinsterhood, etc.).

In one version of the practice from the Kaluga province, girls started by fetching water from a well, speaking the name of a man they wanted to marry as they did so. Once home, they poured the water into a bowl, sprinkled in some oats, added their rings, a cross, and charcoal, then covered the bowl and asked someone (usually a widow) to agitate the water with her pinkie finger. The group would then sing a song, and the widow would draw out a ring at the end of each verse. Ryan gives the example of a verse that foretells death:

Death is walking down the street,
He carries a pancake on a plate,
To the one whose ring is taken out,
It will happen,
It will happen soon,
It can't be escaped.

10. Herring Fat and Membranes

In mid-19th-century Belfast, according to Oxford's Dictionary of Superstitions, women predicted the character of their future husbands using the slimier parts of a herring. One interview excerpted in the dictionary described "a small, silvery-coloured, glutinous membrane, of perhaps an inch and a half in length, [that] lies along the under side of the backbone of the fish." The source goes on to recollect seeing female servants "divining by means of this little membrane" the physical or character traits of their future spouses, by throwing the membranes of herring they had eaten against a wall and interpreting the shape it made. "It depended on the way in which it rested, if it stretched out quite straight, curved, crooked, very crooked, or all in a little heap, whether the future husband would be tall and handsome, or small and ugly," the source said. A similar practice was also known in Scotland, where the 1824 Gallovidian Encyclopedia is a little more blunt: "Herring Soam, the fat of herrings. Young girls throw this against a wall, and if it adheres to it in an upright manner, then the husband they will get will also be so; if crooked, he will be crooked."

A Terrifying Timothée Chalamet Dummy Is Selling on eBay for More Than $120,000

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

It’s extremely easy to find some strange stuff while surfing the web, especially when it comes to some of the most popular Internet Boyfriends. But one seriously dedicated admirer of Timothée Chalamet just put the rest of the Oscar-nominated actor's massive fan base to shame.

As The A.V. Club reports, a particularly creepy Chalamet fan item has surfaced online: an eBay user recently put up a listing for a very realistic-looking (yet bordering on terrifying) Chalamet ventriloquist doll wearing the Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh outfit that the actor donned for the 2019 Golden Globes—complete with sequin harness.

The original listing ended on June 11 without finding a buyer—perhaps because the starting bid was a whopping $122,795. Although the item is a bit alarming, some of the proceeds were set to go to a good cause: Per the eBay page, 20 percent of the sale was to be donated to The Trevor Project, which fights to end suicide in the LGBTQ+ community, with a focus on young people.

We’re sure if it was at least a little bit more reasonably priced, it would’ve been snatched up immediately. That said, if you missed your chance the first time around and have a $125,000 burning a hole in your pocket, it appears to be up for sale again.

[h/t The A.V. Club]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER