The Hands Resist Him is a painting by Bill Stoneham. The piece, depicting a joyless boy, a black-eyed female doll, and several small hands grasping at them both from behind a glass-paneled door, is said to be cursed.
Painted in 1972, it was purchased from Stoneham by actor John Marley at an art show. It remained with Marley until his death in 1984. Years later, it was found discarded in the trash behind an old brewery and wound up in the hands of a California couple. Impressed by the work and confused about why such a well-crafted painting would be rotting away in a pile of garbage, they chose to display it in their home.
While the couple were fans of the piece, their four year old daughter was not. She insisted that the boy and his doll would move about the painting when no one else was looking, argue with each other from within it, and occasionally leave its painted confines altogether. Sometimes, she said, the two figures would even come into her room at night.
Her mother chalked these claims up to the overactive imaginations children tend to have; her father, on the other hand, was alarmed. He began to monitor the painting in the night with motion-activated cameras. The first two nights, nothing triggered the camera. On the third, however, it captured the two strange images included above. Disturbed by their threatening nature, the family decided to get rid of the painting. Quickly.
Wanting to put as much distance between it and them as they could, the family opted to list the painting on eBay in February 2000. Included with the listing were the photos above and a litany of warnings, precautions, and statements acknowledging their lack of legal liability for any harm that may come unto the buyer. The listing quickly went viral, garnering over 130,000 views on a still very young internet and prompting a plethora of emails and messages from potential buyers who had been disturbed by what they’d seen. Some even claimed to have experienced paranormal phenomena. Despite all this, the auction received over 30 bids and sold to an art gallery for $1,025.
Bill Stoneham, upon learning of the fate of his painting and the legend surrounding it, recounted that both the owner of the gallery in which he’d first displayed the piece and the art critic who had reviewed it that night for the Los Angeles Times had died within a year of seeing it.