By John Ensor • 24 August 2023 • 21:59
Credit: Jayne Sharp/Twitter.com
A painting on sale at a charity shop has gained an unenviable reputation after buyers returned it for being creepy.
Recently at the Hastings Advice Representation Centre (HARC) charity shop in St Leonards-on-Sea, a peculiar portrait of a young girl became the talk of the town, according to the Telegraph.
Steve, the store’s overseer, recounted how a middle-aged gentleman handed over the painting, among other items. This artwork, depicting a girl in a crimson dress with a slightly off-kilter expression, caught Steve’s attention.
Upon seeing the painting he exclaimed, ‘Oh my God, look at her face.’ A female customer remarked on its unsettling nature, noting how its eyes seemed to track one’s movements. Steve agreed, observing, ‘Yes, it does follow you around.’
This intrigued woman decided to purchase the artwork. However, she returned in a mere two days, expressing her unease with its ‘aura.’ Steve shared, ‘We then displayed it with a label hinting at its potential curse.’
Another lady bought it but soon returned it in a state of fear, stating she never wished to lay eyes on it again. The artwork was then showcased with a sign teasing, ‘She’s back! Sold twice and returned twice! Are you brave enough?’
Yet, the story took a twist. The second buyer, after seeing the online buzz around the painting, reconsidered her decision. Steve mentioned, ‘She saw its online popularity and thought it might be valuable.’ She called Steve, expressing her change of heart and desire to reclaim the painting. Steve added, ‘She got it back without any cost. No one ever asked for their money back. We tagged it at £25 and then £20, and it lived up to its reputation.’
Even as she collected the painting, she hesitated, pondering whether to leave it behind once more.
The artwork stirred a whirlwind of reactions online. Many drew parallels with the 2001 film ‘The Others,’ starring Nicole Kidman. Some even suggested the owner should ‘burn it.’
The story is also reminiscent of the 1974 horror film ‘From Beyond the Grave’ in which Peter Cushing played the owner of an antique shop, where some of its customers come to an unsavoury end after acquiring artefacts.
The identity of the artist and the inspiration behind the portrait remain shrouded in mystery.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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