True Ghost Story: Haunted Painting

Location: Canada

The following report was sent into our website:

“Hello everybody, I’m a new member and would like to share this story with you. I’m an artist. One of my first works was a large surreal scene in oils on hardboard in the pointillist technique. It was a desert scene with an ascending line of crumbling columns across the picture; a road wound around the pillars from the horizon into the foreground, small body parts, genitalia and face forms were incorporated into parts of the columns, and floating in space on one side was an outstretched hand – palm up – supporting a bare tree, the roots wound around the fingers. I used my own hand as the model and incorporated long fingernails. I wanted to represent the ghost of a truck behind one of the pillars on the winding road; ideally, it was to have been the main subject of the picture but i was dissatisfied with the result and couldn’t seem to get it just right, so finally I gave up and painted it out.

The picture was taken to the office where I worked (a transport company) and hung there for a few months, until a client saw it and took it to a gallery owner she knew; it sat in the back of the gallery for a while but was never exhibited; the owner didn’t like it. In time I retrieved it and took it home.

While it was in the gallery, my mother got cancer and died; the transport company suddenly went into liquidation after three years of successful operation and one of the owners fell ill and died. A friend wanted a picture for his office wall, so I lent it to him and within three months he was abusing alcohol and his business folded. I then lent it to other friends to put in their home and within a few weeks, their stable and happy marriage of fourteen years began to disintegrate; while the woman left her three children to go out with another man, the husband spent many hours with us trying to make sense of things. After that, my mother-in-law had the painting for a while, and went through a rapid succession of stressful jobs; at that time her home was broken into and she was robbed of a possession of great sentimental value.

My husband felt the painting wanted to be ‘at home’ so we kept it with us until we moved to Canada in 1980 and brought it with us. Within four years, I gave birth to a son. Two weeks after his birth, I woke in a panic one night, as I had a vision of his body wrapped from head to toe in bandages floating in blackness above the end of my bed; I swung my legs onto the floor to go and save my baby, but there were evil spirits under the bed which grabbed my ankles and held them so I couldn’t move. A week later he died of SIDS. Within 10 months, my husband 44 years old was taken by a massive heart attack. After his death, I took an axe to my painting and destroyed it. I do not have a photograph of it. I have not painted anything in the surreal style since then.”

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