Are we dealing with the most haunted painting or perhaps an internet hoax that stirred up some hyper imaginations? Sit back and listen in on today’s episode, about the infamous haunted painting titled, The Anguished Man. A painting and story that took the internet by storm in the 2010’s. But has also received a lot of questioning and debate since it’s reveal. Still though, we look into the stories and accounts that have plagued the Robinson family during these years; while also providing some personal thoughts and insight into the potential reasoning behind these hauntings.
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The Anguished Man, an oil painting that could be one of the most haunted object across the globe. Many ranking it up there with other objects such as the Annabelle and Robert dolls and even the Dybbuk Box. According to the original story, The Anguished Man’s original artist is still very much unknown, and the legend goes that this individual actually mixed his own blood into the paint. Taking his own life once the work was complete.
Today, the painting is in possession of a man by the name of Sean Robinson, from Cumbria, England. Robinson himself had inherited The Anguished Man from his grandmother, who gave a warning that the painting is cursed. Robinson is quoted as writing this to Your True Tales, “My grandmother had this painting in her attic for 25 years. She said it was evil. Told us she used to see the dark figure of a man around the house. At night she heard strange noises and crying. She told me the artist committed suicide shortly after finishing it; and that he had used his own blood mixed in with the oils.” Robinson saw interest in the painting, but the canvas stays down in the basement. This was mainly due to his wife’s discomfort around the painting.
The true story about The Anguished Man does not start until 2010. This is when Robinson finally removed the painting from the basement, due to some flooding that was taking place; the painting ends up in one of the bedrooms within the house. Ever since this point, all the craziness kicks off. Robinson and his family began to experience strange activity throughout their house.
They began to see the shadowy figure of a man throughout the house. In addition to hearing the sounds of disembodied whispering and crying that emanated from the corner of the bedroom. Incidents happened sporadically, and seemingly targeting all members of the family individually. During the night, Robinson woke up only to witness a figure standing at the foot of the bed. He claims that the figure looked to be that of a middle-aged man; however all of his features, especially his face, were completely hidden.
His wife woke up one night while alone in bed, noticing a stranger lying on the bed next to her. This rightfully so is traumatizing, especially once she realizes no one was there. However, the most prevalent incident, the one that frightened the Robinsons; was when their son Kenan fell down a flight of stairs. Kenan ended up being alright, but admittedly claiming that he felt a presence of someone behind him, pushing him forwards.
The following year, in 2011, Robinson would upload his first video on these events onto YouTube, titling the video: ‘’Ghost activity caught on tape – Haunted Painting – The Anguished Man’’, and the video quickly went viral warranting over a million views. The video in question contains the recording of one bedroom within the house. Set across an eight hour time period, however condensed down into a three minute clip. Within the footage, the door is closing on its own, while the supposedly haunted painting rests within the room.
In addition, a loud bang and scraping sounds can be heard within the video, although from an unseen source. Since this point onwards, Robinson would continue to upload more videos to this YouTube channel. Posting continued updates about the painting itself, along with allegedly captured paranormal activity throughout the house. Including sounds and a mysterious ghostly figure that is running past the camera.
During this time, Robinson continued to record the painting as it rested in the bedroom. Most often recording late at night into the early morning hours. Robinson kept capturing noises throughout the house, small orbs, and the canvas falling forward on occasion. With the rise in popularity with these videos, and the continued capture of spiritual activity; so too must those who come along who question the authenticity of the footage.
Two years after these updates, Robinson temporarily moved back in with his parents. Bringing the painting along with him and storing it in the bedroom once more. Right away the noises seemed to begin once again. Similar to his son, Robinson’s father was also allegedly pushed down the stairs. Again though, his father did not suffer an injury.
An example being the 2012 episode of the Discovery Channel’s ‘’Weird or What?, a show about unexplained mysteries hosted by William Shatner, in which The Anguished Man was the center focus. An investigator by the name of Mike St. Clair, during this episode, claims that the Robinson videos are nothing more than simple hoaxes. St. Clair explains the movement of the door can be done by pulling a fishing wire set to the knob. All while an actor or someone dressed in all black could easily just speed across the camera’s focus.
Robinson also told his story within this episode, bringing up his thoughts on these hoax rumors, stating: “A lot of people are sceptical and I can understand that because I was a sceptic myself and I still am. But, the footage is there for you to see, it wasn’t faked. There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation but I haven’t found one yet.’’
Of course, it didn’t take long for the internet to start theories and urban legends about The Anguished Man. Spreading on websites such as Reddit and Creepypasta. The urban legend posted on Creepypasta is similar to Robinson’s story; where a man named Michael finds the exact same painting in his basement and hangs it up in his bedroom. However, this story is more graphic in comparison. Michael wakes, to his ear being slit down the middle; and the walls of his house covered with messages written in blood. Again though, this is a made up version of the events and stories surrounding the painting.
Today, Robinson refuses to destroy the painting and keeps it in his basement, avoiding more harm to his family. The painting however, has also been a part of several paranormal events since it gained its infamousy. Asides from the aforementioned Weird or What? episode, the Mysteria Paranormal group took the painting along with Robinson to several haunted locations across the U.K. Most notably Chillingham Castle in Northumberland. There, the group perform a seance with the painting, and a shadowy figure materialized in the center of the group. A large wooden bench also began to bang and shack until eventually it flipped upside down. The group believed the cultript however was John Sage. A notorious spirit from the Castle, whom they think got angry by a new entity being uninvited.
The painting was also reportedly up for sale on Ebay a few years back. However Robinson firmly advocated that this was never the case. Rather the painting is locked away in a secure location, and Robinson has no intention of selling it. Robinson is currently planning on bringing his story to the big screen as La Brea Pictures have acquired the rights to make a film about ‘’The Anguished Man’’. Although can’t entirely verify all of this, links and references to this seem to start a goose chase. The best one I found, directs you to a small extremely low budget short film that was on YouTube.
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Episode 16 – The Anguished Man | Haunted Painting or Hoax. Produced by Shane Cummings; Audio Editing & Research by Shane Cummings. Intro & Outro music “Creepy Regrets” by AnMo.