Thomas Busby owned an inn/pub. One day, his father-in-law, Daniel, sat in his favorite chair. The men got in a fight and Tom ended up murdering Dan that night. Thomas was sentenced to death by hanging and he would be dipped in tar and placed in a gibbet for all to see. Before Tom was lead to his death, he had one last drink in his bar and said “Death shall come swiftly to anyone that dares to sit in my chair.” After that, many people that sat in the chair died under mysterious circumstances.
This is the story of the cursed stoop chair also dead know as Dead Man's chair. Legends say that over 60 to 70 people have died after plopping their derriere in the chair. This takes place in a small village located in North Yorkshire, England. In the late 1600s, a man named Daniel Auty committed several crimes including jewelry theft and counterfeiting. His daughter Elizabeth, married a local man named Thomas Busby and Daniel and Thomas decided to be partners in crime. The men were counterfeiting currency together, but they had several arguments.
Thomas Busby was a man that liked to get his drink on. He owned an inn/pub and there was a specific chair that everyone in town knew was his. It was just a plain oak chair. He was a petty thief with a hot temper and he did enjoy confrontation. He ruffled a few feathers in his day. His father-in law, Daniel Awety, was continuing his coin forgery and was apparently quite successful in this. Daniel bought a local farm 3 miles away from Tom's inn and he renamed the farm Danotty Hall. Now the hall is D-A-N-O-T-T-Y and that's different than the spellings I've seen for his name. I have seen A-U-T-Y and A-W-E-T-Y. Something went haywire with record keeping. Even though it's spelled different than Dan's actual name, it sounds like he was just naming this place after himself. The farm was in a rural spot close to the village of Kirby Wiske. He added a house on the property that included a hidden room that could only be accessed by a secret passage from the cellar. That way he could be more discreet about his counterfeiting activities.
One night, Daniel went to the pub and he sat in Thomas' favorite chair without permission. Some sources say that he was there to take his daughter, Elizabeth back home with him, but other places state that he was just visiting. Thomas is drunk, walks in, sees Daniel in his chair, and a fight breaks out. Daniel is yelling and saying I'm taking my daughter back, you're just a drunk. I won't have my daughter married to a drunk. Tom is like that's my favorite chair. I didn't give you permission to sit in it. Dan realizes that they're fighting about different things here and he's like maybe Tom is too drunk right now, so he heads home. Thomas ended up going to the Danotty Hall farm and murdered Daniel with a hammer that night. He bludgeoned him to death. Tom had been working with Daniel and probably knew how to enter his home using the secret passage.
His body was discovered in the woods near his home and police linked Thomas to the murder pretty fast. The case went to trial and Tom was found guilty as charged and his sentence was death by hanging. They were like yea, you can't just kill someone for sitting in your favorite chair. Tom requested to have one final drink in HIS chair at his pub and this was granted. Depending on the source, the sentence that comes out of Tom's mouth was either said as he's walking to his death or when he was at the inn. I'd like to believe this happened at the inn while he was sitting in his favorite chair. As Tom put that glass of frothy goodness to his lips, he said, “Death shall come swiftly to anyone that dares to sit in my chair.” Minutes later, he was led to his execution in 1702. He was to be hung from a gibbet. His body was dipped in hot tar after he died and his remains were displayed in the gibbet which is a giant metal cage. They just hung this IN FRONT OF HIS OWN INN. You know, so all the towns people can stop by and look. The Inn ended up being renamed later on as the Busby Stoop Inn. The chair is often referred to as the stoop chair when you look at the curse. That's because he was hung by a gibbet on a stoop of the inn.
No one really believed that Tom hexed the chair, but they may have misjudged him. People who sat in the chair often died in car or motorcycle accidents. Even though people died after Tom Busby's execution, no one seemed to believe there was a connection to the chair and most sources say the first death attributed to the chair was a chimney sweeper who went to the pub with a friend and sat in the chair. The next day, his body was seen hanging from a post outside the inn which is next to the stoop where Tom Busby was hung. It's also stated that the chimney sweeper may have taken his own life. I'm not sure how he hung himself by a post though. People began daring each other to put their ass in Tom's chair to see what would happen. During World War 2, many Air Force officers had no trouble accepting this challenge. I mean, is a chair scarier than war? According to the legends, none of these people made it back from war. In 1967, a pair of RAF pilots used the chair and they crashed their car into a tree afterwards and died.
Several sources say that when you sit in the cursed chair, you hear a voice whispering, “May death come to anyone who dares to sit in my chair.” People have also stated that after sitting in the chair, one might experience extreme itching, paranoia, and confusion. You may begin to hear things, see things move on their own, or you might see warnings written on mirrors and walls. Then you die. People have also reported seeing Tom Busby's ghost wandering around the second floor of the inn and he has a noose around his neck.
There have been so many stories connected to this hexed chair. An Air Force pilot was killed right after sitting in it. Apparently, a pilot was driving and saw another air force pilot walking. It doesn't seem like they were close friends, but they knew of each other. So, the guy that was picked up said he needed to go to the bathroom, and they stopped at the Busby Stoop Inn. The guy runs to the bathroom and the driver of the vehicle, sat in the chair. He got annoyed with how long he was waiting, so he actually left. When the other guy came out of the bathroom, he was pissed that he had been ditched and would have to walk the rest of the way. When he got back to the base, he grabbed a brick and smashed the driver's head in and murdered him. A motorcyclist died on his bike after he sat in the chair. A hitchhiker tried the chair out and was hit by a car two days later and died. A 30 year old man had a heart attack and died after sitting in the chair. A group of roofers went to the inn and they had an apprentice with them. The men told the young apprentice that he had to sit in Busby's chair. He desperately wanted to be accepted, so he sat in the chair. The men all went back to work and a few hours later, the apprentice fell through a roof and died. This was pretty much the last straw.
The landlord, Tony Earnshaw, figured people should probably stop using this chair because rumors were flying around. The chair was great for business because people kept stopping in just to see it, but it was probably best to stop risking lives. A vicar which is a representative of the Roman Catholic Church, declared the chair evil. The chair was put in the basement and remained in storage for several years. How did they get the chair in the basement without getting cursed?
One day a bricklayer was contracted to work on the pub and he saw the chair in a corner of the basement. He decided to rest for a few minutes and that afternoon, he fell to his death. People say that a roofer who came in contact with the chair ended up dying when the roof collapsed. A woman was cleaning and she accidentally touched the chair and she died from a brain tumor. A delivery driver saw the chair in the cellar and he decided to sit in it. He told the landlord that it was very comfortable and suggested that this chair be used instead of locked in a basement. Within a few hours, the truck veered off the road and the delivery man died. I'd like to know why he thought this wooden chair without a cushion was so comfortable and why he was so concerned about it being in the basement. Is the chair calling to people? Also, I'd like to point out that there are only records of men sitting in the chair. A woman only accidentally touched it.
The landlord was pretty fed up with Tom's hexed chair, so he contacted the Thirsk Museum and asked if they could take the chair. He said they had to promise that no one would ever sit in the chair again. I don't actually know how they did this because even people that touch the chair die, but it says they made careful arrangements for transporting this chair under tight security. I looked up the Thirsk Museum to see if they took like paranormal or hexed items regularly and I honestly don't get why this place was chosen. It's a house that was turned into a museum that has exhibits featuring cricketing memorabilia, farming equipment, furniture, costumes, toys, and now a hexed chair. What? The chair is now displayed five feet off the floor. It's hung on the wall so no one can sit in it and the Museum staff isn't allowed to touch it. The museum is still open, but the Busby Stoop Inn was closed in 2012.
In the museum, they have a description of the chair and here's what it says: The Busby Stoop Chair “Thomas Busby, a coiner and drunkard, murdered his father-in-law Daniel Auty in 1702. He was arrested, tried and condemned to death by hanging. After his execution, his corpse was suspended in chains from a gibbet erected at the lonely crossroads where an inn stood nearby. The inn later became known as the Busby Stoop Inn, taking its name from the 'stoop' or post on which his remains could be seen. The place was said to be haunted by his ghost, and a chair at the inn gained a sinister reputation. Wartime bomber pilots thought it unlucky to sit there, and in the 1970s some fatal accidents were linked with the chair. In 1978 the landlord asked for the chair to be moved to the Museum, and hung out of harm's way. The Busby stoop chair has not been sat on since.”
An American collector offered to give the Thirsk Museum $1M for the chair, but the Museum said it wasn't for sale. They also had a Japanese film crew that came through and they wanted to sit in the chair. When they were told NO, they threatened to take legal action and sue them for not being allowed to sit in it. The film crew was like, what is the penalty if we sit in the chair? The Museum owner was like, the penalty is death....
Some people believe that the original chair was burned by the owner and he actually gave the museum a fake chair. A furniture expert, Dr. Adam Bowett, believes the chair in the museum was made around 1840 and this is 138 years AFTER Tom Busby was executed. That would mean the chair in the museum isn't the original. The expert says the spindles were machine-turned, but the 17th century chairs wouldn't have been made like that.
Fun Fact: I found someone who started a petition 4 years ago stating that they want the chair burned and they want Thomas Busby to be dug up and cremated so the curse will go away and that has 25 signatures.