The Haunted Gallery: Creepy Art

There are no green witches, caped vampires or friendly sheet-ghosts here--

--just the macabre and demented.

Keeping in the creepy theme of autumn, unsettling art only seems appropriate.

Thus, here is an intricately woven web of the spookiest artists and creepy art ranging from the haunted and cursed to the downright unnerving.

Make sure you don't get caught in its nightmarish silk.

7.) Scary Stories Series Illustrated by Stephen Gammell

Forget Goosebumps. This classic collection of spooky folklore is all the spookier due to Stephen Gammell's chilling illustrations. Really, it's hard to believe kids would read these without having night terrors.

Truly unique and disturbing, Gammell's pencil/charcoal illustrations are spookier even than the series' content. It's what makes this series lasting.

"Horse Skeleton"-Stephen Gammell
"Horse Skeleton"-Stephen Gammell

6.) Crying Boy-Bruno Amadio

The Crying Boy, by Italian painter Bruno Amadio, looks innocent enough.

However, this painting apparently holds an eerie past as well as a child ghost. It is rumored that after painting this, Amadio's studio burned down (but the painting survived), and the painted orphan was soon killed in a car crash.

The Curse of the Crying Boy surfaced in the 80's when a British tabloid, The Sun, claimed that firefighters kept finding copies of the painting within rubble of houses caught on fire. Following this article, others were published on people who owned prints of it, and experienced house fires.

"Crying Boy"-Bruno Amadio
"Crying Boy"-Bruno Amadio

5.) The Hands Resist Him-Bill Stoneham

In 1972, Californian artist Bill Stoneham painted The Hands Resist Him. Stoneham says it depicts him at five, while the doorway symbolizes the boundary between the world of reality and realm of possibilities and dreams. The hollow doll serves as his guide whilst the hands reflect life choices and paths.

The image is unsettling, but the urban legend that it is cursed is weirder. The curse emerges in 2000 on eBay when the painting's seller claimed the it was cursed. The seller said the figures moved, and would even leave the painting into the room the painting was displayed.

With all the hype people who viewed the auction claimed to have felt sick or unnerved. In the end, the probably man-made bluff led the painting to be sold for over 1k.

Stoneham found it all amusing, but he did note that the original owner of the gallery where the painting was first exhibited died and the art critic who reviewed it died both within a year of first seeing the piece.

The Hands Resist Him (1972)-Bill Stoneham
The Hands Resist Him (1972)-Bill Stoneham

4.) Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon (October 28, 1909-April 28, 1992) was a British figurative painter known for his gritty, ominous imagery. His paintings range from abstract pieces, to figures with distorted features, ghostly, papal figures to rotting corpses. There is undoubtedly a sense of surrealism and controversial elements of religion and homoeroticism.

Francis Bacon Online Gallery:

"Painting" (1946) Oil on linen.
"Painting" (1946) Oil on linen.

3.) Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander (1959) is a South African artist known particularly for her hybrid sculptures merging animalistic and human qualities together into monstrous creatures representative of South African apartheid, and the general illness in multicultural societies.

One of her most famous sculptures, The Butcher Boys, portrays 3 male figures, minus genitals, reclining. Though bestial with their, broken horns, they are blind, have no ears to hear, and no mouths—ignorance. The life-sized figures are so realistic and foreboding it seems they could move from reclining to savagery in an instant. Their backs are also spineless implying perhaps that they wait for the cue to fight.

Many of Alexander's work have this mysterious, yet menacing quality of depth.

"The Butcher Boys" (1985/86) Plaster-Jane Alexandar    Photo Courtesy of
"The Butcher Boys" (1985/86) Plaster-Jane Alexandar Photo Courtesy of

2.) Joel-Peter Witkin

Witkin (September 13, 1939) is an American photographer known for his controversial photographs of hermaphrodites, transsexuals, dwarves, deformity and....dead people.

He usually photographs in black and white, scratching and bleaching a print.

He has used human limbs with fresh flower and fruit, heads, and what not in photos. One of his famous photographers, "Le Baiser" or The Kiss, uses two heads of dead, elderly men kissing.

Pushing the envelope? Yes. Disturbing? Definitely. You can Google his name to view his work.

1.) Zdzislaw Beksinski

Beksinski (February 24, 1929-February 22, 2005) was Polish artist known for his gothic, surreal images of distorted figures and crumbling worlds.

Beksinski's best known works, used in this list, were during what he calls his "fantastic period." During this period, lasting from the late 60s till the 80s is when he created these skeletal, post-apocalyptic works depicting death, decay and deformity with elements of fantasy.

Beksinski Online Gallery:

Zdzislaw Beksinski/Oils
Zdzislaw Beksinski/Oils

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Comments 17 comments

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

Spooky, I have goose flesh a little now. Great descriptions and background information.

Luciendasky profile image

Luciendasky 7 years ago from Florence, OR

This is very good information and I learned a lot! Thanks for writing!

kephrira profile image

kephrira 7 years ago from Birmingham

I read an article about the crying boy in the Fortean Times, its a fascinating story. The butcher boys one does look pretty creepy too.

torimari profile image

torimari 7 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thank you guys!:)

bloodnlatex 7 years ago

Well done... Have you ever gotten into the art of H.R. Giger? I'm not sure if any of his works are haunted, but a lot of his work is on the dark side.

torimari profile image

torimari 7 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Yea, he is talented but I never got into his work. It reminded me more of alien and borgs with some sex mixed in (not that it's a bad thing). xD

muratos profile image

muratos 7 years ago from Moscow

It was quite enjoying to read. Thumbs up !

cosette 7 years ago

another excellent hub! i loved reading the history attached to these paintings. wonderful!

sasuke7s8s profile image

sasuke7s8s 7 years ago from Riverside

Some of those are really awsome.

advoco profile image

advoco 7 years ago from cadiz

Fascinating commentaries - haunting imgages. Good hub.

eyeofh profile image

eyeofh 7 years ago from New Jersey

Great Hub...the Beksinski is my favorite...going to check out the gallery now...thank you!

Chloe Comfort profile image

Chloe Comfort 6 years ago from Long Island

Very interesting hub. I love the speculation behind the "cursed" paintings. Makes me wonder if the "Crying Boy" is still causing mischief. Kudos!

Chris Friend 6 years ago

Very nice indeed. Just wrote my own hub on Beksinski.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Great hub of horrors! Heh! I enjoyed reading this, great art and great stories too!

torimari profile image

torimari 6 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thank you!:]

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I enjoyed this, quite an unusual topic to me, but this was very interesting, thank you.

maddartist profile image

maddartist 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

okay so that picture of the horse skeleton and the story that went along with it established my irrational fear of horse skeletons when i was younger. If you check my bio on my profile it specifically says that horse skeletons freak me out. haha it's a cool hub though :)

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