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Home Tourist Attraction The cursed painting returns! New owner of ‘haunted’ portrait reveals his tourist attraction was flooded twice in a month amid string of spooky events since buying the artwork for £1,700

The cursed painting returns! New owner of ‘haunted’ portrait reveals his tourist attraction was flooded twice in a month amid string of spooky events since buying the artwork for £1,700

by Staff

The new owner of a ‘haunted’ portrait has revealed that his tourist attraction was flooded twice in a month amid a string of spooky events since buying the artwork for £1,700.

The infamous ‘cursed’ painting of a little girl went viral after it was pictured for sale in the window of a charity shop in Hastings, East Sussex, with a warning, reading: ‘She’s back!!! Sold twice and returned twice! Are you brave enough?’

The painting was first purchased by its mysterious first owner in August but they returned it after one night. It was then bought by Zoe Elliott-Brown who claimed she was chased by a ‘black figure’ after purchasing it for £25.

She was so spooked that she ended up selling it to James Kislingbury, managing director of The London Bridge Experience, on eBay for £1,680. 

Mr Kislingbury claimed that his car broke down on the way to collect the portrait and he also injured his collar bone. He also said that the cameras and Wi-Fi at his tourist attraction have randomly switched off – and their TV’s have mysteriously shut down.

Flickering lights and a figure in a black skirt have also been spotted by one worker, while when Mr Kislingbury took the portrait home for an interview, his father-in-law fell ill and his toaster blew up.

James Kislingbury is pictured with the cursed painting in the entrance to the London Bridge Experience. He purchased it on eBay but their building has flooded twice since the portrait arrived
The painting went viral after it was pictured in an East Sussex charity shop. The ‘curse’ has continued with each owner

Mr Kislingbury put the painting up in the reception of the tourist attraction – which takes guests on a walkthrough tour of the capital’s history – as part of their Halloween display.

But the 44-year-old says he and his staff have been plagued by bad luck ever since.

The history of the ‘haunted’ portrait

August – The painting is bought by its mysterious first owner who returns it after one night. It is then bought by Zoe Elliott-Brown, from East Sussex. 

August 23 – The portrait is returned to the HARC shop a second time but then taken home again by Zoe who has a change of heart.

August 29 – Zoe appears on This Morning and claims the painting has ‘transfixed’ her mother.

September 6 – The portrait is listed on eBay.

September 13 – The portrait is sold to the London Bridge Experience and spooky occurrences begin.

December – New owners say that London Bridge Experience building has flooded twice since purchasing portrait 

Mr Kislingbury said: ‘We’ve had a couple of floods on the site between November and December. We came in one morning and the basement was flooded.

‘We’ve had small leaks in the past, but nothing on this scale.

‘We’re lucky that the building is quite robust, so the damage wasn’t too bad, but it was a little bit unexpected.

‘I know a cynic would say it’s just a coincidence, but given the volume of things which keep happening, I do find myself questioning whether there’s more to the painting than meets the eye.’

On the day James brought the portrait to the London Bridge Experience, their WiFi went down and one of their TVs suffered an electrical fault.

He added: ‘After I brought the painting onto the site, we kept it wrapped up in the back of our office for a while.

‘Nobody knew it was here for a couple of weeks, but staff started reporting sightings of shadow figures following them.

‘One member of staff even said they kept hearing footsteps behind them, but when they turned around nothing was there.

‘And the day it came onto the site, a TV blew up and we had WiFi faults.’

The father-of-two took the painting back to his family home in Reading, Berkshire, one evening in late October to do a radio interview.

He claims two of his appliances ‘blew up’ and his father-in-law was taken ill the same day.

Zoe Elliott-Brown, from East Sussex, bought the portrait from Hastings Advice Representation Centre (HARC) shop in St Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex but sold it on eBay
The store’s manager Steve remarked that the ‘creepy’ little girl had ‘eyes that follow you around the room’

The 44-year-old said: ‘I had a radio interview in the early hours, so I took the painting home with me.

‘That same day my father-in-law ended up in hospital and our toaster and dishwasher blew up. We’ve never had problems with either before.’

READ MORE: My close encounter with the ‘haunted’ portrait of the girl with a creepy gaze: Painting that proved too scary to own is now on the wall at London attraction – do YOU dare go and see it?

Two weeks after purchasing the portrait James went on holiday with his wife and two children, aged four and nine – a trip he says was ‘blighted’ by the curse of the painting.

He added: ‘I ended up hurting my shoulder badly and we had problems on the ferry and with the hotel.

‘It was a bit of a blighted holiday to be honest.’

While Mr Kislingbury was away on holiday, staff put the painting up on display in the entrance to the London Bridge Experience.

Since then, he says visitors have heard whispers and seen shadow people, as well as claiming their own appliances have blown up when they’ve returned home.

The managing director and his team decided to hire a medium to do a reading of the painting in November.

She told them the portrait has links to a hotel in Eastbourne, East Sussex and that the subject was likely dead when it was painted.

Mr Kislingbury said: ‘We heard all sorts of funny noises during the reading. Even the medium was quite puzzled.

‘But she picked up on a variety of things. She believes the female subject was more than likely painted after she died, and that it was painted by a spiritualist.

‘She also pointed towards a building linked to the painting in Eastbourne, which is now a hotel.’

However, Mr Kislingbury said the reading left one of his staff members more than a bit spooked.

In October, MailOnline’s John James met the ‘haunted’ portrait in its new home under London Bridge

He added: ‘Our social media chap said he was watching TV when he got home that day and it suddenly fell off the wall and smashed in front of him.

‘He had a lovely big, expensive LED TV which was firmly bolted to the wall, and had been for quite some time, and it literally flew off the wall.

‘It’s bizarre. All sorts of odd things have happened.’

But despite the odd occurrences, Mr Kislingbury has no plans to part with the ‘cursed’ painting anytime soon.

In fact, he has left it up in the reception area, despite taking down the other Halloween decorations.

The father-of-two said: ‘It does creep me out a bit, but I’ve gotten used to it now and I tend to brush it off.

‘We’re no stranger to unusual things happening in this building – we have our very own plague pits in the basement.

‘We’re planning to keep it and we hope it can find a happy home here.’

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