You walk into a pub called The Busby Stoop Inn in North Yorkshire, England and see a wooden chair sitting in the corner. It looks like an average chair. There isn’t anything special about it. But you are in a pub and in need of a beer. Since all the other chairs are taken, you decide to sit in this lone empty chair. However, before you sit down, the bartender becomes unhinged.
“Stop lad, don’t sit in that chair.”
You give the bartender a surprised look. “Why not?”
“If you value your life, you won’t sit in that chair. It’s cursed by the spirit of Thomas Busby. Step over here and wait for another seat.”
So you wait for the bartender to clean off a different chair. Afterward, the bartender shares an odd story about this empty chair and its alleged cursed. This is the 21st century. You don’t believe in a cursed chair. But the bartender has captured your attention.
In the year 1702, a thief and good-for-nothing lout named Thomas Busby was hanged for brutally murdering a man with a hammer. Supposedly the argument involved the murdered man not wanting his daughter to date Busby. But it’s also believed that Busby was actually angry that his victim had sat in his favorite chair at the pub. He loved it so much that he would curse anyone who sat in it.
Before Busby’s execution, he said anyone who sat in his favorite chair would soon die. Even after his execution the chair remained in the pub until it closed in 2012.
Legend has it that the chair’s first documented victim died mysteriously in 1894. A chimney sweep was sitting in Busby’s chair after a rough day at work. After having a few drinks the man left. He never made it home. His body was found the next day. Authorities ruled the death a suicide, however, a former friend admitted to robbing and murdering the former chimney sweep.
During WWII, the pub became a popular drinking spot for Royal Air Force pilots. It was reported that many pilots goaded each other into sitting in the chair. They did so not believe in curses. Legend has it that pilots who sat in the chair didn’t return home from the war.
Even during the ‘70s the deaths occurred. Bikers who sat in the chair died in automobile accidents while a few others died while riding their motorcycles. Other victims included a cleaning woman who died from a brain tumor after bumping into the chair. Eventually, the chair was placed in the basement to keep people from sitting in it. After the chair was banished to the basement, a delivery man saw the chair in the basement and sat on it. He soon perished in an automobile accident after sitting in the cursed chair.
The chair is now hanging on a wall in the Thirsk Museum in North Yorkshire, England. Visitors cannot sit in the chair. So what are your thoughts? Would you sit in this chair? Was it a coincidence that so many people who sat in the chair died after sitting in the cursed chair?
I don’t consider myself a superstitious person, but I wouldn’t sit in the Busby chair. Why tempt fate? So what about you? Would you have the nerve to sit in Busby’s cursed chair?
Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page Life with Grandpa and he also just wrote Just Bite Me: A Guide to Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Walking Nightmares, which is available on Amazon.com.