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The Haunted Box

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Hornchurch flats

Can objects be haunted?

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What at first seemed like a harmless, even useless house-warming gift could be the catalyst for strange paranormal activity

Many items have been touted on Internet shops and auction sites as being "haunted." Those who sell them, thinking they are really haunted or not, are obviously out to make a quick buck. And those who buy them do so either as gag gifts, out of curiosity, or with the hope that the item truly is haunted and will possibly provide some extraordinary activity.

In this case, Garbriella and boyfriend Adam receive an old "haunted" box as a gift. Is the box really haunted? Or is the strange activity that follows conjured up by the apprehension and fearful expectations of the new owners? Does it make a difference? This is Gabriella's story....

It feels like my friends, my boyfriend, and I are going crazy. Sometimes we're literally like, "Did this just happen!?"

I live with my boyfriend, Adam, in a nice little flat in Hornchurch, East London, England. Everything was totally fine. We were getting items to decorate our new flat and we both looked forward to inviting people over - cooking them dinner and just being good hosts.

THE GIFT

It got to the night that we were going to have our best friends over to our new place and we were kind of excited as it's our own place. We could do what we want, we can have them stay if we wish - we could do whatever. Adam's brother Luke came over first and was telling us about "this totally awesome thing" he had in his car and would show everyone when they came.

More friends came over and we were all having a good time. We were drinking and we just ordered pizza. Luke said he was going to show us, as he put it, the "awesomeness." Luke ran off to his car that was just outside. We were all just waiting for him to get back and carried on drinking and chatting.

Finally, Luke came back holding a box. He says it was Adam's and my "moving-in box," and he handed it over to us. I was holding this sorta weird wooden box, turning it over. All my friends rushed up to me wanting to know what it was. What does it do? What's inside?

"What is this Luke?" I asked.

"Oh, it's just a little something I got you," he said, smiling at me. "I know you like spooky stuff."

Adam immediately got defensive and shouted at his brother that this was our new flat, a new start for us, and he didn't want anything paranormal or scary inside our new home. Luke assured Adam and me that nothing was going to happen to us and it was just probably a box with nothing in it that someone put on the internet claiming that it is haunted, just to get some more money out of people. But it worked because Luke bought it!

WHAT'S INSIDE?

We carried on the night and I put the box in the spare room. I remember thinking, It's really ugly... and why the hell would anyone just give a "haunted" box to someone? Why couldn't he have got us something nice, some flowers or whatever... not a box!

The night drew on and we were still drinking, talking and just having a good time. Everyone said they'd stay over and, it sounds stupid, but I was really enjoying myself. Our first night to have people over wasn't a disaster! They liked our new home, they liked the place, and it felt really nice to have everyone together again.

We carried on drinking into the early hours of the morning and the conversation turned to the box again. Adam was kind of hostile and wanted to know why his younger brother Luke would waste his money on a stupid box that he got from the internet with god-knows-what inside. Adam said anyone could say this box is haunted just to get some more money and Luke could have bought something else for him as he's only a student and doesn't have much money.

I actually stuck up for Luke. "Well, he got it as a moving-in present for us, so it's the thought." I said. "Besides, he said nothing will happen."

"I'll show you nothing will happen," Luke said. Before we knew what was happening, Luke was back with this awful box and opened it. I don't know what I expected to happen. I think I expected something to jump out at us as a gag, or something to happen straight away.

Nothing happened. Nothing was inside the box apart from some hair wrapped up in a bandage. Adam simply said, "See. Nothing's inside. You wasted fifty pounds on nothing," and tossed the box aside.

Next page: Something at the door

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