In 1702, career bad guy, Thomas Busby, found himself about to get exactly what he had coming to him. After years of victimizing the good people of Thirsk, England, Busby would soon hang from the end of the hangman’s noose until he was dead. Like many other condemned men and women before him, he was granted one last meal before being dispatched to the great unknown.
With his belly filled and his thirst sated by a couple bottles of wine from his favorite pub, Busby did the unthinkable. The criminal stood up, wiped his mouth and with an arrogant smirk declared, “May sudden death come to anyone who dare sit in my chair.” The next day, to the delight of the villagers he victimized, Thomas Busby went to meet his maker. His final words, a curse really, continued to haunt the people of Thirsk long after his death.
For many years, the chair that Busby cursed sat in the pub where the dead man ate his last meal. Sitting in his chair became something of a game as patrons dared their friends to have a seat and see if there was anything to the curse which was a test of intestinal fortitude very few would dare to accept.
With the birth of the twentieth century, very few entertained silly superstitions and Busby’s words were soon forgotten. However, during World War II, those forgotten words would be tragically remembered when two airmen sat in the chair while enjoying a few pints before flying off to battle the Nazis. The next day, both pilots were shot down over the skies of their beloved country. Upon hearing this, the people of Thirsk became convinced that Busby’s curse was still very much active.
As the twentieth century progressed, the chair claimed more victims. Two more airmen died in strange crashes in 1967. In 1970, a local mason fell into a hole at a job site and died. A roofer perished when a roof he was working on collapsed and crushed him to death. A year later, the pub’s cleaning lady suffered a brain aneurysm that killed her instantly moments after sitting in the chair. The death tally associated with a seemingly innocent looking chair was astounding.
Following the death of the cleaning lady, the pub’s owner grabbed the chair and tossed it into the shadowy alcoves in the pub’s cellar. He hoped that no other person would die as a result of sitting in that damnable chair. Sadly, this would not be. In 1972, the chair claimed one final life when a delivery man sat in the chair and moments after leaving the pub collided headlong with a tree. After this death the owner donated the chair to a local museum.
Being familiar with the tale of the cursed chair and all the death associated with it, the curator of the museum made a wise decision. In order to avoid any more death, the curator suspended the chair five feet in the air. Since that day, Busby’s Chair of Doom has not claimed any more lives.
Of course, one could argue that all those deaths were nothing more than coincidence. After all, airmen die in battle, tragic accidents occur on worksites and people die from anuerysms every day. But it’s not every day people sit in a cursed chair as these poor souls had done. Thankfully, Busby’s Chair of Doom will never destroy another life.
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