A/N: inspired by my visit to the Thirsk Museum which displays an actually cursed chair. Happy Halloween!
Isabella trembled as cold, night air blew in from the windows. But she couldn’t just close them, if she did she surely wouldn’t be able to see or hear when her husband was approaching. He was late, he should have been back hours ago.
However he wasn’t back, and as the night drew on Isabella feared he might have died out on the moor. The candles had almost burnt out when the door heaved open. Isabella jolted at the sound, she’d fallen asleep on the lounge.
Bleary eyed she propped herself up and looked to see who was coming in, relieved to see her husband. But as her husband mumbled a greeting and went to recline into his armchair she couldn’t help but feel slightly ill at ease.
Then his late returns began to continue throughout the week, and she could feel suspicion rising in her.
Constable Hamish Wilther was annoyed to be woken so earlier on a Sunday. However when he answered the loud banging on his door to reveal a fear struck, trembling with cold, breathless Mrs Porter he found his anger subsiding. So he welcomed her in and offered her a cup of tea.
Lynette Porter continued to tremble as he passed her a cuppa. And it was only after the first sip only was she able to commence explaining her early intrusion.
“Oh constable it’s terrible, wickedly so,those poor souls.” Her hands shook around the cup.
“What exactly is it, Mrs Porter?” Hamish sipped his tea as he politely awaited her response.
“Bodies, constable. Tens of them, in the moor.”
“Well Mrs Porter, people are want to fall in the moor on cold, foggy nights like we’ve had the last week.”
“Not that many constable, and not in such a way. You must come constable, you must see it for yourself.”
“Alright Mrs Porter, shall we go now then?”
“Yes, at once.”
And so they went up to the moors, and there along the path not quite in the moor there was a line of bodies. At first Hamish thought they must of died from the cold, but then he saw the lines. Little, thin lines across the throat.
The murders took the town by surprise, most of the victims had been visitors with no family in the local area. Only two of the victims were locals, Dr Isaac Bates and Mrs Leonora Bates- parents of Isabella Norman.
So of course that only left one person to interview- Isabella Norman. The town, as most small towns shook by these types of events, was surging with gossip. Gossip of course feeds speculation, and everybody likes a good suspect.
It was a shock when Darren Norman was sent to the gallows. His wife Isabella had informed Constable Wilther of how her husband had continuously returned late during the nights of murders- those thick, cold, foggy nights.
And then on his execution day he shouted “Curse any bliter that dares sit in my chair!”
Doreen Alburn was not happy with her family’s idea of wedding gifts. Handing her down furniture from her Great, Great, Great Aunt Isabella Norman. Doreen held particular distate for the atrocious armchair that her husband seemed to adore.
It didn’t help that her mother kept harassing her to get the chair back, but her husband kept insisting they keep it.
“I told you that you shouldn’t keep that armchair, we never meant t give it to you Doreen… It’s cursed you see.”
“Mum, it isn’t cursed. Peter just had an accident, the chair had nothing to do with it.”
“Oh sure, but did you know your Grandfather sat in that chair once and the very next day is when he had his stroke.”
“Whatever Ma, I gave it to charity after Peter passed anyway.”
“Oh no… Why did you do that?”
“Because it was ugly mum.”
Lily Chrissen loved the chair she’d just picked up from the op-shop. Of course she couldn’t understand why anyone would have ever parted with it, that beautiful old wood carving and beautiful leather upholstery.
She gushed over the chair everytime she had guests, everyone loved how quaint it was.
Then it started, slowly, one by one her friends started to have horrible accidents. At first she didn’t think anything of it, but then she started noticing a pattern. It was only her friends who had sat in the chair that were having accidents.
Lily hadn’t sat in the chair herself yet, afterall it was decorative- a guests chair really. So she gave away the chair, as much as she loved it she couldn’t stop feeling like it was linked to the accidents.
Frank Cherwick didn’t like the chair, his wife insited on buying it but he didn’t like it. There was something that nagged at him everytime he looked at the chair. He wouldn’t let the children sit on the chair, much as his wife chuckled at him for it, he maintained if she loved it so darn much she should sit on it.
But she didn’t sit on it, so it sat in the house untouched.
Elsbeth Cherwick was a grump, she didn’t like visiting her family and she hated being around small children. However it was tradition in the Cherwick family for everyone to spend Christmas together, so begrudgingly she went to her brother’s house.
There was barely any sitting room in the house, even though she’d arrived early. But there was one armchair in the corner that sat neglected with a small layer of dust, so she decided to settle there as she waited for the evening to end.
It was a long evening, with a number of dishes being served. During dessert, a rich pecan pie, Elsbeth was stuffing her gob in a hurry to finally be done with this Christmas tradition and leave. And then a piece got stuck in her throat, try as she might she could not dislodge it.
Her family being the useless lot they were also could not aid in dislodgement of the piece. So slowly her vision grew dark and much to her dismay the voices of her family died out.
They buried Elsbeth Cherwick on a Sunday and then on that same night Frank Cherwick could be found chopping wood and setting a fire.
His wife was miffed when her chair couldn’t be found, even though she never sat in the damn thing.