Thirsk Museum is located in a small market town about 255-miles, north of London. There are plenty of great things in the museum, but the most legendary is a wooden chair hanging from the ceiling. It was given to the museum under one condition. The curator had to promise to keep the chair too high for anyone to sit on. It is called the Busby Stoop Chair, and it is said to be cursed.
The chair was named after the man who owned it, Thomas Busby. Thomas lived during the 18th century, and he had a taste for alcohol and had a reputation for being a violent thug. Thomas went into business with a criminal named Daniel Awety, who lived in a nearby village called Kirby Wiske. Daniel bought a far in Thirsk, and it was situated on a hill. This was perfect for him because people couldn’t see what was going on at his house from town, and he could see someone coming immediately. He was a forger, and he had a secret passageway that linked his cellar to a hidden room so he could keep his work a secret. He called his property, Danotty Hall.
Daniel had a daughter named Elizabeth. She was beautiful, and her father was very protective of her. When she fell in love with his partner, Thomas, he was livid. Daniel knew that his daughter could do better. Despite Daniel’s objections, Elizabeth and Thomas got married. Thomas’ business venture with Daniel was very lucrative, and he was married to a beautiful woman, but this didn’t help his violent temper or his drinking. Daniel hated the way Thomas treated his daughter, and the two men often fought about the marriage.
Thomas owned an inn near the village of Sandhutton. It doubled as an inn and Thomas and Elizabeth’s home. One night, Thomas got home, and Daniel was there waiting for him. Daniel had enough of Thomas’ treatment of his daughter. Daniel told Thomas that he would be taking his daughter from him, which pushed Thomas too far. This wasn’t the only thing that upset Thomas. When Daniel was at the inn waiting for him, he was sitting in Thomas’ favorite chair. Thomas became enraged, and the two fought. Thomas physically threw Daniel out of the inn.
Thomas sat at the inn, drinking and thinking about Daniel trying to take his wife away and sitting in his favorite chair. He decided to go to Danotty Hall to confront Daniel. When he got there, he beat Daniel to death with a hammer used for counterfeiting. He tried to cover up the murder, so he dragged his partner’s body out to the woods. When people realized that Daniel was missing, a search began. It wasn’t long before Daniel’s bloody and beaten body was found in the woods. Thomas was the prime suspect and went on trial for the crime during the summer of 1702. He was found guilty and sentenced to a public execution where he would be hanged. After, his body would remain on display in an iron cage suspended from a gibbet.
A Final Wish
Before Thomas was put to death, he was granted one last wish. He wanted to have a drink in his favorite chair at his inn. After having his drink, Thomas was about to be led to his execution when he cursed the chair. He said that anyone who sat in the chair would suffer an untimely death. His execution went as scheduled, and it was believed that he haunted his pub after he died.
Busby Stoop Inn
After his death, the pub was renamed the Busby Stoop Inn. His favorite chair remained in the same place he left it for hundreds of years after his execution. The new owner would often regale customers with Thomas’ story and the curse. Over the years, the curse seems to have come true, and over 60 people were victims of the curse.
The Chimney Sweep
In 1894, a chimney sweep went to the pub for a drink with a friend. He sat in the chair, and the next morning, he was found dead. At first, it was believed that he took his own life. Twenty years later, the friend he was with that night confessed to mugging and killing him. Many think that it was the curse that caused his friend to take his life.
A mile from the pub was an airfield that was used during World War II. The airmen would often dare each other to sit in the chair. Many of the airmen who took the challenge didn’t make it back.
During the ’70s, a man named Tony Earnshaw was the landlord at the time. He didn’t believe in the legend until two RAF Servicemen came to the pub, and each sat in the chair. On their way back to the base, they hit a tree, and both men died.
A few days after the deaths of the RAW servicemen, a group of workmen went to the inn for lunch. A young laborer was dared to sit in the chair. He did, and when he got back to the job site, he fell through the roof and smashed his head on the concrete below and died.
The woman who cleaned the pub was working one day when she tripped and landed in the chair. Shortly after, she fell ill and died. Tony started to wonder if the legend was true, and he brought the chair to the cellar. When a deliveryman was bringing supplies to the basement, he sat in the chair to take a quick break. He died later that day in a car wreck.
Donating the Chair
Tony decided that the chair wasn’t safe in the pub, so he donated it to the Thirsk Museum in 1978. The only condition was that the chair is hung up on the wall so that nobody could sit in it. People Have Refused To Sit In This Chair For 300 Years – And The Reason Will Terrify You. Death will come to anyone who sits in the chair. There have been so many deaths related to the chair that its hard not to believe that the curse is real.