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Busby Stoop’s Cursed Chair

by Rupert Malone on 30/01/11 at 11:13 am

People used to dare each other to sit in the chair at the Busby Stoop Inn and try their luck against the curse. Too many people have died because of this foolishness. The chair now hangs from the wall of the museum at Thirsk. It’s safer that way.

When the police cam looking for Busby (Easter 1703) they found him drunk and sitting in his chair. He was hung a month later from some gallows that were erected next to the inn, and from that day onwards it was known as the Busby Stoop Inn. The story has it that Busby was still raving about his chair until the very last moment and that he cursed all those who might sit in it.

And people have sat in the chair. In fact, during the war, a lot of airmen used to get boozed-up and then dare each other to sit in it and a lot of those who did so failed to return from bombing missions over Germany. Let’s face it though; people get killed in times of war, especially if they are flying over hostile territory, and so it is easy to dismiss these stories. Other stories are harder to dismiss

  • There was the labourer from a building site. He downed a few lunchtime pints with his mates and then sat in the chair for a dare. An hour later he fell from some scaffolding and broke his neck.
  • Then there were two airmen who wanted to poke fun at the chair’s sinister reputation. They both insisted on sitting in the chair and then died shortly afterwards when their car hit a tree.
  • And what of the Sergeant-Major? He was big, tough army man who arrived at the inn with his mates and begged permission to sit in the chair. He received it and was in fits of laughter when he left the inn. Two weeks later the big, tough army man dropped dead.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but that’s not a chair that I shall ever want to sit in and sitting in it would prove to be very hard at the moment anyway. Too many people have wanted to test the curse and so for a long time the chair was kept locked in one of the rooms at the inn, but that is no longer the case. Now anybody who wishes to take a look at this cursed piece of furniture will have to pay a visit to the Thirsk Museum, where they will find it hanging from one of the walls.

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