Aleister Crowley's haunted wardrobe's legacy of chaos
A haunted wardrobe believed to be carved by Aleister Crowley is claimed to have caused chandeliers to spin, Bibles to flip and make people feel unwell.
Zena Corden made the link between the demonic door decoration and the ‘drobe after buying it from antique shop Olden Ewe in Paignton, Devon.
Devon antiques seller Linda Bell was desperate to be rid of the freaky furniture after it caused things to smash, spin and fall in the shop - and phones to malfunction, meaning none of the terrifying incidents were recorded.
She believed it triggered poltergeist activity, and said that Bibles they left near it overnight would be overturned or flipped.
Zena told DevonLive: "Crowley used to live down there and he carved furniture like this.
"His furniture is quite hard to come by and it's so rare that it would be impossible to authenticate. But I think this wardrobe is cobbled together from other things and the head looks like something he might have carved.
"Everybody says the head is Pan - but Pan is just a fun nymph, it looks more malicious than that to me. It has got an aura about it."
Zena and her daughter Tabitha Wright originally put the wardrobe in their Derby oddities museum, Curiouser and Curiouser.
Just like when it was in Devon, people claimed they felt unwell when next to the wardrobe, and that the doors would swing open (even when locked), or would refuse to close at all.
Zena said: "We had paranormal investigators come around and they told us their meters were so off the charts that they thought an old electricity junction box behind the wardrobe must be still live.
"We debunked that when we got an electrician to come and disconnect it and he said 'It's totally and utterly dead and it has been for many years'."
Sadly (as it sounded excellent!) Curiouser and Curiouser closed. The wardrobe went to Zena’s next business, Derby’s first cat cafe, Curious Cats, which also closed.
Apparently the cats LOVED the wardrobe - more proof of its demonic vibes?
The wardrobe is now at Tabitha’s home, keeping her clothes and shoes tidy, but she admits that a lot of visitors are freaked out by it.
In 2015, Linda said she was glad to see the back of it: “I used to get headaches from it, and the part of the shop it was in was always cold.
"Over a period of two weeks, things really started happening – we’d close it and it would just open again.
“I even locked it, and took the keys home with me but, by the following morning, it was wide open again."
What was really going on with the wardrobe has remained as mysterious as its origins, which remain incredibly vague.
Linda said: "It came from a council house in Paignton, it was just there in the living room.
“I asked the seller where it was from and he said he had no idea – I’ve tried to contact him since but I can’t find him at all. I’ve been back to the house but it was empty.”