The framed portrait was for sale at the HARC (Hastings Advice and Representation Centre) charity shop in London Road, St Leonards, with a price tag of £20.
It was bought by a woman who promptly returned it, complaining that the little girl’s eyes seemed to be following her around the room. She told staff at the shop “I never want to see the damned thing again.”
Staff at the shop displayed the picture in the window with a label saying ‘possibly’ cursed. It was bought by another woman, but she too returned it saying she could not live with it. Staff put the painting back in the window with a label saying ‘She’s back! Sold twice and returned twice. Are you brave enough?’
The second woman who had bought it subsequently returned and wanted it back so no-one is quite sure where the ‘cursed’ painting is at this moment.
The painting had been donated to the shop by a middle-aged man, along with some frames.
Staff at the shop told told the Hastings Observer: “It was only a bit of fun really. We said it was cursed as a sort of joke because it had been returned, we did not expect this sort of attention. The phone has not stopped ringing. We have had newspapers from as far away as Australia and America calling us. At one stage we had to take the phone off the hook.”