The Devils Chair…. Would You Dare to Sit on One?

The Devils chair is decorative statue in the form of a chair or bench or found in graveyards across the United states.

The Devils chair is surrounded in urban legends, but likely dating back to ancient folklore. In folklore the Devils chair is more commonly referred to as ‘The Haunted Chair’.

Some carved chairs were probably not intended for use as anything but monuments for mourners to use as they were often referred to as a ‘mourning chairs.’

Once the original purpose of these chairs fell out of fashion, superstitions developed in association with the act of sitting in them. In a typical example, local young people dare one another to visit the site, most often after dark, at midnight, or on some specified night such as Halloween or New Year’s Eve. Variously, the stories suggest the person brave enough to sit in the chair at such a time may be punished for impudence or rewarded for courage.

TOP 3 Famous Devil Chairs

This Devil’s chair located in Cassadaga-Lake Helen Cemetery, Florida is America’s most famous ‘Devils Chair’. Every Halloween and on any Friday the 13th, large numbers of young people descend on the cemetery and try to sit in the chair, to the great annoyance of nearby residents. Residents and police guard the graveyard on these nights, turning back or arresting young adventurers. Youngsters have been accused of vandalising gravestones, throwing paint at houses and bothering locals by asking if they can direct them to Casper. The police have detained hundreds over the years.

Several legends are attached to the chair. One claims that if you leave a can of beer on the bench and come back the next morning, you’ll find the beer has been drunk – according to some, without the can having been opened. Another piece of folklore states that if you sit in the chair at midnight, you’ll meet the Devil himself, who’ll be quite happy to chat with you. Some claim the Evil One built the chair and that the things he’ll whisper to you in the witching hour will haunt you forever. Others maintain that if you lower yourself onto the seat, the Fiend will appear to you at midnight some time in the next few days, wherever you might be.

The Devil’s Chair or Baird Chair as it is officially named in the Highland Park Cemetery of Kirksville, Missouri was first placed in the cemetery by Charles Grassle and David Baird when David’s wife, Anna Maria (Hoye) Baird, died in 1911. It has become involved in “numerous legends of a type widely replicated across the U.S., especially in rural and small-town communities, and beloved of young people….

Some versions say that something dreadful will happen to the person so bold as to be seated in it at midnight (or on a particular evening, such as Halloween) – a hand will emerge from the grave and drag the impious one down to the underworld. Other versions suggest the intrepid one will be rewarded.” The chair itself was sculpted out of concrete by Charles Grassle of the Baird and Grassle Granite Work of Kirksville MO and placed as a memorial for Anna in 1911. One year later David Baird died and was buried beside Anna. This chair acts as their grave marker.

Local legend says that if you have psychic abilities and sit in this chair located at Union Cemetery, Guthrie Center, Iowa you’ll hear the dead talk. Other folklore, however, states that sitting in the seat will result in bad luck. More disturbingly, several stories link the chair with the Devil. He’s said to appear in it every Friday the 13th and – more puzzlingly – every Friday the 17th, at precisely 3.00 a.m. on both dates. Some claim that if you position yourself upon the seat, the Fiend will grant you magical or psychic powers, but only if he likes you and feels he has a great use for you. If you experience strange smells in the vicinity of the chair, it’s a sign the Evil One’s close by.

The ‘Devil’s chair’ is located between two graves though its uncertain which it belongs to. It’s similar in design to the Baird Chair, but is cast from cement rather than carved from stone. Though the Union Cemetery opened in 1885, it seems all the wild stories connected with the dastardly chair only go back about 35 years.

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