The Haunted Chair Story – Busby’s Stoop

The Haunted Chair Story - Busby's Stoop

In this article we will be covering the haunted chair story that surrounds Busby’s Stoop, located in the small town of Kirkby Wiske, North Yorkshire, England…

A Peculiar Set of Events…

June 1702, and man is left for dead after being smashed around the head with a blunt hammer. Another man is then hung for his ‘hammer attack’ and then strung up in a gibbet, and covered in pitch.

Right next to the gibbet is a quaint country inn, where the ‘hanged man’ used to live.

His chair remains in the country inn, but is known to contain a powerful curse…

Sounds like a fairytale doesn’t it?

It’s not…

Kirkby Wiske

Counterfeiter Daniel Awety moved into the quiet area of Kirkby Wiske in the late 17th century. He bought up an old farm and it’s land to use as a safe haven for his criminal activities – he named it Danotty Hall.

When the farm was ready, Awety brought his daughter to the the area to live with him. Within weeks of her arrival, a local man named Thomas Busby fell in love with her.

Awety was not over the moon about this relationship – he thought his daughter deserved better.

But there was nothing he could do – the pair were in love, and eventually married. Awety decided to bring his new son-in-law into the counterfeiting business, and the two became partners.

Unfortunately, Thomas Busby liked a drink…or ten, and he and Elizabeth took up lodgings in the local Inn a little ways down the road from Dannotty. He spent most of his earnings at the bar.

Haunted Chair Story - Kirkby Wiske

After a few months, Awety got tired of hearing about his son-in-law’s drunken exploits, and turned up at the bar to drag his daughter back home. She refused to leave until her husband got home from wherever he happened to be at the time.

Busby turned up drunk about an hour later, and launched himself at his father-in-law when he realized that he had been sitting in his regular chair. There was a short fight, and Awety left the inn, and the chair, and returned home to Danotty Hall.

But Busby was not finished – he could not get over the fact that someone had sat in his special drinking chair!

He followed his father-in-law back to Danotty Hall and killed him with a rusty old hammer.

Awety’s body was eventually found and Busby was charged, trialled and found guilty of the murder – records show he was executed (hung) in 1702.

Once his body stopped kicking, he was brought down, dipped in pitch and hanged from a gibbet.

When he was on the executioner’s block, Busby’s warned the locals that his death would leave a curse on his favorite chair – whoever sat on it…would die.

After the execution the inn was renamed the Busby Stoop Inn.

Busby’s Chair

The Inn’s owner was a pretty good businessman, and he left the cursed chair right next to the bar in the inn – people came from far and wide to set eyes on the doomed piece of furniture.

But is it nothing more than a stupid fable – a legend?

Well, at the time of writing this, 63 deaths have been attributed to Busby’s chair…

In more recent times, shortly after the Second World War, a young builder’s apprentice died soon after having lunch at the inn.

His fellow workers dared him to sit down on the famous chair and he obliged…later that same day, the roof he was working on collapsed, and the fall killed him.

Busby's Chair

This incident caused the then landlord to rethink it’s positioning in the pub – he decided to store it downstairs in the cellar, just in case…

Unfortunately a delivery man ended up sitting in the chair when he was working in the cellar…he died in a car crash that evening.

The strangest of all the deaths linked to the chair, came when a chimney sweep mistakingly sat down on it when he was a little bit drunk. He was found the following morning hanging from a gatepost next to the mock Busby Gibbet located next to the inn.

What are your thoughts on the haunted chair story?

Please leave your opinions in the comment section below.


  1. Well, it is a fascinating story and a well written and well organized post. As to the story, I am a little bit cynical about these paranormal things. But again, I am not sure all the deaths could be coincidences. It is certainly food for thought, and it will occupy my mind for quite some time. well done !
    What is a gibbet? Do you know what happened to the young wife/daughter?

    • Okay – A gibbet is any instrument of public execution, but gibbeting refers to the use of a gallows-type structure from which the dead or dying bodies of criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals (I got that off Wikipedia!).

      I have no idea what happened to the wife afterwards Janice.

  2. What a mystery, may we never be cursed.

    What could Busby have put in his mouth before cursing the chair that made the curse so potent? Why let many innocent lives be lost as a result of his drunkenness and utterances. 

    The lady in question would be so devastated losing two men who are most important in her life, her father then her husband. That is why it is good to follow parental advice in choosing a life partner.

    • Yep – you never really know what’s going on inside someone’s head until you get in a relationship with them…then it all changes…

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