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The grand canopied beds of the late-18th and early-19th Centuries, with their intricate carvings and dark hanging curtains, were often more like miniature rooms than simple furniture. An old bed might have a past as storied (and tragic) as the house itself. Visitors to an ancient manor or castle might find themselves in ancient bed that is more than a simple vehicle of pleasure and rest. Whether retiring for the night, or engaging in a clandestine affair, the unlucky occupant of such a bed may be confronted with the dark forces that fester in the corners of reality.
Some of these hauntings will invite further investigation – others are simply bits of interest to enliven a Gothic game or story.
20 Cursed and Haunted Beds
- If sleeping alone in the bed one will experience the unmistakable sensation that someone or something is lying next to them, but there is never anyone there.
- When the curtains are drawn the faint sound of an indecipherable conversation can sometimes be heard, but when the curtains are opened nobody is in the room.
- At 2:00 AM every night, the bed smells inexplicably like jasmine and musk, the favorite scent of the lady who was murdered in the bed by her jealous husband over 30 year ago. At 2:00 AM, of course.
- The bedclothes always become inexplicable messy, no matter how many times they are fixed during the day. It never happens if the bed is watched, but as soon as someone looks away the sheets become rumpled. Eventually the haunting will escalate to the point that the bed-sheet forms itself into a noose tied to a crossbar of the bedposts. The former occupant of the bedchamber hung themselves in such a way.
- The bed is oddly warm, even on cold days. Sometimes at night, there is a soft sound like someone breathing, and the mattress seems to rise and fall slightly. If the wood of the bed is ever nicked, it will bleed.
- People who sleep on the bed are oddly pale and weak in the morning, but don’t remember having any trouble sleeping. In fact, occupants always have a perfect, dreamless sleep.
- Those who sleep in the bed will have a dream that consist of a random memory from one of the bed’s previous occupants.
- The bed-curtains randomly pull themselves open for no apparent reason.
- The insides of the bed-curtains are printed with pictures of people and animals that change position overnight.
- Anyone who sleeps in the bed will dream of being chased down a basement corridor past a red door. This is a clue to finding the hidden body of someone who was secretly murdered in the house many years before.
- It sometimes looks at though someone is sleeping underneath the sheet, but if it is removed there is nobody there.
- In the morning the curtains and bedclothes are ripped to shreds, as if some wild beast had attacked them. There are threads in the sleeper’s mouth, and under their nails.
- The sleep will be awakened in the night by the feel of invisible fingers softly caressing their head.
- The sleeper will awaken in the middle of the night to the sound of soft whispers saying “marry me, or I am lost forever”. Next to them is a rotted corpse in a wedding dress, leaning in for a kiss.
- In the morning the sleeper finds 16th century Spanish Doubloons in the bed, which was once owned by a pirate captain.
- In the middle of the night a footman in an old-fashioned livery will awaken the sleeper, claiming that the house is on fire and all the guests need to evacuate. When the character is brought out into the garden the footman disappears and it is obvious there is no fire. Investigation in the morning reveals that no such footman works at the house, but he does match the description of a servant who burned to death at a fire in the house 50 years ago.
- Bloods continually appear on one of the club-like bedstaves, no matter how many times it is wiped off. That bedstaff had been used by a former occupant of the chamber to murder her children while they slept.
- Once the bed-curtains are closed they will disappear, revealing that the bed now lies in a glade within a deep forest. The forest is the one from which the wood for the bed was obtained.
- The bed is either extremely moralistic, shaking uncontrollably if anybody but a married couple makes love in it, or jealous, similarly shaking if a married couple has sex in it.
- Those who fall asleep in the bed will dream of killing a local peasant family. In the morning the sleeper(s) will find out that the exact family they dreamed about was actually murdered in the night. There is no way the sleepers could have exited the room without being observed, however.