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Cursed cradle.

Cursed Self-Rocking Cradle

Field review by the editors.

Lynchburg, Virginia

According to local lore, a wooden cradle was borrowed by a Lynchburg preacher in 1839. He discovered to his surprise that whenever he spoke the word "Beelzebub" (or, in some accounts, "Geoffrey") the cradle would rock itself. This went on for about a month, and the phenomenon was witnessed by hundreds of Lynchburg citizens, who apparently stopped by to take a peek.

The cradle was given back to its original owner (another preacher) who stored it in his attic. His great-great-great-grandchildren donated it to the local museum in 2021, which added new rockers to the cradle, the originals having been lost. Without these key -- perhaps cursed -- parts, the cradle no longer rocks, no matter what name you call it.

What happened to the newborns rocked in this cradle? The second preacher's baby died, and the first preacher's baby had to be locked away in a lunatic asylum!

Cursed Self-Rocking Cradle

Lynchburg Museum

901 Court St., Lynchburg, VA
Lynchburg Museum. Downtown, in the Old Courthouse, at the corner of Court and 9th Sts.
M, Th-Sa 10-4, Su 12-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

HVAC School Bus And Big BugsHVAC School Bus And Big Bugs, Lynchburg, VA - < 1 mi.
Big High HeelBig High Heel, Lynchburg, VA - < 1 mi.
Large Metal Water PitcherLarge Metal Water Pitcher, Lynchburg, VA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Henrietta Lacks: Immortal Cells, Roanoke, VA - 45 mi.

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