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

Address:
901 Court St., Lynchburg, VA
Directions:
Lynchburg Museum. Downtown, in the Old Courthouse, at the corner of Court and 9th Sts.
Hours:
M, Th-Sa 10-4, Su 12-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
434-455-6226
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

HVAC School Bus And Big BugsHVAC School Bus And Big Bugs, Lynchburg, VA - < 1 mi.
Giant Red ShoesGiant Red Shoes, Lynchburg, VA - < 1 mi.
Big High HeelBig High Heel, Lynchburg, VA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Bedford Boys Tribute Center, Bedford, VA - 22 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Virginia

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Virginia.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Virginia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Blue Whale, Catoosa, Oklahoma (Sep 26-Oct 2, 2022)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings