The Devil’s Rocking Chair

The actual devils rocking chair

One of the many haunted objects Zak Bagans bought to display in The Haunted Museum was an allegedly evil chair, known as The Devil’s Rocking Chair. The history of this object and its first owner is a mystery, however, we do know that it became owned by the Glatzel family around the 1950s.

Any particularly strange activity went unnoticed for the first 30 years that the family owned the chair. This was until a traumatising event took place which tore everything apart.

Two of the Glatzel family members were possessed by a demonic force that inflicted murder upon the family. The story leads back to the chair, which is believed to be the cursed object responsible for these tragic events.

The Possession of David Glatzel

David Glatzel, who was 11 years old at the time, was the first to become possessed by this evil spirit. It was a Summer night in 1980 when David awoke in a terror and was screaming the house down. He told his family that he had seen a ghostly figure during the night, he described what he had witnessed to be a man who was part animal, with horns and hooves, and a thin gaunt face with spiky teeth.

If this was any other child, you may overlook this claim as just a bad dream, however, David was an honest child, he was terrified of anything slightly spooky, and he was clearly traumatised by what he had witnessed.

David was not the same after this night, he became entirely socially withdrawn and disconnected from the real world. His sister, Debbie, was particularly concerned for his wellbeing and kept a close eye on her brother. As the nights went on, David had recurring dreams of the scary man.

This progressed to physical evidence, David would regularly wake up covered in bruises and strange markings that must have happened whilst he was sleeping. It became unbearable when he started seeing the man during the daytime, they now referred to it as the beast.

The evil spirit of the beast became so powerful that David started to feel as if he were the beast. The beast’s favourite spot was in the rocking chair, the family reported seeing the chair empty but slowly rocking back and forth.

Priest attempts to Banish Evil Spirits from the Devil’s Chair

The Glatzel family had no choice but to invite a priest to the house in an attempt to banish any evil spirits. This only seemed to aggravate the spirit, David had more frequent visions and began screaming at his family in unrecognisable voices, he also spoke in old English. They took turns in watching him during the night to keep him under control, also as a health precaution as he had multiple episodes of seizures.

Ed and Lorraine Warren were the next paranormal professionals to visit the Glatzel home. The pair worked with priests to perform exorcisms on David, often whilst he was sat in the rocking chair. The Warrens have testified to seeing the chair move by itself and even levitate occasionally in plain sight.

After many exorcisms, the devil was extracted from David’s body, and he had control over himself once again. The family felt as though they were finally free of this demonic force, but this feeling did not last very long, unfortunately.

The fiancée of David’s sister, Arne Johnson, began acting very odd and was not himself at all. They came to the conclusion that the demon had entered Johnson’s body, he would hiss and have visions just like David once did.

The Possession of Johnson

Johnson’s possession was much more intense and got extremely out of hand. He was so out of control that he resulted in murdering his landlord. He brutally stabbed him repeatedly, his fiancée witnessed the whole thing. Johnson claimed in court that he was not responsible for his actions due to being under demonic possession.

The court overlooked his plea and he was sentenced to prison. Johnson served 5 years before being released, as soon as he was free, he married Debbie.

Despite the horrific events, the Glatzel family held on to the rocking chair even when they moved house. The strange activity never completely stopped, anyone who sat in the chair would suffer the consequences, such as excruciating back problems which would send them to hospital.

The chair is still protected to this day, it is held at The Haunted Museum. The demonic spirits supposedly remain surrounding the chair, the museum workers have reported suspicious happenings since its arrival. Visitors are warned to enter at their own risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the devil’s chair?

The Devil’s Chair gained notoriety from its relation with the 1980 possession of David Glatzel. And the subsequent murder trial of Arne Johnson, known as the “Devil Made Me Do It” case. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren claimed the chair was the focal point of demonic activity during the exorcisms.

Where did the devil’s chair come from?

The Devil’s Rocking Chair is famously linked to the 1980 case of David Glatzel’s alleged demonic possession in Connecticut. Initially owned by the Glatzel family, the chair was thought to be the centre of supernatural events during David’s exorcisms.

Is the devil’s chair the most haunted item in the world?

Whether the Devil’s Chair is the “most haunted” item in the world is subjective and depends on personal beliefs. As well as cultural context, and the criteria used to define “hauntedness.” The chair is undoubtedly infamous, due to its links with the well-known paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. But there are many more notoriously haunted items. Some examples are:


The Devil’s Rocking Chair, now housed in Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, stands as a chilling testament to the power of haunted objects. Its journey from the Glatzel family home, where it was at the centre of a demonic possession and tragic events, to its current place in the museum, highlights the fear that certain objects can bring.

The experiences of David and Arne, marked by horror and suffering, have left a mark on the lore surrounding this chair. As visitors to the museum approach this infamous object, they are reminded of the impact that supposedly cursed items can have.

And it blurs the lines between the physical world and the realm of the supernatural. The Devil’s Rocking Chair serves as a haunting reminder of the unseen forces that some believe can inhabit our everyday world. It invites both scepticism and belief in the paranormal.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!