Horror Mystery and Lore

Devil’s Rocking Chair

Date of Discovery

The original dating of the chair is unknown, however, in the early 1950s, the Glatzel family came into possession of it.


The Devil’s Rocking Chair

Physical Description

The chair is simple in style having a columned back, rounded arm ends, and two beige cushions for seating comfort.


Who built the chair and where it originally came from is still unknown to this day, but its origin began when an American family, the Glatzel, came into owning the rocking chair.

Mythology & Lore

What started as begin a simple household piece of furniture soon became the center of a tragedy for the Glatzel family, and became one of America’s most notorious exorcisms. The youngest member of the family, David Glatzel, was believed to be possessed by a demon in the summer of 1980. He claimed to be having nightmares of a man with black eyes, thin animal-like face, jagged teeth, pointed ears, horns, and hooves was visiting him. After seeing him visibly shaken by these nightmares the family noticed his behavior change, he was becoming more withdraw and quiet. Hoping to get David out of this “depression” the family sent him to live with his sister and her fiancée, Debbie and Arne Johnson. This however led to more nightmares about the dark-eyed man coming for David’s soul. Scratches and cruises began appearing on the boy’s body while he was sleeping, unexplainable noises began in the attic, and soon after David reported seeing the beast while awake now.

This beast-like man seemed to only be seen sitting in the family’s rocking chair by David, the family would see the chair rocking back and forth on its own. Fearing the worst, the Glatzel family called a priest to bless the house, which seemed to make things much worse. The unexplained sounds in the attic were growing stronger, David’s visions increased, as well as the boy hissing and speaking in tongues to his family members. During the night he had strange seizures every 30 to 45 minutes which caused the family to watch him constantly though-out the night. The rocking chair was now moving about the house on its own, disappearing and appearing in different rooms or places, even levitating on numerous occasions.

The Glatzel’s now fully believed the Devil was battling to steal their son’s soul, the family turned to Ed and Lorrain Warren who began regularly visiting the home. Multiple exorcisms were performed on David, who was sitting in the rocking chair. There were many witnesses to the rocking chair moving on its own, jerking, and even levitating on numerous occasions during these exorcisms. During the final exorcism, David was freed of the demon, however, Arne Johnson was said to be takin over by the demon. David showed signs of improvement and his behavior was becoming regular again. Johnson had started to show similar behavior changes as David once did. He ended up killing his landlord, Alan Bono, with a pocketknife and stood trial 8 months later. His plea was not guilty due to demonic possession was the first time in American legal history; however, it didn’t work to his favor. The jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and served 5 years out of the 10- to 20-year sentence.

Since the 1980s tragic events, the chair sat in storage and causing problems within the Glatzel family. Anyone who sat in the chair was stricken with sciatica or abnormal back problems, some were lesser cases others required surgery. Today the Devil’s Rocking Chair is at Zak Bagan’s The Haunted Museum, where it is displayed as safely as it can be. The museum workers have reported large numbers of experiences within its walls; terrifying some and attaching others closer in.  

Modern Pop-Culture References


Television Series

Is there anything we missed about The Devil’s Rocking Chari? Let us know in the comments section below!

Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Urban Legend: The Devil’s Chair of Alma Cemetery

Devil’s Chairs, also known as haunted chairs or witches chairs, are funerary monuments carved into the shape of chairs or benches. Stone furniture such as this was usually placed beside the grave as a sort of “mourning seat” for visitors, though they also functioned as memorial sculptures as well.

Devil's chair made of stone in cemetery

Over time these chairs became imbued with supernatural significance as spots where one may encounter the paranormal (and usually not in a good way). Some were meeting places with the Devil, others were gateways to the underworld. Usually the chairs were cursed in a way that whosoever sat on them would die, either immediately or within a year.

Devil’s Chair in Alma Cemetery

In the heart of the Flint Hills in Kansas sits the quaint little town of Alma. Also known as the “City of Native Stone,” Alma is an unassuming community of less than a thousand people and a multitude of options for outdoor enthusiasts. But hidden beneath the natural beauty and wildlife is a dark secret that has frightened and intrigued urban legend trippers for years. Let’s take a journey over to Alma Cemetery to find out why.

Downtown Alma, Kansas

Cemeteries, by nature, are fraught with paranormal sightings and incidents. However, there is a particularly fascinating story involving the cemetery in Alma. As the urban legend goes, back in the 1800s, before the cemetery existed in its current form, the land was private and owned by a farmer. When the city was being built developers came to purchase the land, but the stubborn farmer refused.

Some say the farmer was pushed into his well, others say he fell in on accident. When the city officials came out again they couldn’t find the farmer, but they did notice strange smells emanating from the stone structure. The Sheriff declared the well empty and had it sealed off. The farmer was never seen again, and the land was eventually taken by the city and turned into the cemetery it is today.

Alma Cemetery in Kasas

The Hauntings

There are a variety of hauntings that people claim to have experienced at Alma Cemetery, from floating orbs to disembodied voices to ghostly physical encounters. But the boarded up well – the site of the farmer’s disappearance long ago and now an altered version of a devil’s chair – holds a particular sway over the area. Back in the 1980s a group of teenagers decided to explore and see if they could catch a glimpse of the dead farmer. One of the teens was dared to sit on top of the well by the others, but when his friends turned back around he had disappeared, never to be seen again.

Sealed and abandoned well

Since then other people have been reported to have disappeared as well after sitting on the fateful well. As with other locations involving infernal chairs, the idea is that an evil presence is forcibly taking these unfortunate souls. Many believe that it is specifically the spirit of the old farmer, exacting his revenge on the city that caused his demise. Either way, if you ever visit the cemetery it’s best to observe the well from a safe distance and, whatever you do, don’t sit on it.