Previously: Kashima Reiko.
Type: MO (Malevolent Object)
Period/location of origin: 1950s, Italy.
Appearance: Subject appears to be a mass-produced copy of a painting of a crying child. The child is morose, rather than screaming, and looks out from the frame directly at the viewer.
It should be noted that more than one subject exists. Due to subject’s mass-produced nature, details of its appearance may vary from copy to copy; some may feature boys, others may depict girls, and a wide variety of different children may been seem. Anywhere from 65 to 2,000 variations may exist, although the precise number remains unknown.
Modus operandi: Subject’s modus operandi is quite simplistic, consisting only of two steps:
- Step one: Gain entry to a home or other building.
- Step two: Burn home or building to the ground.
It is unknown by what means subject accomplishes step two.
Additional notes: Subject began life as a series of paintings by Italian artist Bruno Amadio, frequently known as Bragolin. Beginning in the 1950s, mass production allowed subject to copy itself, thereby infiltrating homes, offices, and other buildings; after achieving this goal, subject then lay dormant for several decades. In the 1980s, stories emerged that subject may or may not be responsible for the destruction of several buildings by fire. These buildings were found burned to the ground; however, in each case, subject remained mysteriously unburnt, either remaining hanging on the wall or being discovered lying on the face up on the floor. Soon after the spread of these initial stories, rumors surfaced that firefighters refused to hang subject in their homes.
It should be noted, however, that the first fire allegedly caused by subject — the home of a Ron and May Hall living in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK in 1985 — was reported in British tabloid The Sun; as such, the story’s veracity may be suspect. Furthermore, an investigation conducted in 2011 discovered that fire-repellent varnish may be responsible for the unscathed nature of subject following each fire.
How subject’s wooden frames remain unburnt remains unknown. Subject may require further study.
Recommendation: Although subject may or may not actually perform the modus operandi specified here, do not, under any circumstances, hang subject in your home. As the saying goes: Better safe than sorry.