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The Hands Resist Him

The Hands Resist Him, also known as the 'eBay haunted painting'

If you wish to use 'The Hands Resist Him' image for reprint or digital media purposes, you must receive written permission from Darren K O'Neill, the copyright owner. (Copies may not currently be available, due to a film project constraint.)

Related paintings (sequels, a prequel, and the last one)

Commissioned by a private collector, 'Resistance at the Threshold' and 'Threshold of Revelation'  depict the boy and the doll as having progressed: the doll into a real girl, the boy into an old man.  The prequel 'The Hands Invent Him', also commissioned, depicts the artist as a boy with the original painting's characters viewed from behind the glass door. 

The series ends with "What Remains" (2021). 

The story

Where to begin? Well I've always had a connection to what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious. I think we all do. Artists - especially visual artists - are barometers for the currents that run through this collective. Dreams are a common experience people may have with this. Anyway, my own experience is a sensitivity to place – physical, geographical place. There are memories, echoes of all the life within a place. Maybe it's what's called channeling. When I painted the Hands Resist Him in 1972, I used an old photo of myself at age five in a Chicago apartment. The hands are the 'other lives.' The glass door, that thin veil between waking and dreaming. The girl/doll is the imagined companion, or guide through this realm.


Both the owner of the Gallery where 'Hands' was displayed and the Los Angeles Times art critic who reviewed my show were dead within a year of the show.  I'm sure it was coincidence, but some of what I paint resonates in other people, opening the inner door. Or basement.  By the way, I still have no idea what happened to the character actor who bought the painting at the show (editor note: it was John Marley, who died in 1984), or how it ended up abandoned in a building, though I could speculate.    - Bill

Media attention

The story is shared all over the web these days; search for 'ebay haunted painting.'


Here are a few of our favorites:




The poem

(that inspired the painting's title)


He is of the seeing visions
His strokes reveal them
In a rush- of color, of madness
Of mystics

And his head is the highest center
It must confront its enemy,
The hands- resist him,
like the secret of his birth.

His presence is the sanctum heartbeat
Felt in darkness and in passion
Its sound the sole gift to that silence.

  - R. Ponseti, 1971



The book

Have you read the

book by D.K. O'Neill?

We like it!

Get it on Amazon

3rd Sequel to 'The Hands Resist Him' includes the artist at age 8, by Bill Stoneham

The Hands Invent Him, 2017

What Remains (final painting in Hands Resist Him series, 18x24_ oil on panel, 2021

What Remains, 2021

2nd Sequel to 'The Hands Resist Him' - 'Threshold of Revelation' (2012) - features the artist in the future, by Bill Stoneham

Threshold of Revelation, 2012

First sequel to 'The Hands Resist Him' - 'Resistence at the Threshold' (2004) - features the artist in his 50's, by Bill Stoneham

Resistance at the Threshold, 2004      

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