Previously: The Bunk Beds.
Type: MO (Malevolent Object) or CO (Cursed Object) — unclear which.
Period/location of origin: 1996, Odessa, Ukraine.
Appearance: Subject, called “Женщина дождя” in the original and, alternately, “Rain Woman” or “Woman Of The Rain” in English, is an allegedly cursed painting by Ukrainian artist Светлана Телец — typically rendered in the Latin alphabet as Svetlana Telets, Svetlana Talets, or Svetlana Taurus — depicting, as its title suggests, a woman in the rain. Subject is quite expressionistic in style; the woman, seen from roughly the waist up, is elongated and distorted, and the background gives more the idea of a stormy sky than the literal presentation of one. The woman is dressed in black, every inch her covered up except for her face. Her eyes are downcast, and her expression inscrutable. She wears a large hat, also black, with a wide brim extending to either side of the frame.
Modus operandi: Subject infiltrates targets’ homes through a gallery transaction — an art purchase. Targets appear to be self-selecting; subject simply sits displayed, and when an appropriate target comes along, they will be inexplicably drawn to subject and subsequently compelled to purchase it.
Once subject has been brought into target’s home, targets will be subject to activity and experiences including, but not limited to: Sleeplessness; nightmares; general misfortune; conflict with others living within the home, if any; the feeling of constantly being watched; and, in extreme cases, the sense that someone else is actively walking around the home — someone who is not one of the home’s occupants.
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The woman depicted in subject is especially prevalent in this activity: Targets have reported feeling as if she is following them everywhere — both waking and while asleep.
Subject does not need to be displayed within the home in order to enact its influence on targets; however, targets do need to be in possession of subject in order for its reach to extend to them. The moment targets relinquish possession of subject, subject will cease terrorizing them.
It is unknown whether subject is possessed, or whether it is cursed.
It is also unknown what subject’s ultimate goal may be.
Containment: Unknown. Subject is possibly uncontainable.
Additional notes: Telets originally painted subject in 1996, shortly after graduating from Grekov Odessa Art School, the oldest art school of its type in Ukraine — although it is perhaps worth noting that Telets has described the process of creating subject in terms of herself being merely a tool of something… else: As if she were the paintbrush wielded by an outside force, rather than the artist wielding the paintbrush herself. This curious perspective is further compounded by the fact that, for the six months prior to the painting of subject, Telets “always felt that someone was constantly watching me,” as she told the Ukrainian newspaper KP in 2007 (via Google Translate).
But, she continued, “I drove such thoughts away from myself, and then one day — a day it wasn’t rainy at all, by the way — I sat in front of a blank canvas and thought what to draw.” Here, said Telets, is where subject sprang to life, coming to her mind’s eye almost fully formed: “Suddenly, I clearly saw the contours of a woman, her face, the colors, the shades. In an instant, I noticed all the details of the image,” Telets told KP. It took her only “about five hours” to produce most of the work; as she put it, “it seemed like someone else was controlling my hand.” She took another month or so to fully paint the image.
After its completion, Telets moved to the city of Vinnytsia and exhibited subject in a gallery there — but although it sold several times, each purchaser returned it to Telets soon after buying due to subject’s unusual behavior.
The first buyer, a business woman, hung it in her bedroom; two weeks later, however, she was at Telets’ doorstep, saying, “Please take her away. I cannot sleep. It seems that there is someone in the apartment besides me. I even took it off the wall and hid it in the closet, but it doesn’t help.”
The second buyer, a young man, hung subject in his living room — but he, too, returned it to Telets after only a brief period. “I dream about it,” he said. “Every night, she appears and follows me like a shadow.”
The third buyer came to subject already knowing of its strange reputation. But again, there were… problems. “At first, I didn’t notice how white her eyes were,” the buyer reportedly said, “and then they began to appear everywhere.” He continued, “It seemed like just a little bit longer and I would drown in them.” “I’d rather buy something classic,” he concluded, returning subject to Telets once more.
KP later reported in 2008 that Sergei Skachko of the band Zemlyane (in English, “Earthlings”) had purchased subject. As of 2011, it appeared to still be in his possession, according to a report from Ukrainian news outlet Gazeta — but with a caveat: It was no longer present in his home. According to Telets, there had been further incidents and activity in which subject was involved; said the artist to Gazeta (via Google Translate), “I saw a video clip where Sergei showed ‘Rain Woman’ hung up near his desk. He said that she walks around the room at night and his wife is afraid of her.”
Furthermore, Telets had heard something else from an acquaintance who also knew Skachkov: “Recently, an acquaintance called Skachkov in Moscow and asked how my picture was doing,” she said to Gazeta. “Sergei’s wife answered the phone. She said that since he bought ‘Rain Woman,’ they began to quarrel often, everything in the house broke down, and someone seemingly walked around the apartment at night. Therefore, when her husband went on tour, she removed the picture and hid it away from home.”
The majority of what is known of subject originates in the first KP article, which was written by Irina Yankovaya and published on April 26, 2007. Indeed, this article almost seems to have become a piece of creepypasta: When subject is discussed at length online, the “discussion” is frequently simply the text of Yankovaya’s KP article, copied and pasted in its entirety or near entirety (and often without attribution).
When divorced of its context, subject takes on an air of mystery similar to another piece of unsettling art. It might, in some ways, even strengthen subject’s power.
It is unknown whether Sergei Skachkov is still in possession of subject.
And, whether or not he still owns it, it is unknown where, physically, subject currently is.
Recommendation: Do not buy subject.
Do not bring subject into your home.
Leave subject well alone.
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[Image: Svetlana Telets]