Kicking off our next segment of Antiques Roadshow, is there anything you’d like to share about your family’s history with this “Mister Babadook” book? Any idea how it came to be in your aunt’s possession? Just showed up in her home one day? That’s a promising start.
Opening up to the first page, we can see that this doesn’t have a copyright, or really any indicators of commercial publication or mortal authorship. Again, promising. The blank cover page, along with the sturdy deluxe binding and shiver of foreboding I felt upon opening it, tell me this is of supernatural and likely demonic origin—which, good news for you, considerably enhances its worth as a collector’s item!
It’s rare, it’s malefic, and it’s a pop-up! A touch of whimsy that would stand out on any paranormal artifacts auction block.
Unfortunately, it seems that the spirit of the Babadook no longer inhabits the pages of this pop-up book, which I’m sorry to say reduces its value at auction from three hundred thousand dollars to about thirty.
That’s right, thirty dollars for the book without the Babadook.
Is it possible that the Babadook is still hiding in your aunt’s house? Can you check? If you’re certain she made peace with the ghoul after defeating him in a bare-knuckle battle for her soul, then he probably did take his top hat and leave your family forever when she died. How disappointing for your family and for me. I have always wanted to meet Mister Babadook.
Let’s move on to the ceremonial death mask you’ve brought in. Was this also left to you by your aunt? Dare I ask why the eyes are missing?
Those eyes just happen to have been an exceptionally rare portal providing an ancient, sentient evil unbridled access to the mind of the youngest person with whom it shares a home. Your demon-slaying matriarch has popped them out.
Either she was not aware that this mask, with hell-portal-eyes intact, could retail for between 1.5 and 2 million dollars—or she simply did not care. Unfortunately, void of its malevolent specter, this mask would be lucky to fetch you five dollars at a garage sale.
In shielding her daughter from an adolescence of violent hallucinations, and permanently ridding this world of a particularly tenacious discarnate spirit, I’m afraid your aunt has denied those of us who designed our own major in Demonology + Byzantine Studies a rare encounter with the otherworld—and divested your family of millions in generational wealth.
May I ask how she died? Diabetes—really?
Moving on. This handmade model town. Very strange. Very unusual. Does it surprise you to know that Beetlejuice is nowhere to be found? Me neither.
Canopic jars. Empty.
A clock that says 3:33 no matter how much you wind it. This is just a broken clock. However, the gilding is nice—you might want to take this one over to Lydia who is our expert on regular clocks.
Let’s try this a different way. Is there anything in this pile that your aunt hasn’t personally exorcised, purified, stabbed with Basilisk venom, counter-hexed, cleansed with smoke, subdued by playing a blessed flute, had a difficult conversation with, or neutralized through grief counseling and trauma work?
Because if not then we are wasting our time here.
Hold on, what’s this? This is an odd little painting. Very odd… this one didn't come from your aunt, did it. Any idea who the man is depicted here? Your great great grandfather? Interesting energy… very alive. You have something here! Yes, this painting could be worth lots of money. I’d say 13 million! At a fancy auction house, maybe more!
Unfortunately, without the original frame, it’s worthless.