Mizzenmast from the Hanging of John the Painter


John Aitken/The HMS Arethusa




Spawns fires around itself by producing flagrant chemical mixtures.


Slowly pulls people around it to its top to hang them.


A desire to gain monetary rewards while in proximity.

Collected by

Warehouse 11




((TBA by Elsa))


((TBA by Elsa))

Date of Collection

March 11, 1777


​Origin[edit | edit source]

John the Painter (1752–10 March 1777), also known as Jack the Painter, James Aitken or John Aitkin, was a Scot who committed acts of terror in British naval dockyards in 1776–77. On March 10, 1777, he was hanged from the mizzenmast of the HMS Arethusa, which had been struck from the ship and re-erected in the entrance of the dockyard so as to have as large an audience as possible, having a reported 20,000 spectators. It was teh highest gallows used in an execution in England.

Effects[edit | edit source]

When someone wth a desire to gain monetary rewards is within proximity of the mast, it will produce flames around itself that increase both in number and severity over time. These fires have been reported to have been started by the spontaneous creating of incendiary mixtures of chemicals and paint solvents, the same kind as used by Aitkens during his lifetime.

In addition to its primary effects, the mast will also slowly pull people around it upwards towards its top, where they will be hanged by invisible ropes. The speed of the victims' rise varies slightly, with the first and fastest pull being targeted at those with the strongest desire for money, and those who are willing to commit illegal or violent acts.

Collection[edit | edit source]

This artifact was collected the day after John's hanging by agents of Warehouse 11, who had been searching for the arsonist for some time in case he was in the possession, or the creator, of an artifact. After being part of the crowd that witnessed his execution, the agents went to remove the mast the night after, and replace it with a duplicate to avoid suspicion.

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