It has recently (and by recently i mean about 15 minutes ago) been brought to my attention that there is a paranormal case from the 70s which revolves around a raggedy ann doll named Annabelle.
As fans of the steampunk opera will know, that is a very interesting coincidence.
The case was investigated by the paranormal research team Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are also famous for their investigation of the Amityville Horror house. The couple and the Annabelle doll case are currently trending due to a new movie (which i haven’t seen yet) called The Conjuring.
So let’s tell a ghost story today…. (a completely true story, because no ghost story should ever be told without the teller first swearing up and that it is totally true, and either s/he or someone s/he knows like, REALLY well completely verifies it.)
Annabelle The Haunted Doll:
n 1970 a mother purchased an antique Raggedy Ann Doll from a hobby store.
The doll was a present for her daughter Donna on her birthday. Donna, at the time, was a student in college, preparing to graduate with her nursing degree and resided in a tiny apartment with her roommate Angie (a nurse as well). Pleased with the doll, Donna placed it on her bed as a decoration and didn’t give it a second thought until a few days later.
Within that time, both Donna and Angie noticed that there appeared to be something very strange and creepy about the doll. The doll apparently moved on its own, relatively unnoticeable movements at first, like a change in position, but as time passed the movement became more noticeable. Donna and Angie would come home to find the doll in a completely different room from which they had left it. Sometimes the doll would be found crossed legged on the couch with its arms folded, other times it was found upright, standing on its feet, leaning against a chair in the dining room. Several times Donna, placing the doll on the couch before leaving for work, would return home to find the doll back in her room on the bed with the door closed.
One night Donna came home to find the doll had moved again, this time it was on her bed. Donna had come to find that this was typical of the doll but this time it was different. When she inspected the doll, Donna found the raggedy ann doll had what looked like blood drops on the back of its hands and its chest. Scared and desperate, Donna and Angie decide it was time to seek expert advice.
Not knowing where to turn, they contacted a medium and a séance was held. Donna was then introduced to the spirit of Annabelle Higgins. The medium related the story of Annabelle to both Donna and Angie. Annabelle was a young girl that resided on the property before the apartments were built. She was a young girl of only seven years old when her lifeless body was found in the field upon which the apartment complex now stands. The spirit related to the medium that she felt comfort with Donna and Angie and wanted to stay with them by moving into the doll. Feeling compassion for Annabelle and her story Donna gave her permission to inhibit the doll and stay.
They were to soon find out however, that Annabelle was not what she seemed.
Lou was friends with Donna and Angie and had been with them since the day the doll arrived. Lou had never been fond of the doll and on several occasions warned Donna that it was evil and to get rid of it. Donna had a compassionate tie to the doll and not giving much credence to Lou’s feelings, kept it. Donna’s decision, it turns out, was a terrible mistake!
Lou awoke one night from a deep sleep and in panic. Once again he had a recurring bad dream. Only this time, somehow, something seemed different. It was as though he was awake but couldn’t move. He looked around the room but couldn’t discern anything out of the ordinary and then it happened. Looking down toward his feet he saw the doll, Annabelle. It began to slowly glide up his leg, moved over his chest and then stopped. Within seconds the doll was strangling him. Paralyzed and gasping for breath Lou, at the point of asphyxiation, blacked out. Lou awoke the next morning, certain it wasn’t a dream, and Lou was determined to rid himself of that doll and the spirit that possessed it. Lou, however, would have one more terrifying experience with Annabelle.
Preparing for a road trip the next day, Lou and Angie were reading over maps alone in her apartment. The apartment seemed eerily quiet. Suddenly, rustling sounds coming from Donna’s room roused fear that someone had possibly broken into the apartment. Lou, determined to figure out whom or what it was, quietly made his way to the bedroom door. He waited for the noises to stop before entering and turning on the light. The room was empty except for Annabelle, whom was tossed on the floor in the corner. Lou scoured the room for forced entry but nothing was out of place. But as he got close to the doll he got the distinct impression that somebody was behind him. Spinning around he was quick to realize that nobody else was there. Then in flash he found himself grabbing for his chest, doubled over, cut and bleeding. His shirt was stained with blood and upon opening his shirt, there on his chest were what appeared to be 7 distinct claw marks.
The weird claw marks began healing almost immediately. They were totally gone in two days. They were like no wounds any of them had ever seen before. They knew they needed more help, and they turned to an Episcopalian priest, who in turned called in Ed and Lorraine Warren.
It didn’t take the Warrens long to come to their conclusion: there was no ghost in this case. There was an inhuman spirit – a demon – attached to the doll. But they warned that the doll wasn’t possessed; demons don’t possess things, only people. It was clinging to the doll, manipulating it, in order to give the impression of a haunting. The target was really Donna’s soul.
A priest performed an exorcism on the apartment and the Warrens took possession of the doll. They put it in a bag and began the long drive home; Ed agreed to stay off the highways because there was a concern that the demon might mess with the car, and at 65 miles an hour that would be disastrous. And sure enough, as they drove on the back roads, the engine kept cutting out, the power steering kept failing and even the brakes gave them trouble. Ed opened the bag, sprinkled the doll with holy water and the disturbances stopped… for the moment.
Ed left the doll next to his desk; it began levitating. That happened a couple of times and then it seemed to just quit, finally laying quiet. But in a couple of weeks Annabelle was back to her old tricks; she started appearing in different rooms in the Warren home. Sensing that the doll was ramping back up the Warrens called in a Catholic priest to exorcise Annabelle. The priest didn’t take it seriously, telling Annabelle “You’re just a doll. You can’t hurt anyone!” Big mistake: on his way home the priest’s brakes failed, and his car was totaled in a horrible accident. He survived.
Eventually the Warrens built a locked case for Annabelle, and she resides there to this day. The locked case seems to have kept the doll from moving around, but it seems like that whatever terrible entity is attached to it is still there, waiting. Biding its time. Ready for the day when it can again be free.