In the 1970's a terrible event took place in a small apartment, lived in by two nursing students. For quite some time strange goings on where noticed by the students, which included strange hand written messages on paper, objects moving around the house and strange dreams had by all who stayed the night.
It would all culminate when a friend was attacked with bloody and burned claw marks, torn into their chest.
The culprit? A Raggedy Anne Doll named Annabelle, who was thought to be possessed by a demon, and taking on the guise of the ghost of a little girl...
It all began when Donna, a nursing student, was given a Raggedy Anne doll as a birthday gift from her mother. Raggedy Anne (and Andy) Dolls were quite popular in the 1960's/70's, and the graduate student very much liked this gift.
The doll was placed on her bed as a decoration, and not much more was thought on the matter by Donna or her room mate Angie.
However, the girls soon began to find the doll creepy – something was not quite right about it. It sat on the bed in Donna’s bedroom, but the girls felt as if they were being watched. Over time these strange feelings would develop into fear, as the doll took on a life of its own.
It began with the doll seemingly moving about the house on its own. The room-mates would come home and find the doll in the most unexpected of places. At first, its pose on the bed had changed, but soon the doll would be found throughout the house.
Much of the time the girls would arrive home to find it sitting cross legged on the couch, a place where the girls would spend much of their time. Donna thought the room-mate may have been joking, so in the morning, before classes, she took the doll off her bed and placed it on the couch. However, she came home before her room-mate and found the doll back on her bed.
The strangest and most inexplicable way the doll was found was standing upright and leaning against a chair. This very much startled the girls, and they knew something was definitely up, as the dolls legs were too flexible to support its own weight.
About a month after receiving the doll and dealing with it moving about the apartment, a new phenomena began.
Donna and Angie would arrive home to not only find the doll moved again, but also pieces of parchment containing short messages written in a seemingly childlike hand. The messages would say things like "Help", "Help Us" and "Help Lou".
Enough was enough! Not only were the messages creepy, but the girls could not find a source for the paper, as neither kept parchment paper in the house!
Donna sought out the help of a medium, who soon made contact with the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle Higgins. Annabelle used to live in a house near to the land where the apartment complex was built. Annabelle was only seven when her body was found on the field where Donna’s apartment stood.
Annabelle, in spirit, had been staying in the complex for many years, but when Donna and Angie had moved in, she liked the girls and found the doll suitable for habitation and manipulation of the surroundings.
Donna gave Annabelle permission to stay with them, as long as she stopped doing things that scared them.
Donna, Angie and the medium seemed happy with the arrangement, but their friend Lou did not like what was happening. Lou felt that the doll was evil and should be gotten rid of. When he stayed in the apartment, he would have very vivid dreams about Annabelle attacking him.
One evening Lou and Angie were sitting on a lounge, reading over maps in preparation for a road trip the following day. They were startled by rustling sounds coming from Donna’s room. Fearing it was a burglar; Lou quietly crept up to the bedroom door then suddenly rushed in to confront the intruder.
No one was there except, once again, Annabelle had moved. This time she was sprawled out on the floor, the feeling of life having left her. Lou walked up to the doll to inspect it, then got the distinct impression that someone was standing behind him. He turned, expecting to see Angie, but was rather surprised by a burning sensation in his chest.
Lou fled the room to the safety of the living room where he removed his shirt. To his and Angie's amazement seven distinct claw marks were found burned and bleeding in his chest, three were vertical and four were horizontal. The wounds slowly beaded blood, but the burning was more pronounced.
Something unseen had definitely attacked him.
Donna now believed the doll to be possessed by an evil entity, and once again sought help. Help arrived in the form of Ed and Lorraine Warren who had worked on many cases concerning dark/negative spirits, including the Amityville Case.
It was soon decided that the doll was not possessed, but was rather being used to give the impression that it was possessed. The entity in this case was not capable of possessing the doll as it needed a human host, and since this can take time to succeed, the doll was used to fool the girls into believing that it was a much more friendly spirit.
Essentially, in their minds a 'demon' had attached itself to the doll, but wanted so much more and through the previous séance, Donna had unwittingly given it free reign of the house when she gave it permission to stay.
It seemed that the intent was to possess Lou with the doll, trying to get his attention and possible sympathies through the hand written notes, many of which had Lou's name on them. The dreams, scratches and burns typical of the early stages of the demon making its mark and intent to reside within a human form.
An exorcism was performed on the apartment, and the Warrens took the doll with them. Donna, Angie and Lou were now free of the terrors that had plagued them for the last few months.
As for Annabelle the Doll, she sits locked in a glass case in the Warren Occult Museum, together with a sign that says 'Warning. Positively Do Not Open'. The presence can still be felt within the doll, by those with sensitive abilities, but as for why the entity stays attached with the doll?
It is not entirely certain, but maybe it is looking for the right person to pay a visit to the museum in which to make a new attachment...
Ashley Hall 2013. All reference material can be made available on request.
Photo: Close up of Annabelle the Haunted Doll
Inset Upper: Lorraine Warren with Annabelle in the early 70's
Inset Lower: Annabelle in her case at the Warren Occult Museum.
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