It’s not hard to guess why dolls are often featured in horror movies. Depending on their aesthetics, dolls can be either really adorable or really terrifying to look at. But what is even more scary than dolls that grace the silver screen, are dolls that are said to be haunted in real life. Every year, new posts are made on sites such as Craigslist and eBay where vendors claim they have haunted dolls for sale. While many of these posts are merely uploaded for the sake of making profit, every once in a while a seller’s claims are real. The dolls truly are haunted. And here are 5 that seem to be the most haunted of all.
1. Peggy – The Holocaust Doll
Jayne Harris is an English woman who devotes all her time and energy into dealing with haunted dolls. It’s not uncommon for Jayne to receive alleged haunted dolls in the mail from time to time, but there is one doll that seems more powerful – and deadlier – than the rest.
A few years ago, Jayne received a package and a letter in the mail. In the letter, an unknown woman explained that the package was a doll she had once purchased. The doll, who she had named Peggy, had caused strange paranormal activity in the woman’s home. The lady wrote that she hoped Jayne’s expertise would shed some light on Peggy and her abilities.
Intrigued, Jayne began conducting various experiments with the doll. Part of her investigation included taking several photographs and videos of Peggy and posting them to her website. Within a few hours, Jayne was shocked to see that numerous fans of her website had written her comments and emails, claiming that the footage of Peggy was making them feel ill.Many complained of severe migraines, and nausea. One poor woman even claims that she suffered from a heart attack minutes after looking at a photo of Peggy.
Over time, Jayne hired a few mediums to come visit the doll. Most agreed that after holding Peggy in their arms, they could discern an extremely sad spirit trapped within the doll. One woman even told Jayne that she sensed that the spirit that dwelled within the doll had once been someone who had died during the holocaust. Today, Jayne continues to run various experiments with Peggy, and is constantly amazed at what the haunted doll can do.
2. Joliet – The Doll of Death
The story of Joliet goes back several generations. One day, a husband and wife discovered they were pregnant with their first child. Excited beyond belief, the woman shared the news with her best friend. The friend pretended to be happy for the couple, but was privately seething in jealousy. She had been trying to get pregnant for years, without any luck. Driven by envy, the friend found a doll that was said to be cursed and gave it to the pregnant woman as a gift.
Nine months later, the woman gave birth to a boy. Everything was bliss for two days, but on the third day, the baby boy died, much to the surprise of his doctors. The woman was still grieving the loss of her child when she began to hear the sound of her son’s infant cries emanating from the doll her friend had given her. It shocked her, but she kept her experiences primarily to herself, convinced that nobody would believe her. She and her husband gave birth to a baby girl a few years later.
When that baby grew up, she got married and became pregnant. Her mother gave the doll to her as a gift for the new baby. Everyone was as happy as could be, until the young lady gave birth to a boy, who died three days later. Afterward she confessed to her mother that she had begun to hear her son’s cries in the house. They seemed to be coming from the doll.
For two more generations, each female descendant in the family has given birth to a son, only to watch him suddenly perish three days after being born. Each time, the women have claimed to be tortured by the sounds of their babies crying, stuck in the confines of the doll, Joliet.
3. Ledda – The Abandoned Doll
Kerry Walton’s childhood was spent actively avoiding an abandoned house in his neighborhood of New South Wales, Australia. Every child who lived nearby was convinced that the empty house was haunted. Kerry eventually moved away, but returned to his hometown several years later. While taking a walk in his old neighborhood, Kerry came across the still-abandoned house, and decided to finally explore it.
While walking through, Kerry noticed a couple of floorboards that seemed out of place. Upon further examination, he realized that there was an old, dust covered marionette doll that had been neglected under the floor. Kerry pulled the doll out and began to drive back towards his house. During the drive, he heard a high-pitched voice from the backseat, where he had placed the doll. “Ledda me out!” the doll had cried. Shocked and amazed, Kerry decided to call the doll Ledda.
Strange experiences continued after Kerry brought Ledda home. Many guests hated the doll, and would even scream in its presence. Each stated there was something about the doll that they found extremely disturbing. Kerry’s haunted marionette doll quickly grew media attention, and the unlikely pair began appearing on television shows. Every crew they encountered felt uneasy around the doll. One camera man even claims that he saw Ledda turn its head to look at him, all by itself.
4. Annabelle – Doll of the Evil Spirit
Fans of James Wan’s horror films are likely very familiar with the story of Annabelle, the haunted rag doll. His movies, The Conjuring, and Annabelle take creative liberties, but were both inspired by a real haunted doll. In 1970, a young nurse named Donna received Annabelle from her mother as a gift. Not long after, Donna and her roommate, Angie, began to notice that Annabelle seemed to suddenly appear in different positions than how they usually left her.
Soon, Annabelle began to appear in varying rooms of the apartment. Realizing the doll was somehow moving on her own, the two young ladies hired a psychic to visit the doll. The psychic informed them that there once was a little girl named Annabelle who lived in the complex. She had died there, and seemed to have taken a liking to the doll. Feeling sorry for the dead girl, Donna and Angie told Annabelle’s spirit that she could reside in the doll.
Not long after, things grew very creepy. A dark red substance seemed to ooze out of the doll’s hands for no apparent reason. The final straw was when a friend had crashed on their couch, and had woken up to the doll attempting to strangle him. Donna and Angie realized the spirit of Annabelle was by no means friendly. The nurses eventually got a hold of renowned paranormal specialists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who keep the doll locked in a special cabinet in their home.
5. Robert – The World’s Most Haunted Doll
The year was 1904 when Robert Eugene Otto received a homemade doll from the family maid. The boy had decided to call the doll Robert, as he always went by his middle name, Eugene. Within a few days after getting the doll, Eugene began to claim that the doll would come to life and would become very destructive. Eugene’s parents would come into his room at night, only to find that his toys had all been destroyed, and the furniture knocked over.
Once Eugene became an adult, he moved out of the house and left Robert behind, in the attic. The house was converted into a bed and breakfast, and the new owners became convinced that Robert would move around at night, chuckling to himself. The doll eventually gained so much notoriety, that he was moved into the Fort East Martello Museum.
Robert the doll is still on display there together with eerie paintings to this day. Museum curators warn visitors that it’s imperative they do not photograph Robert, nor act rude in front of the doll, as he does not like it. Now, the museum gets hundreds of letters each year, addressed to Robert. Previous visitors write sincere apologies to the doll, for acting rudely in his presence. What Robert does to them as punishment is not something most people are willing to learn firsthand.
Indeed, Stranger than Fiction
From the souls of lost children, to demonic spirits, haunted dolls are nothing to be trifled with. Skeptics claim that there is no such thing as a haunted doll, and that their so-called abilities are actually manifested by individuals who are anticipating them. While this theory may work on paranormal investigators who make it a point to track down haunted objects, it in no way accounts for people who stumble upon supernatural dolls by accident. Simply put, some dolls, and their freaky ability to move and talk on their own have powers beyond our comprehension.