Both my limited horror movie knowledge (I recently watched The Conjuring and Annabelle) and years spent reading paranormal odds and ends, I know that, at least according to paranormal folklore, demons do not possess dolls. Instead, they often use them as conduits, like puppets, to lure humans in.
But why dolls, specifically?
Perhaps it’s for the same reason people have a fear of dolls, known as pediophobia. This is itself a kind of sub-phobia of something called automatonophobia, which is a fear of anything that looks human but isn’t, like dolls, robots, puppets, and animatronics. That’s the territory of the uncanny valley.
But the same thing that makes people fear dolls is possibly the very reason many like them: They remind us of us.
Demons, if they do exist, would use that to their advantage.
In the story of Annabelle, which was originally an old Raggedy Ann doll, a demon allegedly attempted to possess one of its owners. But first, it had to lure them in and gain their acceptance. It did this by using the doll, changing its position and moving it throughout the apartment, pretending to be the spirit of a young girl who had attached herself to it.
The combination of a humanoid doll and the sad story of a spirit looking for a home made the owners sympathetic, and caused them to unwittingly welcome a demonic entity into their lives, risking their very souls.
Or so the story goes. The Conjuring series features Annabelle the haunted doll, though it’s appearance is changed to something more outwardly creepy and porcelain (but I repeat myself).
Annabelle’s Twin Visits Scotland?
All of that said, if the demonic MO is to use dolls to capture human souls, perhaps it’d be better for everyone involved if the following is a hoax.
This month, the above footage of an allegedly haunted doll appeared online. And while most believe it’s an obvious hoax, I can’t help but find its story entertaining enough to share.
The current owner, who manages a charity shop in Scotland, found it inside a bag, along with a “bunch of old toys,” as part of a house clearance. It came with a number of other boxes, within which he said contained “an array of oddities” from around the world.
But this item in particular immediately caught his attention — an old Raggedy Ann doll, the very same type as Annabelle. Excited to show his fellow volunteers, he rushed downstairs to tell them. That’s when things got weird.
“I placed her on the floor with her arms on her knees and went down to tell my volunteers what i had found. When i came back her arms were at her sides…”
This, he found “a bit spooky,” and even after repositioning the doll, it seemed to be able to move on its own. What’s more, the doll had a strange effect on people.
“Everyone that touched the doll felt uneasy and sick,” he wrote.
The above footage was captured the following day, on June 21, 2018. According to the video’s description, for most of the day the doll did not move, at least not while being filmed. However, near the end of the day, with the camera rolling, the old Raggedy Ann’s arm appeared to shift downward, and the camera mysteriously fell back. This can be seen beginning at approx. 2:39 in the video.
As I said, there’s not a whole lot here to prove it’s actually haunted. A single clip, a low camera angle. A sudden fade to black. The fact that the fabric on the doll’s shirt moves before the arm itself, likely implying the use of a string.
But, since it’s just the mood I’m in, for now it can sit neatly on the growing pile of online haunted doll videos. Why not?