Did the Annabelle Doll Escape from the Warren Museum?
Inanimate objects are not known for their mobility., published aug 14, 2020.
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On Aug. 14, 2020, a rumor started to circulate on social media that the so-called Annabelle doll, the supposedly supernatural toy that inspired horror films such as "The Conjuring," had escaped from an occult museum in Connecticut:
The terms "Annabelle" and "Warren Museum" both started to trend on Twitter as social media users posted messages about the demonic doll that purportedly was on the loose. These fears, however, were for naught, as the Annabelle doll did not actually escape from the Warren Museum — it is, after all, an inanimate object.
For those unfamiliar, the Warren's Occult Museum was a real place and housed some of the artifacts collected by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The duo are perhaps most famous for investigating a haunted house in New York in 1975. That investigation inspired the book "The Amityville Horror" and several films of the same name. The pair also investigated reports about a Raggedy Ann Doll that was supposedly possessed by a young girl named Annabelle Higgins. This doll, which was later put on display at the museum, also inspired a number of horror movies.
Here's an image from the New England Society for Psychic Research Facebook page that supposedly shows the real Annabelle doll:
But the Warren's Occult Museum is no longer in operation. Both Ed and Lorraine Warren have passed away, and according to Atlas Obscura, the museum was closed in 2018. The Monroe Sun reported that the Warrens' son-in-law, Tony Spera, was looking for a new home for the museum (it was reportedly closed due to zoning issues), but the paranormal property has yet to reopen.
The status of the museum is a bit of a moot point, however, as this rumor did not start with any sort of police reports, ghoulish videos, spiritual sightings, or a frantic call from Spera to be on the look out for a demonic doll. In fact, Spera posted a YouTube video in which he disputed the "Annabelle escaped" rumors.
Spera said : "I’m here to tell you something, I don’t know if you want to hear this or not, but Annabelle did not escape. Annabelle’s alive — well, I shouldn’t say alive — Annabelle’s here, in all her infamous glory. She never left the museum.”
This rumor appears to have originated with a mistranslation .
The rumor started circulating shortly after the Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Annabelle Wallis, the actress who played Mia in the "Annabelle" movie. Wallis talked about her new film, "The Silencing," as well as what it was like to work with Tom Cruise in "The Mummy." Wallis also talked about "running" in her interview, and the Hollywood Reporter included a video of some of the "escape" scenes from "The Mummy." As this news circulated on Chinese-language social media sites, the news about Wallis running appears to have been misconstrued as Annabelle (the doll) escaping .
Verhoeven, Beatrice. "Annabelle Doll Has Not Escaped, Owner Says: ‘Annabelle’s Alive – Well, I Shouldn’t Say Alive’ (Video)." The Wrap . 14 August 2020.
Davids, Brian. "Annabelle Wallis on 'The Silencing' and Convincing Tom Cruise to Run With Her." The Hollywood Reporter . 13 August 2020.
Bittar, Bill. "No Trespassing Signs, Fines Used to Ward Off Curious Souls in Search of Warren’s Occult Museum." Monroe Sun . 28 October 2019.
Atlas Obscura . "The Warren's Occult Museum." Retrieved 14 August 2020.
Heavy . "Annabelle Doll Escaped From Warren Museum Hoax Debunked." 14 August 2020.
Updated [17 August 2020]: Article updated with statement from Tony Spera.
By Dan Evon
Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.
Annabelle: The Haunted Doll – A True Account of the Warrens’ Museum
Visitors to the Warrens’ Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut, often mistake her for a common Raggedy Ann doll from the mid-20th century. However, the original Annabelle doll has a sinister reputation. Since her first alleged haunting in 1970, she’s been linked to demonic possession, violent attacks, and near-death experiences, even inspiring a series of horror films. But is Annabelle truly a vessel for an evil spirit or just a child’s toy used for sensational ghost stories? Dive into the real stories of Annabelle.
The Real Annabelle – An Innocent Exterior with a Dark Secret
Ed and Lorraine Warren, renowned paranormal investigators, house the original Annabelle doll in their Occult Museum. Annabelle’s stitched features, her endearing half-smile, and bright orange triangular nose, may remind you of childhood toys, but the warnings scrawled across her glass case tell a different story.
The Doll’s Dark Legacy – Unraveling the Hauntings
According to the Warrens, Annabelle is responsible for two near-death experiences, a fatal accident, and a 30-year-long streak of demonic activities. It all began in 1970 when Annabelle was gifted to a young nurse named Donna (or Deirdre). Initially, the doll seemed like an adorable addition to their apartment, but strange occurrences soon followed.
Donna and her roommate Angie noticed Annabelle moving on her own and discovered inexplicable notes saying “Help Me.” Even stranger, Angie’s boyfriend, Lou, encountered a terrifying ordeal, including claw marks that appeared and disappeared. A medium’s intervention revealed that Annabelle was inhabited by the spirit of a deceased seven-year-old named Annabelle Higgins, seeking affection.
The Warrens’ Intervention – Unmasking the True Nature of Annabelle
To rid their home of the doll’s spirit, Donna and Angie sought help from an Episcopal priest, Father Hegan, who contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens believed the doll was manipulated by an inhuman spirit seeking a human host, not a benevolent soul. Signs of demonic possession, including teleportation and the “mark of the beast,” were evident. An exorcism was performed, and Annabelle found her final resting place in the Warrens’ Occult Museum, locked in a glass case bearing the Lord’s Prayer and Saint Michael’s Prayer.
Beyond the Doll Case – A Trail of Fear and Tragedy
Annabelle’s malevolent presence persisted even after her confinement. The Warrens reported incidents of her levitation, movement within their house, and strange occurrences. Visitors who mocked her power faced catastrophic accidents, reinforcing the belief in her sinister nature.
From Reality to Reel – Annabelle’s Influence on Cinema
The stories surrounding Annabelle served as a wellspring of inspiration for director and producer James Wan, giving rise to a successful horror film franchise. While the real Annabelle retains her simple, child-like appearance, her cinematic counterpart is portrayed as a vintage porcelain doll with a penchant for violence.
The Warrens’ Occult Museum – A Legacy of Intrigue and Skepticism
Ed and Lorraine Warren’s legacy is mixed with controversy. Investigations have revealed doubts about the authenticity of the artifacts in their Occult Museum. Despite skepticism, Annabelle remains a chilling enigma, akin to playing a dangerous game of Russian Roulette.
Annabelle’s Escape and Return – Separating Fact from Fiction
In 2020, rumors circulated about Annabelle’s escape from the Warrens’ Occult Museum. However, these claims were debunked by Tony Spera, who assured everyone that Annabelle remained securely within her infamous glass case.
Annabelle, the haunted doll, remains a captivating and eerie figure in the world of the supernatural. While the veracity of her story may be debated, her ability to inspire fear and fascination endures.
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Inside Warrens' Occult Museum - home to the doll that inspired The Conjuring
The Warrens' world-famous, and horrifying, Occult Museum could arguably be the most acclaimed paranormal experience of its kind.
Now deceased, Ed Warren in 2006 and Lorraine Warren in 2019, the pair are remembered as pioneers who helped people understand the spirit world from their creepy museum in Connecticut .
Featuring haunted, demonic and even satanic artifacts collected from Ed and Lorraine Warren's paranormal investigations over the years, which total to 10,000, the Occult Museum displays the many spoils the "ghostbusters of the supernatural" have collected. Voodoo dolls, ritualistic statues and supposed vampire's coffin are just a few of the many interesting trinkets in the Warrens' museum.
Despite its less- terrifying appearance, the Warrens have said the raggedy Ann doll has been possessed and even killed a man once. Annabelle sits in a glass case backlit by a haunting red light.
According to the NECPR, the doll was given as a gift to a Hartford nurse in 1970. However, she noticed strange behaviors after bringing Annabelle home. The doll moved on her own and even attacked one of the owners' fiance.
The Warrens were called to investigate and said Annabelle was being manipulated by an outside spirit. Ed and Lorraine performed an exorcism in the nurse's apartment and agreed to take the doll home with them.
Ed Warren built a wooden case and locked Annabelle in there with a sign on it that read "Warning, positively do not open". One day, it was opened so a new case was built.
This new one had three crosses carved into the sides and stained with holy water and holy oil. No one is sure whether Annabelle is still possessed, so she is touched only with holy cross-emblemed gloves with saint medals at the tips.
According to a report from CT Insider, Lead investigator for the NECPR Daniel Rivera said: "So the reason why I built the case was because the museum was closed and we wanted to keep educating the public about these items that Ed and Lorraine collected. I built this case to represent Ed’s original case."
“Looks are deceiving,” Lorraine Warren, who died earlier this year, said when discussing Annabelle. “It’s not what the doll looks like that makes it scary; it is what has been infused within the doll: evil.”
Today, the Annabelle doll remains safely housed behind a glass case in the Occult Museum.
Before founding the New England Society for Psychic Research, which educates individuals about the connection between the human world and spirit world according to its website, Ed and Lorraine investigated any case they could find.
Eventually, the two became a household name and began working high-profile cases.
Among them were the Amityville haunting on Long Island when a murderer claimed demonic possessions as a defense and the exorcism of the witch Bathsheba, which was portrayed in The Conjuring. With its reputation, the Occult Museum attracts visitors from all over the world.
Tony Spera, the son-in-law of famous Connecticut paranormal researchers, said: “Once you open the door to the other realm, it’s very difficult to close it.
“It’s like opening a window in a log cabin out in the woods thinking a nice monarch butterfly is going to fly in, [but] a wolf, coyote or bear can come through and harm you.”
Haunted Doll Experts Explain What Would Happen If the Real 'Annabelle' Escaped
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Annabelle: The Haunted Doll of the Warrens’ Occult Museum
Table of Contents
Annabelle, the doll that quickly turns feelings of nostalgia, innocence, and comfort into spine-chilling terror, shattered the notion of dolls as cherished playthings and companions. In a world where dolls have long held a place in our hearts, Annabelle stands out as an infamous figure with her malevolent presence. The eerie tale surrounding Annabelle has forever changed the way we perceive these seemingly innocent and inanimate objects. Join us as we delve into the origins, haunting legends, spine-tingling encounters, and enduring legacy of the enigmatic Annabelle doll.
Origin of Annabelle
The unnerving tale of Annabelle begins in 1968 when two young roommates claimed that their Raggedy Ann doll was possessed by the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle Higgins . Troubled by the doll’s strange behaviour, the roommates sought the help of renowned paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Sensing a malevolent force at work, the Warrens took possession of the doll, believing her to be “being manipulated by an inhuman presence.” They then placed her in a special case in their “Occult Museum” for further study and containment.
The Legends Surrounding Annabelle
Annabelle’s legend quickly took hold, captivating the public’s imagination and fuelling a wealth of chilling stories. It is believed that the doll serves as a conduit for dark forces, causing unexplained accidents, injuries, and even deaths. Many claims that this doll’s malevolent influence extends beyond physical harm, affecting the lives and well-being of those who come into contact with her. The eerie presence and potential danger associated with Annabelle have inspired numerous works of fiction and movies within the Conjuring Universe.
Real-Life Encounters and Testimonies
Numerous individuals who have encountered Annabelle have come forward to share their bone-chilling experiences. Visitors to the Warrens’ Occult Museum have reported feeling an overwhelming sense of unease and witnessing inexplicable phenomena when in the presence of the doll. Some claim to have seen Annabelle’s glass case inexplicably shake or heard her eerie laughter emanating from within. Others have reported feeling as if they were being watched or touched by an unseen entity, causing deep feelings of fear and discomfort.
One particularly haunting account involves a group of friends who visited the museum. Ignoring the warnings and dismissing Annabelle’s reputation, they taunted the doll, provoking her supposed malevolent spirit. Shortly after, their lives took a turn for the worse. They experienced a series of horrifying nightmares, paranormal activity in their homes, and instances of physical harm. Terrified and convinced of Annabelle’s power, they returned to the Warrens, seeking their help to break free from the doll’s influence. This encounter serves as a chilling reminder of the potential consequences of underestimating Annabelle’s dark presence.
Legacy of Annabelle
Annabelle’s legacy extends far beyond the confines of the Warrens’ Occult Museum. Her story has captured the attention of the world, inspiring multiple movies and becoming an icon of the supernatural. The Conjuring Universe, in particular, has brought the doll’s chilling tale to the big screen, solidifying her status as one of the most infamous haunted objects in popular culture.
Movies Inspired by Annabelle
Annabelle’s terrifying presence has not only captivated the world of paranormal enthusiasts but has also made a significant impact on the world of cinema. The chilling tales surrounding the doll served as inspiration for a series of movies that explore her sinister influence. The first film, simply titled “Annabelle” (2014), takes viewers back to the origins of the doll, delving into the dark forces that possess it and the havoc it wreaks on an unsuspecting family. Its success led to the creation of several sequels, including “Annabelle: Creation” (2017) and “Annabelle Comes Home” (2019), which further explore the haunting and malevolent power of the doll. These movies have enthralled audiences with their supernatural thrills, solidifying Annabelle’s status as an iconic figure in the horror genre.
The enigmatic Annabelle doll continues to send shivers down the spines of those who hear her story. From her perplexing origins and haunting legends to the bone-chilling encounters recounted by individuals who have crossed her path, it remains an enduring symbol of the paranormal. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the tale of the doll serves as a captivating reminder of the mysteries that lie beyond our understanding, leaving us to wonder about the true nature of this haunted doll.
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The Museum of Lost Things
Where forgotten things are remembered…
The Real ‘Annabelle’ Doll
'Annabelle' is a porcelain doll, possessed by an evil spirit, star of her own popular movie franchise. Now, meet the real Annabelle doll.
No story of Annabelle would be complete without a discussion of the supernatural investigators who now possess the real life inspiration. Prepare to meet the Warrens, as well.
Ed Warren was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1926. The son of a policeman, his upbringing was comfortably middle class, unremarkable in most respects.
But then, sometime around his twelfth birthday, Ed Warren had his first supernatural experience:
'I'd see a light beginning to form, and it would morph into like a ball shape, like a basketball. In the ball shape was a face. The face of an old woman, and she was not looking at all pleasant. The ball would then come into my bedroom, accompanied by heavy footsteps and audible breathing. The room would become icy cold. An unnatural cold.' - Ed Warren, from his biography
Ed was otherwise a knockabout kid, restless, gregarious, and verbose. Leaving school at 16 he took a job at the local cinema, which is where he met Lorraine Moran.
Lorraine would come to the cinema every Wednesday night, to catch whatever was playing; friendly and charming, she quickly caught Ed's eye. The two outgoing teenagers became friends, and later started dating.
In 1943, at the height of World War II, Ed left the cinema to join the Navy. Lorraine promised to wait for him. The couple were subsequently married when Ed had shore leave, in 1944.
After the War, the young newlyweds lived an itinerant lifestyle.
Ed, a talented painter, enrolled in art college, but found he had little desire to return to formal education. After he dropped out the Warrens moved around, working odd jobs, living out of Ed's 1933 Chevy Eagle.
Travelling the countryside, the Warren's found they had something unexpected in common.
Ed shared his supernatural experience from his childhood, Lorraine countered by advising she had inherited clairvoyant abilities from her mother. These experiences had left them both fascinated with ghost stories, demonology, and the the spirit world.
As they travelled they visited well known supernatural sites; firstly out of curiosity, then in a more deliberate fashion. They asked questions, took notes, and photographs. In their free time they read as much supernatural literature as they could get their hands on.
The Warrens had stumbled onto their life's work.
In 1952 they founded the 'The New England Society for Psychic Research,' which formalised their activities. People began to come to them with supernatural problems, asking for help.
The following is largely taken from the Warren's own website. It has been told many times, and is often presented as a 'true story'; tangible, irrefutable evidence that any of this actually occurred appears not to exist.
But this is the story of the real Annabelle doll, as the Warrens tell it.
In 1970, a young Connecticut mother bought a 'Raggedy-Ann' style doll as a gift for her daughter.
After receiving it, the daughter, Donna, took the doll back to a flat she shared with her friend, Angie. Within days, the two women began noticing odd things happening.
The doll seemed to change position when they weren't looking at.
At first this was confined to the position of its arms, or head, later it seemed to be able to move from room to room. If Donna left the doll in her bedroom in the morning, when she returned in the evening she might find it in the lounge room.
Creepier still, were the messages. These began to appear after a month, dropped in random spots around the apartment.
'Help us,' said one.
And, 'Help Lou' another.
The messages were scrawled in a simple, childlike hand, on screwed up pieces of paper.
Things escalated further.
Donna returned to the apartment one day to find the doll on her bed, oozing a red, viscous substance from its hands. A friend, curiously also named Lou, who stayed on the couch reported that the doll attacked him, climbing up his leg and trying to strangle him (although later he would say this may have been a dream, after all).
It was time to get help.
Donna called in a local psychic who examined the doll, and conducted a séance in the apartment. The psychic was able to contact a spirit, named Annabelle, who claimed to have been murdered on the apartment building's location, many years before it was built.
Her restless spirit had taken up residence in the doll, as a means for her to interact with the world of the living.
Alarmed, Donna contacted her local priest, to see if he could help remove this presence from the apartment. The priest, Father Cooke, referred the case to the Warrens.
Ed and Lorraine duly came to the apartment to investigate. They concluded that the doll itself was not possessed, and that the 'Annabelle' story was false.
Rather, they determined that an evil spirit had fixated on Donna and was controlling the doll, externally, using it to communicate. The spirit's ultimate objective was to possess Donna herself, enabling it to live again.
The Warren's arranged for an Episcopalian exorcism to be conducted at the apartment. This extensive cleansing ritual, lasting several hours, was designed to promote positive energy, and so expel any evil presence.
At the conclusion of the exorcism, the Warren's declared the apartment cleansed. For good measure, they took the Raggedy-Ann doll, now known as 'Annabelle', with them.
While the story is often told, many details are lacking.
The full names of Donna and Angie, and Donna's mother, have never been revealed. Similarly, the location of the apartment where the possession manifested, or the shop where the doll was bought, have never been disclosed.
The case has been investigated by sceptics, and most objective observers think the Warren's made the whole story up.
The Warren's continued to investigate paranormal events through the next three decades.
Among their other well known cases is the 'Amityville Horror' , a famous haunted house in Long Island. The house was the scene of a mass murder in 1974; the family that moved in subsequent, reported they were menaced by evil spirits.
The Warrens investigated, and were featured in a best selling book about the case, written by Jay Ansen. The book was later adapted into a film, that would spawn a highly successful and long running franchise.
The Warrens were again accused of helping fabricate the story. Although the family who claimed to be haunted always stood by their version of events, and even took a polygraph to help convince sceptics.
As their collection of photos and artefacts grew, the Warren's would eventually open an 'Occult Museum'. They spent their later years leading tours, and showing their prize exhibits to curious visitors.
Kept in a custom built box, fortified with prayer scrolls and other psychic defences, was the original Annabelle doll.
A sign on the front read, 'POSITIVELY DO NOT OPEN.'
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Haunted Legends of Connecticut
An nbc ct original, published october 19, 2023 • updated on october 20, 2023 at 4:49 pm, up-close look at infamous annabelle doll in warren museum.
A building in Monroe, Connecticut is said to house some very haunted items. They were gathered by paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. We go inside the museum for an exclusive look, as the Annabelle doll is removed from her case. We also recount the stories that launched a film franchise.
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MORE FROM THE SUN
Haunting story of ‘possessed’ Annabelle Doll that ‘killed man and is set to escape museum’ this Halloween
- Cierra Jones
- Published : 9:40 ET, Oct 29 2021
- Updated : 9:43 ET, Oct 29 2021
THE true story of Annabelle is far more haunting than what was told in the hit film and involves the death of a man who didn't listen.
Many think Annabelle is a possessed porcelain doll that was given to a girl and wreaked terror on her entire family thanks to the horror film, but that's far from the full story.
Years ago, the late paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren spoke about uncovering the real story of Annabelle with her late husband Ed Warren, also a paranormal investigator.
For starters, Annabelle is actually a classic Raggedy Ann doll with red yarn for hair.
She currently resides in a locked box at Warren’s Occult Museum at her Monroe home.
Per the Warrens, the doll is occupied by an “inhuman spirit,” and those who approach its glass case are instructed to not touch it.
One person, in particular, chose to disobey those rules - a move that proved deadly.
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After taunting the doll, a motorcyclist was instructed to leave before later being involved in a crash that resulted in his death.
“Never take things like this lightly, thinking it’s a joke,” Tony Spera, Warren's son-in-law, stated regarding the motorcyclist.
ANNABELLE ESCAPES MUSEUM
According to reports, rumors of Annabelle's alleged escape began after a Chinese translation mishap of a video by a YouTube user named Hi Tec h.
In the video, Annabelle actress Annabelle Wallis was doing an interview, in which, she stated that she got Mummy co-star Tom Cruise to run with her on camera.
Somehow, when it was translated to Chinese, the story was switched to “Annabelle escaped,” by Hi Tech.
From there, social media went into a frenzy with thoughts that the doll known for being possessed by an evil spirit had managed to escape the museum .
However, according to Spera, the current museum owner, the rumor is not true.
In a video, uploaded to Youtube, the paranormal investigator assured social media users that Annabelle was still in the museum, in the glass case.
“I’m in here, in the museum, because of the rumors that Annabelle has escaped,” Spera said in the video.
“I gotta tell you something. I don’t know if you’re gonna wanna hear this or not, but Annabelle did not escape... She didn’t take a trip. She didn’t fly first class, and she didn’t go out to visit her boyfriend.”
Read more: Haunted dolls ruined our lives - from 'possessed toys to leaking blood to others responsible for death and strokes'
THE ANNABELLE MOVIES
According to several Annabelle films, the doll was said to be "terrifying porcelain doll that is disfigured and immediately menacing".
It has been seen in the Conjuring movie franchise in films such as Annabelle (2014), Annabelle: Creation (2017), and Annabelle Comes Home (2019).
The Sun noted that in the original conjuring film, an evil spirit attached itself to the doll.
Her origin was later explored in the prequel, in which, character John Form gave the doll to his pregnant wife Mia as a gift.
However, whenever the family was near the doll, they became haunted.
ANNABELLE'S 'REAL' STORY
To a group of Catholic girls’ high school students, Lorraine revealed that the film 'Annabelle', which was a prequel to “The Conjuring,” was indeed fabricated.
The real story of Annabelle began in 1970.
At the time, a 28-year-old nurse had received the doll from as a birthday present from her mother. After laying the doll on her bed, she began noticing that the doll had shifted to several positions and locations around her and her roomates homes.
In one instance, parchment paper with messages reading “Help me, help us” began appearing on the floor, although the girls didn't own any parchment paper.
In another, a sleeping male friend woke up to feelings of being strangled as the doll stared at him. He also noticed scratches on his upper body.
“Not knowing where to turn they contacted a medium and a seance was held,” the Occult Museum website mentioned.
Through the medium, the girls were introduced to Annabelle Higgins' spirit. It was revealed that the young girl had resided and died on the property at age 7, before it was converted into apartments.
The young girl spirit felt relaxed in the apartment with the roommates and wanted to stay and be loved.
Read more: Can you spot the evil red-eyed mummy in this brain teaser?
They agreed to allow the spirit occupy the doll, but in turn, things got worse.
After taking an interest in the case, the Warren's contacted the nurse to offer assistance.
Soon after, they “came to the immediate conclusion that the doll itself was not in fact possessed but manipulated by an inhuman presence,” the site added.
"This spirit manipulated the doll and created the illusion of it being alive in order to get recognition."
“Truly, the spirit was not looking to stay attached to the doll, it was looking to possess a human host.”
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After they ordered an exorcism, Spera stated the Warrens removed the doll from the apartment. During their exit, Ed suggested that they didn't take the highway home and he was right.
The couple had to give the Annabelle doll holy water to calm it down because of the bumpy-ride home.
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The chilling true story of the real doll behind ‘Annabelle’
The supernatural realm. The home of ghosts, demons, and hauntings. In this realm, there exist few characters and stories that elicit such a combination of fear and recognition as her – Annabelle.
Her name and likeness became famous through the Conjuring film series. She has now become synonymous with tales of dark, supernatural encounters. Annabelle is now almost a household name. She is famous for her terrifying, unsettling gaze.
Beneath the lights and cameras of Hollywood, Annabelle blurs the lines between reality and imagination. The history of the real Annabelle doll is just as strange and chilling as what you see in the films.
The Haunting of Donna & Angie
The real story of the haunted Annabelle doll begins back in 1970s America. In 1970, a mother purchased a vintage Raggedy Ann doll named Annabelle as a birthday gift for her daughter, Donna.
Little did they know that this innocent-looking doll would soon become the source of both fascination and terror. Donna was a student nurse living at college with a roommate, Angie. She took the doll thinking nothing of it.
Things began to get weird soon after. Supposedly, Annabelle started to mysteriously move around Donna’s apartment. She left peculiar messages on parchment paper, even though Donna didn’t have any parchment paper in her possession.
Some of the messages were directed at a friend of Donna’s, Lou, who hated the doll. He sensed something seriously off about it.
Perplexed and concerned, Donna sought out a medium for help. They made a chilling revelation. According to the medium, Annabelle Higgins, a young girl who tragically passed away at seven years old, was believed to possess the doll.
Donna and Angie both felt uneasy. They were caring and compassionate nursing students. So they decided to allow Annabelle to stay. It wasn’t long, however, before the situation took a horrifying turn.
Allegedly, one day Annabelle attacked Donna’s friend Lou. This was the same friend who Annabelle directed her cryptic notes to. She attempted to strangle him and she left what looked like claw marks across his chest.
They feared for their safety. They were unable to comprehend the strange occurrences. Therefore, Donna and Lou reached out to a priest. This priest contacted paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren for assistance.
Donna and Angie accepted the aid of the Warrens. They knew they needed someone more experienced and knowledgeable about such strange and threatening circumstances.
The Warrens quickly realized that the doll was not merely haunted by a ghost. They deduced that she instead harbored something much more sinister. An inhuman and malevolent spirit.
According to their assessment, the doll acted as a conduit for a demon. They said it was demonically possessed. And its target was Donna. To address the escalating danger, the Warrens decided to perform an exorcism on the doll.
Their attempts to free Annabelle from the demon’s grip proved unsuccessful at first. Undeterred, the Warrens took custody of the doll. They recognized the urgent need to contain its malicious influence.
They placed Annabelle in a bag and embarked on a cautious journey home. They avoided highways to minimize the risk of any further interference from the malevolent force.
As they traveled on back roads, the Warrens encountered a series of harrowing incidents. The car’s engine malfunctioned, power steering failed, and even the brakes posed a challenge.
Fearing the demon’s interference, Ed resorted to sprinkling the doll with holy water. This provided a temporary respite from the disturbances. This eerie episode underscored the powerful grip the demon had on Annabelle. It left the Warrens acutely aware of the dark forces they were dealing with.
Annabelle is Moved to the Warrens’ Occult Museum
After acquiring the doll, the Warrens realized that Annabelle’s presence was too powerful to be contained within their home. They recognized the doll’s capacity to evade locks and wreak havoc.
Therefore, the Warrens constructed a custom case to confine Annabelle’s influence. Annabelle found itself in a new home. She was put in an exhibit in the Warrens’ Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut.
Visitors to the museum were met with a chilling warning that taunting the doll was not without consequences. Numerous individuals who dared to disrespect Annabelle faced alarming fates. Many had near-fatal or fatal accidents shortly after leaving the Warrens’ presence.
The doll’s reputation as a harbinger of misfortune grew. It instilled fear in even the most skeptical observers. Despite being encased within the secure confines of the museum, Annabelle’s malevolent energy persisted.
Even within the locked case, the doll managed to maintain a sense of unpredictability. It would occasionally resurface in different rooms of the Warrens’ home. It defied any notion of containment.
Sensing the doll’s resurgence, the Warrens sought the assistance of a Catholic priest to perform an exorcism on Annabelle. But they underestimated the danger they faced. In a twist of fate, the priest’s brakes failed.
This resulted in a horrific accident that totaled his car. Though he survived, it served as a grim reminder of the relentless power connected to the doll.
Today, Annabelle supposedly remains within her secured case at the Warrens’ Occult Museum, although it closed some years ago.
Controversies and Skepticism
The real Annabelle doll, as presented by Ed and Lorraine Warren in their Occult Museum, has long faced its fair share of skepticism and controversies.
Many critics dismiss Annabelle as an ordinary object, with nothing supernatural about it. But some suggest that the demonically possessed doll trope, popularized by movies like Child’s Play and The Conjuring, may have been influenced by earlier legends and stories.
They argue that the ‘real’ story of Annabelle is just another construction along those themes. They claim that finding supernatural evil in everyday objects allows modern demonologists to see malevolence in any average, creepy-looking object.
Science writers and academics have long criticized the Warrens’ Occult Museum. They stated that many of the myths surrounding the exhibits may have been self-generated. They believe Ed and Lorraine Warren aren’t reliable, truthful sources.
Many doubters question the lack of concrete evidence for Ed Warren’s supernatural claims about Annabelle. They emphasize that their history relies solely on his accounts.
Despite the controversies, the Annabelle story continues to captivate. It blurs the lines between fact and fiction in the realm of the supernatural. And ultimately, it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves – is Annabelle real? Or is she just a doll?
Annabelle. Accessed May 18, 2023. https://web.archive.org/web/20160522230945/http://www.warrens.net/annabelle.html .
Eidell, Lynsey. “The Real-Life Story behind Annabelle Is Even More Bone-Chilling than the Movie.” Glamour, October 7, 2014. https://www.glamour.com/story/real-story-behind-annabelle .
Ryan, Joal. “How the Real Doll behind ‘Annabelle’ Became Even Freakier for the Movies.” Yahoo!, October 3, 2014. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/how-the-real-doll-behind-annabelle-became-even-99081889057.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall .
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Annabelle Doll: The True Story Behind the Haunted Icon and Hollywood’s Portrayal
The Annabelle doll has etched its spot as a cornerstone of paranormal Americana. From its humble beginnings as a mere child’s toy to becoming the centerpiece of chilling supernatural tales, Annabelle’s legacy continues to fascinate and frighten. As we delve into the history of this notorious doll, we uncover a narrative that blurs the line between fact and fiction.
Unraveling the history behind the Annabelle Doll’s sinister reputation
Annabelle doll at the “Hollywood Museum Celebrates The Silence of the Lambs 30th Anniversary” event, 2021. (Photo Credit: Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images)
The story of the Annabelle doll is as rich in mystery as it is in fright. Originally, it was nothing more than a Raggedy Ann doll – a popular children’s toy that had a red yarn mane and a triangular nose. However, in the 1970s, this seemingly innocuous plaything became the center of a supernatural saga that captivated paranormal enthusiasts and terrified the public.
It’s important to distinguish between the real Annabelle doll and its Hollywood counterpart. The true Annabelle is a far cry from the porcelain figure depicted in the movies. Given as a birthday gift, the real toy became entangled within a narrative of demonic possession and haunting after its recipients reported strange occurrences, which wound up catching the attention of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Involvement of Ed and Lorraine Warren
Lorraine and Ed Warren, 1980. (Photo Credit: Russell McPhedran / Fairfax Media / Getty Images)
The story of the Annabelle doll is inextricably linked with the Warrens. Ed, a World War II veteran, and Lorraine, a self-professed clairvoyant, were pioneers in the field of paranormal investigation. They primarily focused on working with families who reached out to them after experiencing unexplained phenomena. Among those they worked with were the Perron Family (best known via The Conjuring franchise) and the Lutz family, who lived at The Amityville Horror house.
Their work with Annabelle, in particular, is one of their best-known cases, with the couple deeming the doll a conduit for a malevolent spirit. The pair’s intervention marked the beginning of Annabelle’s prominence in the world of the supernatural.
The Warrens’ Occult Museum in Connecticut once housed the doll, where it was encased in a glass box, allegedly to contain its malevolent energies. Visitors flocked to see Annabelle, now an artifact of paranormal curiosities and were often left with a sense of eerie unease. The museum served as a testament to the Warrens’ work, although it has since been closed to the public.
From Raggedy Ann to demonically possessed
Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. (Photo Credit: Robert Alexander / Getty Images)
Over the years, the image of Annabelle has undergone a radical transformation. Originally perceived as a harmless child’s doll, the subsequent reports of sinister activities associated with it have reshaped its image into that of a haunted object. This change was solidified by the doll’s portrayal in The Conjuring , further perpetuating its eerie reputation.
Annabelle’s notoriety is built upon various documented accounts of paranormal activity. As per the Warrens’ account, Donna, a nursing student, noticed the doll’s subtle movements, along with her roommate, Angie. It then began shifting to different rooms, even kneeling on a chair, a pose it couldn’t hold when they tried.
Skeptics and psychologists have offered explanations for the Annabelle phenomenon as rooted in human psychology. From the power of suggestion to confirmation bias, there are theories that attempt to demystify the occurrences surrounding the doll.
How the Annabelle Doll became a horror icon in cinematic lore
Doll from the film Annabelle Comes Home at London MCM Comic Con 2019. (Photo Credit: Ollie Millington / Getty Images)
Hollywood has played a pivotal role in transforming the Annabelle doll from a purportedly haunted object into a global icon of horror. Its introduction in The Conjuring and subsequent titular films – Annabelle , Annabelle: Creation and Annabelle Comes Home – have cemented Annabelle’s place in the pantheon of horror figures, introducing the eerie legend to a wider audience.
These movies delved deeper into the doll’s sinister history and impact on unsuspecting victims, reaffirming its status within the horror genre.
Challenges and controversies in owning haunted artifacts
Annabelle doll at The Conjuring house in Harrisville, Rhode Island, 2020. (Photo Credit: Barry Chin / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)
Collecting items like the Annabelle doll comes with its own set of challenges and ethical considerations. Issues range from the potential supernatural dangers to the moral implications of commodifying objects associated with dark histories. These factors contribute to the complex narrative that surrounds the possession and display of haunted artifacts.
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Even today, the doll’s legacy endures, transcending its physical form to become a fixture in the collective psyche. It continues to produce fear and fascination, influencing pop culture, fueling paranormal investigations and serving as a cautionary tale about the unseen forces that may dwell within the most unsuspecting of objects.