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Ann was chatting on Tipp FM radio this morning about haunted dolls! We covered everything from the current Stormy Daniels court case in the US to Annabelle.

Did you know that Chucky was based on a doll called Robert who is kept in Florida? He causes such fear that past presidents have written to the doll and those who photograph him without permission end up regretting it! 

For those who don’t know the background to Annabelle, she is not as portrayed in the movies, but a Raggedy Ann doll, much less sinister looking, but looks can be deceiving.

Annabelle was bought for a nursing student called Donna by her mother. In 1970 while sharing an apartment, Donna and her roommate claim they were subjected to terror at the hands of the child’s plaything. Annabelle would move around, leave notes and be covered in blood, as well as a claim of attacking a boyfriend in the apartment.

A psychic told Donna the doll was possessed by the spirit of a dead child. She called in Ed and Lorraine Warren, who deemed Annabelle dangerous and locked her in a glass case in their museum with strict instructions not to open it. 

Does it all sound a bit far-fetched? Well it shouldn’t. For thousands of years dolls have been created as talismans of protection against evil by everyone from the Egyptians and Native Americans to the Dutch arriving in the New World in the 1600s and settling in Manhattan.

The New York Dutch used their dolls to ward off local ghosts and spirits of the New World in a bid to keep their own ways. It is possible those indigenous to the area took offence and thus the beginning of dolls being thought of as evil began. 

The Native Americans, along with many Asian cultures, have believed for centuries that the spirits of the deceased, particularly children, have had the power to possess a doll. Think about it – when we are children, we pour all our emotion and creative thought into those dolls and teddy bears we played with. Our hearts and souls.

Is it possible that some of that intense energy sometimes transfers, particularly on heirlooms and items of great personal value? 

This could potentially be true of any dolls made from natural materials, acting as conduits and methods of spiritual imprint in much the same way we view stone tape theory. It is probably why you don’t get many haunted Barbie dolls! Of course there is also the possibility of the doll being a trigger object. The familiarity of the toy drawing in a spirit reaction and being of a size more easy to manipulate. 

Of course we then move on to demon infestation. Is it likely or even possible? Well we know it has been thought that spirits can be “trapped” in objects, just look at the Dybbuk Box. In Jewish folklore, a Dybbuk is a disembodied spirit who has committed sins so heinous they are doomed to walk the earth, searching for a living host to contain their essence.

The Dybbuk box was used to imprison the evil spirit to prevent human possession. Could the same be said of dolls we wonder, either by a curse or indeed a demonic entity looking for a willing victim, hidden as a child’s plaything?

And speaking of curses, let’s not forget the power of the Voodoo Doll! Working much like an Irish Piseóg, the fear of the cursed object causes the receipient of the ill-will to do more damage to themselves that any real object power could do. 

In Togo in West Africa, they have the world’s largest voodoo market called the Akodessawa Fetish Market, which specialises in haunted dolls and Voodoo dolls which have been cursed and imbibed with magic by tribal sorcerers and warlocks.

Have you had any experiences with a haunted doll? We would love for you to tell us about it! 

Published by Ann Massey McElroy

Published author and blogger specializing in Irish Folklore, Dark History and Hauntings. Travel Expert working in Travel and Tourism. Ireland Editor at spookyisles.com and paranormal investigator. Irish Folklore Consultant for books, comics, films and video games, TV, Interviews, Guest Speaker.

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