Visit the real haunted doll that inspired the horror movie "Annabelle"...if you dare
The people behind the massively successful horror film The Conjuring are nearly ready to debut Annabelle, a spinoff...
The people behind the massively successful horror film The Conjuring followed up with an Annabelle spinoff horror film, that delved into the history of the creepy doll featured briefly in the first film. What you might not know is that Annabelle actually exists, and you can visit her yourself.
The Conjuring was loosely based on the exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren, self-proclaimed "demonologists" who made a career out of touring the country and solving paranormal mysteries through a combination of heavy Catholicism and psychic powers. Most famously, the couple were two of the first investigators in the infamous Amityville Horror case, another haunting that spawned its own series of films.
While many of the cases they worked on, like Amityville, were later outed as hoaxes, their ability to tell an excellent scary story can't be denied, and one of the creepiest of all had to do with a Raggedy Anne doll that they nicknamed Annabelle.
As the Warren's tell it, the antique doll was purchased from a hobby shop in the 70's as a birthday gift to a girl named Donna. Donna was in college, and shared a small apartment with her roommate, and Annabelle quickly became a beloved piece of decoration.. until the two girls began to notice the doll moving on its own.
Often times Donna would come to find the doll had moved from its spot in the living room to her bedroom, other times it would seem to cross its legs when people weren't looking, and sometimes the doll was even blamed for writing messages like "help us" in a child-like scrawl.
Eventually, Donna and her roommate called in the help of a medium who told them the doll was possessed by the spirit of a woman named Annabelle Higgins. According to the medium, Annabelle really liked the girls, and wanted to remain in their care. It was at this point that the Warrens got involved, and they had a feeling that Annabelle was a wee bit of a liar.
Their case files tell of the doll attacking the girls' friend "Lou":
Looking down toward his feet he saw the doll, Annabelle. It began to slowly glide up his leg, moved over his chest and then stopped. Within seconds the doll was strangling him. Paralyzed and gasping for breath Lou, at the point of asphyxiation, blacked out. Lou awoke the next morning, certain it wasn't a dream, Lou was determined to rid himself of that doll and the spirit that possessed it.
[Ed and Lorraine] agreed to take the rag doll back home with them. Upon leaving, Ed placed the doll in the back seat and agreed he would not take the interstate in the event the inhuman spirit still resided with the doll.
His suspicions were all to correct in no time the Warrens felt themselves as a the object of a vicious hatred. Then at each dangerous curve the car swerved and stalled with every corner causing the power steering and brakes to fail. Repeatedly the car verged on collision. Ed reached into the back seat into his black bag and took out a vial of holy water and doused the doll making the sign of the cross over it. The disturbances stopped immediately and the Warren's arrived safely home.
After the Warrens arrived home, Ed sat the doll in a chair next to his desk. The doll levitated a number of times in the beginning, then it seemed to fall inert. During the ensuing weeks, however, it began showing up in various rooms of the house. When the Warrens were away and had the doll locked up in the outer office building, they would often return to find it sitting comfortably upstairs in Ed's easy chair when they opened the main front door. The doll also showed a hatred for clergymen who came to the house.
The Warrens built a glass case for the doll, and after having it blessed by a priest, placed Annabelle inside. Today, visitors to the Warren Occult Museum can see Annabelle in her glass case with a giant handwritten sign warning visitors not to touch. According to the Warrens, the last person to break that rule was promptly killed in an automobile accident.
In the meantime, you can visit the real-life haunted doll, and if you're lucky, meet Lorraine Warren herself. Just remember not to touch anything.
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