Annabelle is an allegedly haunted doll that is in the occult museum of the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. According to the Warren's, a student nurse was given the doll in 1970. Like me, you may have believed that the Annabelle doll has blonde hair with bangs and two braids, tied with red bows, blue eyes, red lipstick and wears a white dress with a red sash at the waist. If this is the image in your mind, everything you know is a lie. The real Annabelle doll is a possessed Raggedy Anne doll that is currently in a case in The Warren's Occult Museum in Connecticut with a sign on the glass that says “Warning positively do not open.”
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BACKGROUND OF RAGGEDY ANN
Raggedy Ann is a character that was created by a writer, Johnny Gruelle. Raggedy Ann appeared in a series of books that were written and illustrated for young children. Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn for hair and a triangle nose. The character was created as a doll in 1915 and introduced to the public in 1918. This all seems innocent enough, but the doll has been the center of several legends over the years. Many people believe that the doll was created as a tribute to Johnny's daughter, Marcella, who died at age 13 from an infected vaccination. The patent for the Raggedy Ann doll was already in the works when Marcella got sick. The final approval for the patent was received on September 7th, 1915, the same month that Marcella passed away. The anti-vaccination movement adopted Raggedy Ann as a symbol.
BEGINNING OF ANNABELLE
The story of the Annabelle doll began in 1970. A woman purchased a Raggedy Ann doll as a birthday gift for her daughter Donna, who was a student nurse in college. Within a few days of receiving this gift, Donna says that the doll was acting strangely. She began to move. At first, it was just slight position changes, but the doll began moving to entirely different rooms. Donna would leave the doll in the living room, but would find her on the bed with the door closed when she arrived home. The doll would often be sitting with her legs crossed or would be standing and this wasn't how Donna left her. I think you could easily convince yourself that you're absolutely losing your damn mind and everything is all in your head. That must have been what Donna thought because she purposely began crossing the doll's arms and legs in the morning to see if it was really moving. Sure enough, the doll's arms and legs would be uncrossed and in different positions later on.
Donna even recalled a time where she came home and found the doll kneeling. They tried to make the doll kneel later and it kept falling over.Things were escalating. Donna found parchment paper with notes scribbled on it an it would say things like “Help us” or “Help Lou” in a child's handwriting. Donna didn't own parchment paper and had no idea where it was even coming from.
Donna did know someone named Lou who was a long-time friend of both Donna and her roommate Angie. They were completely baffled and had no idea why a note would name Lou Specifically. Lou was certain that the doll was the one writing the notes, but Donna and Angie weren't so convinced. Donna believed that someone was playing an elaborate prank on them. Maybe a friend of theirs had gotten their hands on a door key. Donna and Angie decided to figure out what was happening. They marked windows and arranged carpets against the door to see if there were any intruders. The shenanigans inside the apartment continued and the traps that were set, were unmoved.
Donna kept most of the chilling experiences to herself, but one day, things got way worse. Donna came home and found her doll with blood drips on her chest and hands. She did the only logical thing she could think of, she called a medium. Donna and Angie learned that their Raggedy Ann doll was inhabited by the spirit of a deceased 7-year-old girl named Annabelle Higgins. It turns out that long before the apartment complex that Donna and Angie lived in was built, there was just a field and a small house. Annabelle and her family lived there and one day, Annabelle was found dead in a field where the apartments now sit. The Annabelle spirit explained that she used to play in the fields so long ago and it was a happy time for her. The medium was not able to get details of the Annabelle's death, but told the girls that Annabelle just wanted to stay with them and be loved. Through the medium, Annabelle asked if she could stay with the girls and move into the doll. They decided to accept and nurture the spirit-possessed doll.
Donna's friend Lou didn't like the Annabelle doll and said it was evil. He urged Donna and Angie to get rid of it. The girls refused to listen and wanted to help Annabelle and take care of the spirit. Lou ended up having some experiences with the doll that weren't so pleasant. One night, Lou woke up and was unable to move his body. He was completely panicked and saw the doll standing at the end of his bed. Then, he felt the pressure of hands around his throat as he was being choked. Lou woke up the next day and was absolutely terrified and kept saying it definitely wasn't a dream and definitely wasn't sleep paralysis. When Lou recounted his experience, he said, quote “While I was lying there, I saw myself wake up. Something seemed wrong to me. I looked around the room, but nothing was out of place. But then when I looked down toward my feet, I saw the rag doll, Annabelle. It was slowly gliding up my body. It moved over my chest and stopped. Then it put its arms out. One arm touched one side of my neck, the other touched the other side like it was making an electrical connection. Then I saw myself being strangled. I might as well have been pushing on a wall, because it wouldn't move. It was literally strangling me to death, I couldn't help myself, no matter how hard I tried.” End quote.
A few days after this incident, Donna and Angie were planning a road trip and they heard someone in Donna's room, moving around. Donna thought there may be an intruder, but Lou suspected something far scarier. Lou crept over to Donna's bedroom and swung the door open. Annabelle was no longer on the bed and was sitting in the corner. He approached the doll and he felt a tingling sensation on the back of his neck, like he was being watched from behind. Lou turned around and there was a sudden pain on his chest. Lou found seven long claw marks on his chest, three were vertical and four were horizontal. The cuts were somehow fully healed within 2 days and there was no trace of them ever being on Lou's body.
Since Annabelle was becoming more violent, Donna began to realize that Annabelle had lied to her. She wasn't really looking for a loving family, there was something far more sinister going on. Donna knew this situation required more than just a medium. She needed someone more powerful, so she contacted a priest. Donna told the priest what was happening to Lou and the doll and even he was like, yeah, I can't really help with that. This is too much. The priest decided to call another priest of higher authority. This guy knew what to do. He called Ed and Lorraine Warren who were American paranormal investigators. The Warren's concluded that the doll didn't have the spirit of Annabelle, but actually had a demonic presence because spirits possess people, not inanimate objects. It was only making the doll seem alive so it could attach to a human host instead. The demon would enter one of them and use their body to murder someone.
The Warrens explained that the evil spirit was able to start small by attracting attention to itself and get closer to a human host. The medium played a large role in making the manipulation easier by telling the girls the sob story about how it just wanted to be loved. Based on the fact that the doll was becoming violent at such a rapid speed, the Warrens predicted that the spirit would have possessed or killed someone in a couple weeks if they hadn't been notified. One of the priests cleaned the apartment with a seven-page prayer and the Warren's took the Raggedy Ann doll with them. Side note, I bet Donna was like, thanks for the possessed gift mom.
The Warrens explained that something demonic had taken over the doll. Typically, people aren't bothered by demonic spirits, unless they do something to bring the force into their lives. The girls gave recognition to the doll and once it had their attention, it was able to unleash fear and injury. Inhuman spirits enjoy inflicting pain. The next mistake was calling the medium. Demons need permission to interfere in your life and the girls literally gave permission for it to latch on to the doll.
When the Warrens took the Annabelle doll, things didn't go smoothly at first. Ed was staying off the major highways on their journey home because there was concern that the demon might mess with them during the drive. As they were traveling home with the doll in the backseat, the car kept stalling on every corner making the power steering and brakes fail. They almost hit another vehicle because of the struggle. Ed Warren had to pour holy water over the doll so they could make it home without any more car troubles. When they arrived home, Ed reported that the doll levitated off a chair and would randomly show up in different rooms than where they left her.
The Warrens were planning a trip shortly after acquiring Annabelle. The decided to lock the doll in the outer office building before they left. When they got home, the doll was facing them and was sitting in Ed's chair, literally mocking their efforts.
The Warrens were over Annabelle's shit and they called in their friend, Jason Bradford, a Catholic priest. The Warrens wanted their friend to do an exorcism. Bradford approached the doll, picked her up and screamed, “You're just a rag doll Annabelle, you can't hurt anyone!” Bradford threw the doll back into the chair. Ed Warrens was a bit disturbed by this behavior and begged the priest to be careful on the drive home. The priest called later that evening and was shook. His brakes had given out as he approached a busy intersection. The car was totaled and the others involved were in bad condition. The Warrens knew that Annabelle was just too dangerous. They built a specially sealed case......like, a small, glass coffin.
Annabelle maybe locked up, but that doesn't mean she lost her powers. On one occasion, a young couple was touring the museum and Ed Warren was the tour guide. Ed explained the background story of Annabelle and the young man decided to pound on the glass case and challenged the doll to scratch him. Ed Warren immediately escorted the couple out. They were laughing about the silly stories surrounding the doll as they left on their motorcycle. Suddenly, the man lost control and crashed into a tree and was killed instantly. The young girl was hospitalized, but survived. Many people say it's nothing more than an accident and had nothing to do with Annabelle. The doll hasn't managed to break out of her case just yet, but still manages to shift around and occasionally growls and visitors.
The Annabelle doll remains in a case in The Warren's Occult Museum in Connecticut with a sign on the glass that says “Warning positively do not open.”
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