Strange & Unusual Spotlight:
Inspiration for Annabelle/The Conjuring Film Series
Few items instill as much fear in us as dolls. Perhaps it’s because of their likeness to ourselves, their unseeing eyes, or the feeling that they’re always watching us. It could be because dolls are believed to be vessels for lost spirits, or it could be because we’re raised with stories of evil dolls: Chucky from Child’s Play, Talky Tina from The Twilight Zone, and even the real-life legend of Robert the Doll. But there is another doll straight from the pages of history that is believed to be so evil, she has spurred the ever successful Conjuring franchise.
The seemingly innocent looking Raggedy Ann doll was purchased from a second-hand store and given to a young nursing student in 1970. Almost immediately, it was clear that something was wrong with the doll–it would change its position, it would move about the apartment on its own, cryptic messages would be written out on pieces of parchment in a child’s handwriting, and blood even appeared on its hands. A psychic medium told the unfortunate owner that the spirit of a little girl named Annabelle Higgins was attached to the doll, a young girl who had died on the property years prior and wished to stay with the girls. But it would soon be learned that Annabelle was not who she said she was.
When Ed and Lorraine Warren (yes, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga from The Conjuring) arrived, it was revealed that there was no Annabelle Higgins and that the doll was actually being manipulated by an inhuman spirit (read that as a demon). Fearing that the demon was hoping to possess one of the girls in the apartment, the Warrens quickly removed Annabelle and placed her in a specially made case where she still sits today. Despite this case claiming to keep the evil at bay, Annabelle is credited with killing at least one young man who mocked her.
Unfortunately, the Warren’s Occult Museum (Annabelle’s home) in Monroe, Connecticut, is temporarily closed as of March 2018 due to zoning issues. Lorraine Warren and her son-in-law are currently looking for a new home for the museum. Check back here for updates in the future.
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