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The Horrifying History of the Cursed Annabelle Doll

The history behind the horror.

Credit: BuzzFeed Unsolved Network/YouTube

The inanimate star of both the Annabelle and Conjuring film series is real, and the truth of the infamous Annabelle doll is even more terrifying than the fiction. But what is the true story behind this supposedly demonic doll?

The Annabelle doll has become one of the most well-known cursed objects in the world throughout the past few decades; likely due to its recent appearances within the popular horror film franchise The Conjuring and its own spin-off trilogy aptly titled Annabelle. What many don’t realize however, is that this demonic doll is very much real. 

However, while the films do get some details right they still change a lot of original legends surrounding the doll. For example, though the duo of paranormal investigators known as the Warrens did investigate the doll, the events surrounding this case are pretty different from the films, so what really happened and how did the Warrens get involved?

The History Behind the Horror

Something to note is while the Annabelle featured on the big screen is this uncanny antique monstrosity, the real version is actually somewhat cute. The real one is a ‘Raggedy Ann’ branded rag-doll that was popular in the 1980’s, so at first glance you would never suspect the evil presence hiding behind its cute appearance. This was the case for the doll’s first victims.

According to records left by the Warrens, the doll was originally in the possession of a nursing student. It was a gift from her mother and was given to the student in 1970, however shortly after receiving the doll strange events began to plague her apartment. The student and her roommate noticed the doll moving between rooms, despite the fact neither of them moved it. Her roommate’s boyfriend even reported a terrifying incident where the doll apparently attacked him while he was laying on a couch, covering him in deep scratch wounds that mysteriously healed soon after. 

Obviously alarmed by these events, the students contacted a local medium who told them the doll was haunted by the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle who originally lived in their building. The pair initially welcomed this spirit, assured “Annabelle” was harmless. But as the doll’s actions became increasingly malicious, the pair contacted a local priest who, suspecting a darker force was at play, quickly called in the Warrens to investigate.

The Warrens deduced the doll was actually haunted by a demon, deciding that “Annabelle” never existed. Rather they believed the demon used this act to trick its way into the students’ home in order to later possess one of their bodies. The Warrens confiscated the doll and took it to their home/Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut; where it was imprisoned within a specially crafted case made of blessed wood and adorned with a sign warning visitors to “Positively DO NOT Open” the case for any reason. The doll is still there to this day.

Image Credit: BuzzFeed Unsolved Network/YouTube

Annabelle’s Lasting Legacy

However despite these precautions, Annabelle has continued to cause harm. In one instance, a priest who visited the Warrens’ home denounced the doll as “just a doll” straight to it’s face after roughly grabbing it despite Ed Warren’s warnings. The Warrens later got a call from that same priest, informing them he had been in a car crash after he suddenly lost control of the vehicle at an intersection. Though he was unharmed, the priest believed this was Annabelle’s response to his challenge and no longer doubted the doll’s darker nature.

There was another incident just last year on August 14th 2020, where Twitter was flooded by panicked posts about Annabelle’s rumored escape from the Museum. Tony Speara, the Warrens’ son-in-law, soon took to his official YouTube page to calm everybody down, assuring the public the doll was still safely contained in her case. Still, the panic over the possible escape goes to show just how many people are still terrified of this doll.

There are countless similar accounts of the doll cursing visitors to the Occult Museum throughout the decades its been contained, though most are unverified. However, rest assured the Museum takes every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of visitors, especially in regards to its most famous cursed object. 

Given the continued success of the Annabelle-inspired films, it’s likely the doll will live in infamy for quite a while yet; and with it’s legacy still being written, who knows when the doll’s curses will strike again. One thing’s for sure, even if you don’t believe in Annabelle’s supposedly demonic powers, you can’t deny the impact she’s had on pop-culture and horror media as a whole. 

Interested in more tales of possibly haunted objects? Check out the story of La Pascualita, the mannequin which might just hide a horrifying secret.

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