Annabelle is a doll alleged by self-proclaimed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren to be haunted.
Annabelle was the focus of a case that famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren took part in during the early 1970s, and is highlighted in the book “The Demonologist”. It has been stated that this is one of the most unusual cases of a possessed object on record.
Donna got Annabelle from her mother in 1970; mum bought the used doll at a hobby store. Donna was a college student at the time, and living with a roommate named Angie, and at first neither thought the doll was anything special. But over time they noticed Annabelle seemed to move on her own; at first it was really subtle, just changes in position, the kinds of things that could be written off as the doll being jostled. But the movement increased, and within a few weeks it seemed to become fully mobile.
The girls would leave the apartment with Annabelle on Donna’s bed and return home to find it on the couch with its arms folded, other times it was found upright, standing on its feet or leaning against a chair in the dining room. Several times Donna, placing the doll on the couch before leaving for work, would return home to find the doll back in her room on the bed with the door closed. Their friend Lou hated the doll, he thought there was something deeply wrong with it, something evil, but the girls were modern women and didn’t believe that sort of thing. There must be an explanation, they reasoned.
But soon Annabelle’s actions got even weirder – Donna began to find pieces of parchment paper in the house with messages written on it. “Help us,” they would say, or “Help Lou.” Just to make the whole thing that much creepier nobody in the house had parchment paper. Where the hell was it coming from?
The escalation continued. One night Donna returned home to find Annabelle in her bed, with blood on her hands. The blood – or some sort of red liquid – seemed to be coming from the doll itself. That was enough; Donna finally agreed to bring in a medium. The sensitive sat with the doll and told the girls that long before their apartment complex had been built there had been a field on that property. A seven year old girl named Annabelle Higgins had been found dead in that field.
Her spirit remained, and when the doll came into the house the girl latched on to it. She found Donna and Angie to be trustworthy. She just wanted to stay with them. She wanted to be safe with them. Being sweet, nurturing types – they were both nursing students – Donna and Angie agreed to let Annabelle stay with them. And that’s when all hell broke loose.
Lou started having bad dreams, dreams where Annabelle was in his bed, climbing up his leg as he lay frozen, sliding up his chest to his neck and closing her stuffed hands around his throat, choking him out. He would wake up terrified, head pounding like all blood had been cut off to his brain. He was freaking out. He was worried about the girls. A few days later he and Angie were hanging out, planning a road trip, when they heard someone moving around in Donna’s room. They froze – was it a break in? Was there an intruder in the apartment?
Lou crept over to the door, listening to rustling within. He threw open the door and everything was as it should be – except Annabelle was off the bed and sitting in a corner. As he approached the doll Lou was consumed with that feeling, a burning on the back of the neck that indicates someone was staring at you and he spun around. Nobody was there. The room was empty. And then sudden pain on his chest. He looked in his shirt and saw a series of raking claw marks, rough ditches in his flesh that burned. He knew Annabelle had done it.
The weird claw marks began healing almost immediately. They were totally gone in two days. They were like no wounds any of them had ever seen before. They knew they needed more help, and they turned to an Episcopalian priest, who in turned called in Ed and Lorraine Warren. It didn’t take the Warrens long to come to their conclusion: there was no ghost in this case. There was an inhuman spirit – a demon – attached to the doll. But they warned that the doll wasn’t possessed; demons don’t possess things, only people.
It was clinging to the doll, manipulating it, in order to give the impression of a haunting. The target was really Donna’s soul. A priest performed an exorcism on the apartment and the Warrens took possession of the doll. They put it in a bag and began the long drive home; Ed agreed to stay off the highways because there was a concern that the demon might fuck with the car, and at 65 miles an hour that would be disastrous. And sure enough, as they drove on the back roads, the engine kept cutting out, the power steering kept failing and even the brakes gave them trouble. Ed opened the bag, sprinkled the doll with holy water and the disturbances stopped… for the moment.
Ed left the doll next to his desk; it began levitating. That happened a couple of times and then it seemed to just quit, finally laying quiet. But in a couple of weeks Annabelle was back to her old tricks; she started appearing in different rooms in the Warren home. Sensing that the doll was ramping back up the Warrens called in a Catholic priest to exorcise Annabelle.
The priest didn’t take it seriously, telling Annabelle “You’re just a doll. You can’t hurt anyone!” Big mistake: on his way home the priest’s brakes failed, and his car was totaled in a horrible accident. He survived. Eventually the Warrens built a locked case for Annabelle, and she resides there to this day. The locked case seems to have kept the doll from moving around, but it seems like that whatever terrible entity is attached to it is still there, waiting. Biding its time. Ready for the day when it can again be free.
Since the case was built Annabelle no longer appeared to move but she is thought to be responsible for the death of a young man who came to the museum on motorcycle with his girlfriend. The young man after hearing Ed’s account of the doll, defiantly went up and began to bang on the case insisting that if the doll can put scratches on people then he wanted to also be scratched, Ed said to the young man “Son you need to leave” and put him out of the building
On the way home the young man and his girlfriend were laughing and making fun of the doll when he lost control of his motorcycle and went head on into a tree, the young man was killed instantly but his girlfriend survived and was hospitalized for over a year. When asked what happened the young woman explained that they were laughing about the doll when they lost control of the motorcycle.
Annabelle can be found at the Warren Occult Museum in Moodus, Connecticut. The museum is run by Lorraine Warren, the famous paranormal investigator. Housed in a glass case at the museum you will find Annabelle. Mrs. Warren relates that Annabelle still moves about occasionally and is still known to make growling noises at unsuspecting visitors….