Thanks to James Wan’s films The Conjuring (2013) and Annabelle (2014), many people around the world are now familiar with Annabelle the haunted doll. However, very few are aware of the real story of her paranormal past.
In 1970, a young woman named Donna received a doll from her mother. Unlike the grey toned creepy figure that portrays Annabelle in Wan’s films, the real Annabelle has the same composition and features of a Raggedy-Ann doll.
Over the next couple of weeks Donna, along with her roommate Angie, began to notice that the doll would be in a different room or a different position than where she had been hours before. When the two friends realized it was not the other who was moving her, they began to panic.
Not long after, Donna and Angie began finding bits of thick parchment scattered in the apartment. The little pieces often had messages written on them, such as the words ‘’Help Me.” What was equally unsettling is the fact that neither of the girls kept that type of parchment within the apartment.
Needing answers and guidance, Donna and Angie contacted a medium who agreed to visit the apartment. After spending time with Annabelle, the psychic concluded that a little girl, named Annabelle Higgins, had once been buried underneath the apartment complex. Her spirit had been wandering the building ever since – until Donna brought home the doll. The girl decided to transfer her spirit into the doll shortly afterward.
After hearing this depressing tale, the two young women felt sorry for the spirit of the little girl. They agreed that they would try to be more understanding of the spirit and would continue to allow her to use the doll as a vessel.
However, the medium’s visit acted as a catalyst for an increase in paranormal activity. Donna and Angie discovered that a red substance began to ooze out of Annabelle’s hands for no apparent reason.
An Attack in the Night
When their friend Lou spent the night on their couch one night, things became downright terrifying.
Lou said that he suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, he had been experiencing a reoccurring nightmare that started a few days prior. But as he laid on the couch he felt that something was different about Donna’s and Angie’s apartment. He felt conscious and yet he couldn’t physically move his body. The only thing he could move was his eyes.
Lou looked around the room and, much to his horror, discovered that Annabelle was sitting down by his feet. The moment his eyes landed on her, the doll began to move by herself, and slowly crawled up his leg. She then climbed onto his chest, and began to strangle Lou…
Still paralyzed, Lou fought for breath. He struggled against the doll for several moments until he blacked out. When Lou gained consciousness the following morning he was certain the experience had not been a dream, despite the fact that Annabelle was nowhere near him.
A few hours later, Lou and Angie sat at the kitchen table in the apartment, pouring over maps. The two had planned a road trip the following day and were trying to determine their route. Suddenly, they heard a rustling begin to emanate from Donna’s empty bedroom.
Fearing that somebody had broken into the apartment, Lou decided to investigate. Slowly he approached the closed door and waited…
The moment the rustling noise ceased, Lou jerked the door open and went into the room. The moment he turned on the light he realized that nobody, save for Annabelle, was in the room. Despite the strange noises that he and Angie had both heard, none of Donna’s belongings appeared out of place.
Weary, Lou crept to where Annabelle sat in the corner. As he got closer, he felt as though somebody was standing behind him. He turned to look but nobody was there.
As he turned to face Annabelle again, he was maliciously attacked.
Seemingly out of nowhere, seven distinct claw marks appeared on Lou’s chest. Three were vertical, four were horizontal and all of them felt as if they had been burned into his flesh. Blood ebbed from the wounds and stained his shirt.
Equally creepy was the fact that by the following day the scratch marks were already half healed. By the second day, no trace of the wounds could be found.
The Truth Revealed
Tired of living in constant fear of the doll, Donna and Angie eventually got a hold of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The Warrens were leading paranormal investigators during the 1970s. Ed was a self-proclaimed demonologist, while Lorraine possessed certain clairvoyant abilities. The couple had gained a notable reputation after becoming involved with the infamous Amityville haunting case in 1974.
Ed and Lorraine listened to Donna’s case and felt compelled to visit Annabelle. After spending time with the doll, the couple informed Donna and Angie that the psychic they had previously hired had been duped.
There had never been a little girl named Annabelle Higgins.
Indeed, the spirit that resided in the doll had never been human at all. It was a demonic entity, and it was willing to take on any persona that would make the girls keep the Annabelle doll around.
Rendering the doll to be unsafe, the Warrens brought Annabelle home with them to the Occult Museum they ran out of the basement of their house. The possessed doll was placed into a locked glass case which has been laced with holy water. To this day, many paranormal enthusiasts believe that the haunted Annabelle doll is the most prized item in the Warren’s collection.