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In 1970, a mother purchased the antique doll from a hobby store for her daughter, Donna. Donna, a nursing student, lived in a small apartment with her roommate Angie. After receiving the gift, Donna placed the doll on her bed, not giving it a second thought.
What once was excitement over the new doll turned to fear. After a couple days the girls noticed something was strange about the doll. It seemed to move around the apartment on its own. The movements started small at first, just a shift in position; as time passed it became more noticeable. The girls would come home to find the doll in a completely different room; its position would change as well, going from sitting with its legs crossed to standing on its feet. Donna started moving the doll to the couch before work everyday, but by the time she got home, the doll would be back on her bed with the door closed.
The raggedy-Anne doll didn’t just move around. She would leave the girls messages as well. About a month into owning her, they would find parchment paper around the apartment with messages written on it, one of them being “help us.”
The handwriting looked like that of a small child’s. The girls had no idea how these messages kept appearing, especially since Donna never owned any parchment paper.
One night Donna came home to find the doll back on her bed, but this time it was different. She felt an overwhelming sense of fear, and as she got closer saw that the doll had blood on its chest and hands. This was the last straw for Donna and Angie, who decided to seek help from a medium.
A séance was held, and the medium told the girls about Annabelle Higgins. The medium told the girls that Annabelle was a 7-year-old girl that was killed on the property before the apartments were built. Annabelle was comfortable with the girls, and asked permission to enter the doll so she could live with them. They agreed, which would prove to be a grave mistake.
Lou, a friend of Donna and Angie who had been with them since they received the doll, warned the girls on several occasions that the doll was evil. Lou had a terrible experience of his own one night. He woke up in a state of panic after having a recurring nightmare. This time something was different. He couldn’t move. He looked down at his feet and saw Annabelle, slowly crawling up his leg, over his chest, and started strangling him. He blacked out. Although nothing seemed out of the ordinary when he woke up, he knew something was wrong and that what he experienced that night was real.
The next day he and Angie were planning a road trip when they heard noises coming from Donna’s room. Worried someone broke into the apartment, Lou made his way to the bedroom. The noises stopped. Lou flung open the door and turned on the lights. Everything was in its normal place, except for Annabelle who tossed was on the floor in the corner. He felt as though there was something behind him. He turned and no one was there. He felt a burning on his chest, and doubled over in pain. His shirt was stained with blood, and upon further inspection, he discovered there were seven distinct claw marks on his chest; four horizontally and three vertically.
After Lou was attacked, Donna finally started to believe that Annabelle wasn’t a sweet little girl. The girls decided to seek help from a priest named Father Hegan, who felt that it was a spiritual matter. Father Hegan decided to contact a higher authority in the church. Father Cooke was brought into the case and he contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Ed and Loraine Warren are well known as investigators of anything that can go bump in the night. Ed was the only non-ordained demonologist recognized by the Catholic Church. Loraine is a clairvoyant and light trance medium. The two investigated over 10,000 cases in their time, including the infamous Annabelle doll.
The Warrens spoke to Donna, Angie, and Lou, and came to the conclusion that the doll was not possessed by a little girl, but manipulated by an inhuman spirit. The inhuman spirit attached to the doll, and when the girls gave “Annabelle” permission to inhabit the doll, they really gave the inhuman spirit permission to infest their lives, with the ultimate goal of possessing one of them.
The demon preyed on the girls' compassionate nature, using it against them to gain access to their lives, leaving them vulnerable. The Warrens believed that had they waited another two or three months to seek help, the demon would have possessed, or even killed, one or all of the occupants.
After their investigation, they had Father Hegan perform an exorcism of the apartment to cleanse the space. Donna asked the Warrens to take Annabelle with them, for her safety and the safety of others.
Ed placed the doll in the backseat and took backroads home instead of the interstate as a precautionary measure. On their way home, they encountered the hatred of the inhuman spirit attached to the doll. With every curve, the car stalled and swerved. The power steering and brakes were failing. Ed reached into his back and pulled out a vial of holy water; he splashed the water on the doll making the sign of the cross. Everything went back to normal and the Warrens arrived home safely.
At home, Ed set the doll in a chair next to his desk. During the next few weeks, the doll would move around the house. When Father Bradford, a Catholic exorcist, came to visit Ed at the house, he taunted the doll. “You’re just a rag doll Annabelle, you can’t hurt anyone,” he said as he tossed the doll into a chair. Ed reprimanded him for taunting the demon. On the way home, the priest called Lorraine explaining that his brakes had failed as he entered a busy intersection. He was involved in an accident that nearly ended his life. There have been other incidents such as this where the demon was taunted, causing death or injury to those involved.
The Warrens built a special case for Annabelle inside their occult museum, where she still sits to this day. Since being in the case, the doll has not moved around the house. While Annabelle is locked up in a case, the demon attached to her is still very powerful and can wreak havoc on the lives of those who are not careful.
It is believed that Annabelle caused the death of a young man visiting the museum with his girlfriend. The man, after hearing Ed tell Annabelle’s story, went up to the case and started banging on it. He taunted the being attached to the doll, insisting that if the doll was powerful it could scratch him since it scratched others. Ed asked the man to leave. On the way home, the man and his girlfriend were laughing and making fun of the doll when he lost control of his motorcycle and ran head on into a tree. The young man died instantly. The girlfriend lived but was hospitalized for over a year. When asked about what caused the accident, she explained that they were making fun of Annabelle when the accident occurred.
If you wish to visit the museum you can see the doll with your own eyes, along with many other occult artifacts. Just be careful while you are there, as the demon attached to Annabelle is still very much present and dangerous as ever.