By Kelly Roncace
You’re lying in bed late at night.
The wind is howling and the moon is bright, casting disfigured shadows across your bedroom walls.
The house seems quiet because your parents and siblings are all asleep, but you know better. The house is never quiet — not as long as the creepy doll your old Aunt Sally brought you from New Orleans is sitting in the corner.
What was that?
Did the plastic person with a sinister smile just turn its head to face you?
Impossible. It must have been your imagination, so you roll over and try to sleep.
Let’s face it; we’ve all struggled through a situation similar to this and it was most likely accompanied by a quick heartbeat and shortness of breath.
So have you seen, “The Conjuring,” yet?
Directed by James Wan, who also directed “Saw” and “Dead Silence,” this film is based on case files provided by paranormal investigators/demonologists Lorraine and the late Ed Warren.
While the bulk of the movie revolves around the Perrone family and their adventures with a demonic presence in their Rhode Island farm house, the movie opens with the story of Annabelle the haunted doll in order to introduce the audience to the Warrens and what they are all about.
The worst part of the entire experience of watching this film is realizing the fact that it’s based on true accounts, including the creepy doll named Annabelle.
Annabelle — a Raggedy Ann-type rag doll — was purchased from an antiques shop in 1970. A mother bought the doll for her college-aged daughter.
Donna, the college student, liked the doll, and placed it on the bed in her apartment, not giving the yarn-haired toy a second thought.
Shortly after the doll entered her apartment, Donna and her roommate Angie noticed the doll seemed to be moving on its own and was generally creeping them out.
The girls began finding notes written on parchment paper scattered about the apartment — they didn’t own parchment paper — and once found the rag doll standing on its two flimsy legs, leaning against a chair in the living room.
They first contacted a medium who conducted a seance and discovered that a young girl named Annabelle had died many years ago on the property where the girls’ apartment now stood.
The spirit told the medium she felt comfortable with the girls and wanted to stay with them and be loved — so they gave the girl permission to inhabit the doll and stay.
The activity surrounding the doll continued to increase and become more violent until finally, a friend named Lou was attacked one evening, receiving seven scratches across his chest.
After their friend was physically scratched, the girls decided they may not be dealing with the spirit of a young girl, and so sought help from Ed and Lorraine Warren.
After an investigation, the Warrens determined the doll was not inhabited by a young girl’s spirit, but that something non-human had attached itself to the toy.
Demons often lie about their identity in the hopes of getting closer to weak humans so they can literally possess a person, and something very evil was — and maybe still is — attached to Annabelle the doll.
Annabelle is now kept in a locked, glass case that can be seen at the Warren’s Occult Museum in Connecticut. A large sign hanging on Annabelle’s case reads, “Warning: Positively Do Not Open.”
No problem, Lorraine. I wouldn’t think of it.
However, Annabelle the doll apparently has a following.
While I was searching for information about the real doll as opposed to the movie version, I stumbled upon a Facebook page titled, “Free Annabelle the Haunted Doll.”
The page admin writes, “Annabelle has been accused of using a weapon with the intent to do damage. She is now housed in a institution run by the lovely Lorraine Warren whom, for years, has amassed a large collection of haunted items. Annabelle has not only been exorcised, she has been locked away forever, unable to ever feel the warmth of a loving human again. It’s time to join forces and free this poor stuffed item.”
You go, Annabelle lovers, but if that doll spends the rest of her existence in that case, it will be just fine with me.