The 13th Floor

The Story of the Real ANNABELLE Doll

She first appeared in James Wan’s THE CONJURING, then her own spinoff feature, with its own promising sequel now hitting theaters. This little girl is one of the most famous dolls in the world… she’s also one of the most haunted.

The centerpiece of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren’s Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut, the real life Annabelle has been a favorite subject of paranormal investigators for decades. Now here are five fascinating things you probably didn’t know about the real sinister little dolly behind the popular Hollywood story.

The Real Annabelle Doll is a Raggedy Anne Doll

Annabelle isn’t as sinister looking as Hollywood made her out to be. Portrayed by a rather evil looking screen double, the real Annabelle was actually a Raggedy Ann doll. Raggedy Ann and her sidekick Andy, were created by American author Johnny Gruelle. They were originally released as dolls in 1915 and then in a series of books in 1918. Although many companies have been making Raggedy Ann dolls since 1920, the Annabelle version was more than likely a Georgene Novelties or Knickerbocker Toy Company version. Altered to her present image for the film, it seems far more plausible that someone would welcome a Raggedy Anne doll into their home more so that the evil looking one screen variant.


Annabelle is Not Actually Doll’s Name

Annabelle is actually the name of mischievous spirit that haunts the doll. When she first began exhibiting strange behavior, her owner called in a psychic medium who told her the doll was possessed by the spirit of a dead girl named Annabelle Higgins. According to the medium, the real Annabelle died at the age of 7 on the same land where the doll’s owner currently resided. The Warrens suggested that the doll served as a resident for Higgins’ spirit when she sought out a human host.


The Two Girls Really Were  Nursing Students

The prepossessed doll was originally purchased at a hobby shop by a woman as a gift for her daughter in 1970. Her daughter, Donna, was sharing an apartment with fellow nursing student Angie. It was at their apartment that the doll became a vessel for the little dead girl. Donna and Angie believed that they could live with the doll’s strange quirks, but as time went on her actions became increasingly sinister. At first, her actions were rather benign.  The girls would occasionally come home to find her in a different position than when they left her. However, it wasn’t long before they found her in different rooms. Angie and Donna were driven to enlist the help of paranormal investigators when they discovered the doll leaving hand written messages around the apartment that would read “Help Us” and “Help Lou”. That’s when they decided their new roommate had to go.



Annabelle Somehow Occasionally Gets Bloody 

On at least one occasion, Annabelle’s owner reported finding blood on the doll. Both the Warrens and Donna claim that they had found small spots of blood on Annabelle’s chest as well as a spot of blood on the back of her hand. After an investigation of the doll, the Warrens could not find any explanation for how the blood had gotten there.



The Real Annabelle Targeted Specific People and Almost Killed Someone 

Annabelle did not like Angie’s fiancé, and she definitely let him know. At the time, Donna’s roommate Angie was engaged to a man named Lou (which is explained the notes to him mentioned above). From day one, Annabelle and Lou did not get along. More than once, he had told Angie that the doll was evil and to get rid of it immediately. Annabelle wasn’t happy with Lou’s opinion and decided to make her feelings known. One night while Lou was in bed, he woke up to find that he could not move. He looked down and saw Annabelle at his feet. The doll crawled up to his chest where it began choking him until he lost consciousness. When he woke up the next morning, he was certain that what had happened the night before was not a dream. Not feeling she had gotten her point across, Annabelle decided to lash out at the young man once more. This time, she waited until they were both alone in a dark room. As Lou went to turn on the light, he felt a presence behind him. When he turned around, he quickly doubled over in pain. After turning on the light, he checked his stomach and found that he was bleeding from several scratches on his stomach. In the middle of the room he saw Annabelle innocently sitting on the floor, more than likely doing the haunted doll version of whistling nonchalantly.


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