My Experiences with a Haunted Doll

Photo Credit: Christopher Tillman

Haunted objects seem to be all the rage these days. Everywhere you look there’s nothing but haunted objects. This can include items like artwork, jewelry, furniture, and even children’s toys. (Thanks to Hollywood movies, like “Annabelle” and “Child’s Play,” dolls seem to currently be the most popular of the haunted objects.)

Even though local legends and historic haunts tend to be my general focus, I have, on occasion, come into possession of objects, relics, and artifacts that have some sort of strange story attached to them. Some might even say they’re haunted. One of these items was given to me in the Spring of 2017. It was a doll, and it was believed to be the cause of some very strange paranormal activity.

In April of 2017, Mary* contacted me through the Haunted Toledo Facebook page about a German tin-head doll in her possession that dated back to the 1920s. Mary writes,

My great-grandmother got it as a present from her parents when she was a little girl. [The doll] has been in storage since the early 90s and then she gave it to me when I was around twelve. I’m now twenty-one. Since I got the doll, I [have] been unable to sleep in my own bed or shower in my bathroom.”

Mary had grown so uncomfortable in the house since the arrival of the doll that she would often sleep in her mother’s bedroom at night and would even go so far as to make her mom sit in the bathroom as she showered.

It didn’t take long before Mary began to sense that something, some presence, had come into the house, and that the German doll was somehow the source of it.

It is very negative and has a dominant presence,” Mary says. “It makes you feel like you’re being watched. It interacts with our world. It stomps a lot. It breathes in your ear.

In time, the activity only increased in both frequency and intensity.

On those nights Mary would fall asleep in her own bed, she would often awaken at 3:00am and find herself in the grips of sleep paralysis. This is when the presence in her house, the one she believes is attached to the doll, would make itself known to her.

There would be a man with a thick German accent sitting on the edge of my bed, talking to me,” Mary says. “He had a menacing and angry demeanor to him. All I could do was lay there until he left.”

Since I moved out,” she continues, “it has moved on to messing with my little brother. It sits in the bathroom with him. It walks through him. It does all sorts of things. He’s been showering with the door open so my mom can hear him scream if he’s scared.”

After having lived for so long with the unnerving activity, Mary, her mother, and her brother all decided they wanted the doll out of the house.

I want it to go to someone who can handle it properly,” she says.

Skeptical of the claims, I agreed to receive the doll. At the very least, I figured, it may give them some peace of mind. The way I saw it, there was a 50/50 chance that the doll was, in fact, somehow responsible.

We met in the parking lot of a local mall, I was barely able to introduce myself before they pushed a rolled up blanket into my hands, inside of which was the doll that had been plaguing their home. They were happy to be rid of it.

Once I had the doll back home, I naturally wanted to put its claims to the test.

Over a period of several months I would leave audio recorders and cameras periodically trained on the doll, specifically at night. Apart from some odd scratching and heavy breathing sounds, as well as some unaccounted for snapping sounds recorded on audio, nothing out of the ordinary was documented. Most of what I experienced was purely subjective and open to interpretation.

Frequently I would awaken around 3:00am. I did not experience any sleep paralysis, but I sometimes would get the impression I wasn’t alone in the room. There were also times when I would be awakened by the sound of someone saying my name. A few times I could even feel someone caressing my cheek.

By the end of summer, I wrapped the doll in a towel with a medal of the Virgin Mary tucked into one of the folds and placed it in a mirror box. The activity I was experiencing ceased. Thankfully, Mary and her family had also found some peace since being free of the doll’s influence.

My mom, brother, and the pets are all much calmer and not feeling watched anymore,” Mary tells me. “Thank you so much.”

With the sudden popularity in haunted objects, perhaps it’s time Haunted Toledo takes a second look at the claims surrounding this doll.

Not her real name

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