Annabelle (doll)

Annabelle is a Raggedy Ann doll alleged by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren to be haunted. The doll resides in a glass box at The Warrens' Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut.[1][2][3][4][5] The story served as the inspiration for the films Annabelle (2014) and Annabelle: Creation (2017). Annabelle has been compared to Robert the Doll[6] and was described in Gerald Brittle's 2002 biography of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Demonologist.[7]


According to claims originating from Ed and Lorraine Warren, a student nurse was given the Raggedy Ann doll in 1970. After the doll behaved strangely, a psychic medium told the student that the doll was inhabited by the spirit of a dead girl named "Annabelle Higgins". Supposedly, the student nurse and her roommate first tried to accept and nurture the spirit-possessed doll, but eventually became frightened by the doll's malicious behavior and contacted the Warrens, who removed the doll to their museum after pronouncing it "demonically possessed".[8]

Texas State University assistant professor of religious studies Joseph Laycock says most skeptics have dismissed the Warrens' museum as “full of off-the-shelf Halloween junk, dolls and toys, books you could buy at any bookstore”. Laycock calls the Annabelle legend an "interesting case study in the relationship between pop culture and paranormal folklore" and speculates that the demonic doll trope popularized by films such as Child's Play, Dolly Dearest, and The Conjuring likely emerged from early legends surrounding Robert the Doll as well as a Twilight Zone episode entitled "Living Doll". Laycock suggests that "the idea of demonically-possessed dolls allows modern demonologists to find supernatural evil in the most banal and domestic of places."[8]

Commenting on publicity for the Warrens' occult museum coinciding with the film release of The Conjuring, science writer Sharon A. Hill said that many of the myths and legends surrounding the Warrens have "seemingly been of their own doing" and that many people may have difficulty "separating the Warrens from their Hollywood portrayal". Hill criticized sensational press coverage of the Warrens' occult museum and its Annabelle doll. She said, "Like real-life Ed Warren, real-life Annabelle is actually far less impressive." Of the supernatural claims made about Annabelle by Ed Warren, Hill said, "We have nothing but Ed’s word for this, and also for the history and origins of the objects in the museum."[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Annabelle". Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  2. ^ Bryan Alexander (1 October 2014). "'Annabelle' joins ranks of freaky dolls in horror films". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  3. ^ Eidell, Lynsey (2014-10-07). "The Real-Life Story Behind Annabelle Is Even More Bone-Chilling Than the Movie". Glamour. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  4. ^ Joal Ryan (3 October 2014). "How the Real Doll Behind 'Annabelle' Became Even Freakier for the Movies". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  5. ^ Don Wildman. "Annabelle the Devil Doll". Mysteries at the Museum. Travel Channel. Retrieved 2014-12-03.
  6. ^ "Meet Robert; The Haunted Doll That Inspired Child's Play". 2014-12-03.
  7. ^ Brittle, Gerald (September 13, 2002) [1980]. "Annabelle". The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren. iUniverse. pp. 39–53. ISBN 978-0-595-24618-2.
  8. ^ a b Laycock, Joseph. "The Paranormal To Pop Culture Pipeline". Religion Dispatches. University of Southern California. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  9. ^ Hill, Sharon. "The Warrens: Sorting the truth from the Hollywood myth". Doubtful News. Lithospherica, LLC. Retrieved 19 February 2016.

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