The Film “The Conjuring” was based off this story.
Donna got Annabelle from her mother in 1970; mom bought the used doll at a hobby store. Donna was a college student at the time, and living with a roommate named Angie, and at first neither thought the doll was anything special. But over time they noticed Annabelle seemed to move on her own; at first it was really subtle, just changes in position, the kinds of things that could be written off as the doll being jostled. But the movement increased, and within a few weeks it seemed to become fully mobile. The girls would leave the apartment with Annabelle on Donna’s bed and return home to find it on the couch.
Their friend Lou hated the doll. He thought there was something deeply wrong with it, something evil, but the girls were modern women and didn’t believe that sort of thing. But soon Annabelle’s actions got even weirder - Donna began to find pieces of parchment paper in the house with messages written on it. “Help us,” they would say, or “Help Lou.” Just to make the whole thing that much creepier nobody in the house had parchment paper. Where the hell was it coming from?
The escalation continued. One night Donna returned home to find Annabelle in her bed, with blood on her hands. The blood - or some sort of red liquid - seemed to be coming from the doll itself. Donna finally agreed to bring in a medium. The sensitive sat with the doll and told the girls that long before their apartment complex had been built there had been a field on that property. A seven year old girl named Annabelle Higgins had been found dead in that field. Her spirit remained, and when the doll came into the house the girl latched on to it. She found Donna and Angie to be trustworthy. She just wanted to stay with them. She wanted to be safe with them.
Being sweet, nurturing types - they were both nursing students - Donna and Angie agreed to let Annabelle stay with them. And that’s when all hell broke loose.
Lou started having bad dreams, dreams where Annabelle was in his bed, climbing up his leg as he lay frozen, sliding up his chest to his neck and closing her stuffed hands around his throat, choking him out. He would wake up terrified, head pounding like all blood had been cut off to his brain. He was freaking out. He was worried about the girls.
A few days later he and Angie were hanging out, planning a road trip, when they heard someone moving around in Donna’s room. They froze - was it a break in? Was there an intruder in the apartment? Lou crept over to the door, listening to rustling within. He threw open the door and everything was as it should be - except Annabelle was off the bed and sitting in a corner. As he approached the doll Lou was consumed with that feeling, a burning on the back of the neck that indicates someone was staring at you and he spun around. Nobody was there. The room was empty. And then sudden pain on his chest. He looked in his shirt and saw a series of raking claw marks, rough ditches in his flesh that burned. He knew Annabelle had done it.
The weird claw marks began healing almost immediately. They were totally gone in two days. They were like no wounds any of them had ever seen before. They knew they needed more help, and they turned to an Episcopalian priest, who in turned called in Ed and Lorraine Warren.
It didn’t take the Warrens long to come to their conclusion: there was no ghost in this case. There was an inhuman spirit - a demon - attached to the doll. But they warned that the doll wasn’t possessed; demons don’t possess things, only people. It was clinging to the doll, manipulating it, in order to give the impression of a haunting. The target was really Donna’s soul.
A priest performed an exorcism on the apartment and the Warrens took possession of the doll. They put it in a bag and began the long drive home. And sure enough, as they drove on the back roads, the engine kept cutting out, the power steering kept failing and even the brakes gave them trouble. Ed opened the bag, sprinkled the doll with holy water and the disturbances stopped… for the moment.
Ed left the doll next to his desk; it began levitating. That happened a couple of times and then it seemed to just quit, finally laying quiet. But in a couple of weeks Annabelle was back to her old tricks; she started appearing in different rooms in the Warren home. Sensing that the doll was ramping back up the Warrens called in a Catholic priest to exorcise Annabelle. The priest didn’t take it seriously, telling Annabelle “You’re just a doll. You can’t hurt anyone!” Big mistake: on his way home the priest’s brakes failed, and his car was totaled in a horrible accident. He survived.
Eventually the Warrens built a locked case for Annabelle, and she resides there to this day. The locked case seems to have kept the doll from moving around, but it seems like that whatever terrible entity is attached to it is still there, waiting. Biding its time. Ready for the day when it can again be free.
In the late 1880s, the body of a 16-year-old girl was pulled from the Seine. She was apparently a suicide. A Paris pathologist ordered a plaster death mask of her face. Ironically, in 1958 the anonymous girl’s features were used to model the first-aid mannequin Rescue Annie, on which thousands of students have practiced CPR. Though the girl’s identity remains a mystery, her face, it’s said, has become “the most kissed face of all time.”
Morbid Monday: Living with the Dead
Attitudes toward corpses and death in 20th century Western society range from morbid fascination to forbidden subject. So it’s unusual when the news reports stories about people who are found living with a dead relative. Typically these tend to be people who are grieving and can’t let their loved one go, or who don’t want to report the death for fear of losing public assistance, or who simply have mental illness. It’s even more rare to find entire neighborhoods that live with the dead.
Communities of people who choose to live among the dead often do so for religious or economic reasons. The Aghori sadhus of India embrace death as part of their religion and rely on human remains for ritual and food. There are also large populations of people who dwell in cemeteries in Egypt and the Philippines for economic reasons. For these people there is nothing unusual about living among the dead since corpses and tombs are part of their communities.
The enormous Olmec helmeted heads. The Olmec are now recognized as the predecessors of the Maya and Aztec civilisations. Photograph taken in 1942. Also, they’re wicked awesome
The brave new world of…2013
You may not have a robot dog, techno-comforts or kids listening to “futura-rock.” But some of the predictions in this recently-rediscovered issue of the Los Angeles Times Magazine largely hold true.
Predictions about the increased prevalence of telecommunication, smarter cars (though ours don’t look as funky as the ones seen above) and globalization all seem to be rather spot-on, considering they were made in 1988!
That said, there’s no way your morning starts out like this:
With a barely perceptible click, the Morrow house turns itself on, as it has every morning since the family had it retrofitted with the Smart House system of wiring five years ago…in the study, the family’s personalized home newspaper, featuring articles on the subjects that interest them…is being printed by laser-jet printer off the home computer – all while the family sleeps.
Photos: Los Angeles Times
Rosary, ca. 1500–1525 German Ivory, silver, partially gilded mounts
Each bead of the rosary represents the bust of a well-fed burgher or maiden on one side, and a skeleton on the other. The terminals, even more graphically, show the head of a deceased man, with half the image eaten away from decay. Such images served as reminders that life is fleeting and that leading a virtuous life as a faithful Christian is key to salvation.
Wojtek (1942–1963) was a Syrian brown bear cub found in Iran and adopted by soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. To get him on a British transport ship when the unit sailed from Egypt to fight with the British 8th Army in the Italian campaign, he was officially drafted into the Polish Army as a private and was listed among the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek assisted his unit in transporting ammunition, never dropping a single crate. Following demobilization on November 15, 1947, Wojtek was given to the Edinburgh Zoo. There Wojtek spent the rest of his days, often visited by journalists and former Polish soldiers, some of whom would toss him cigarettes, which he then proceeded to smoke. Wojtek died in December 1963, at the age of 22.
Pictured: Wojtek with a Polish soldier, ca. 1945.
Ancient Animal Mummies
Wrapped in linen and carefully laid to rest, animal mummies hold intriguing clues to life and death in ancient Egypt. One hundred years ago, the many thousands of mummified animals that turned up at sacred burial sites throughout Egypt were just things to be cleared away to get at the good stuff. Few people studied them, and their importance was generally unrecognized.
In the century since then, archaeology has become less of a trophy hunt and more of a science. Excavators now realize that much of their sites’ wealth lies in the multitude of details about ordinary folks—what they did, what they thought, how they prayed. Animal mummies are a big part of that.
Mark Your Calendars for 12 of the World’s Weird Rites of Spring
Winter’s over and spring is here, are you ready for the fire, snakes, and elephant processions? Here’s your calendar for how to have the strangest and most wonderful April and May with 12 festivals and celebrations from around the world.