The Haunting of Captain George Conrad Flavel House in Astoria, OR

Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

About the House

The Flavel House in Astoria, while now a museum, was once a mansion that is haunted by the spirits of those poor souls of the family who once inhabited its walls. The phantom remnants of the Flavel family have made themselves known by speaking amongst themselves—which has been reported as disembodied voices—as well as practicing music in the empty rooms. A woman’s ghost has been sighted in the hallway, and Captain Flavel himself has been seen in his old bedroom before promptly vanishing.

The Interior

A Queen Anne style, two and a half story, 11,600 square-foot behemoth, the Flavel House sits on the corner of a fairly large plot of land—there is traditional woodwork around the interior windows, doors, windows, and staircase, all of which are Eastlake-influenced in design. The doors and window trim were made of Douglas Fir and were crafted by a master carpenter to look like mahogany and burl rosewood. There are six unique fireplace mantels within the house and they feature different imported tiles from around the world, an elaborate hand-carved mantel and a patterned firebox designed to burn coal. The first floor features fourteen-foot high ceilings, where the second floor’s ceilings sit at twelve feet high and are both embellished with crown molding and plaster medallions. The house was also fitted with indoor plumbing—incredibly state-of-the-art at the time—as well as gas-fueled lighting.

The first floor is dedicated to the public rooms, such as the grand entrance hall, formal parlor, music room—where the Flavel daughters held their music recitals—the library, dining room, and conservatory. The more private rooms on the first floor included the butler’s pantry, kitchen, and mudroom which were reserved for the housekeeping staff. The second floor was where the main bathroom, five bedrooms, and a small storage room or sewing room were. The attic floor is large and unfinished and houses the two plain wood bedrooms that were used by the Flavel’s domestic help. The four-story tower was made for the Captain to have a 360-degree view of Astoria and the Columbia River as a way for him to keep an eye on the local ship traffic coming through. There was also a dirt-floor basement that housed the large wood-burning furnace that kept the house warm.

The Carriage House was home to the family’s caretaker, and was also originally made to hold the family kept their carriage, sleigh, and small buggies—where it had three temporary holding stalls for their horses, a tack room, and an upstairs hayloft. In time it was transitioned to hold the more modern vehicles, such as the Flavel’s Studebaker sedan, and the family’s driver kept a room upstairs.

The Grounds

Not too long after the house was originally built, the family’s gardener, Louis Schultz, began planting trees, beautiful roses, as well as bulb flowers and shrubs—many of which were typical of a traditional Victorian garden. A number of the trees on the premises were officially named Oregon Heritage Trees—there is also a pond and a bench under the pear tree where Flavel’s daughters would sit in the shade. The entire house is considered a significant architectural and historical treasure for the entire Pacific Northwest.

The Timeline of the Flavels, Their Houses & Fate

1886

While the construction of the Captain George Conrad Flavel house was started in 1884, and it was finally finished in the spring of 1886. The Flavel House was built for Captain George Conrad Flavel and his family. The house was designed by German-born architect Carl W. Leick and the construction bordered between the Victorian and Colonial Revival periods. It was considered a prime example of Queen Anne architecture; one of the few remaining well-preserved examples in the entire Northwest. Due to the Captain’s long history and contributions to the community of Astoria, the Flavel family had long been considered the most prominent family in town.

The Captain had made his name and fortune as a prominent businessman through real estate investments and his occupation as a Columbia River bar pilot—becoming Astoria’s first millionaire—at the age of 62, he was finally able to retire in the house that he had built for himself and his family.

1887

The Carriage House was built on the south-west corner of the property.

1890s

Alex Murray, the family’s hired caretaker, called the Carriage House home while in the employment of the Flavels.

1893

Captain Flavel lived in the house for seven years with his wife Mary Christina Boelling and their two adult daughters, Nelli and Katie. Their son, George Conrad Flavel never resided within the George Conrad Flavel House, as he was already married and living in a house of his own. During his seventh year in the residence of the Flavel House, Captain Flavel passed away, leaving the to the family.

1901

Captain George Conrad Flavel’s son, George Conrad Flavel would build his house—the house that is now often referred to as the Harry Flavel House. George Conrad Flavel Junior had worked as a bar pilot for his father, becoming a Captain as well.

1922

When most of downtown Astoria was destroyed by a fire, the Flavel House was one of the only survivors.

1934

The Captain George Conrad Flavel House remained in the family until the great-granddaughter Patricia Jean Flavel gave the property to the city as a memorial to her family.

1936

The house was set to be torn down to establish an outdoor community property—the city ended up having financial difficulties and returned the property to Patricia Flavel—that same year, Patricia deeded the residence to Clatsop County, but with conditions. The understanding was that both the grounds and the house would be kept in good repair and used for public purposes.

1937

From the time the house was deeded the to county, until the end of World War II, the Public Health Department, Red Cross, and local Welfare Commission all had offices within the mansion.

1951

The Captain George Conrad Flavel House was officially added to the list of the National Register of Historic places, before which it was nearly demolished twice—once for a parking lot and again for a community park, but the townspeople rallied against the proposal and it began to be operated by the Clatsop County Historical Society in 1950.

2003

The Camperdown Elm, Sequoia Redwood, four Cork Elms, Bay Laurel, Pear, and Ginkgo Biloba trees on the premises were named official Oregon Heritage Trees in a state-wide dedication ceremony that was held on the grounds.

The Haunting at Captain George Conrad Flavels House

Truly, ever since the Flavel house was converted into a museum in 1951, there have been many reports of hauntings; phantom music and voices were heard on the first story of the house which was believed to have been a product of the Flavel sisters, as they were gifted musicians. The Library has always housed an unhappy and strange presence. There is an apparition of a woman who roams the hallway on the second floor, but she vanishes when approached—and a floral scent can be smelt at strange times in the bedroom of Ms. Flavel, when no one has been around. In Captain George Flavel’s room, his apparition can be seen, but he disappears into the floor once he has been noticed.

The Paranormal Journal of Ezekiel Kincaid – Entry One Theodosia

Categories
Indie Horror Short Horror Stories

Entry One: Theodosia by Ezekiel Kincaid

I leave these words and experiences behind so those who come after me might not feel so alone. Stephen King called this gift “The Shining”. Others have called it the Third Eye of the Sixth Sense.

I call it The Reach. It is the rare, yet powerful ability to walk in the realm of the dead while living in the realm of the living. It makes the dead visible, their voices audible, and their thoughts understandable. It is the gift which many fake, but few have.

And those who have it?

You would never know, for the things they see are beyond belief. They never talk about it. They never write about it either because the world is full of so many fictitious diatribes.

But I am going to write about it.

I don’t care if you believe me or not. I am not writing to convince you. I am writing to share Theodosia’s story, and to tell how though the darkness howls, the light roars.

I am Ezekiel Kincaid, the one many have dubbed the Paranormal Pastor, and this is the story about my experiences with Theodosia.

There was one glaring lesson I learned from her…

When the darkness howls, the light roars.

I discovered this a long time ago, but it never became a reality until I met Theodosia.

Theodosia started off as a story idea. A tale about a young, innocent girl who had the ability to see and walk in the realm of the supernatural. This realm I called The Ethereal Plane, playing off the ideas of H.P. Lovecraft and others.

It was meant to be a horror fantasy. Theodosia was supposed to be a young girl with psychic ability who encountered creatures from the Plane that wanted to use her talent to cross over. Yet as I wrote, Theodosia took on a life of her own.

Many of horror fans and horror authors would roll their eyes and say, “Oh sure, I get it. As a writer, your characters ‘come to life’ and take over the story.”

I have been writing long enough to know that. My characters have taken over my books and stories many times. Johnny Walker Ranger, the main character of my recently released book, is a perfect example. I created him, and then as I wrote, let him run with the story in my mind.

But Johnny never visited me in my dreams.

Johnny never showed up on my couch scolding me because the story wasn’t written well enough.

Johnny never appeared in my back yard catching fireflies with his sister.

Theodosia did.

I started writing Theodosia’s story three years ago, but things didn’t get weird until this last five year.

The first time I heard her speak unsettled me. I was sitting at my desk one night writing her story. I felt someone walk up behind me. I turned to see who it was, but no one was there. It was late and I had been writing for a while, so I figured I was just tired. I faced my computer again and went to finish up a scene before I headed to bed.

“That’s not how it happened.”

A child’s voice spoke from behind me. The hairs on my neck stood on end. I felt a chill all the way in the marrow of my bones. I eased my head around in a slow, almost lifeless motion.  My body followed, spinning the chair I sat in. When my eyes fell to the scenery behind me, nothing was there– just the clothes I had tossed on the floor and my sleeping dog.

“Did you hear that,” I asked my dog.

She moaned and opened one eye then ignored me.

“Guess not.” I shook my head then arose from my seat. I shut my computer and went to bed.

I didn’t sleep at all that night. I knew it was her. I knew it was Theodosia. It was then I began to wonder if this wasn’t just more than a story.

Since her audible voice broke through, every time I sat down to write her story she showed up. She screamed and scolded every time I sat down to write.

“No, change this.”

“This isn’t dark enough.”

“This isn’t how it happened.”

On and on Theodosia went, telling her story and taking it to a place I never imagined.

I reached the end of the book and had it outlined. The odd thing was Theodosia never showed up when I worked on the ending, so I just came up with something on my own. 

This is when Theodosia took the story to a new level.

Theodosia came to me one night in a dream. Her red hair was disheveled and matted to her face. Her eyes were black, and her pupils changed colors from red to green to yellow. Her lips were dry and cracked and the skin on her face hung in shreds.

We were standing in the hallway on the second story of her farmhouse. When I saw her, I knew I was not dealing with a sweet, helpless little girl. Theodosia was evil. Pure darkness devoid of any light.

“What do you want,” I asked her.

She smiled an insidious grin, revealing teeth covered in human flesh. “I want to show you how the end happened. How I died. How my sister died. How the children died. And you need to know about the demon. It didn’t happen the way you outlined it.”

Theodosia’s voice was not sweet anymore. It was deep and grating.

She continued. “And from this point on, no more sweet Theodosia in your story. She is dead. The darkness took her and corrupted her. Now, follow me.”

I followed Theodosia around the upstairs and she showed me awful things. Those images are burned in my mind and I will never forget them. They were vivid. They were raw. They were brutal.  And I started to think they just might be true.

When Emile was done showing me these things, she said. “Now, go and write what I showed you.”

Then, I woke up.

I began to pray and ask God if I should continue to write this story. I asked Him to show me what was going on, who this girl was, and why this was happening. I didn’t want to finish the story. I didn’t want to write Theodosia anymore. Not after seeing her true form.

But God had different plans.

A few weeks after the dream Theodosia showed up on my couch. I was sitting in a recliner working on her story.

“What you wrote today was terrible. I didn’t like it. You didn’t write it as good as you could,” she scolded.

I glared at her. “Yeah, well. I’ve been distracted today. Lot’s going on. I will fix it.” I glanced down at my computer screen then back at her. “And for the record, pop off at me again and see what happens to your story. Now, go away.”

Theodosia snarled at me. “You wreak of the Lamb’s blood, pastor.”

I smiled up at her. “Good. Now, in the name of Jesus go away and leave me alone.”

Theodosia disappeared, but came back the next night.

I was in my yard, catching fireflies with my kids. As they were off chasing some with their nets, another light appeared on the opposite side of the yard. The light was a lantern. It was being held by the oldest of the two girls, and they were running and jumping, trying to catch fireflies. One of the girls looked over her shoulder at me.

It was Theodosia, but she wasn’t corrupted like in my dream. She had the look of sweet, childlike innocence. Then, the lantern filled with blood and the apparition of the two girls vanished.

The very next day, Theodosia visited me again. I was sitting in my bed writing, and she materialized in the chair at my desk. Her appearance was like from the dream. She radiated darkness and evil.

“What do you want? Why did you show me you and your sister last night? Why do you want me to write this story,” I asked.

Theodosia changed form before my eyes. The sweet, innocent girl was back.

“Because,” she began to weep. “Because the darkness. It came and it corrupted me. It destroyed me. It destroyed my family. It ravaged my soul. You have to tell my story. People have to know. They have to know how dangerous the dark is and how powerful it can become.”

She wiped her eyes and went on. “Then you have to show them the light. They have to know the light. But they can’t see it until they come face to face with the dark. I can’t change what I did, but you can give me justice and redemption by using my story to help others.”

Then the little girl disappeared.

I had my answer from God.

So yes, Theodosia, I will finish your story so your life will not be wasted.

She came to me many more times while I wrote her work. I cannot go into anymore detail unless I ruin certain points of the book for the reader. I have finished the book and have not seen her since. I am currently seeking a publisher for it. I have a feeling when she finds a home, I will see her again. I also have a feeling this book might end up being haunted. 

About Author Ezekiel Kincaid

Twitter: @EzekielKincaid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ezekethefreak/
Website: https://ezekielkincaid.wordpress.com/
Books and other anthologies
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ezekiel+kinciad&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
Free reading can be found on Stitched Smile’s WordPress site
https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/
And Horror Bound
https://www.horrorbound.net/?author=5de80c37c09a8973f9c333cf

The Paranormal Journal of Ezekiel Kincaid Entry 2: Michael

Categories
Featured Indie Horror Short Horror Stories
Spooky journal lit by candlelight

Sometimes, it’s not just the living who need help moving on from the past…but the dead.  

I set the recorder down on the kitchen table. “Do you mind if I record our session together?” 

“No,” Sara said, then shifted in her seat. 

Sara Cane was a wife and mother of five. She had long blonde hair and deep brown eyes, which in those moments, were full of confusion. 

“I don’t understand why he keeps coming to me,” she said, then eased a finger to her lips. 

“What do you mean? How does he come to you?” I placed my arms on the table and leaned closer. 

“In my dreams. He visits me.” 

“How long has this been going on?” 

Sara’s eyes glazed over  in remembrance. “Not long after he died.” 

I nodded. “I see. How long ago did your father die?”

“Three years ago.” She glanced back at me. “I kept getting the impression he didn’t want to face me.” 

“Why?” I reached for a bottle of whiskey I had set on my table. I cracked it open and poured some in my glass. “Want some?”

“Sure,” Sara said and eased the glass I had given her forward. 

I poured her a shot. 

She brought the whiskey to her mouth and sipped. “My father. His name was Michael. He  did a lot of bad things he was ashamed of. He left and stopped all contact with me when I was fourteen.” 

“How old are you now?” I took a sip. 

“Thirty-five.” 

“So your dad died when you were thirty-two?” 

She nodded.

“And the dreams started not long after?”

She nodded again.

“So this has been going on for three years.”

“Yes.” 

I leaned back in my chair. “So, why did you come here today?” 

“Because word has gotten out about you,” Sara said then took another sip of whiskey. 

“Word about what?” I asked. “I don’t advertise anything.” 

Sara huffed and smiled. “You don’t have to. Your work and reputation speak for itself. The people you help. It’s real.” She stared down at the table for a moment, then gazed into my eyes. “You aren’t a fake. You aren’t a showboat. In fact, you hate that people even know you have these abilities from God. You wish you could just stay hidden and disappear and be left alone.” 

I downed my drink and poured another. “Yeah, so. Does that bother you?”

“No,” Sara shook her head and smirked. “It is the very reason why I trust you. You aren’t a phony, Mr. Kincaid.” 

I meditated on her words then pushed back. “How do you know? And how do I know you aren’t just yanking my chain to try and get some sort of attention?” 

Sara eyed me up and down. “Because, right now? I can feel you in my head. And you know I am telling the truth.” 

I widened my eyes, nodded, then hammered down my drink. The lady was right. I was inside her head searching her to see if she was telling the truth. 

“All right, fine. You want to do this? I need something. Something tangible. Something with you and your dad.” I poured another shot.  

“I know,” she said. “I brought this.” She dug in her purse and pulled out an old Polaroid. “This is me and my dad. Taken in 1986 or ‘87.”

I reached across the table and grabbed it. My fingers touched the picture and I was hit with a flood of energy. 

Sara saw my body jolt. “What is it?” 

“Give me a minute.” I stared at the picture. 

Sara’s father held her in his arms. He had brownish-blonde hair and a beard. Sara’s blonde hair was shaped away from her face. They both look terrified in the picture. 

“Your father was a coward wasn’t he?” I asked.

Sara’s mouth gaped. “How did you know? Yes, very much so.” 

“I can see it all over him.” 

Sara gazed deep into my eyes. “I need you to help him move on. He is afraid. He keeps telling me in my dreams that ‘they’ won’t let him go.” 

“Who are ‘they’?” I asked then took another sip of whiskey. 

“I don’t know?” Sara shrugged. “He would never say.”

I sat silent for a few moments, nodding my head with slow movements. Then I said, “I am going to try something.” I placed the photograph down on the table. “I just need you to sit quietly and only answer me when I ask you a direct question. Got it?” 

“Yes,” Sara affirmed. 

I shifted my eyes from Sara to the photograph and then reached with my mind. The image came at once. 

“I see your father,” I said. “He is sitting at a brown kitchen table. One of those square ones that can fold out on the edges. He is dressed in a dark brown flannel shirt and a blue vest. One of those thick nylon winter vest. His face is in his hands and he is weeping. I sense deep regret.” I paused for a moment. “I also see a newspaper clipping on the table.” I glanced up at Sara. “Does any of this sound familiar?”

Tears flowed from her eyes. “How do know? How did you know?” 

I reached out and gave her hand a comforting touch. “Talk to me. Tell me what this means.” 

“My dad accidentally killed someone on the job.” She breathed in deep then exhaled. “He was beside the heavy equipment. He was supposed to signal to the guy in the equipment when to keep moving the dirt. When he would, the other crew members would jump in the trench and dig. Well, one of the guys either got confused or distracted. I’m not sure which but he mistook my dad’s signal. He jumped in as my dad gave the all clear to the operator. When my dad saw the guy jump in he screamed at the operator to stop. The operator couldn’t hear my dad’s screams and you can’t just jump in because then you would get smashed. So he stood back and watched the guy literally get crushed to death.” 

I finished off my whiskey. “And it was in the newspapers?” 

Sara nodded. 

“And he regretted this all his life?” I asked.

“The scene you described.” She wiped a tear. “Was what I remember seeing as a child. My father was sitting at the table crying with his hands in his face and the newspaper clipping in front of him.” 

I sat again in silence. Longer this time. “Sara, give me another minute. I am going to try something else.” 

“All right,” she sniffled. 

I stared at the picture longer and harder. The energy hit me again and I saw Michael at his kitchen table. 

“Sara, listen to me. I am there in the kitchen with your dad.”

Sara blinked. “What?” 

“He is afraid of me and trying to run from me. I am assuring him it’s okay. That I am here to help him.” 

Sara’s voice grew shaky. “Don’t let him run away!” 

I didn’t utter a word. Sara grew nervous as the seconds ticked on. “Mr. Kincaid, is he still there? Did he leave?” 

I held up my hand for her to be quiet. “He is here. He is talking to me. He wants to tell you something.”

Sara fidgeted with her wedding ring. “What?” 

“The reason he has been watching you is because he loves seeing you happy. He regrets how he treated you growing up. He ignored you and favored your brother and he is sorry.” 

Sara began to cry. “How did you know I had a brother? How did you know my dad favored him and ignored me?” 

“Because he is telling me that now, Sara.” I kept gazing at the photograph. 

“Oh my God,” Sara clasped a hand over her mouth. 

“He is sticking around because he likes seeing you happy. Yet it is also causing deep regret. He wanted to be the one to make you happy, but he didn’t. But the man you are married to now. You love him deep and he loves you, correct?”  

“Yes, oh God, yes.” Sara’s tears flowed.

“But your father didn’t like your first husband. He just told me that. He said he is glad you aren’t with him anymore. He was too much like him.” 

Sara sobbed harder. “Yes! Yes! How do you–” 

I held up my hand again. “Shhhh. I’m talking to him. Trying to get him to move on.” 

Sara drummed on her lips with her pointer finger.

“He said he is scared to go, Sara. I told him for once don’t be a coward. Make your daughter proud. Go face what lies beyond.” I reached for Sara’s hand. 

Sara reciprocated and grabbed mine. 

“He is hugging me, Sara. Weeping in my arms. He said he knows he needs to go. He said he is happy for you. He is happy you found your husband. He loves the man you are with very much. He said he has been watching and that your husband is good for you and what you have always deserved.” I squeezed her hand. 

Sara sniffed and wept more. 

“I told him to come on and go with John. Sara, who is John? The name came to me and I felt like I needed to tell him that.” 

Sara let out choppy sighs. “Oh my God. John is his dad. My grandfather. My dad got him to stop drinking. How do you know this Mr. Kincaid? How?” 

I ignored her question. “He wants to talk to you, Sara. He said he does love you and he wants you to forgive him.” 

Sara cupped her hand over her mouth and tried to steady herself. “Daddy! I do forgive you! I love you and I am happy. Please don’t torment yourself. I know you are sorry for what you did. Please, move on.”

I let go of Sara’s hand. “A door has appeared. He is walking towards it. He is opening it. Sara, he is smiling. His face is bright.” I waited to see what would happen next. “Sara, he walked through the door. He’s gone.” I blinked and moved my eyes from the photo to Sara. “He has moved on.” 

Sara laid her head on the table between her arms and wept solemn tears. “I can feel it. The weight is gone. He is gone. It’s like a cramp that has given way and let go.”  

I reached and patted her hand. “I know. I know.” 

Sara lifted her head and stared at he with glassy eyes. “Thank you, Mr. Kincaid.” Sara stood up from the table, shouldered her purse, and picked up the photograph. “Daddy,” she said and pressed it against her chest. 

Sara walked toward the door. Her steps were lighter and her smile was brighter. She paused, then turned to face me. “Mr. Kincaid? What do you think the ‘they’ were?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know, Sara. We might never know. There is so much I don’t understand. Kinda of like the more I see and learn the less it all makes sense.”

“Yeah,” She said, meditating on my words. “Yeah.” She opened the door and stepped out into the sunlight. 

“Indeed,” I whispered and pushed stop on my recorder. “Sometimes, it’s not just the living who need help moving on from the past… but the dead.” 

The Real Annabelle and Other Truly Haunted Dolls

Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore
Close up view of a creepy dirty porcelain doll
Photography by Patrick Hendry

Any object can be haunted, but perhaps due to the fact that dolls are physically modeled to bear a resemblance to human beings, they have more of a proclivity to be vessels of spirit possession. According to Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend, “haunted dolls are either possessed by malign, nonhuman entities or earthbound spirits—who are usually female—either children who died as a result of a horrific accident or women who are the victims of domestic violence. In both instances, prospective buyers are cautioned to treat the dolls with respect and to rehome them with another buyer if the object becomes too much to handle; destruction would free the spirit and either cause it distress or make it more dangerous.”

The Real Annabelle doll locked up in the Warren Occult Museum
Artwork by Mary Farnstrom

An exception to the gender stereotype that plagues the haunted doll theory, is Robert the Enchanted Doll. This particular doll has been located in Key West, Florida since 1904 and is still on display in the Fort East Martello Museum. The original owner of Robert was a four-year-old boy named Robert Eugene Otto—Gene to his family—the doll was given to him by the family’s maid and activity started immediately after Gene came into possession of the doll. While the doll’s name is Robert, little is known about the spirit that haunts the doll, all is known are the stories that are told about its activity. During Gene’s childhood, Robert was frequently blamed for items being scattered across the home, as well as upturned furniture. As an adult, Gene maintained ownership of the doll, but knowing what it was capable of, he locked it in the turret of his home, where neighborhood children said they saw it staring at them from the windows, often changing places on its own.

It’s unclear as to why people still insist upon wanting to own spirit-possessed dolls, but what is clear is that it’s sure to be a trend that continues on for quite a while. One possible reason why these things continue to be items that are sought after is that there are a lot of would-be paranormal investigators who have little to no experience dealing with spirits in the first place. They get the idea that they can collect evidence and make it big if they come into ownership of a doll, simultaneously proving the existence of ghosts and the dolls they haunt, as well as making a name for themselves. Whatever their motivation, it feels like they lack the guidance to understand what they are getting themselves into and therefore are making decisions without knowing the full risks of their endeavors.

Annabelle the Doll: The Origins Documentary

The True Horror Story Behind Annabelle

Annabelle (2014) Trailer

Haunted dolls are considered a commodity in today’s culture, due to popular horror culture making them popular with horror films like The Conjuring (2013), Annabelle (2014), Annabelle: Creation (2017), and the most recent horror movie Annabelle Comes Home (2019). People enjoy the fictional horror stories so intensely that they feel a connection to haunted objects without realizing the perils that can be attached to them. The story behind The Conjuring and Annabelle franchise though is actually more real than many people realize—sure the movies are amped up to create the thrills and adrenaline rush that people so desire, but these movies were based on true accounts of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Annabelle: Creation (2017) Trailer

The Warren’s Museum of the Occult contains more haunted and cursed objects than any other museum presently known, which serves as evidence of the paranormal and supernatural forces that are at work within this world. Although I have never been to the museum myself, it is said that the collection is dominated by dolls that are haunted or inhabited by evil spirits—the most well-known of which is actually the real Annabelle doll. There is a rather long and convoluted history about the doll and its origin, which is further convoluted by the fictional embellishments added to the movies.

Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Trailer

What has been alleged is that the doll’s original owner consulted a medium who said the doll was actually inhabited by an evil spirit and not a ghost at all—which is when the Warrens took possession of it, had it exorcised, then locked it in a blessed cabinet to ward off any potential activity from starting at their own house. The whole story is spoken of in-depth in the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The real Annabelle is quite a bit different from her presence in the films, where she is portrayed as a fragile, yet incredibly creepy porcelain doll with exaggerated features. In reality, she is what seems to be a run of the mill Raggedy Ann doll, the same type that many of us girls owned as children, something that would seem soft, safe, and cuddly.

Dolls like Robert and Annabelle remain objects of scary stories and fascination for a lot of people across the world and while the idea of them definitely belongs to the public, the dolls belong in a place where they can be properly warded and kept away from unsuspecting bystanders.