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Unwanted Visitors

Something was wrong in the apartment over the gas station. Becky Deem-Sams Codner lived in this apartment in Ohio in 1985 with her husband, their daughter, two small boys – and something else.

“Many times, the kids and I would hear someone open and shut the kitchen door and proceed to walk through the house,” Becky said. “Sometimes we would even hear voices of someone talking and when we would go to see who it was, no one was there.”

Neither Becky nor her children talked about this with anyone other than themselves, until Becky’ mother came to stay.

“My mom was spending the night and on Sundays, since my husband would work six days a week, we would go to Kroger’s and get groceries,” she said. “Mom would stay at the house. On several occasions, she would hear the kitchen door open, close and someone walk through the house.”

Thinking Becky forgot something, her mother would go to see if she was in the kitchen, but no one was there. The gas station was closed on Sundays, so the noise couldn’t have come from downstairs.

“When mom told me of this, I began to tell her of what we had heard,” Becky said. “The footsteps I would hear sounded like a man wearing work boots.”

This became commonplace. Then Becky saw something she couldn’t explain.

“One Saturday afternoon, the kids and I were watching TV. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see the kitchen door open,” Becky said. “I turn to look, thinking someone was coming in, as it opened like someone was walking in and closed the door. Not a soul was there.”

She briefly thought her husband had come upstairs from his work at the gas station and put something on the counter and she’d just missed him, but when she walked into the kitchen, nothing was out of the ordinary.

“I called him and asked him if he had just been up there and he said he hadn’t,” Becky said. “I saw the door open and close and the kids heard it.”

On November 10, 1988, Becky and the children were watching “The Cosby Show” when their visitor became real.

“My daughter said that she saw someone come out from her bedroom and head back through the hall and towards the bedroom,” Becky said. “She got freaked out but the voice from whomever it was told her not to tell anyone that she what she saw.”

Becky said this visitor could have been her uncle who died in 1980.

“I had many dreams of an uncle,” Becky said. “In my dreams, he would stop by to see how I was doing and when I would tell him I was OK, he would walk on through the living room and I assume out towards the kitchen. He wore work boots.”

But if her uncle did visit, he wasn’t there to protect them. Around Christmas, things in the small apartment turned dark.

“I got my sons, Jarrod five years, and Zac two and a half years, each (a My Buddy doll) for Christmas,” Becky said. “When Christmas came, they were thrilled to have the doll they had wanted.”

This popular Hasbro toy, launched in 1985, was a brown haired boy doll in a red baseball cap, bright, striped shirt, and red overalls. But to Becky’s boys the dolls quickly became a source of terror.

When Becky put her boys into bed just two months past Christmas, she tried to tuck them in with their My Buddy dolls. The boys didn’t want them.

“Jarrod had a look of terror on his face,” Becky said. “I asked him if he wanted the doll to sleep with and he replied, ‘No. At night it transforms into a monster and tries to kill us.’”

She tried to hand Zac his doll, and the boy screamed in horror.

“I thought I would see what their reaction would be when I told them if they didn’t want the dolls I would give them away, and both boys did not care,” Becky said. “So, I put the dolls in the closet.”

The My Buddy dolls stayed there until around 1989.

“At this time, my friend called me and told me I had to watch a movie that was out called, ‘Child’s Play’,” Becky said. “She would not tell me anything of the movie but said I needed to watch it.”

“Child’s Play” is a 1988 movie about a doll named Chucky possessed with the soul of a serial killer. Chucky bears a strong resemblance to the My Buddy doll.

“I turned the movie on with my kids with me and when they showed the Chucky doll, Jarrod got up, went into his bedroom to the closet and came back into the living room with the My Buddy doll going, ‘Chucky, Chucky’,” Becky said. “I was floored as the boys had not played with those dolls since they had been put in the closet in 1986.”

After the movie Becky called her friend.

“She said she had a bad feeling about those dolls when she saw them in the store,” Becky said. “She never said anything to me because she knew how much the boys wanted them.”

Becky and her family moved to California, but she still has the dolls packed away. Although she doesn’t know if the apartment’s loud visitor and the terrifying dolls are connected, she still has questions.

“I just wanted to pass this on to see if anyone else had ever had an experience like this before with this doll.”

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  • Tsuroshi

    Dolls have always given me the creeps. Mannequins too, to some extent…but dolls are much higher in the weirdness quotient, for some reason.
    This story about the My Buddy dolls reminds me of the Annabelle story….but of course, I think of Annabelle whenever the subject of ‘haunted dolls’ comes up. I can’t help it.

  • Reaverbear

    She showed her 8 year old children Childs Play? Does this not strike anyone as a bit off?
    Of course Chucky bears a strong resemblance to the doll, he was designed that way and to be fair, Cabbage Patch type dolls have always looked creepy.

  • Squidward

    Here’s the cure:

    Step 1: Build a nice, roaring fire. Pine boards and gasoline are a fine choice for starters, though some may wish to go with oak furniture scraps and diesel fuel depending on taste.

    Step 2: Toss evil posessed demon-dolls into the inferno one-by-one, since this lessens the chance they can escape the blaze by trying to crawl out over each other–and you can count on them trying to, so you may want to keep a long stick handy to shove the less cooperative ones back in when they do. Evil demon-posessed demon-dolls are like roaches in one respect: they try to scatter when you start exterminating them, so use caution. And don’t be frightened or put off by any dire threats they may make (“I will devour your soul”, “You shall die horribly for this”, etc.) because making soul-destroying threats is just one of the ways they try to bluff their way out of extermination, much the same way velvet ants start squealing when you start beating them with a rock. Just ignore it, it’s all hot air.

    Step 3: When all evil posessed demon-dolls have been properly reduced to ashes, douse remains liberally with Holy Water, preferably with a certified priest standing by.


  • Katie Rose

    I had a weird experience as a kid in Maine with another creepy doll at a friend’s static caravan. It always seemed like this one particular doll was watching you, no matter where you were in the house & I hated dolls anyway, they’ve always creeped me out. One day, after watching an episode of She-Ra we left to go to the pool, on the way out we noticed the bathroom light had come on, so we went and turned it off. Then again. By the fourth time the light came back on we were thoroughly freaked out. We went and sat in the car with huge kitchen knives and waited for my friend’s mom to come home.

  • qbert

    My kids received a Bubba doll years ago in the 90’s. It had batteries, flashlight, talked, and vibrated to “shake”. It was the creepiest thing ever. It had pre-recorded statements (noted on the box), but it would also say other things not mentioned on the list. It would turn on by itself, laugh, the flashlight would turn on without pressing the button, and the doll would be found in places it was not left. I took out the batteries, but it still worked. We threw it away! Got another Bubba doll as a gift a few months later. I threw it out, too.

  • amber castor

    I had this strawberry shortcake baby doll and I swear whenever I put it in my toy box as a kid I would start hearing scratching noises. I would always find her under my bed in the morning so I threw her away when my mom was at work. I’ll never be able to stand that sickly sweet strawberry scent because of that doll.

  • I have haunted dolls. They are not all bad. Most are not.

  • Wendy Collins

    You absolutely did the right thing, in fact, you should have drop-punted that thing out the door.

    Never let it out of storage. Ever.


  • Stephanie Hall

    My thoughts EXACTLY what other films did she let them watch? No wonder they were having issues at night!

  • Zeek

    This was a common thing in the 80’s. Kids weren’t so fragile and vulnerable as the millenial kids are today, we used to climb trees, watch horror movies, fight with each other, we actually played games where a team would lose and another would win, none of that everybody’s a winner kind of crap you see nowadays