Move over, Annabelle. There’s a new haunted Raggedy Ann doll in town – or at least on Earth – and she’s threatening to take away some of your reputation and business as the scariest haunted doll around. A charity store owner in Scotland spooked by a donated Raggedy Ann doll that seemed to move decided to try and catch it on video … and he quite possibly did. Is this the work of a spirit or possibly anti-vaxxers looking for a new mascot? Wait, what?
“I am the manager at our charity shop in Scotland and we received a house clearance. In the boxes were an array of oddities and amazing pieces from around the world. One bag had a bunch of old toys as i was checking for good quality toys to sell i came across an old musical raggedy ann doll which straight away reminded my of the real doll based on Annabelle the film.”
Thus begins the story of killerscott666 (if you’re going to upload creepy videos, you don’t want to use your real name, do you?) and his haunted doll. As he explains in the description of the video (seen here), the doll immediately began moving its arms when no one was looking – an act he claims to have caught in two still photos taken ten minutes apart. He claims others who touched the doll felt “uneasy and sick” – sure signs of either doll possession, Annabelle awareness or mass hysteria. In an attempt to catch her in the act, he propped up his phone, put it on ‘record’ and set it next to the doll in the shop storeroom. As seen in the video, the doll’s arm seems to move and the camera is somehow knocked over.
Is this evidence of a Little Haunted Annie?
Unfortunately, the arm that moves is obscured by the doll’s body and there’s no way to see the phone. Nor is there a subsequent video to see if it happens again, although the incident occurred just the day before (June 21) so more experimentation could be going on.
Nonetheless, anything having to do with a Raggedy Ann doll brings up Annabelle, the famous haunted Raggedy Ann doll on display in a glass box at the Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut (reportedly temporarily closed due to zoning regulations — or a curse?), and the inspiration for the horror movies Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation. However, the real story of the original Raggedy Ann is equally mysterious, as is its connection to anti-vaxxers.
The Raggedy Land website has a well-researched account of the myths and facts about the origin and early history of the doll. The real story is that Johnny Gruelle, an artist and political cartoonist, found the doll in the attic of his parents’ Indianapolis home sometime around 1900. After his daughter Marcella was born, he gave it to her to play with and her antics inspired him to write stories and draw images of the doll. Gruelle applied for a patent for the doll and received approval in the same month when Marcella died at age 13 from an infection related to receiving a vaccination, possibly because the needle was not properly sterilized, but not caused by the vaccine itself.
Needing a famous face or meme, the anti-vaccination movement picked up on the story of Raggedy Ann and Marcella, but used the untrue myth that MArcella died from the vaccine and that Johnny Gruelle himself became an early anti-vaxxer (also untrue). However, memes and urban legends are even harder to kill than haunted dolls, so Raggedy Ann will probably be forever linked to and haunted by the anti-vaxxer movement.
As far as the thrift-store doll is concerned, a follow-up video with haunted doll experts would be nice, but it will probably show up next on eBay … or in a movie. Annie Get Your Ghost? Little Thrift Shop of Horrors? Ann versus Annabelle – Battle of the Possessed?