How far does a doll have to move on its own before you’ll believe it’s haunted? An inch? A foot? Do you want to see it walk or is sliding OK? What about just falling over? Does the head need to turn? Hands wave? Eyes follow you around? A video reportedly taken at a paranormal research center in England appears to show a clown doll moving slightly. Is it possessed? Is ‘haunted clown doll’ redundant?
The video reportedly came from a closed-circuit security camera at the Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre in Hinckley, Leicester. The center and museum allow visitors to touch and play with many of the items on display – haunted or otherwise. Information on the video and doll comes from center employee Sam Littlejohns, who says in interviews that the musical clown doll was part of a box of antiques purchased by the center. Oh, and his name is Bob.
"You will hear Bob's music playing and it's quite unnerving. No one will be there and you will hear the chimes play. He is quite a character. I wasn't surprised by the footage because that particular week we had groups in every single night so the energy in the building was quite high.”
The person in the video (see it here) is said to be Jason Wall, a local paranormal investigator. He tried the classic “trick the haunted doll” test of moving it away from its normal place in hopes it would move back. Wall had “a device that measures temperature and environmental conditions and also lights up if there's any type of vibration” on the table. That’s him jumping in the video “to see if it got a reaction from the device but nothing happened.” A moment later, he claims to see the doll move.
"It was a defined movement and it stopped me in my tracks. But when I looked, it was as if it had been caught moving. So then I rushed into the other room to tell the others what I had just seen, which you can see me do in the video. We all went and looked at the CCTV coverage but unfortunately the back of my head obscures the movement I saw. But as I walked away you can see a second movement, which I didn't even know had happened. It was completely by accident that we caught the second movement. The movement caught on the video is different to the first one that I saw. I thought I saw a deliberate twist, whereas this one we have captured is much quicker."
Of course. The “deliberate twist” movement of the doll was blocked by Jason’s head. To his credit, he admits that his eyewitness testimony without a video or measurements on his instruments is not proof that the doll is haunted.
"I can't say it's paranormal because I can't prove anything like that. I would never say something was paranormal without complete and utter evidence.”
Employee Ben Canham says someone has determined that the doll belonged to a child named “Bob” who was “bullied and was rejected by his family and it is believed this is why he became attached to the doll in the afterlife." Canham claims to have heard the clown’s music start playing on its own.
Is “Bob” a real haunted clown doll? Would you like to see the “deliberate twist” or a more definitive movement (dancing, waving, back-flips)? Is Bob or someone else just clowning around? The Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre opened in the spring, so the video is timed just right to boost attendance during the summer tourist season ... thanks Bob!
Maybe they should give Bob his own table.