(Note: Photos in this story are not the haunted doll.)
The idea of a haunted ventriloquist dummy or puppet is so scary, the great horror actor Lon Chaney decided to make the first one in 1925 called “The Unholy Three” a black-and-white thriller that was ironically a silent film (think about it). In 1962, The Twilight Zone episode “The Dummy” visited the subject with a ventriloquist who believed his dummy was evil. Fortunately, this never happens in real life … right? RIGHT?
“When I first saw the doll in real life I was expecting to feel negative energy from him, but I didn't get that at all. When I noticed that his mouth would open and close sometimes, I was even more interested and curious.”
Gregor Stewart from Fife, Scotland, tells The Mirror he purchased a ventriloquist doll (photos here) four years ago from a dealer in California who suspiciously was happy Stewart lived so far away from him. Stewart knew the old doll’s mouth didn’t work when he bought it, so he was surprised, but not terrified, when it opened and closed on its own. However, he was suspicious enough to attempt to speak to it using a spirit box. That caused the puppet to open up and share its story – no moving mouth required.
“He told us (his name) was Herbert and we shortened it to Uncle Herb because we know there is a connection to an uncle in his story. The spirit attached to Uncle Herb was frustrated at being forgotten as he had never been given a name and had previously belonged to an elderly woman who kept him in a cupboard.”
This was confirmed by the previous owner who claimed he got the doll from the family of an elderly woman who passed away -- the family claimed they heard noises from the cupboard and decided to dump the doll. The new owner told Stewart he heard footsteps at night, so he moved the doll to the garage, but still heard noises, so he decided to put as much distance as possible between him and Herb.
Stewart claims the doll has stopped with the creepy stuff because people who come to visit know his name and play with him, even though the 100-year-old puppet is fragile. He says the only time the mouth moves now is when Uncle Herb is in his case – he doesn’t like that.
It’s difficult to verify Stewart’s haunted dummy story, especially since the mouth only moves when no one is looking. It’s not the best haunted dummy tale either. That honor belongs to Mr. Fritz – who is actually just a dummy's head on a control stick. It was obtained in 2019 by Michael Diamond who claimed he got it from a military collectibles dealer who said it was made by an American prisoner at Stalag II-B, a German World War II camp in Czarne, Poland – the collector believed the prisoner was a ventriloquist. After the war, it ended up in an antiques shop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where the collector purchased it. He gave it to Diamond because he owns a his museum of taxidermy animals, spiritual props, skulls and ancient weaponry.
"I decided to set up the camera for fun just to see if anything would happen. When something actually did I got a weird feeling in my gut, it’s hard to describe.”
Diamond captured video of Mr. Fritz’s glass display case mysteriously opening and Mr. Fritz’s eyes and mouth moving on their own. (Photos and video here.) He claims this happens weekly and he checked the latch and made sure there was no open windows where a breeze could be the culprit. Perhaps more for show, Diamond now keeps a heavy chain around the case.
Personally, I’m most creeped out by the fact that people were terrified by a silent film about a haunted ventriloquist dummy.