If you've ever heard of the Amityville Horror case, or watched the TV series "Paranormal State", then you mostly likely know of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens are well respected demonologists that have investigated many cases of poltergeist activity, and even cases of possession. They are also famous for their Occult Museum, which houses many of the items that were either the cause, or involved in their cases.
One such item is "Annabelle".
In the 1970's, the Warrens investigated case surrounding three young friends, after an Episcopal priest recommended the case to them. The occurance involved spirit communication, and physical attacks.
One of the friends, a nurse named Donna, had received the doll from her mother as a birthday gift. The activity started about a year later, when "Annabellle" started moving. When Donna and her friends left the apartment, the doll would be on the bed, arms at its side, and legs stretched out. Upon returning home, the three would find the arms folded in the doll's lap, and the legs crossed, or in other positions. Experimenting, they would arrange the doll in a random position, only to come back to find it in a differant position.
In addition to shifting poses, "Annabelle" would travel from room to room. One night, they found the doll kneeling in a chair. When they tried to position the doll in a kneeling position themselves, it would only fall over due to support in the legs. The doll, though usually kept in Donna's room (with the door closed no less), would be found on the sofa as well.
And then there were the notes. The women stated that the writing looked like that of a small child, and would read, "HELP US," or "HELP LOU," even though Lou wasn't in trouble. The notes would also be written in pencil on parchment, despite there being no pencils or parchment in the apartment.
Suspecting that maybe someone had a key, and was playing a cruel joke, the friends did whatever they could to find evidence of such trickery. They found none. It was around this time that things started to become something you'd find in a horror movie... except for the fact that it was actually happening...
One night, after returning home, Donna and the others found blood on the back of "Annabelle's" hand... and three drops of blood on its chest. They also reported to the Warrens that a small statue lifted up, and moved across the room before tumbling to the floor- in plain view of everyone present.
Consulting a medium, they were informed that a seven year old girl by the name of Annabelle Higgins had died on the property. The spirit they contacted claimed that they were the only ones that could understand her, since everyone else around them were adults- and more concerned about jobs, etc. Annabelle Higgins just wanted to be loved, and proposed to the women that she be allowed to "move into" the doll and stay with them. Being nurses, and compassionate towards the suffering of others, they agreed, and named the doll "Annabelle".
As the Warrens interviewed Donna, Angie and Lou, the latter professed a belief that "Annabelle" was actually a voodoo doll of some kind, but that the others didn't believe him. Lou recounted that the doll gave him bad dreams. In one dream, Lou woke up to find the doll at the foot of his bed, slowly moving up his body to his chest. "Annabelle" reached to either side of his neck, and he felt himself being strangled. No matter how hard he struggled, the doll's grip could not be broken until he woke up in reality.
Another night, when it was just him and Angie in the apartment, they heard a noise in Donna's room. Suspecting a possible prowler, Lou went to investigate. After carefully opening the door, and flicking the switch, he discovered the doll on the floor in the corner. He then got the sensation of someone behind him, and turned. Even though there was nobody in the room, something slashed Lou across the chest. Angie told the Warrens that it looked like claw marks. There were three up and down, and four left to right. Lou said that they'd felt hot- as if they were burns, but that within a couple of days, they'd healed fully.
Shortly after that, the church got in touch with Ed and Lorraine Warren. After the interview, the Warrens concluded that "Annabell" was not a little girl- but rather an non-human, negative entity... a demon. This demon had been manipulating the doll to create fear, weakening the friends in order to begin a campaign of human possession. By giving the doll recognition, and giving the entity permission to be a part of their lives, the three had put themselves in jeapordy. Since Lou had been the one to see through the charade of a little girl spirit, the demon wanted to get him out of the way.
The priest that contacted the Warrens was called, and came to bless the apartment and it's occupants. The blessing went without mishap. Afterwards, at Donna's request, and because they felt it was safter to do so, Ed and Lorraine Warren decided to take the doll, in case the entity's attachment to "Annabelle" was completely severed.
On the drive home, the Warrens had place the doll in the back seat. At every dangerous curve in the road, their new car would start to stall, causing their power steering and brakes to fail. They barely avoided colliding with oncoming traffic three times before Ed sprinkled holy water on the doll. The Warrens were then allowed to proceeded without trouble.
For several weeks, the Warrens kept "Annabelle" in Ed's office at home. It would levitate, and teleport around the house- seeming to enjoy sitting in Ed's easy chair. A black cat would also appear, stalk around the office, as if making an inventory of the objects and books within, before returning to the side of the doll, and vanishing. Lorraine often heard growling noises echoing through the house, and the same growling appeared on their answering machine.
One priest, no quite believing in the strange occurances challenged the doll by saying, "You're just a rag don't, Annabelle. You can't hurt anything," before tossing the doll back onto its chair. After being warned by Lorraine to drive carefully, because she sensed an accident coming, the priest left. He later phoned back, saying that his brakes had failed, and had barely escaped a fatal accident.
While speaking with a priest in a room with the doll present, the priest saw a wall ornament move, and a twenty-four inch Boar's tooth necklace exploded loudly, drawing the other guests to the room. One person took a quick photo, which showed two rays of light going from the doll towards the priest.
Now, "Annabelle" sits in the Warrens Occult Museum in a glass fronted display box with a warning not to tap the glass... probably the most famous doll in paranormal history...