“Annabelle: Creation,” the cinematic story of a creepy, demon-possessed doll absolutely possessed the box office over the weekend, bringing in an estimated $35,040,000 — an impressive figure that far surpasses some initial predictions.
But while the film appears to be based on a pretty improbable story, there are some claims that the Hollywood flick is actually based on some real-life events. Yes, you read that correctly.
While many will laugh or snicker at the idea that a doll could wreak devastating havoc on real-life human beings, there’s an interesting back story behind the “Annabelle: Creation” saga.
The new movie, which is a sequel to 2014’s “Annabelle,” is part of the ongoing “Conjuring” film series — films that are, in part, based on the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
And one of the Warrens’ experiences allegedly involved a doll named Annabelle, which, according to the Warrens’ website, “was responsible for the death of a young man who challenged her.”
Cryptic, though certainly bizarre enough to catch some peoples’ attention. Anyone who has seen the “Annabelle” or “Conjuring” films knows that the doll is eternally creepy, with her sinister grin, pigtails and perplexing grimace.
Let’s face it: It’s not a doll anyone would really want to be around let alone play with.
But the real-life Annabelle doll, which is kept locked behind a glass case in the Warrens’ Occult Museum in Connecticut, is actually quite different. In fact, it’s a benign-looking Raggedy Ann doll that appears to have a friendly face.
Lorraine Warren, 90, has said, though, that “looks are deceiving.”
“It’s not what the doll looks like that makes it scary,” she told USA Today. “It is what has been infused within the doll: evil.”
As the story goes, the doll started tormenting people in 1970 after a mom bought it for her daughter. From levitation and attacks to a purported attempted strangulation, that Raggedy Ann doll — at least according to legend — was pretty brutal.
The Warrens eventually got involved and found that the doll had a “inhuman demonic spirit.” Here’s more on the back story:
In 1970, a mother purchased an antique Raggedy Ann Doll from a hobby store. The doll had been a birthday present for her daughter, Donna. Donna was a preparing to graduate from college with a nursing degree. She lived in a tiny apartment with her room mate, Angie. Pleased with the cute raggedy-Ann doll, Donna placed it on her bed as a decoration and didn’t give it a second thought. Within days both Donna and Angie noticed that there appeared to be something very strange and creepy about the doll. The doll mysteriously seemed to move about the house, relatively small movements at first, such as a change in position, but as time passed the movement became more noticeable. Donna and Angie would come home to find the doll in a completely different room. Sometimes the doll would be found with legs crossed,arms folded, other times it would be found upright, standing on its feet. Several times Donna sometimes left the doll on the couch before leaving for work, and would return to find the doll back in her room on the bed- with the door closed.
Annabelle the doll not only moved but could write as well. About a month into their experiences Donna and Angie began to find messages on parchment paper that read “Help Us” and “Help Lou”. The hand writing as if written by a small child. The creepy part about the messages was not the wording but the way they were written. At the time Donna had never kept parchment paper, on which the notes were written, in the house, so where did it come from?
Read more about the “Annabelle” saga here. It’s clearly a story many people have — and will — doubt. But either way, some faith leaders are using the film’s release as a chance to talk about real-life evil.
Father Robert, a priest with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, recently told Faithwire about his beliefs in angels, demons and the dangers he believes are inherent in playing with things like the Ouija board.
“The Ouija board is something to be avoided at all cost. This is a direct invitation for a demon to move the object on the board,” he said. “God and angels have nothing to do with parlor games. These methods of conjuring spirits go against the first commandment. This is the reason why King Saul initially had all sorcery banned from Judah.”
Read more from Father Robert’s interview with Faithwire here.