For many little boys and girls, a doll is more than a toy. It's a friend, a comfort, a joy – or your worst nightmare.
Some dolls do take on a life of their own. These five dolls terrorized their owners, and will go down in history as toys you definitely don’t want to play with.
Robert the Doll
Robert is one of the most famous possessed dolls of all time and even inspired the movie Chucky. Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto received the doll in 1906 by someone who practiced black magic and voodoo. Otto's parents were said to have heard him conversing with the doll, and neighbors reportedly saw the doll move from window to window when the family was away. When Eugene died and a new family moved into the Otto home, their young daughter began to see the doll in her room – trying to kill her. Now he terrorizes visitors at the Key West Martello Museum.
Mandy is an antique porcelain doll more 90 years old and made in Germany or England. She supposedly cries in the middle of the night and leaves windows open at Canada's Quesnel Museum. She was donated to the museum in 1991 by the owner after some strange incidents. The crying stopped once she was donated but museum staff and volunteers reported that objects began to go missing and footsteps were heard when no one was around. Mandy has even been known to cause cameras and other electronic equipment to malfunction.
Joliet is known to curse any family who owns her – but it might be worse if the family gets rid of her. Joliet's current “mother” is Anna. For four generations of Anna’s family, the women in Anna’s family have been cursed to keep up a cruel tradition. Each daughter gives birth to two children, one boy and one girl. In each case, Anna claims that the son mysteriously dies on the third day of life. Giggles and inhuman screams are heard in the night, coming from the doll. The family claims the cries of different infants can be heard, making the doll appear to be the vessel for all the baby boys lost over the years.
Pupa the doll was a gift to a young Italian girl in the 1920s. The original owner said that Pupa was alive and had a mind of her own. Since the passing of the original owner in 2005, the family put Pupa in a glass case. The family reports that the haunted doll has become very active since then. The doll now periodically changes position and she changes her facial expression as well; she’ll also tap on the glass when she wants to get out.
Annabelle belonged to a nursing student named Donna. The doll was gifted to her by her mother in the 1970s. Donna and her roommate, Angie, noticed the doll would switch positions or move around the apartment when they weren’t looking. Eventually they began finding messages on parchment paper like, “Help me.” She also once came home to find drops of blood on the doll’s chest, and the back of her hand. The doll now resides at The Warren's Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut.