From Chucky to Slappy the Dummy from Goosebumps, haunted dolls have been a horror staple for decades. Sometimes, the dolls from the movies are inspired by real life. One of the most popular, the haunted doll known as Annabelle, originated in the 1970’s and is on display in a museum owned by Ed and Lorraine Warren. There have been numerous movies made about the Warrens and Annabelle, most recently the Conjuring series and it’s latest entry Annabelle: Creation. This doll is said to be haunted by all sorts of evil, and has had a variety of different origin stories in the movies. In real life, the doll was allegedly given to the Warrens by a nursing student who had received it as a gift, but didn’t want it anymore because the doll seemed to have a life of its own, and malicious intentions.
New haunted doll makes Annabelle look like Child’s Play
But Annabelle isn’t the only real life haunted doll getting attention lately, and you don’t need to travel to a haunted museum of oddities to see this other one, either. All you need is an eBay account.
This particular doll, known as “Samantha”, has a history of attacking and terrifying her owners, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise because something about this doll is just creepy. Annabelle, for instance, looks very over the top and trying really hard to look scary in the movies, but this other doll is the one that’ll have you losing sleep. Porcelain dolls are already creepy by default, but Samantha isn’t pulling any punches.
A bidding war for a haunted doll
Anyways, a woman named Debbie owned this Samantha doll, but decided to sell it after it was terrorizing her family. This doll would set off the fire alarm in the family’s home, and the doll would repeatedly remove her own necklace. The doll had even allegedly attacked Debbie’s husband in his sleep, leaving all sorts of scratches on him, and finally she posted it up on eBay to get rid of it. You’d think if a doll was attacking your family, you might just try burning it, but we all saw how that worked out with Chucky (Not very effectively.)
After listing the doll on eBay, there ended up being a bidding war between two people who are obsessed with ghosts and the occult. After an intense battle of wallets, the doll ended up selling for $1,100 to a paranormal investigator living in the UK. You know that saying about the definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results? Insanity would be buying a doll that’s known for attacking its owners, and expecting it not to attack you. You could also argue the definition of insanity is paying over a grand for a “haunted” doll when you’re in your thirties and living with your parents, but let’s just roll with it.
After seeing the doll in the news for attacking Debbie and her family, a paranormal investigator named Lee Steer, who lives in Rotherham in the United Kingdom, ended up taking possession of the doll, so to speak.
It wasn’t long after the doll arrived that Samantha was up to her old ways again. Lee Steer told the media that his father was downstairs, while the doll was still packaged up, and he heard a noise coming from the box. He described it as a tapping noise. Lee’s father, Paul, has also been the victim of alleged attacks from the doll, leaving marks on his skin.
Lee describes what has been happening since he brought the doll home:
“My dad was downstairs in the morning, at this point the doll was still packed away, and he heard like a tapping noise on wood. He said it was a bit unusual. Later that day he was watching the repeat of one of our live streams with the doll. I was doing a live stream upstairs in my room.
“Then he said to my mum, ‘My arm’s hurting’. He lifted up his sleeve and he had six scratches on his arm. My mum shouted to me, ‘Lee, you best get downstairs – your dad’s getting affected. He’s got scratches on him’.“
Debbie, the doll’s previous owner, was just happy that it wasn’t her problem anymore.
“I was so glad when the doll went, to be honest. I have been keeping myself updated with all that’s been happening. It was a real shocker when Lee messaged me to say his dad had been scratched too. I wasn’t surprised when he opened it live and was getting flickering lights.” said Debbie.
Lee went on to say that the scratches on his own father looked very similar to the ones that were showing up on Debbie’s husband. He also says he has no idea where the scratches came from. Look, they either came from the haunted doll that you purposely spent $1,100 for, knowing full well that it has a history of scratching people, or it’s all a big hoax to inflate the price of this doll so they can sell it to the next “paranormal investigator” who is looking to drum up business.
Beyond scratches and knocking on wood, or taking off her necklace, or setting off fire alarms, there are other things that Samantha has been blamed for. For instance, she’s said to cause lights to flicker in homes where she is staying, and also has been responsible for countless strange and unexplained noises.
Lee said that at one point, before the doll even arrived, he was discussing Samantha with his family when all of a sudden a painting on his wall called “The Crying Boy” started swinging back and forth.
“We’ve gone months without anything unusual happening and as soon as this doll is mentioned things start happening.“We did a live stream opening of the doll that 35,000 people watched, and a light I use was flickering, it was like a strobe. It was the first time that had ever happened. And people contacted me saying they could see the doll’s eyes moving.” said Lee.
So, how did Samantha get her name?
“I’ve used a random words app that some people believe spirits can manipulate, and when I’ve asked it it’s name it’s said ‘Samantha’. When I said I really wanted to piss it off, it said, ‘Strike Lee’. If it’s random words, then it shouldn’t be making sense,” explained Lee.
It begs the question, out of everyone involved in a story like this, how many of them actually believe it and how many are just trying to make a quick buck off of gullible people? Debbie’s story is the reason the doll ended up selling for $1,100 and then the new owners had a live stream with 35,000 people watching, so the haunted doll industry is clearly booming.