The Haunting Real-Life Story Behind Annabelle And ‘The Conjuring’

Anyone who’s ever seen The Conjuring or any of its follow-ups will be grimly aware of Annabelle. Those unblinking eyes and creepy smile aren’t something you can forget about easily! For anyone who hasn’t watched any of those movies, you just need to know that Annabelle is a porcelain doll with a tendency to inflict horror upon those who cross her path. She’s a terrifying cinematic creation, but here’s the thing: she’s also based on a real doll. There really is an Annabelle out there, and some people think she’s genuinely as haunted as her fictional counterpart.

Behind some uncanny happenings

Of course, the filmmakers behind The Conjuring and the subsequent Annabelle franchise of movies have taken certain story-telling liberties. The way things play out in the films isn’t quite how things went in real life. But the similarities are enough to send a tingle down anyone’s spine.

Like her movie version, the real Annabelle has supposedly been at the center of some terrifying and uncanny events. Demonic possessions, violence, near-death experiences — there are those who think Annabelle was behind them all.

The Occult Museum

People don’t get to cross paths with Annabelle much these days, which is most certainly a good thing. The doll used to sit in the Warrens’ Occult Museum, a strange institution in Connecticut set up by the husband-and-wife paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The museum is closed nowadays, and we don’t know where its possessions are now, which in itself is an unsettling thought.

If you did ever manage to make it into the Occult Museum while it was open, you may well have seen the real Annabelle with your own eyes. If you had, you’d have noticed something about her right away. She doesn’t look anything like she does in the movies; she’s still terrifying, though.

Just another Raggedy Ann…

If you’re old enough to remember the Raggedy Ann dolls that nearly every kid had during the mid-20th century, then you’ll know exactly what the real Annabelle looks like. On the surface she’s just another Raggedy Ann, no different to the countless others that were mass-produced decades ago. But let’s be honest: Raggedy Ann is scary in her own way. Just because the doll was really popular doesn’t mean she isn’t creepy!

While the movie Annabelle is a porcelain doll, with hard, frozen features, Raggedy Ann is stuffed and stitched together. She has an orange nose in the shape of a triangle, and she wears a weird smile on her face. Maybe there are those who think it cute, but, well, for our money they’re plain wrong.

“Positively do not open”

As if a Raggedy Ann encased in glass isn’t creepy enough, the doll inside the Occult Museum was accompanied by other artifacts which only added to its menacing mystique. There was an etching of The Lord’s Prayer in there with Annabelle, while a sign warned visitors not to do anything silly.

“Warning,” the sign read, “positively do not open.” Why would such a warning be necessary? Well, it probably has to do with all the seemingly supernatural incidents linked to the doll.