What happened to the real life Annabelle doll? SuperNayr

Annabelle has become a name synonymous with horror. It was introduced, onscreen, during the first installment of the Conjuring franchise in 2013, and has since gone on to spawn its own trilogy of horror films. The notion of a demonically possessed doll sounds tailor made for cliched jump scares and outlandish premises, but the fact of the matter is, Annabelle is a real doll. Not only that, the doll has been said to harness an energy similar to, if not identical, to the malevolent forces depicted in the Conjuring films.

The profile of the real life Annabelle has understandably risen since the Conjuring franchise took off, but there’s still lots of questions about the doll. How did it come to be tainted by supernatural forces? What damage has it caused in real life? And perhaps, most importantly: Where is the doll today? Regardless of whether the stories about Annabelle are phony are not, we can all agree that we’d feel better if the doll was being kept in a secure location.

Before we get there, though, let’s dig into the doll’s past.

Annabelle was allegedly “possessed” in 1970

Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The story of the Annabelle doll starts in 1970. Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators who are depicted in the Conjuring films, were the ones who first brought the doll to the attention of the public. According to The New Haven Register, the doll was given to a nurse as a gift, but she began experiencing disturbing events. She found notes with the message “help us” around her home, and one point claimed to see the doll leaking a red substance resembling blood.

The nurse took the doll to a medium, who claimed that the doll was inhabited by the spirit of a dead girl named Annabelle Higgins. The nurse allegedly tried to make peace with the doll, but the disturbing events escalated, leading her to contact Ed and Lorraine Warren. When the paranormal investigators examined the doll, they determined that it was not possessed by a girl but a demonic entity. “The doll itself was not in fact possessed but manipulated by an inhuman presence,” stated the couple. “Truly, the spirit was not looking to stay attached to the doll, it was looking to possess a human host.”

Ed and Lorraine took ownership of the doll in an effort to protect others. They drove it back to a secure location, and claimed that they had to sprinkle holy water on it at various points during their trip. Ed also said that he experienced difficulty staying focused on the road.

The doll is currently kept in a Connecticut museum

Fortunately, Ed and Lorraine were able to complete their trip. The aforementioned secure location turned out to be the Warrens’ Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut. These bizarre events were the basis of the third film in the Annabelle franchise, Annabelle Comes Home. The first act of the film sees Ed and Lorraine confiscate and transport the doll. The rest of the film takes liberties with “real” events, however, as it focuses on their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace), and her nightmarish encounter with Annabelle.

Lorraine’s son-in-law, Tony Sperra, told the New Haven Register that the investigator couple didn’t mind creative liberties being taken with their experiences on film, as they felt it was important to stress the consequences of demonic possession.

Annabelle was a popular fixture until the museum shut down due to zoning violations in 2021. According to UT Central, the doll, along with several other haunted objects, were taken on the road and displayed to curious onlookers at the Warren’s Seekers of the Supernatural Phantasma-Con later that same year.

The Warrens’ Occult Museum may be closed, but it remains the home of the Annabelle doll. It’s kept behind a glass display case in the museum, and is only transferred during Phantasma-Con and other supernatural fan events. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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