I don’t know if I believe in ghosts but I believe in a good ghost story. Even though I’ve mostly moved towards digital reading, I still visit a bookstore from time to time. When there, I often look through the bargain book section and recently I happened upon a book published by West Side Publishing, a division of Publications International Ltd entitled
Armchair Reader Haunted America.
It being October, the month for all things Halloween, I bought the book. Under the plan to share some of the stories with my followers, the book has many stories I’ve heard before. For today’s post, I can remember a story on a television show (either Night Gallery or The Twilight Zone) that was similar.
This is my seventh story for my Halloween series:
The Haunted Toy Store
At a Toys R Us in Sunnyvale, California something unseen comes out after the staff leave for the night. Is it a ghost of a spoiled child? Books are tossed on the floor, roller skates are scattered everywhere. It isn’t the staff leaving without tidying the store. In addition, employees have reported being tapped on the shoulder when no one is there. Some female employees have complained of unseen hands stroking their hair. Once a group of employees and their manager rolled down a metal door only to hear pounding and yelling from the other side. When they rolled up the door, no one was there. In 1978, renowned psychic, Sylvia Brown visited and identified the spirit as a tall, thin man wearing a coat and his name was Johnny Johnson. During their chat, Johnny told Sylvia to move or her feet would get wet. In the county records, they found out that in the area of the store where they had been standing, there had been a well long before the store was built. Management of the Toys R Us have never done anything to try to rid the store of the ghosts. Employees are fond of his presents.
Robert the Doll
Artist Robert “Gene” Otto while growing up in Florida in the early 1900s owned a doll named Robert. He brought Robert with him everywhere and he talked to the doll. This particular doll talked back. Talking dolls had not been produced yet and others such as servants and family members witnessed the doll speaking. Once when the boys bedroom had been trashed, Gene said it had been Robert who did it. In 1972 after a family purchased the home where Robert “Gene” Otto had lived. The daughter was terrified when she found the doll in the attic and she told her parents that the doll wanted to kill her. The family didn’t want to find out if it was true, so the doll was donated to a museum in Key West. If you think you want to visit the museum, be warned, you must ask Robert the Doll for permission to take his photograph. Without such permission, you will be cursed.
Annabelle and the Haunted Doll
The Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are a classic and were popular for decades. In the 1970s, a woman named Donna didn’t have such a good experience with a Raggedy Ann. She reported that the doll would change positions on its own. Once the doll was found kneeling which due to the soft materials of the doll is not possible. Donna and her roommate, Angie often found notes scrawled in a child-like handwriting. This made them consult with a medium. The medium told them that their apartment was once the home of a young girl named Annabelle. Shortly afterwards, Angie’s boyfriend was attacked by the doll. The woman then contacted demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren who determined that Annabelle was not the spirit of a young girl, but a demonic entity. The Warrens more prepared to handle the antics of Annabelle, took the doll and it resides in a glass case at the Warren Occult Museum in Connecticut. The recent feature film, The Conjuring is about the Warrens and although mainly about another of their cases, the story of Annabelle and the Doll is told in the film. The doll in the film was not depicted as a Raggedy Ann.