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Creepy Doll Stories Persist: Imagine Your Inanimate Object Becomes Creepy | Roger Marais

Peg Knickerbocker discovered this doll after being told where to look in a dream.Credit: Roger Marsh

Stories of haunted dolls have dotted the landscape of paranormal history for centuries – well, about as long as dolls have been made. The “Chucky” movie series has kept us all hooked since “Child’s Play” premiered in 1988.

Most families have a story or two they can tell late at night about a strange occurrence that no one can explain. First I thought of my own scary doll story.


The first paranormal story I remember was one my dad told late at night from his favorite chair in the living room while the kids sat and listened quietly on the floor. His parents, he said, had 11 children, including two twins – a boy and a girl. He said his brother died when he was five months old and his sister died in a horrific accident one afternoon when she was five years old. The girl was playing with matches in a vacant lot just down the street from their house, caught her dress on fire and decided to run home.

My grandmother heard the screams from inside her house and ran out to see what was happening. As her daughter approached in flames, the woman tried to put them out with her bare hands and eventually threw the child to the ground. The burns were obviously severe and she was taken to a nearby hospital. The child was not well in the hospital and my grandmother took a favorite doll that her daughter had requested. Later, clutching the doll, the girl died in her mother’s arms. My father also pointed out that his sister was badly burned on her left leg and right arm.

In those days, funerals were frequently held at the family home, and my father described the scene of his sister lying in a coffin in their living room, holding her doll, as crowds of people streamed in to pay their respects. The family had no idea how popular the little girl was because so many people were there. My grandmother, supposedly without other family members watching, removed the doll from the coffin before it was finally sealed, wrapped it in a paper bag, and finally put it there. privately stored in the attic.

Several years passed, my father said, when the family sat one evening talking about their lost sister. Someone mentioned the cute doll she was holding, and my grandmother decided to go up to the attic and get the doll for everyone to see. She pulled the doll out of its hiding place in the attic and lowered the bag. But when she opened the bag, the family was shocked. All of the paint had blackened on the doll’s left leg and right arm, an alarming portrait of how the child had to tend to her burns.

My dad said the episode upset the family so badly that his dad immediately burned the doll in their oven. The feeling was somewhat evil or satanic apparently, and he felt they needed to destroy the doll.

We of course wondered about the doll and her sister and asked him if he was sure that none of the other family members could have discovered the doll and blacked out the limbs. My father was convinced that his mother had herself secretly removed the doll from the coffin and then hid it safely in the attic. She even remarked that it didn’t look like the stash, or the bag, had been tampered with. And at the time, it seemed unthinkable that a family member or friend would have done this to the doll and put it back in place to be found at a later date.


Peg Knickerbocker and Roger Marsh consult notes during a documentary shoot in 2009.Credit: Roger Marsh

I came across another creepy doll story while filming a documentary at the haunted Knickerbocker Hotel in Linesville, PA in 2009. The hotel opened in 1882 and at the time was the perfect stop to halfway between Chicago and New York. Myrle and Peg Knickerbocker purchased the property in 2005 and have been restoring it ever since.

Peg said she owned a house in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and while cleaning that house some very strange things were happening. One night Peg had a dream and in that dream she was given very specific instructions.

“Go through the wall where the drywall was removed,” Peg said. “On the other side you will find stacks and stacks of magazines. Walk to the center of the room and down and you will find a doll. This doll is special. Take her out and take good care of her.”

The next day, Peg did exactly what the dream told her to do.

“When I reached between the wall and the magazines, there was a doll. She was very old and in very good condition. I took the doll home.”

But there was an accident when Peg carried the doll inside.

“He was dropped and the face was smashed,” she said. “Once the face was reconstructed, the doll was taken to the hotel and placed in a sitting position on the third floor in back room number 21.

“We had cameras that we placed in the room that we had online and let it be seen and commentary was allowed from viewers. It felt like we were letting the world see our broken cart.”

But viewers quickly saw and recorded some very strange things.

“Asylum Cam streamed one of their cameras so their viewers could see inside the hotel. I was sent a short video of what appears to be a few seconds with some delays from their camera of me entering the room and the feet and eyes of the opening and closing carriage.

“I walk into the room and it looks like Dolly’s eyes are opening and closing and her feet are going back and forth. Her eyes are constantly open. They’re glass eyes that don’t close and her feet with his little shoes of his own. it seems like they open and then close.”

We are working to get this video.


Sharon Day’s haunted Shirley doll.Credit: Sharon Day

Sharon Day is a screenwriter and actress (gemStar TM), researcher, author, publicist and artist. His published books include: ‘Ghost of a Chance’, ‘Vacationing with Ghosts’, ‘What Ghosts Do’ and one that I recently purchased and love, ‘Growing Up With Ghosts’.

I have known Sharon for a few years now as Facebook friends and her adventures are extremely interesting and fun. I knew she had a scary doll story.

“The Haunted Shirley doll was sent to me by a ghost investigator from the Midwest,” Sharon said. “The doll was being given away because not everyone was lucky with her. One person said she started a fire, another said she killed her dog. Her eyes are red, but d ‘After my research, I found that it was not unusual for dolls’ eyes to turn color, especially that odd red, which were green when they were made.

“Weirdly, it arrived in a box, and out of its pants, a small quartz crystal wand fell out. I asked the person who sent it. She didn’t even own one. Hmmm.

“As a psychometrician, I could read a lot about the people who handled her, but the doll itself seemed pretty devoid of personality.

“However, after extensive testing, she seemed to trigger the EMF meter in a big way when asked very pointed questions about her motivations and emotions.

“Once while she was sitting on the floor in my bedroom doing crafts, she literally threw herself 3 feet from a dresser and hit me in the head. It was an impossibility physical.

“Another time I left it next to a curling iron plugged in. I rushed to a movie event and the people who came to pick me up had a new car. The car wouldn’t start. looked around the house I thought of Shirley as one commented “I wonder if that weird doll did that?” Thinking of her made me realize I had left the curling iron with her dress touching it. I rushed in and unplugged it. The car suddenly started.

“More people started sending me Shirley dolls. One had purple eyes. I put them in the garage one night to see what would happen. Came back the next day to find the original Shirley doll sitting away from others.

“Despite all her quirks, I never felt threatened by the doll. However, one day I was busy cleaning my closet and organizing it and she fell off a shelf and her porcelain left leg s The next day, I had an accident crossing a rainy street and the light changed and a truck was coming towards me, I slipped on the rainy ground and fell injuring my left leg.

“I sent the dolls back and wished their new owners good luck. I don’t believe in possession, but as a psychometrician, I do believe in holding back energies that are sometimes very disruptive and forceful. It’s not necessarily good or bad, but simply energy.

“I refer this example to people who collect antiques and have disturbances and assume the newly acquired object is at fault. You can have two objects with positive energy, but one is the positive energy of one zen meditation and the other is the positive energy of Christmas morning. Put side by side, there is a conflict. This does not mean that one is good or bad, only that they are more like North Pole magnets meeting. Just move the objects around until there are complements close to each other and things calm down.”

You can visit Sharon’s website at Ghost hunting theories and explore its social media sites.

Haunted Shirley doll.Credit: Sharon Day