It can’t go unnoticed, by anyone with an interest in the paranormal, that in recent years we have became more and more fascinated by this supposed phenomenon. Of course we have Blockbusters like ‘Childs Play” and “Anabelle” to thank in some part for raising our awareness, and in many cases creating an irrational fear of dolls, but what has struck me more than this, over the past 18 months or so, is how opinions are changing. What was once considered quite farcical and improbable, is actually now gaining some credibility amongst paranormal investigators, and enthusiasts across the globe are beginning to wonder if there really is more to this whole haunted objects area.
Any article on this topic would not be complete without mentioning SyFys Haunted Collector himself John Zaffis and the UK’s own expert on haunted objects Jayne Harris, Co-founder of HD Paranormal Research. Both Zaffis and Harris have spent many years dealing with cases of haunted objects, and both seem to be of the same opinion regarding how and why these cases occur.
“A lot of times you have to remember it’s energy that we deal with. And energy can attach to absolutely anything—glass, metal, stone, wood. And it will hold onto this energy” (Zaffis 2012)
In a recent interview Harris explains that “understanding how an object becomes haunted is really no different to understanding how a building can be haunted. Both are cases of either residual or intelligent energy remaining after death. After all, what is an building if not simply a large object? Very true, and makes sense doesn’t it?
It took me a while personally to get my head around the idea that energy could potentially attach itself to an inanimate object until I heard this explanation, then it made sense. Of course a building IS just a large object, made of ions, matter, molecules etc. A ghost or spirit exists within it because their energy is associated with it, maybe even recorded within its very fabric.
While considering this I was immediately reminded of the case of the Bassano vase in Italy. A silver vase, which a bride was clutching on her wedding night when she was tragically murdered. It would make sense would it not, if you believe in hauntings, ghosts, energy, spirits etc to believe it possible for her energy to have been ‘absorbed’ in some way by this vase? Especially if, as Harris and many other paranormal experts suggest, that usually something traumatic happens to someone at the point of death to lead to a future haunting.
“hauntings tend to happen when there have been heightened emotions at the point of death, which is why we find many spirits remaining on this side of life have died in tragic or sudden circumstances. They either cannot accept what’s happened or still have unfinished business” – (Harris 2015)
I’d like to take a moment to also mention Ed and Lorraine Warrens, as is only right when discussing this subject. Not only famous for their Occult museum and greatest asset ‘Anabelle’ but also for being involved in some of the highest profile cases of demonic hauntings in the US, and actually the world, not least the Amityville horror. Ed was best known as a Demonologist and Lorraine as a Clairvoyant, but they were of course also Paranormal Investigators in the truest sense of the word.
With over 50 years of experience, I’m sure they could tell a tale or two about the afterlife. Ed explains the spirit world like this: “If you look at a fan and it’s standing still, you can see the propellers very easily. But, if that fan starts up you can’t see anything—it’s invisible. Spirits are on that different vibrational field. They’re all around us right now but you can’t see them”. Interesting analogy! I do think there is something to be said for the idea that spirits exist on different vibrational levels, but I digress. Back to objects, and in particular dolls. One of the most infamous haunted dolls on the planet belongs to Ed and Lorraine and resides in their museum of the Occult in Connecticut, and is named Annabelle. The story goes that the doll, which was purchased in the 1970s by a mother for her daughter, started to move on its own and even left scribbled notes on parchment paper asking for help.
It doesn’t take long when searching online for ‘haunted dolls’ to find articles on Robert, Anabelle, Harold and Peggy, and at first I was skeptical, but the more I read, the more I too cannot deny some of the incredible events and some say, coincidences that occur around these dolls. Haunted Harold with his possible 6 spirits and ability to terrify those around him, not least Anthony his owner. Robert with his displeasure at not being asked permission for photographs, and Peggy with her ability to cause illness in whomever she chooses without even being in the same room! One woman even had a heart attack while staring at her photo and several dogs have had seizures – one fatally! Chilling.
I must admit that sometimes I wonder if people who research the paranormal are essentially playing with fire, and that it may be a case of curiosity killing the cat (or in Peggys case the dog!) but still I do understand some peoples need to pursue answers. For some it’s not even a conscious decision I’m sure. When your hobby is your passion you have no choice I suppose. Although I am fascinated by stories and theories around the afterlife, I don’t think my curiosity is quite at the level needed to devote my life to the field of research, but I admire those who do, especially in the face of adversity. There are hundreds, no thousands, of paranormal groups out there going around the same old haunted buildings month after month in search of answers, and I for one, do find it all getting a bit old, in an “oh no not The Old Ram Inn again!” kind of way – no offence to John but that place has been investigated to death, no pun intended.
I am excited to see that as time goes on, and more people are willing to discuss this phenomena, that there seems to be a new and exciting area of investigation upon us! The seed was planted by the likes of Ed and Lorraine, fertilized by the likes of John Zaffis (their nephew incidentally) and now lets hope it can be cultivated and revealed properly to the world by the next generation of experts, like Jayne Harris.
Well those are my thoughts, and now I’m off to the local car boot sale to see what I can pick up!
You never know!
To anyone interested in learning more I can recommend the following books:
The Demonologist: The Extraordinary career of Ed and Lorraine Warrens by Gerald Brittle
Harold the Haunted Doll by Anthony Quinata