Top 20 Terrifying Real Life Haunted Dolls

VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
Who's up for a little nightmare fuel? For this list, we're looking at spooky or unnerving dolls from the real world. Our countdown includes The Suzy Doll, The Devil Baby Doll, Patty Reed's Doll, Letta, Annabelle, and more!

Top 20 Terrifying But Real Haunted Dolls

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Terrifying but Real Haunted Dolls.

For this list, we’re looking at spooky or unnerving dolls from the real world. We won’t be including fictional dolls from film or television (sorry, Chucky.) Of course, details are scarce on many of these dolls, but we’ve endeavored to provide as much accurate information as is available.

Before we get started, we’d like to say sorry to all of the dolls for watching without permission!

#20: Amanda the Doll

This doll, crafted by Heinrich Handwerck in 1884, is known for strange things happening around her. First sold on eBay in 2003, Amanda has allegedly been put back on the auction block on more than 20 occasions. Each of her owners kept claiming the doll had been the cause of weird occurrences while they had her. There have been reports of Amanda moving rooms, causing nightmares and even scratching her victims while they sleep. Her seemingly innocent face has been known to shift to an evil grin when she’s in tormentor mode. Her activities even earned her a place in John Harker’s “True Tales Trilogy: Nightmarish Accounts of Paranormal Activity”.

#19: Caroline

Caroline reportedly comes from an antique shop in Salem, Massachusetts. This doll is believed to be inhabited by not one, but three spirits all battling for control over her. The subject of frequent paranormal investigations, it’s believed that the spirits possessing Caroline were her owners themselves. She’s also a prankster, known for playing tricks on her owners. She’ll hide books, move objects and even whisper in your ear if you hold her close. A previous owner allegedly claimed Caroline whispered “Make it you” in his ear, which he interpreted to mean good luck. Not known to be a malicious spirit, Caroline hasn’t been seen since she was last investigated in 2004.

#18: The Suzy Doll

From the case files of Lorraine Warren, meet the Suzy Doll. Suzy was given to young Heather Platt as a birthday present made by her Aunt Robin. That night, Heather’s parents were awakened by the sound of growling, and a dark shadow that seemed to come down the street into their home. After that, Suzy was known to move about the house on her own, move objects around the kitchen that were too heavy for the children, and pull the hair out of the sleeping kids’ heads. By the time Lorraine Warren arrived, it took an exorcism to get the doll out of the house for good.

#17: Old Man Puppet

This puppet came into the hands of paranormal investigator Jayne Harris when its previous owner claimed the doll had choked him. The puppet was inherited by the man, who claimed to have left the puppet in a drawer by his bed when he awoke to his throat being throttled by tiny puppet hands. In addition to strangling, this unnamed “Old Man” puppet is said to have caused bruises and scratches, and haunted the man in his nightmares. Jayne was contacted and took to recording the puppet in case of any suspect behavior. Night vision footage showed the puppet moving inside its sealed glass case, confirming suspicions that the puppet is possessed.

#16: Elmo

Yes, even Elmo dolls have been shown to have a dark side. In 2008, a Florida family made the news, and waves around the web, when the Elmo Knows Your Name doll started making death threats to their son. Melissa Bowman, mother of the two-year-old James, overheard the doll say “Kill James” while her son was playing with the doll. Though this version of Elmo is able to be programmed to remember your kid’s name, James’s doll didn’t start spouting threats until he got his batteries changed. Fisher-Price launched an investigation and offered the family a voucher for another Elmo doll.

#15: The Devil Baby Doll

19th century New Orleans birthed many stories of spells and curses, and one such curse supposedly brought about the Devil Baby dolls. A bride cursed by the Queen of Voodoo, Marie Laveau, was said to have given birth to a devil child, spawned by Satan himself. In an effort to protect themselves, creoles carved Devil babies, hanging them in their homes as protection. In recent years, local artist Ricardo Pustanio took the last pieces of the one remaining doll and recreated the devil baby, as well as replicas. These dolls have been known to rustle and whisper when they’re all together, move by themselves, turn over ashtrays, and cry when they’re apart.

#14: The Pulau Ubin Barbie

In Singapore, one Barbie doll is visited regularly so that the spirit of a young girl can grant health and fortune. The story goes that in 1914, a German couple, suspected of being spies, were detained while their young daughter got away. In her attempt to escape, however, she tripped off a cliff to her tragic death. Eventually, her remains were placed in an urn and a shrine erected in her honor. After having been visited by the spirit of this little girl three nights in a row, a man bought this particular Barbie as instructed, and brought it to the shrine to serve as her stand-in.

#13: Voodoo Zombie Doll

Originally from New Orleans, this doll made its way to a woman in Galveston, Texas in 2004. It arrived in a metal box with instructions not to remove the doll, as it was “almost alive,” according to its eBay sellers. She let the doll out, and claimed afterwards that it would attack her and haunt her dreams. To get rid of it, she listed it on eBay and successfully sold the doll to a new owner several times. Each time, the buyer would receive an empty box, and the doll would reappear on the woman’s doorstep. She eventually got it in the hands of a ghost hunter, who reportedly still has the doll today.

#12: The Doll at Hougang

Found by passersby leaning against a tree, this doll seems innocent enough, if you don’t think about its eyes being covered. Enter the doll at Hougang; found in Hougang, Singapore around 2014. When pictures of the doll were posted online, a Reddit thread explained that the writing was Arabic, meaning “in the name of God”. Apparently, this little dolly had been moving around by itself and talking in a woman’s voice. The original owner claimed the only way they found they could get rid of it was to take it far from home and blindfold it so that it couldn’t come back.

#11: Patty Reed’s Doll

This creepy doll is the only one on our list to be haunted by humans rather than the other way around. Patty Reed’s doll famously came along for the wagon ride when the Donner Party made the trip west to California in 1846. When the travelers were trapped by snow, people turned from eating bits of leather and mice to cannibalism for survival. The entire Reed family made it through the trip, and the doll can be seen nowadays at Sutter’s Fort State Historical Park Museum in Sacramento, California. Unlike the others, this doll seems to be shocked into silence. It might not be supernatural, but it certainly inspires horror.

#10: Harold

Harold’s story begins with an eBay listing - a listing that reads like a horror story. “Haunted Harold” was allegedly purchased at a flea market from someone who said his son died shortly after getting the doll himself. Refusing to heed the warning, the new owner took the doll home. Within two days, his cat died, his girlfriend left him, and he began having chronic migraines. This doesn’t include the laughing and crying children he kept hearing in his basement, or the fact that the doll seemed to have a pulse. The current owner, Anthony Quinata, has a YouTube page where he asks Harold questions and tries to investigate its history.

#9: Letta

Letta is supposedly an ancient Eastern European marionette. At least two hundred years old, it was discovered under an abandoned house in New South Wales, Australia. Owner Kerry Walton has gone on record many times admitting the terrifying consequences of finding such a doll: objects move, items fall off the walls, and in its presence, people and animals alike tend to freak out. In early attempts to sell the doll, he would suddenly feel utterly incapable of following through. Letta, short for “Letta-Me-Out”, is also known for its headful of human hair, for causing rain whenever it is taken outside and for readjusting the position in which it sits all by itself.

#8: Pupa

Pupa may be the cutest doll on this list, but don’t let her looks fool you. The dark side is strong with this one. Built in the 1920s to resemble her 5-year old owner, Pupa was loved and cared for until the owner’s death in 2005, and was then placed in a display case by the family. Since the original owner’s death, there have been numerous reports of Pupa tapping on the glass, being found in different positions, and writing messages inside the fogged-up case. A family member allegedly caught her moving on camera, but the footage, when uploaded, was inexplicably covered in “white film” with the words “Pupa no!” It’s been said that her owner always said Pupa had “a mind of her own”.

#7: Okiku

In Japan, Okiku has found international fame for being the doll with growing hair. The doll was purchased in 1918 for a little girl, Okiku, who died less than a year later of a severe flu. In her memory, the family set up the large doll in a shrine. Eventually they noticed that the doll’s hair, which was originally just a bob, had been steadily growing, even after being cut. This led them to believe that the girl’s spirit must have moved on into the doll. Since 1938, Okiku has been on display in Mannenji temple, where people regularly visit her. The hair has allegedly been tested in a lab, and it was concluded to indeed be human hair.

#6: Chrystal, True, Monika, Sharla, Isaac, Lilly, Ashley & Cameron

Being paranormal investigators, the Watkins family are at least better suited than most to be handling supposed haunted artifacts. The dolls: Chrystal, True, Monika, Sharla, Isaac, Lilly, Ashley and Cameron, were all purchased individually based on their supernatural reputations. The Watkins family then brought them together in their Pennsylvania home, and set up a 24-hour stream. Over the years, fans of the aptly named “Dollhouse”, have gathered on the webpage forum to discuss the alleged paranormal events caught on camera. Most notable was the footage of a ghostly apparition caught in 2009, of what seems to be a spectral young boy at the bottom of their staircase. Sadly, the stream stopped updating in 2015.

#5: Joliet

The story goes that a jealous family friend maliciously gave this cursed doll to a young woman as a pregnancy gift. Tragically her baby boy died only three days after birth. Soon after, however, the family began to hear a baby’s cries emanating from the doll. The doll has been kept in the family for four generations, and as a result, little outside investigation has been possible. But legend has it that each owner has consistently given birth to one healthy boy and one healthy girl, with the boy mysteriously dying on the third day. According to the family, Joliet continues to cry out with the spirits of the multiple baby voices coming from it.

#4: The Island of the Dolls

Located on the canals near Mexico City, this island is one of the creepiest destinations on the planet. In the 1950s, Julian Santana Barrera left his family and isolated himself on the island. Legend has it that after finding the body of a drowned girl, he hung up her doll in a tree on the island as a means of honoring her memory and spirit. After it allegedly moved and made noises, his lifelong obsession of stringing up dolls in the trees began. In 2001, Barrera’s body was discovered having drowned in the same spot as the girl. Nowadays, Barrera’s family run the island ferrying tourists to visit the countless dolls. According to local legend, the dolls have been known to whisper and move.

#3: Robert

Given to painter Robert Eugene Otto when he was just a boy, Robert the doll has quite a creepy history. Eugene often talked to the doll, and according to his parents, the doll could be heard responding. Eugene also blamed small accidents on the doll. Eventually placed in an attic when Eugene grew up, Robert was often reported as having moved around on his own, or causing creaking sounds. Nowadays, Robert resides at the Martello Gallery-Key West Art and Historical Museum, where he continues to garner much attention. Each year, the doll receives hundreds of letters of apology from ex-sceptics who photograph him “without permission,” only to leave, experience various accidents, and come to associate them with Robert’s cursed influence.

#2: Annabelle

Thanks to “The Conjuring” film series, Annabelle’s story has a prominent place in pop culture. She even got her own spin-off films. But the real doll looks nothing like her on-screen Hollywood counterpart. Annabelle is in fact a “Raggedy Anne” doll, given to a young nurse in the 1970s as a gift. The spookiness began almost immediately when the nurse and her roommate started finding the doll in random places and with handwritten notes next to it. Famous paranormal investigators and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren examined the doll and eventually locked her up for safety’s sake. The doll now resides at the Warren’s Occult Museum. However, she’s still been attributed responsibility for numerous attacks and at least one death.

#1: Mandy

Topping our list is a doll who seems to possess all powers and abilities of every aforementioned doll combined: Mandy. Her last owner could not stand the constant crying noises, but the sheer number of reported incidents, especially since the porcelain doll was donated to a Canadian museum in 1991, is staggering. Objects disappear or move, tapping is heard on her case, cameras and electronic devices malfunction, footsteps are heard in the night and people report seeing her move and blink - Mandy does it all. While her antics don’t seem evil, she is certainly an attention-seeker. The staff keeps her far from the other dolls, as any nearby doll displays tend to get broken or damaged.
Truth is stranger than fiction...