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STRANGE TALES - A Halloween Special: "Its Eyes Followed Us"

Pediphobia is classified as a phobia of dolls. Throughout the decades, the horror genre has played on this fear portraying demented dollies wielding knives towards their owners. Robert and Annabelle are two dolls that have several things in common…they are real inanimate objects, they both inspired horror films, and people are sincerely frightened of them. Robert the Doll resides in Key West at the East Martello Museum and the real Annabelle doll, reminiscent of a toddler sized raggedy Ann, was displayed in the Warren’s Occult Museum in Connecticut. Both are kept inside glass cases under lock and key, with warning signs briefing visitors on what they risk being in their presence.  

Now that we’ve had a background on how dolls can frighten us, let’s discuss this week’s installment of haunted stories from Butler County. This tale does not involve a ghost but simply an old, worn doll. A doll whose pastime was watching people drive by its home. 

As always names are changed to protect the teller’s identity. We will call the subject of our story Juan. This happening took place on the south side of Butler County. 

One tradition that has never changed growing up in a rural area is that all kids keep the back roads hot. When bored, nothing is more freeing than getting in your car with your friends and aimlessly driving nowhere. On one of these evenings Juan and his friends were driving down a one lane road to a local cemetery that neighbored an abandoned house when they noticed a doll sitting in a chair on the front porch. No signs of life existed other than the old doll that sat on the porch, its gaze following them. Yes, the doll followed them. If they went down the road the doll would be looking in their direction as they drove back up, if they went the opposite direction, it would turn and look at them as well. It always faced their vehicle, regardless of which direction they were coming from.

After this happened several times, Juan became unnerved. Frustrated one night while driving their usual route, he decided to stop the stares and glares from the doll for good.  Stepping on the porch he lifted the doll from its perch and proceeded to smash its head to pieces. Shattered fragments lay strewn about the porch, but the doll could no longer leer at them anymore.

A week later Juan and his friends returned. Startled, they noticed that a doll sat on the porch. Not just any doll, but the doll. The one whose head was bashed to pieces a week ago was now fully intact and had reclaimed its seat on the porch.  No one lived within three miles of the abandoned house. It wasn’t a joke being played on them, no one else was there but the doll and them.

When discussing this encounter, I asked him to elaborate on the doll being “fixed”.  Could he see where the fragments were glued back together? No, he insisted that wasn’t the case. It was whole, complete again, there was no sign that it had ever been damaged. 

Till this day they have not confirmed where the doll came from or who its previous owner was. At the time these events took place the house had been abandoned a little over forty years, the doll randomly showed up one day and had been there for at least ten years.  Again, no one lived within three miles of the home. How was this doll moving, where did it come from, and most concerning where did it go? Once the home was bought and remodeled no one ever saw it again. 

“Never believed any haunted stuff but that damn doll made me wonder,” Juan remarked when he discussed his experience, proving even the most trivial things in life, such as a doll, can make you question what is fact, what is fiction, and one’s sanity. 


Story by Amber McIntosh, for Beech Tree News.


Editor's Note:  This is the third and final  installment in a series featuring scary stories of local origin.  We hope you enjoy.  Happy Halloween!


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