The Warrens have returned to cinemas this week, investigating the case of the Enfield Poltergeist in James Wan's latest stab at the horror genre. Opening to strong reviews, The Conjuring 2 represents a return to form for the franchise after the Annabelle spin-off disappointed audiences back in 2014, even causing riots in France.
The Conjuring 2 is scary on its own merits, reminding us that horror movies still hold the capacity to terrify audiences, but the real-life events that the film is based on pale in comparison to the horror of Annabelle, the demonic doll who terrorized us all in the first movie and the aforementioned spin-off.
Poltergeists are scary, sure, but dolls are on another level entirely, so if you feel like losing sleep tonight, read on to discover the horrifying true story behind The Conjuring's freaky Annabelle doll.
Director Wan redesigned Annabelle to look more terrifying for The Conjuring, but in real life, she just appeared to be a basic Raggedy Ann doll, which was bought as a present one day for college student Donna.
Donna lived with a flatmate called Angie when Annabelle was given to her. At first, neither of the two nursing students noticed anything unusual about the doll. Over time though, it began to seem like Annabelle could be moving on its own, changing position slightly in the girls' absence, but they just wrote these occurrences off as a figment of their imagination.
However, things began to escalate to the point where neither Donna nor Angie could ignore Annabelle's movements any longer. The doll's initially small movements developed to the point where the doll appeared to be moving between rooms entirely of its own volition.
It Gets Creepier
Soon, pieces of parchment paper began to appear around the house with cryptic messages that said things like "Help us," or "Help Lou," a friend of the girls who had always expressed his hatred of the doll. Worryingly, no one had any idea where the paper itself was coming from, as there was none kept in the house.
Things began to worsen; After Donna discovered a red liquid that looked remarkably like blood on Annabelle's hands, the girls called in a medium, who reported that a 7-year-old girl named Annabelle Higgins had died in a field that stood where the house was now located.
The psychic believed that the girl's spirit had remained behind, latching itself onto the doll because it wanted to stay with them — that it felt safe in their presence — so the girls agreed to keep the doll close.
They Should Probably Get A Second Opinion
Any hope that the ordeal was finally over became quickly forgotten when the girls' friend Lou started to suffer horrible nightmares where Annabelle would climb up onto his bed and choke him in his sleep.
Check out the trailer for Annabelle 2 here:
Soon after, Lou and Angie were hanging out in the apartment when they heard noises coming from Donna's room. The sounds continued as the two students crept to the door, but as soon as they swung it open, the noises instantly stopped and the room was completely empty — except Annabelle was no longer on the bed where it had been left, and was now sitting in the corner of the room.
As Lou approached the doll, he felt like someone was watching him from behind, so he quickly spun around, but again, no one was there. Suddenly, a horrible pain erupted on Lou's chest and raking claw marks appeared in his skin. The wounds immediately began to heal, but it was clear that Annabelle was somehow involved.
Who You Gonna Call?
The girls decided then and there to call an Episcopalian priest who enlisted the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the two paranormal investigators who appear in both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2.
The Warrens refuted the medium's previous claims, stating that no ghost was involved; instead, it was a demon that had attached itself to the Annabelle doll. The most worrying thing about this was that technically, demons don't possess objects, just people, so it became quickly evident that the inhumane spirit was using the doll as a means to claim Donna's soul.
After a priest performed an exorcism on the girl's apartment, the Warrens left with the doll in tow, taking it away to the safety of their own home, where they could contain its evil more effectively.
Ed Warren decided to drive off the highways because he was concerned that Annabelle would somehow manage to interfere with the car itself, causing a deadly accident and predictably, that's exactly what began to happen. The engine consistently cut out, the steering struggled to work and most seriously of all, the brakes had problems that could have been fatal.
The disturbances stopped for a while when Ed sprinkled the doll with holy water, but things kicked off again soon after arriving home. The Warrens report that Annabelle levitated off a desk more than once and began to move between rooms in the house, just like it had back in the students' home.
The Doll That Just Won't Quit
In order to stop Annabelle's demonic activity once and for all, the Warrens enlisted the help of a Catholic priest to exorcise the doll, but he didn't take the enterprise seriously enough, telling Annabelle "You're just a doll. You can't hurt anyone!" The priest didn't make it home unscathed, crashing his car after the brakes mysteriously failed. Fortunately, he still survived.
At a loss for what to do, the Warrens locked Annabelle up in a case that still resides within the couple's Occult Museum to this day. The doll may not be able to physically move around anymore, but the demonic forces contained inside Annabelle are reportedly still active, causing the death of a young man who mocked the doll and then crashed his motorcycle into a tree that very same day.
Fans of the first Annabelle film will be pleased to hear that the horrifying doll will return to our screens in a sequel that has currently been scheduled for release on May 19, 2017, but in the meantime, head to cinemas now to catch The Conjuring 2.