If you have ever investigated a popular haunted local, you know there is usually a table or a ledge with a handful of business cards. Other paranormal investigative teams usually leave their card, but among the offerings are usually psychics, oddity shops and, of course, other haunted locations. When we picked up the card for The Dollhouse, we thought we knew what to expect. The advertisement was very clear: a small house with dolls. We thought it couldn’t get any creepier than that.
The house isn’t just full of dolls. It’s full of haunted dolls. Dolls purchased off Craigslist or from collectors that all allegedly have spirits attached. There are currently over 100 dolls at this location, and thankfully, only a handful currently have stories. The types of entities said to be attached ranged from elementals to demons, old women to young girls. A few of the spirits are said to be heard speaking in foreign languages or accents on EVPs.
Strangely enough, once I realized many of these dolls had names and stories, I felt my generic discomfort of being surrounded by dolls fade away and be replaced with something different. From the moment we entered the house, it was clear we were not alone. I was freaked out so much as I was fascinated.
Located in Greensburg, Indiana, The Doll House is a 864 sq ft, 2 bedroom home built in 1900. There’s electricity but no working bathroom. Space heaters in each room were the only thing keeping us from freezing but also, unfortunately, made a lot of our EVPs too muddied to post. We definitely plan to return in warmer weather because this place was WILD!
When we finally got around to investigating the back room, which contained the child-sized doll pictured above, it was Melissa’s turn to wear the spirit box. (For those just tuning in, Melissa is Kristin’s mom.) When we use the spirit box we always have the listener wear headphones so only they can hear the box. Because of this, they cannot hear what the rest of us are saying which is great for two reasons, 1. they cannot be tainted or biased by what we are talking about while listening for responses and 2. the noise of the box then does not interfere with the rest of our recorders and equipment.
The room was very small and had a love seat and the yellow rocking chair and no other seating.
Kristin and I sat on the sofa, Darin on the floor and Melissa, not wanting to sit on the floor if she didn’t have to, gently picked up the baby doll and sat her on the floor, taking the yellow chair for herself. During this session, we got a handful of intelligent responses off the cuff that were exciting to us because they seemed to indicate we were having a conversation. We always ask the spirits to do things like knock or reveal information, so we decided to mix it up.
“Is there anything you’d like us to do? We could play with the dolls or sing a song?”
I eyed the baby doll on the floor, thinking about picking her up and putting her in my lap as a gesture of goodwill and playtime.
“Don’t touch her.”
We all stopped and looked at each other. No one was touching anyone. Did it know I was thinking about touching the doll? What was it talking about?
“We aren’t touching anyone,” Darin said. “What do you mean?”
We waited only a couple of seconds before Melissa replied.
I was ready to jump out of the chair and search the house to see if any of the dolls were not in their place when suddenly we all came to the same conclusion at the same time. We had moved a doll. We had taken the baby doll out of the chair and sat her on the floor. Melissa jumped out of her chair and quickly placed the baby doll back in the chair. We began to apologize profusely.
“We’re so sorry, we didn’t realize that was important to you. We’re very sorry.”
We all joined in and remembered that owner of the place had told us she thought the chair had a spirit attached and that it liked the doll. The very next thing the spirit box said was.
“It hurt my feelings.”
Now maybe it was all coincidence. Maybe we read too much into the spirit box vocalizations. Sometimes it has been known to be totally silent, or full of nonsense, but to us these were lining up very well. They seemed to directly correspond to what we were saying and to what was happening.
We continued to apologize until it relented. We eventually went back to being on good terms. I haven’t had a chance to relisten to the recording, so all of this is as I remember it. I unfortunately do not remember exactly what the spirit box said that made us feel like we had been forgiven for moving the doll but the prior exchange chilled me and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. This was the best Spirit Box session I had ever experienced. We’d had scarier ones before, but a lot of that was up to interpretation. A lot of the time, we were trying to fill in the gaps of conversation but this seemed to be a very straightforward conversation to us.
But even this fascinating Spirit Box session did not prepare us for the stunning evidence we would catch on video later on in the night.
Hell In a Handbasket
During our tour, we had been warned about Hell in a Handbasket. All dolls (and doll parts) in the cabinet are believed to have dark or possibly demonic spirits attached. Hell In a Handbasket is the name of the sweet little baby doll in the pink basket. According to its placard, it likes to play games with humans and is known for hiding. During a rare moment of bravery, Kristin and I agreed to separate. The house was so small that we felt comfortable putting one person per room to just sit and see what could happen. A little surprisingly, nothing happened. It was very quiet. Just when I was starting to forget I was sitting in a haunted house full of dolls and was about to get real comfy on the hand-me-down-couch, the cabinet containing Hell in a Handbasket, popped LOUDLY!
Melissa and Kristin came into the living room with me to investigate but as it could have just been a settling sound, we decided to just chat. Kristin and her mom sat on the couch and I sat on a kitchen chair in the middle of the room, facing them, my back to the dolls. There were a few instances throughout the night that got us wondering if we were actually dealing with the spirits in the cabinet and the pop (the second of it’s kind that night) inspired us to discuss. Just when we were all agreeing that it was unlikely that the cabinet was actually containing whatever spirits were attached to the dolls, I heard a muted thud behind me and felt it vibrate beneath my feet.
In my mind, it happened slow. I heard the thud then felt it in my feet and then, all of a sudden, realized that it HAD to be a doll. One of the dolls behind me had moved. I freaked. I screeched like a little girl and jumped out of my chair, nearly throwing myself in Kristin’s lap. Upon examination, we found it was a tiny lace doll from the built in shelves. I circled her in pink above. She had a tiny, hollow head and no body. She was literally 80% lace. Melissa and Kristin picked her up and dropped her behind my back and it wasn’t until they practically spiked her that I could feel her impact on the carpet.
There is zero possibility, in my mind, that this tiny, mostly lace doll was propelled only by gravity to the floor. Watch the video and tell me what you think: