Some Twitter users feared Annabelle, the real doll featured in horror movies about paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, had escaped the Warren’s Occult Museum in Connecticut.
Annabelle’s name became a top-trending topic on Friday, garnering nearly 250,000 mentions, as frightened netizens tweeted about the doll potentially coming to life.
Tony Spera, the Warrens’ son-in-law and leader of the New England Society for Psychic Research, has confirmed that it’s just another internet hoax. Annabelle has not escaped nor is she causing any type of trouble. He posted a YouTube video where he confirmed that Annabelle never left her glass enclosure.
Spera said the following:
I’m here to tell you something, I don’t know if you want to hear this or not, but Annabelle did not escape. Annabelle’s alive—well, I shouldn’t say alive— Annabelle’s here, in all her infamous glory. She never left the museum. Remember, I have high-tech security here. If she had left the museum I’d have instantly know if something happened or somebody broke in. I have good alarm systems here and the police are good to respond. They respond within a couple of minutes, maybe, if that.
But Annabelle’s here. She didn’t go anywhere. She didn’t take a trip. She didn’t fly first class and she didn’t go out to visit her boyfriend. So here she is. Let’s put the rumors to rest, guys.
I appreciate all the concern. I’d be concerned if Annabelle really did leave because she’s nothing to play with.
The museum where Annabelle was held has been closed since 2019 due to zoning violations, The Monroe Sun reported. Altas Obscura also lists the museum as permanently closed.
In a Facebook note, Spera wrote he wanted to reopen the museum. “I have been in compliance with the town’s order and have added more signage in an attempt to quell curious visitations from fans,” Spera wrote in an email to The Monroe Sun in 2019:
I have done everything to the best of my ability to stop the intrusion of unwanted guests. I am not happy with people crawling around the house at all hours either, and the burden placed on neighbors and the local police department, who do a fantastic job of checking on and clearing the property.
Here’s what you need to know:
How Did the Hoax Begin?
The rumor started after news stories about British actress Annabelle Wallis emerged. Wallis, best known for playing Grace on Peaky Blinders, gave an interview in which she talked about how she was able to get The Mummy co-star Tom Cruise to run with her on camera. According to YouTube user Hi Tech, the story got changed to “Annabelle escaped” when translated into Chinese, sparking the hoax.
When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if questions about working with Cruise have started to slow down three years after the movie came out, she said they probably never will.
“He’s his own thing. He’s such a movie star, and he does his own bloody stunts!” she told THR. “He means business, and he loves this business. He’s a cinephile. I think people are in awe of that kind of passion and love for cinema and a desire to excel, to keep growing and keep pushing boundaries.”
Wallis was proud she got Cruise to let her run alongside him. “I got to run on-screen with him, but he told me no at first. He said, ‘Nobody runs on-screen [with me],’ and I said, ‘But I’m a really good runner.’ So, I would time my treadmill so that he’d walk in and see me run. And then he added all these running scenes.”
Wallis said the opportunity was like getting an Oscar and she doesn’t mind talking about Cruise. “I was so happy!” she said with a laugh. “But I don’t think it ever goes away and I hope it never does. It’s so wonderful to be excited by someone and in awe of what they’ve achieved in their lives. Yeah, good on him. And I hope the questions never stop. I love talking about him. It’s really cool.”
Wallis Was in the Original ‘Annabelle’ Movie
Some horror fans might also remember that Wallis played Mia in the original Annabelle movie. During the same interview with THR, Wallis talked about working with Annabelle director James Wan, saying they have a “very special” relationship. “I’m very grateful to him. He’s a wonderful man,” she said.
Working on Annabelle was the first time Wallis came to the U.S. and she said Wan was instrumental in helping her get the part of Mia.
“He’s so good. He’s so hands-on, holding cameras and moving equipment,” she told THR. “He was even fixing my makeup. He was literally my hair girl. He fixed all my hair.”
‘Annabelle’ the Movie Is Based on a Real ‘Haunted’ Raggedy Ann Doll
Those who were scared of the rumor about the Annabelle doll escaping the Warren’s Occult Museum probably know that the horror films — the 2014 Annabelle, 2017 Annabelle: Creation and 2019 Annabelle Comes Home — were based on a real Raggedy Ann doll that ghost hunter Lorraine Warren said was “evil.”
“Looks are deceiving. It’s not what the doll looks like that makes it scary; it is what has been infused within the doll: evil,” she told USA Today in 2017.
Annabelle’s “reign of terror” started in 1970 after she was bought by a woman who wanted to give her to her daughter, Donna, a nursing student. Soon after she purchased it, reports claimed the doll was levitating and attacking people.
That’s when Lorraine and Ed Warren were called, and they determined the Annabelle doll was an “inhuman demonic spirit.” They confiscated the doll and took it to their museum, the Warren’s Occult Museum, to keep it safe.
In a video from 2017, workers doused themselves with holy water after moving Annabelle, who is kept in a glass case.
“We have a priest come in and bless the museum, including Annabelle,” Lorraine Warren told USA Today. “These are prayers that bind the evil — much like an electric fence for a dog.”
Ed Warren Died in 2006 & Lorraine Warren Died in April 2019 at 92 Years Old
Lorraine Warren’s death was announced on the New England Society for Psychic Research – NESPR Facebook page:
It is with deep sadness that I must announce that Lorraine Warren has passed away. She died peacefully in her sleep at home last night. The family requests that you respect their privacy at this time. Lorraine touched many lives and was loved by so many. She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will Rogers, she never met a person she didn’t like. She was an avid animal lover and contributed to many animal charities and rescues. She was wonderful and giving to her entire family. May God Bless her.
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