When The Conjuring franchise launched back in 2013, one of the first unsettling images audiences saw was the Annabelle doll, which was depicted as terrorizing a group of friends who had taken the doll home. The image of the doll became so powerful that an entire series of spinoff films was launched surrounding the character, beginning with Annabelle in 2014. While the events of the spinoff universe are entirely fictional, the Conjuring films are reportedly based on actual cases from paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, which includes the Annabelle doll. The third film in the spinoff franchise, Annabelle Comes Home, includes a reference to the real-life doll, which looks quite different from how it appears in the franchise.
WARNING: Minor spoilers below for Annabelle Comes Home
In the film series, Annabelle is depicted as a porcelain doll. In real life, the Warrens claimed that spirits had possessed a Raggedy Ann doll.
At one point in Annabelle Comes Home, Judy Warren (McKenna Grace) is watching a game show on TV when a young contestant wins a Raggedy Ann doll. Given the source material, this was more than a coincidence and serves as an homage to the true-life stories of the possessed toy.
In the new film, determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her "safely" behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest's holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target—the Warrens' ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.
According to the Warrens, a nursing student was gifted the doll by her mother in 1970, only for bizarre events to begin to unfold surrounding the doll. With the help of a medium, the student discovered that a spirit calling itself "Annabelle Higgins" had taken residence in the doll, with the nursing student and her roommate taking pity on the spirit and allowing it to stay in the doll. When the terrifying events continued, the student contacted the Warrens, who claimed that it was a demon who had inhabited the doll and referred to itself as "Annabelle" in hopes of tricking the student.
As is seen in the film, the Warrens took the doll into their collection, placing it in a case which warns against anyone coming into contact with it.
Annabelle Comes Home is in theaters now.
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