A two-hundred-year-old doll discovered under a house in a small country town is believed to be possessed. Mr. Walton, who discovered the doll in 1972, believes the strange mannequin is possessed by the spirit of a young boy who drowned over two-hundred-years ago in Europe.
The supernatural saga began more than thirty-years-ago when Mr. Walton - returning to his birthplace for his grandmother's funeral - decided to put aside his childhood fear of an old haunted house.
An avid collector of old bottles, he crawled beneath the ancient floorboards of the long deserted dwelling, and with torch in hand - spat aside dust and cobwebs in search of antique glass treasures.
Suddenly, the torch swept across a face - a face that made his blood run cold.
'What I found was something that looked like a dead child,' Mr. Walton explained.
'I jumped in fright and almost knocked myself out when my head whacked a floor beam.'
Avoiding its gaze, Mr. Walton inched closer and discovered the object was in fact a hideous doll.
'Its clothes turned to dust in my hands,' he said. 'What I can't understand is the house had been flooded many times over the years, so why weren't the clothes washed away?'
Strange, but even more unusual was the sudden demolition of the abandoned house less than a month after the doll was removed.
'The house had been standing there for over a hundred-years and suddenly it was pulled down,' Mr. Walton said. 'It was almost as if the doll knew what was about to happen and directed my actions. I found that very weird.'
But perhaps the most inexplicable aspect of the find was the presence of a real brain within the doll.
'When one lifts up the top of the doll's head - there's a brain,' Walton said. 'It looks something like the color of wet newspaper.'
After placing the doll in a sack and loading it into his van, Walton and his brother set out for the long journey home.
'I was dozing in the passenger seat when my brother nudged me awake and said the doll was making noises. I listened carefully, and could hear the bag rustling in the compartment behind us. My brother was really shaken, and I had to take over the driving, even though I was just as nervous.'
The next shock came when Walton arrived home and his normally placid corgi turned savage the moment he saw the doll.
Then his relatives told him they felt repulsed by the figure - 'the way its eyes are on you all the time,' one of them stated.
Walton's children played with the doll during the day, but when it was left in their room one night they woke screaming and he was forced to store the effigy beneath the house.
For nearly five-years that's where the doll remained, until he decided to take it to a museum in Sydney.
It began to rain heavily when the doll was placed in the car. Chillingly, Walton would soon learn this would happen whenever he took the mannequin out in public.
In Sydney, excited museum experts told him the doll was between 170 and 250 years-old, the work of a Romanian gypsy craftsman.
Gypsies of that time believed strongly in spirit transference and creating dolls through which a human soul could take sanctuary after death.
Learning the age and rarity of the object, Walton thought it might generate a good price, and advertised the doll for sale.
Receiving a generous offer, he loaded the doll into his vehicle - in the rain - and set out for the buyer's residence, but upon arriving couldn't get out of the car.
'I was glued to my seat. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't move.'
As if sensing Walton's money woes, the doll quickly became a talk-show celebrity. And on one occasion, the host of a daytime program arranged a consultation between the doll and a highly regarded psychic.
'When the doll arrived at my office (in the rain) a painting immediately fell from the wall and the clock stopped,' the psychic said.
'The camera crew organized themselves and I placed the doll on my lap. Then, ever so slowly, the doll moved its head.
'You could hear the wood creaking as it turned and looked directly at the camera. One of the cameramen went deathly-white and fled out the backdoor. The entire event was broadcast to thousands of viewers.
'As I tuned into the doll, I discovered the soul of a six-year-old boy was trapped within the wooden vessel. The child had drowned during a storm in an isolated area of Romania. His father, overcome with grief, fashioned a life-size figure in readiness for the ceremony of soul transference.
'The child has been imprisoned for centuries. He's confused and frightened,' the psychic told her television audience. 'The doll was brought to Australia by an immigrant, and stored beneath a house.'
When a national magazine ran a story about the doll and the psychic's revelations, a group of American paranormal investigators travelled to Australia to conduct a séance - and the effigy unexpectedly spoke through them, and confirmed everything the local psychic had stated.
'The Americans told me I would never be able to get rid of the doll,' Walton said. 'At least that explains why I couldn't get out of the car.'
Impressed, the Americans desperately wanted to place the doll on the lucrative US talk-show circuit, but Walton refused - agreeing instead to a request by a famous Australian astrologer to conduct national tour.
At one show, more than 200 people watched as the rain poured down outside. 'We had placed the doll on stage and the crowd was beginning to gather around when suddenly a woman started screaming,' Walton remembered.
Then, as the hushed crowd looked on, the doll moved its head.
'On rare occasions I have actually seen the doll move myself,' he said. 'For a long time I had him sitting in an old rocking-chair upstairs. His arms and legs would move on their own.'
'Many times we've had tradesmen arrive and they have refused to enter the house, even though they had no idea we owned the doll,' he added. 'They just felt an evil presence and refused to come inside.'
Walton's wife insists the doll also possesses the uncanny ability to alter its physical appearance.
'Some days I visit him and he looks very sad,' she said. 'Other days he seems happy and smiling.
'I know it sounds weird, but he does change he's facial expressions.'
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Hold on... on February 17, 2012:
In the article, Walton could not get out of the car.
In the video, Walton could not get the doll out of the car.
Hmmmmmmm..... I smell something off..
Rodger on May 02, 2011:
Wow, as I was reading that I was picturing the events taking place in the US, as most stories like this I have found seem to come from the US. to find this was taking place here in Australia was as mind blowing as the details of the story. I also noted that as I was reading along, the first image of the doll came up and I was stunned to think I knew the doll from somewhere, I was certain I had seen it before.
Then you showed the clip from 1994, The ExtraOrdinary, I loved that show, I don't think I missed a single episode, and I am thinking that is where I saw the doll.
The thing I do not get is why keep the Spirit locked in the Doll, I realise that there would be cultural research needed to help release the spirit of the boy, and 200 year old Gypsy culture experts might not be easy to find, but I for one could not stand by with that doll in my presence and not try and do something for the boy.
He needs to pass over, he is 200 years and a world away from what he knew in life.... I hope he finds rest one day
laniparis on February 26, 2011:
A very well written, compelling read...
I remember seeing this doll on the Kerri-Anne Kennerley show when I was little... If I can remember correctly they had a few technical difficulties (and I think a light blew) while he was on...
prowork from Marietta , Ohio USA on May 11, 2010:
I would want nothing to do with that doll.
Nell Rose from England on May 03, 2010:
Hi, MarkHall, I came across this hub, purely because I was looking for hubs to link to my gypsy story, and well done, you have managed to creep me out! lol What a fantastic story, one of the best that I have read on Hubpages. I love these sort of stories, and am very interested in the supernatural. Whether it is psychosomatic, or whether it really does hold the soul of a poor drowned boy, I would not have it in my house! I am quite scientific about things like this, and it probably is mass hysteria, but who knows? thank you for making my day. this was great. Now I have to go to bed and get more creeped out thinking about it! thanks nell
Mark Halliday (author) from Australia on July 09, 2009:
What a wonderful soul you are - thank you. :)
Useful Knowledge on July 09, 2009:
Mark, I am sure your talent will be discovered. Please keep me up to date.
Mark Halliday (author) from Australia on July 08, 2009:
Thank you Christine - as a point of interest, the video was made after the host of the program read my article and invited me to meet with him - my name appeared in the original televised closing credits - just a bit of trivia on how it all came together :)
christine almaraz from colorado springs on July 08, 2009:
That is creepy. Very well written by the way.
Mark Halliday (author) from Australia on July 08, 2009:
Thank you for your very kind words - I have two novels, unfortunately they are both out of print.
What you read above is absolutely true - I remember interviewing the owner of the doll over the phone - we lived in different states at the time, and after the interview I had to organise a photographer that lived in his area to take some photos for the article I was writing.
It took three attempts before I actually got someone to take the photos.
Each photographer I sent to the assignment would back out of the job stating the doll was evil.
As for my writing - I'm hoping a publisher will pop along one day, read my articles and offer to publish them in book format.
One can always dream. :)
Useful Knowledge on July 08, 2009:
I love your hubs. Do you have any novels? If so, I would buy them. You have such a knack for paranormal writing.
Your talents shines through your work.
This story is creepy. I felt goosebumps while reading it. Nevertheless, I couldn't stop.
Joilene Rasmussen from United States on June 09, 2009:
I know what the "owner" means about the doll's face changing expression...I've seen dolls and even stuffed animals do that. I don't keep those, for the most part, at least the ones that glare or stay sullen a lot.
If the people who have lived with and visited this doll truly believe it houses the soul of a six-year-old boy, why don't they find a way to release the soul, so it can either go to rest or "live" on its own? I wonder, would destroying the doll be enough to release it, or would it then go into another object, having to abide somewhere physical because of the seeming dictates of its father?
Mark Halliday (author) from Australia on June 03, 2009:
I agree. But the owner is making money from having the doll - so I guess the poor little spirit is going to stay trapped.
Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on June 03, 2009:
Another interesting story and that doll is creepy, but I guess it could grow on you. It is sad if a young child is trapped inside, somehow, someway his soul should be released. Could you imagine the pain and suffering? :)
AlexK2009 from Edinburgh, Scotland on April 26, 2009:
Agreed about the creepy look. There used to be a wooden statue in the Hermitage of Braid caused dogs to bark at it. It was modern and carved by an art student around 1985 as I recall. It looked creepy. It was in the picnic area and after it was removed the number of people using the picnic area seemed to increase.
Mark on April 26, 2009:
Thanks for the comment Alex. Whatever anyone makes of the story, you have to admit he's a creepy looking doll.
AlexK2009 from Edinburgh, Scotland on April 26, 2009:
Strange things happen. This reminds me of the tales of the moving statue of Ballinspittle which thousands saw moving but apparently never really movd. Some of the events mentiond here could be due to suggestion and others, assuming the facts are as stated are a little unsettling. I have no theory abou this one at present
hurricane on January 07, 2009:
hi i thank yo are raet about it