horror

How Annabelle Came Home

A lot of people are afraid of dolls. One of my oldest friends always made me put a sheet over my shelf of porcelain dolls when she came for a sleepover because she was too afraid to look at them. It’s not an uncommon distaste among those who watch horror movies, or even those who don’t.

And for anyone who’s seen the Annabelle movies, it’s quite clear why.

It’s pretty common for horror movies to begin with script scrawling across the screen, noting that the movie is based upon real events. Directors use it to up the fear or general sense of dread in the movie, and in many cases—certainly my own, at least when I first started watching horror—it works. The more horror you watch, though, the less of an effect those warnings have on you. And really, not that many of them are actually true, or if they are, they’re so loosely based on real events they might as well be entirely made up.

Annabelle, however, is a very real doll, and while The Conjuring series has taken several liberties with her story, they don’t stray far.

The Warrens first encountered the Annabelle doll when they were contacted about three friends experiencing some trouble. They were being terrorized by what they insisted was a possessed doll one of them owned.

Photo of the real Annabelle doll, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Photo of the real Annabelle doll, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

One of the friends, Donna, had been gifted the Annabelle doll—which was a Raggedy Ann Doll—by her mother, who had bought it from an antique shop. Donna and her roommate Angie noticed weird things about the doll almost immediately. They reported that it was not just intensely creepy, but it also seemed to move around on its own. Sometimes they would even come home and find it in a completely different room than where they’d left it.

It was also known to move positions, such as standing up when they’d left it sitting down, and it even left them notes saying things such as “help us” and “help Lou”. But things soon escalated, and that was when the Warrens were called in.

The third friend, Lou, was particularly bothered by the doll, and often beseeched Donna to just get rid of it, citing that he really felt that something malevolent was going on. However, Donna had grown attached to the doll, and refused.

Before calling the Warrens, Donna and Angie reached out to a medium. The medium told them that the doll was being haunted by a young girl named Annabelle, who used to live on the property that existed before the apartment complex was built. She died there, and had remained ever since. Through the medium, she told the girls that she felt a sense of comfort and family with them, and that she only wanted to stay and be loved. This appealed to the girls’ compassionate sides, and they invited Annabelle to possess the doll and remain with them forever.

This was, of course, a horrible mistake.

The doll’s actions escalated once again, this time in the form of extreme aggression, particularly targeted towards Lou. He would wake up in the middle of the night to Annabelle in his bed with him, or on top of him and strangling him. One night he even woke up with vicious scratch marks on his body, though they had mysteriously vanished by morning.

Once the Warrens arrived, they conducted an investigation and informed the girls and Lou that “Annabelle” was in fact, not a little girl possessing the doll, but a demonic presence that used the doll as a conduit in the hopes of possessing Donna, Angie, or Lou. And they’d invited it into their lives.

Thankfully, the Warrens had arrived just in time, and Ed and Lorraine took Annabelle off their hands. They had a priest—Father Cooke—cleanse the apartment before leaving and taking the doll with them. However, the violence and havoc this not-so-innocent Raggedy Ann brought with her was far from over.

Photo of part of the Warrens’ Occult Museum courtesy of 826 Paranormal via Flickr

Photo of part of the Warrens’ Occult Museum courtesy of 826 Paranormal via Flickr

While the Warrens were driving—intentionally avoiding the interstate so as to avoid any accidents courtesy of Annabelle—they discovered that the doll was still, despite the blessing from Father Cooke, frighteningly powerful. As they drove, Annabelle repeatedly tried to force the car off the road, or into trees, or into some form of accident or another.

The Warrens did make it home safely, but Annabelle just continued to do the same things she’d done with Donna, Angie, and Lou. She moved easily from room to room, even moving beyond locked doors.

At one point, an exorcist—Father Jason Bratford—came to the house, took one look at Annabelle, and dismissed her power. He shouted that she was just a ragdoll, and couldn’t harm anyone, and then threw her into Ed’s chair.

Later, Father Jason called Lorraine to tell her that he had been involved in a horrible car accident while driving home. He lived, but his vehicle was completely totaled. It turned out that his brakes had failed. Even more eerie, was that he reported having seen Annabelle in the backseat just before he crashed.

After this, the Warrens constructed a case specifically for Annabelle so that her evil would be contained, and she’d no longer be able to hurt anyone. They had it built out of wood and glass, and she remains to this day, in that case, within their Occult Museum. Annabelle doesn’t move anymore, now that she’s trapped in the case, but it would seem she’s still something no one should trifle with.

Upon visiting the Warrens’ museum, and hearing the story of Annabelle, a young man and his girlfriend walked up to Annabelle’s case. The man banged on the glass, inviting Annabelle to prove she really could scratch people, by scratching him. Ed threw the man and his girlfriend out, but the damage was already done. On the way home from the museum, they continued to make fun of Annabelle, before their motorcycle crashed into a tree, killing the boy and hospitalizing the girlfriend for over a year.

Most people now know to respect Annabelle and her power, even if they don’t totally believe. But then again, how could anyone visit the museum, hear these stories, and not believe?


What about you? Do you believe the Annabelle doll is really cursed, or do you think it’s just as series of problems and coincidences explained away by something else? Feel free to drop a comment below, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook!

For the previously written post about Annabelle, see “Annabelle Comes Home: A Review”.


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Maggie Kendall

Maggie Kendall spent the first fifteen years of her life furiously avoiding all things horror, but then her friend forced her to watch Paranormal Activity, and there’s been no turning back. She still checks the bathroom mirror for Bloody Mary before getting in the shower.

The Voices Recommend: Short Horror Films

Recently I have been watching some pretty cool short films on youtube, because I, unfortunately, exhausted my supply of feature films. Most of them, on average, are about fifteen minutes long. But the great thing about short films is that they aren’t spread thin like longer feature films, which means greater attention to detail. Short films also offer more creative freedom and they give talented filmmakers the chance to show their work. So let’s dig in!

1.) The IMom

Directed by Ariel Martin, The IMom is a dark science fiction film that tells of a future in which the work of a mother is done instead by a robot, called the IMom. What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, the immediate result is a detached and lazy biological mother,  who is more interested in her phone than she is her own children. Meanwhile, the eldest son, Sam, is not particularly fond of his real mother or the IMom, even though the IMom is the one cooking for him and helping him memorize the Bible as part of his homework.

Fortunately, the IMom has the Gospel of Matthew installed, so she recites the verses for him:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

There’s a power cut, and IMom seems to glitch for a few moments, before recovering and returning to normal. Then she shares a heartwarming moment with Sam. They talk about the sheep and the wolf again. Sam asks her, which one are you? You look like me, so you must be a sheep like me.

But IMom is neither.  Brace yourself for a horrible twisty ending.

2.) The Top of the Stairs: Agatha

This one is a neat little period piece, but it’s not like Downton Abbey or Poldark.  Agatha, directed by Timothy Vandenberg, is more reminiscent of  2012’s The Woman in Black, and I loved every second of it. We begin in an old house, probably around the early 20th century. A little girl stands in the hallway, where she is asked by a stern-sounding lady if she has come alone, as requested. The lady instructs her that her job is to take food up to the attic, place the food on the table, then leave. She must never, ever walk past the table.

So the little girls goes up into the dark attic with a plate of raw chicken. There’s a figure lying on the bed, who makes this horrible wheezing sound—not reassuring, right? But she manages to put the plate down without incident, then she gets paid for doing so. The little girl does this several more times. The second time the figure is nowhere to be seen, the third time it’s sitting by the window. You’ll have to find out what happens next.  I recommend this one for the sheer creepiness factor and the incredible makeup work. It sent shivers up my spine.

3. And They Watched

Inspired by the reinstatement of the electric chair in Tennessee, Toronto-based director Vivian Lin dives into the topic of capital punishment her gruesome yet thought-provoking film, And They Watched.

A prison janitor goes about his job, numb to the dreadful realities of the place where he works. He cleans the windows that separate the electric chair from its audience, paying no mind to the lives that have been lost there. He’s so divorced from reality that he doesn’t even notice the grisly apparitions following him around. However, the deceased prisoners want retribution.

4.) Dédalo

If you are a fan of the Alien franchise, then Dédalo, directed Jerónimo Rocha, is certainly something to watch. It’s a dark and grimy science fiction horror that takes place aboard a space freighter, which has been overrun by alien creatures. Siena, the main character, must survive in the maze of machinery while avoiding the creatures, who are eating her crewmates.

5.) The Exorcism

This one isn’t so much a horror film, but more of a comedic homage to the 1973 classic, The Exorcist. So, if you have a dark sense of humour, this will give you the giggles at the very least. The Exorcism, by Adam Bolt, explores the surprisingly endearing relationship that has developed over the years between the demon Valak and Jacob, the exorcist on call.  Together they recount all the times they’ve met, telling stories to the bewildered and markedly unimpressed sister of the possessed woman. It’s a wild ride, let me tell you, and absolutely worth a watch.


That’s all we have for now! Let us know what you think about these spooky films in the comments, or give us a shout on twitter @atticvoices!


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Natascha Wood

Say her name three times and she will appear.

Twitter: @oldvvitch

What To Watch On Netflix: February 2019

Starting today, Voices In The Attic will be recommending films and shows from Netflix, Prime, and Shudder, so we can spread the good news about the haunting and horrific stuff we’ve been watching. And this is our very first one! So let us begin the rundown of incredible Netflix content!

  1. Train To Busan [2016]

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I couldn't write about content on Netflix without mentioning South Korean zombie movie, Train to Busan, directed Yeon Sang-ho. This one premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 to some great reviews from both critics and audience members alike, which rarely happens. The plot goes like this: Fund manager Seok-woo boards a train with his young daughter, Su-an, at Seoul Station. The train is heading to the city of Busan, where they intend to visit Su-an’s mother. Unfortunately, as the train leaves, an attendant discovers a woman collapsed by the doors.

The attendant radio’s for help, crucially turning her back to the unresponsive passenger. At that point, the passenger rises from the floor and sets upon the attendant, biting her and transferring a pretty horrifying virus. From that point on, as you would expect, it’s absolute chaos on the train, with survivors separated by cars full of zombies. I almost expected Samuel L. Jackson to show up and yell: “I’ve had it with these motherf#%king zombies on this motherf#%king train!”.


In all seriousness, it’s an incredible movie, with realistic special effects and characters that you can’t help but get invested in. I should also mention that Gong-yoo’s performance as Seok-woo brought me to tears, which is pretty hard to do.

2. The VVitch [2016]

The VVitch, when it came out in 2015, was not just one of the best horror movies to come out that year, but perhaps amongst the greatest horror films of the decade. Not only was The VVitch a box office success, but it also earned critical acclaim for its historic detail, subtle details, and thought-provoking subject matter. The story begins in New England in the 1630s, at which time the British colonies in America are gripped by Puritan fantasticism and witch hysteria. After being banished from the Plymouth colony over a ‘religious dispute’, the family of William and Katherine settle on the edge of a remote forest with their five children: Thomasin, Caleb, Mercy, Jonas, and newborn Samuel. Thomasin goes out to play peekaboo with Samuel, only to have him vanish into thin air while her hands are over her eyes. And they never find him, which causes Katherine to become stricken with grief. William insists that Samuel was taken by a wolf, when in fact it was a horrifying witch.

Anya Taylor-Joy delivers a spell-binding (pun intended) performance as Thomasin, as she bears the brunt of the hysteria from the rest of her family. One can understand why a woman might choose to be a witch in such a tense and oppressive environment, where a family member can turn upon a family member, and women are persecuted without proof. If you love atmospheric, mature horror movies, The VVitch is for you.

3. Errementari: The Blacksmith and The Devil [2017]

In late 2017, one of my personal favourite historical horror films came out, and now that it’s on Netflix, you can watch it too! The film is Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil, directed by Paul Urkijo. It’s an adaption of an old Basque folk-tale, about a Blacksmith who keeps a demon, named Sartael, in a cage to avoid paying a debt to Hell. The blacksmith has the situation under control until an orphan girl shows up.

I won’t spoil the rest of the film for you, however, I will say that it’s a perfect combination of horror and fantasy, with some comedy and wonderful redemption stories. And don’t even get me started on the phenomenal artistry that clearly went into the make-up in this film. I would recommend this film to anyone.

4. The Alienist [2018]

One of my favourite television shows to run in 2018 has got to be The Alienist, originally broadcast on the TNT network before being added to Netflix. It’s an adaption of author Caleb Carr’s crime novel The Alienist, the first book of a series. The series is billed as a psychological thriller, set in 1896, New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt commissions criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper illustrator John Moore to investigate the grisly murders of boy prostitutes. They are joined by Sara Howard, Roosevelt’s secretary and the first woman employed by the NYPD. Over the ten gripping episodes of season one, the trio wade through the dark secrets of New York, inching ever closer to the murderer.

I enjoyed this show from start to finish, and I am eagerly anticipating the return of Dakota Fanning as Sara Howard in the second season and sequel, The Angel of Darkness.

5. The Ritual [2017]

Netflix Original The Ritual came out in 2017, and I was quick to watch it the moment it appeared on the site.  As the banner suggests, the premise of this film is a hiking trip in Sweden, undertaken by four woefully under-equipped friends, who are doing the trip in honour of their late best friend, Rob. They embark upon their trip in the Sarek National Park, and all is going well, until Hutch leads them off on a shortcut and they get lost. And then it gets worse, as it often does on hiking trips. The group soon begin to find runes carved on trees, and savaged animals hanging from branches. There is quite a bit of gore in this one, so don’t go into it if you have a weak stomach, but it’s definitely worth a watch.

6. Diablero [2018]

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Here’s another excellent Netflix original, Diablero, an 8-episode Mexican horror series based on the book El Diablo me obligó by Francisco Haghenbeck. The series follows Father Ramiro Ventura, brother and sister demon hunter duo Elvis and Keta Infante, and Nancy Gama, who can become possessed by demons at will. These four make quite the superhero team. And if you are looking for some awesome female main characters, Diablero certainly outdoes CW’s Supernatural, because none of them die. Wow! What a concept! So press the play button and binge the whole thing in one night.


Tell us what spooky and strange stuff you’ve enjoyed on Netflix, or better yet, recommend us movies and shows to review next time!


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Natascha Wood

Say her name three times and she will appear.

Twitter: @oldvvitch

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