Thanks to Robbo Hudson for sharing these images. Click on the image to enlarge
40 years ago my father-in-law came across this doll in a dime store in America. It was displayed surrounded by old pictures of itself taken years before. On the floor in front of the display was a red line. The display had a sign saying this:
“In 1888 this doll was given to Cedric Argyle of London. The doll Had previously been used in no fewer than 68 exorcisms. Reverend Thomas Blythe and his friend Mr.Argayus Brown used the doll in exorcisms when mischievous spirits haunted the stately homes and staff quarters of the gentry all over England. Thomas had often commented on the doll looking at him on numerous occasions and blinking or smiling. After a time the doll was finally photographed by a friend. When it was photographed again some 20 minutes later the photographer said he noticed the doll seemed to smile and it spooked him. No one took much notice until the plates were developed and the photographs revealed the face had actually changed!
All the people that viewed the photographs were amazed at the difference and put it down to the lost souls unfortunately being trapped inside the doll.
During the exorcism the doll had been used to distract the spirit by being offered up as a plaything. Mr. Brown made the assumption that whilst the banishing of the spirit from the house it was haunting, it somehow had entered the doll trapping itself! Over the next few years the doll was photographed by thousands of people and now resides here after being sold to the dime store by Mr Brown’s Grandson. Since being here, customers have stood on the red line and took 2 pictures of the doll one after the other and your advised to inspect these once developed. Almost every time the 2 photographs have different looking facial expressions. Sometimes looking like a boy…sometimes a girl! sometimes smiling….sometimes sad…
The doll was passed to me and eventually ended up on display for 7 years in the MUSEUM OF CURIOS Cornwall until 2007. Again it was photographed thousands of times by digital cameras with the same results. It was a favourite amongst customers beating the collection of shrunken heads in popularity! The doll is incredible. I can honestly say I have never come across anything quite like it. I’m not superstitious or a believer in ghosts or spirits per-se but I have witnessed the changes when photographed and filmed.
My conclusion was that subtle light changes or movement of the camera angle etc made the face appear different….maybe? The doll is made of cloth and what looks like real glass eyes. I have never seen eyes like this in a doll before. ruely life like and I hesitate to say quite spooky! It is around 9 inches long and delicate. This is definitely not for playing with and should be displayed in a temperature controlled environment