Creepy But Lucrative: Haunted Dolls Are Becoming Big Business Online

As strange as it may sound, there is actually a market for haunted dolls online, and people are dusting off old toys in hopes of getting a piece of this creepy but lucrative business.

There’s even a guide on eBay instructing people on how to buy and sell haunted items online. Trumpeting the guide as “common sense,” the writer recommends such safeguards as never buying an item without some sort of documentation of its supernatural abilities to always keeping sea salt and holy water on hand to bless your home with — as well as a dire warning against making an impulse buy of a haunted item.

“Please do not purchase any haunted items unless you are willing and able to deal with the consequences it may bring into your life.”

Jak Hutchcraft, who writes for Vice, explained in an interview with NPR that he stumbled across the phenomenon of selling haunted dolls while surfing the “Everything Else” section of eBay.

“There was an advert for something which was a sadistic, perverted, haunted doll,” Hutchcraft says. “It was this little, menacing-looking sort of troll.” The ad included a warning that the doll should be bought only by “experienced, adult collectors,” and explained that the doll was possessed by a male demon, and constantly shed its own clothes no matter how many times she was dressed. The ad also claimed that the haunted doll was “sexually abusive” towards other dolls.

And yet, the bids for the sexually abusive, haunted doll kept going higher, and it sold for more than $1,400.

Intrigued by the whole idea that not only were people selling haunted dolls online, but that there were people willing to pay hefty sums for said haunted dolls, Hutchcraft decided to do some investigating of the creepy market and the sellers that drive it.

To begin with, Hutchcraft reached out to Nancy Oyola, an online seller located in New Jersey who sells haunted dolls on her Etsy page, claiming she inherited more than 300 such items from her psychic grandmother, who passed way at the age of 102. Hutchcraft asked her why someone would buy a haunted doll.

“People are fascinated by them. Many people who work with black or white magic are in need of a particular spirit to help them with their spells and rituals, so I can help.”

And it seems as though her buyers believe her to be legitimate, as the buyer feedback from those who purchased their haunted dolls from Oyola is positive.

In fact, Oyola explained, buyer feedback, along with a spooky story to go with the dolls, are about the only guarantees a seller can offer, although some sellers are able to pair their haunted dolls with EVP (electronic voice phenomena) readings.

Jayne Harris has also made a rather big name for herself in the market of haunted dolls and possessed toys, selling at least one haunted doll a week to the growing community of people who are in the market for such an item. Harris, however, explains that people don’t “buy” haunted dolls — they “adopt them,” as if rather than owning the object, they want to give the spirit inside it a loving home.

“There are some people who are interested because they don’t have children of their own,” Harris explained. “They ask if I’ve come across any spirited children that are in limbo. There’s a lot of pressure on me to get it right. I don’t give them out to just anybody.”

Other purchasers are often members of paranormal investigation groups in search of props to take along with them during investigations.

But before you jump online in order to buy your very own haunted doll, the Common Sense Guide To Buying & Selling Haunted Items on eBay has a final warning.

“Have a plan of action of how you are to dispose of the item if it starts wreaking havoc in your home! Some of the activity we have witnessed from haunted items [is] banging on walls, scratching noises, walking sounds, moans, knocking, whispering, displaced objects, bed shaking, scents, ectoplasm…”

Who doesn’t have a plan in place for an ectoplasm situation?

There’s just something about old dolls, with their glassy eyes and cracked faces and matted tangles of hair, that makes them seem frightening. And with movies ranging from the cult-classic Chucky to the “based on real events” Annabelle, there are plenty of horror stories to bolster the creep-factor of dolls and play on people’s fearful fascination with them. And one Scottish woman could certainly go into business for herself, as she claims her own dolls are so haunted that she has to hire a babysitter when she is away — and has done so ever since one of her dolls set fire to her house when alone. For more on her strange story, click here.

[Image via scpr]

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