13 Days of Halloween Tales of Terror: The Haunted Doll

Tue, 10/24/2023 - 8:00am

Welcome to our 6th Tale of Terror from Charles Turek Robinson’s fantastic book, The New England Ghost Files (Covered Bridge Press, 1994). 


“The Haunted Doll” 

Location: Cape Cod, MA

Number of witnesses: 2

Interview date: 12/92

Charles and Catherine Hodges are known throughout southeastern New England as two of the most professional and knowledgeable antique dealers in the business. Catherine holds a Master’s degree in antique porcelains from a prestigious art school. Charles has extensively traveled Europe studying various types of antiques.

The couple’s Cape Cod home also serves as their place of business. The lower floor of their lovely Cape-style house is filled with numerous exquisite antiques for sale. It was in this house, in the summer of 1988, that Charles and Catherine experienced a bizarre series of occurrences centered around a newly acquired antique.

“We purchased a rare and lovely antique china doll from a Cape Cod dealer,” says Catherine. “The piece was about a hundred years old and quite valuable. We originally bought the doll to resell, but she was so beautiful that I decided to keep her. She had a delicate white porcelain face with hints of red on her cheeks and lips. Her eyes were set in blue glass, and her head was topped with beautiful swirling black curls. I really fell in love with her.” 

Catherine’s fond feelings for the doll would soon change. Within a week of bringing the piece home, a series of inexplicable events convinced the Hodges that there was something very wrong with the doll - something not quite of this world.

“Catherine kept the doll propped on a chair in our upstairs bedroom,” Charles indicates. “One morning, while I was downstairs in the kitchen having my coffee and reading the paper, I suddenly noticed that the doll was sitting on the chair next to me. I wondered why Catherine had brought the doll downstairs, and I called up to the bedroom and asked her. She seemed totally surprised and said that she hadn’t brought down the doll at all.”

Since Catherine and Charles are the only ones living in the house, there seemed to be no logical explanation. For a while, each of them thought the other was playing a joke. 

“I put the doll back up in the bedroom on the chair,” says Catherine. “Each morning, I couldn’t help noticing that the doll seemed to have a slightly shifted position, but at first I (attributed) that to my imagination.”

Over the next few weeks, Catherine became increasingly apprehensive about the doll. She knew it was silly, but she was certain that the doll’s position on the chair was slightly changed each morning. She finally became so unnerved that she boxed up the doll and placed it in the closet.

“I would have thought I was losing my mind,” she says, “except that Charles began to experience strange things, too.”

“One night,” Charles indicates. “Catherine was downstairs going over some paperwork. I was up in the bedroom. All of a sudden, I heard a terrible racket - loud banging sounds - coming from the closet. When I opened the door, I found that the doll was on the closet floor, out of its box. That seemed impossible because Catherine had tightly taped the box closed. Anyway, I boxed up the doll again and stored it back on the closet shelf. I tried to convince myself that there was a rational explanation, but still felt a little shaken.”

Later that night, both Catherine and Charles witnessed something that convinced them it was time to dispose of the doll. The couple was sitting up in bed watching television, when suddenly they saw something bizarre.

“We watched in (astonishment) as a young girl - maybe eight or nine - walked slowly past our bedroom door,” Charles remembers. “She had long blonde hair and was wearing a white dress. The strangest thing is that she was carrying the doll. I rushed out into the hallway, but the girl had vanished. The china doll, though, was lying heaped on the hallway floor.”

The couple drove the doll to the town dump the following morning.

“We were acting impulsively - out of fear,” Catherine indicates. “But now we wonder if maybe we did the wrong thing, because that doll was certainly destroyed at the dump. Perhaps it’s something that should have been studied by the right people. We talked to one of our friends - a professor at Boston University - and he believes our account because he knows we would never risk our reputations with such an outrageous story if it weren’t true. He thinks that, for reasons impossible to know, the doll was obviously haunted. The spirit of some little girl we saw passing in the bedroom hallway - is somehow still associated with the doll and is able to (manipulate) it. We now wish we could have found out more before we threw the doll away.”

Do you have a spooky story? Maybe you grew up in a haunted house or saw a UFO? Perhaps you’ve encountered a Bigfoot on a lonely trail? If so, please contact me at lisa.f.matthews@gmail.com - I’d love to hear your story. And if you enjoy mysterious stories like the ones featured in the 13 Days of Halloween Tales of Terror, look for our Mysterious Harbor Electric Bike and Walking Tours starting in Spring 2024.