There is something strange and unsettling around certain dolls (to find out why that may be, you can check out this post). You may have heard of Robert the Doll and Annabelle the doll, but have you heard of Mandy? Mandy is a porcelain doll, believed to have been constructed in the early 20th century, specifically sometime between 1910-1920. She was donated, with much surprise, to the Quesnel Museum in British Columbia in 1991.
The Quesnel Museum is not a paranormal museum, a doll museum, or a toy museum. It is a small, local museum in British Columbia that centers on the community of Quesnel and shares its space with the visitors center. Mandy first came to, as the museum staff says, “live here” in 1991. Her doll clothing was far from prim and proper, parts of her limbs were ripped, and her little porcelain head had cracks in it. Now, this isn’t unheard of for a doll that is close to 100 years old...but how did she end up there?
The donor, who remains anonymous to this day, had several chilling experiences and wanted to get rid of Mandy. Not wanting to destroy the historical doll that had survived so much, she didn’t just want to throw Mandy away. The donor came to the end of their rope one night when they heard chillingly loud cries in the middle of the night. The donor got up and traveled to where the sound was coming from when they realize the sound was radiating from the basement, where the doll had been kept for some time.
There was no baby in the home.
After hours of trying to ignore the noise, the donor realized they had to stop the shrieks. They mustered all the courage they could and ran down the basement stairs. Once at the bottom of the stairs, they see nothing is amiss in the room beside an open window. Shockingly, Mandy was nowhere to be found.
But, she made her return the next morning.
Shaken and at the end of the rope but still not wanting to throw away the doll, the owner drove to the Quesnel Museum. While she shared the brief story of her final night, the only other detail the donor gave was scant at best.
Part of me wonders what would prevent the donor from just throwing Mandy away, burning her, or simply getting rid of her and not donating her to a museum. Although it is a historical object, it wasn’t necessarily unique or recognizable, nor was it in the best shape. Why would the donor feel compelled to ‘keep’ her ‘alive’ in some way? Was it just in reaction to preservation? Or, was Mandy herself exercising some strange will over the donor to preserve her own ‘life.’
The museum notes that soon after they required Mandy but before they placed her in a specific display, “weird and unexplained events; lunches would disappear from the refrigerator, and be later found tucked away in a drawer; footsteps were heard when no one is around; pens, books, pictures, and who knows what else would go missing, some never to be found and others which would turn up later. Of course, it was passed off as the staff being more absent-minded than usual.”
It took a bit of time for Mandy to pick her spot because, once again, there seems to be a strange influence or power exerted by Mandy to pick where she would like to be and seems to have rejected the first few placements. First, they had her in a chair ‘greeting’ the visitors, although visitors complained or shared feelings of being watched, uncomfortable, or even disturbed by the doll. So, the museum moved her into a case with other dolls but, according to rumor, she began ‘hurting’ the other dolls. Perhaps out of jealousy or an unwillingness to be anything but the center of attention.
Finally, she found her choice spot in a private display away from other dolls.
According to Helly Star, “One of them admitted that once Mandy fell awkwardly on the floor, real blood flowed from his head and several cracks appeared. Ruth Stubbs is a very Cartesian person, but faced with the scale of the phenomena, she decided to contact a retired curator known to have the gift of perceiving vibrations by touching objects. When he took the doll in his hands, he felt cold chills all over his body, and urged the curator of the Quesnel Museum to contact the former owner, to get more information about Mandy.”
One of the strangest events was also reported on by the Helly Star, “Thinking that she was alone in her window, the employees decided to buy him a little sheep to keep him company, but the next day they found him at the foot of the window while the latter was closed. In any case since her arrival, she has never hurt anyone and never has anyone.”
However, while Mandy has done some disturbing things and even thrown a tantrum or two she has never shown negative aggression or violence towards humans. In fact, it even seems she pranks or plays with people (the missing lunches are a great example of this).
The above image is not a photo of Mandy the Doll by Florian Lehmuth, entitled bisque doll. Liscensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).