She may seem like just any other ordinary antique doll, but she is much more than that according to the staff at the Quesnel museum, British Columbia, where the Mandy the doll was donated in 1991. Her clothing was dirty, her body was ripped, and her head had cracks in it, although not to be unexpected with a doll some ninety years old. The donor told the staff that Mandy was getting old, was fragile and she did not want her young daughter playing with it and further damaging it.
Some say however that Mandy was haunted because strange things happen whenever Mandy is about.
The curator took hold of the doll, and immediately felt uneasy. She chalked the feeling up to the fact that the doll had an incredibly creepy look to it, not only was its clothing was quite old and faded, the soft, stuffed parts of its body were ripped in places, but most creepy of all was Mandy’s face, it was realistically painted and had glass eyes, but the forehead over the dolls right eyes was cracked, causing the eye to protrude slightly, like it was intently peering at onlookers.
Now it was to be the museum staff and volunteers that were saddled with 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.
Mandy as yet did not have a “home” within the museum. As she sat facing the public entrance-way, visitors would stare, and talk about this doll with the cracked and broken face, and sinister smile. With time, Mandy was moved to another part of the museum and carefully placed in a case by herself because rumor had it that she should not be placed with the other dolls because she would harm them. Since that time, there have been many many stories surrounding Mandy.
In 1992 the Curator, Ruth Stubbs, was asked if she knew of any ghost story surrounding the museum. Never thinking that so much publicity would result when the book “Supernatural Stories Around British Columbia” was released, she wrote the Mandy story. When the book hit the shelves in January of 1999, the story of Mandy became known across Canada within just over a week. The first article appeared in the Prince George Citizen newspaper and soon radio and television stations were scrambling to get a hold of this strange, exciting and now popular story.
Ruth was flooded with calls from all over Canada wanting information and interviews and visitors started coming in droves. Some of these people have had strange experiences with Mandy again. One visitor was videotaping Mandy, only to have the camera light go on and off every 5 seconds. As soon as the camera was on another exhibit, the light on the camera stayed on. Some say that they have seen Mandy’s eyes follow them around the room while others say they have seen Mandy’s eyes blink.
When Mandy was finally placed on display within the museum itself, she was one of the first things visitors would see as they passed the entrance way. Visitors would often complain of feeling uneasy when looking at the doll, saying there seemed to be something incredibly wrong with it. At times photographs taken of the doll would not turn out, they would be blurred or have strange light anomalies present in them.
It got to the point that the uneasiness felt by the visitors had staff placing Mandy further back in the museum, in her own glass display case, however, despite this, every year, people still go to the museum just to see Mandy.
But where did Mandy originate from, and why is she haunted?
The legend behind the doll, is that one night a man had been walking past an abandoned and unoccupied farmhouse, when he thought he heard a child’s crying coming from within the building. He walked up the drive and knocked on the door. No answer.
The crying continued, so he decided to have a look around. He entered the empty farmhouse and discovered the crying came from below his feet. Not knowing how to access the buildings cellar from the inside, he went back outside to find the external entrance. As he opened the storm doors, light illuminated the room, and he made a shocking discovery, the body of a young girl, long dead, laying on the floor, with a doll held in her arms.
It is not known why the girl was in the cellar, whether it had been an accident or as some form of punishment, or even if it had been part of a crime. Regardless, it is believed that when she died, her spirit decided to inhabit the doll.
The museums curator went to see the donor some time later, and was told the real reason that Mandy had been donated. Eventually, after being discovered in the cellar the doll had made it to the house of the donor, but she quickly passed the doll on to the museum, not because her daughter may damage the by now fragile 90-year-old doll, but because of the activity in the house.
The real reason was that when the doll was in her house, the woman could hear a crying coming from the cellar, and when she would go down to investigate, in order to find the source of the crying, she would find nobody there, the cellars window would be open and the doll on the floor. When this began to happen more frequently, she decided to get rid of it and donated it to the Quesnel and District Museum.
From the very first night that the doll was no longer in the donors house, the unexplained crying had stopped abruptly.
By Paul Middleton, source: Ghosts, the paranormal, myths and legends