The story you are about to read is true. It is based on real events – my personal experiences since winning eBay’s most infamous haunted doll in an auction in June of 2004, as well as what has happened to those who have had encounters with the doll. I’ve also adapted the texts and Facebook messages of those claiming to have been affected by the doll. Many of the names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved. A number of people have stated having had adverse reactions simply by looking at a picture of the doll, reading my blog, or posts I’ve written on Facebook. Not everyone has, of course, but I feel I must warn you in advance that I cannot be held responsible if you are affected physically, mentally, or emotionally from reading this book.
If you have ever researched or looked into haunted dolls on the web, chances are you have come across Haunted Harold. With that being said, Harold has an extensive history. The doll was manufactured around the turn of the century and is made of composite particles, plaster and water. The manufacturer is unknown at this time. You can tell the doll has been, and forgive my pun, through hell and back. The doll has been owned by people around the world. All of the previous owners have reported strange occurrences, such as voices, slight movement and changes in facial expression. Headaches, migraines, back pain and unexplained injuries have also been reported while in its presence. The doll has also been blamed for the death of two people. The doll being responsible for these deaths is still up to speculation, the truth may never be known….
Harold’s current owner, Anthony Quinata, bought the doll on eBay in 2004. After experiencing some paranormal activity, Anthony put the doll in storage from 2005-2013. We were contacted by Anthony to provide an understanding of what type of entity inhabits the doll. After an initial interview we decided to go to an undisclosed location and perform an EVP/Ovilus session. During the investigation, the Ovilus had numerous hits on the words “worry” and “guilt.” Our EVP picked up on many different voices accompanied by screaming and laughter.
While reviewing a short EVP session we conducted on our first meeting with Harold, our lead investigator became ill. Plagued with a migraine headache, severe lower back pain, and the feeling of being disorientated, the investigator had reason to believe he was being attacked. After our lead recovered, it was decided to delay the release of the evidence that was collected on Harold. It was also determined not to further pursue any other investigations with Harold and Anthony at this time.
There is reason to believe the doll is inhabited by many spirits. Due to the evidence collected, we believe there is a malevolent entity that may be attached to the doll, disguising itself as many spirits. Anthony was informed of our findings and we wish him the best of luck with Harold. Hopefully, Harold will find his peace…. Lockdown Paranormal http://www.lockdownparanormal.com
My name is “Jane.” I live in Australia with my husband and two sons, the oldest of whom, “Vincent,” is moderate to severely autistic.
I was not, and still am not, the slightest bit interested in anything having to do with the paranormal. I was interested in learning how to sew cloth toys, so I went onto YouTube to find a tutorial on how to do just that.
God knows how I got on to the weird side of YouTube, but Annabelle was where I ended. I had never even heard of her before that but felt compelled to click and watch a short story on her. Then, at the side, I saw Harold!
He sure grabs your attention and draws you in. I think it was almost a sense of pity…, but also a feeling of wanting to know more. A need to know his story. He’s not a kind of thing you look at once on a page and move on. He makes you stop and look twice.
I clicked on the video clip, but to be honest I didn’t really listen to it too much (it was one with just a still picture of Harold). After that, I’m not sure… I think the phone rang or [my husband] came home, but I forgot about it and carried on with the day. Come to think of it, I don’t think my computer has worked properly since.
It would have been a few hours after I first seen the clip that Vincent saw it as well. I don’t really remember how we both got to being back in front of the screen. I think he wanted to play reading eggs or something, but I know his reaction was instant. He just stopped in his tracks, looked, did a double take, and looked again, which is unusual for him with his autism. Then he became instantly upset.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment was the beginning of what would be a roller coaster of events that would make my family’s life a living hell. It was like watching a programme on the television. As Anthony likes to say, “A real life nightmare,” only you’re awake. People may not believe, or think it’s real, but until it consumes you, and becomes your life, you have no idea. I think, this experience with the doll, it’s made not just me but all of us [in my family] that little more aware. There is a lot more to this world than we know and understand.
I’m still trying to get my head around what happened. It all feels so surreal.
Nothing in our lives will ever be the same or taken for granted. Yeah, I still keep looking at my two beautiful boys, hugging them that little bit tighter!
“Jane” (name changed at her request)
When this doll was offered on eBay, back in 2003, I wasn’t aware of the infamous “Haunted Harold.” I didn’t know about the claims made by Greg, the original seller of the doll, that were so bizarre and outrageous, Harold was discussed on Art Bell’s Coast to Coast radio show. Paranormal websites were discussing this doll around the world. At least one news article was written about the doll.
Years later, Greg admitted that he made up the things he wrote in his listing hoping to make a few more dollars. In other words, the whole thing was a hoax.
What Greg wrote may have been the product of his fertile imagination, but the story you’re about to read is true. It starts from the time I won the doll on eBay in 2004, and continues to this day, in 2015.
One question I’m often asked is, “What proof do you have that what you’re saying about the doll is true?”
I usually answer that question with one of my own, “How do you define proof?” Dictionary.com defines the word as – Evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth. 2. Anything serving as such evidence:
Now let’s take a look at the definition of the word, “evidence.”
That which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
Something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign.
A video of the doll “moving” would be, to many people, proof that the doll is haunted. A video could also be a camera trick, fishing line, or “invisible thread.” I’ve seen magicians (entertainers) do it. Does that mean that what I’m seeing is “proof ” of a haunting? Of course not.
Things move, appear, and disappear, during poltergeist cases. Parapsychologists will tell you that in those cases, “ghosts” aren’t the source of the activity. The human mind is.
In the “Philip Experiment,” a table they were using to conduct séances on literally moved on its own, chasing one of the experimenters in full view of others with no one near it. Is that proof that there was a “spirit” present? No, because the ghost was a creation, made up in the minds of the experimenters.
I haven’t shared much of the “evidence” I’ve collected concerning Harold before now. I wanted to avoid the so-called, “Philip effect.”
Another reason is that I was constantly getting people’s (especially psychic’s) opinions all of the time. Unless what they said lined up with what I knew to be true, I wasn’t accepting it. When I asked two psychics how I can verify what they were telling me they both said that I simply needed to agree to take their assessment at face value. Thanks, but no thanks.
So called “scientific investigations” of hauntings often use technology that was never designed to detect ghosts in the first place. And those devices that were designed to do so are “experimental” and designed for research purposes, at best.
Hauntings are human encounters. An anomalous reading on an EMF, without a human experience is just that… an irregularity. It’s not “proof,” or even “evidence,” of a ghost. So the question isn’t, “Can I prove Harold is haunted?” but, “Am I trying to prove the doll is haunted?”
The answer to the first question is, “It depends on how you define the word ‘haunted.’”
My response to the second question is, “No.” I’m not trying to prove that it’s haunted—to anyone. I do have enough evidence to convince me that something is going on. The question in my mind is, “What?”
Is the doll really haunted?
Is it cursed?
Is it possessed?
All of the above?
Whatever is going on, how did what caused this to happen… happen?
Ultimately, the question in my mind is, “What I can do to stop what’s apparently going on?”
I have personally been attacked by the energy contained in the doll, and have been an eyewitness to the things that happened to others. I’ll also share a few of the many stories told to me in person, emails, and texts, by the people who experienced them, in this book.
Another question I’m often asked is why I wanted the doll in the first place. I didn’t. I’ll share with you how I ended up with the doll. However, if I’d known then what I know now, I would have left well enough alone. I would never have bid on that doll in the first place.
Finally, I want to say that in many of the chapters, especially those involving a family in Australia, what I’m going to share with you is from messages I received on Facebook Messenger. If that’s the case, I’ve italicized the text in order to keep the tone of what was said intact, and in “real time.”
I did rephrase messages, making corrections for spelling, grammar, and reading ease.
For purposes of privacy, many of the names in this book have been changed.
“CAN SOMEONE HELP ME WITH THIS?”
Phyllis was an R.N. in the psychiatric ward of a large hospital in Southern California. Because of the patients Phyllis worked with, she and her staff were permitted to wear costumes on Halloween, but they were not allowed to wear masks.
Halloween night, 2003, she had a small digital camera with her and was taking pictures of her nursing team in their costumes. An LPN walked by, whom she only knew well enough to say “hello” to in passing. Phyllis asked her to take a photo of the entire group. The nurse agreed, took a couple of pictures of the group, handed the camera back, and walked away. When Phyllis took a look at the images, she was stunned to see someone was wearing a disguise.
“Who has the mask?” she demanded to know. Whoever it was wasn’t admitting it, so she searched the women’s purses, and made the men show her that they weren’t concealing one. It turns out they were telling the truth. But someone was wearing one. Whoever it was could clearly be seen in the picture peering over the shoulder of one of the male nurses.
She posted the picture on the Internet, asking, “Can someone help me with this?” I wrote to her saying that, to me, it was pretty obvious what happened. Someone walked by as the picture was being taken and stopped to include themselves in the picture.
Within minutes she wrote back. “The doorway that figure is in doesn’t lead to a hallway,” she wrote, “but a small office. There’s no way anyone could have snuck in behind us without us seeing them.”
“That’s weird,” I thought, so I wrote her back asking if she would send me copies of the images so I could look at them. To make sure she’d do it, I told her that I’d be happy to reimburse her for the amount it cost to mail them to me. A few days later, a large manila envelope came in the mail from California; inside were copies of the pictures she had posted online. She included a note saying that I was the only person who responded to her request.
One of the first things I noticed was that in most of the pictures, everyone posed in front of the clock on the wall in the small office area. I could see the clock in the photos that the LPN had taken. The entire time between the first photo and the last one was around 11 minutes, so the pictures were taken one after another.
I took the images to a local photography store and had the photo with the masked faced enlarged so I could see it better. I also asked that the image be reversed, so it would be the equivalent of a “negative.” Examining the enlarged versions I could see the skin folds under the eyes. I ruled out the possibility of it being a mannequin’s head. I was stunned to see that there was no sclera (white) in the eyes. I could see the pupils of its eyes, but the areas surrounding the pupils were dark.
The mask itself reminded me of the monster in the movie, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” It was clearly a mask, but had a reptilian look to it. The nurse he was standing behind was dressed in a vampire costume and had his right arm extended, holding up his cape. All that could be seen was the mask and part of his neck.
Since I have family out in the Los Angeles area, I decided to pay them a visit, with the idea of killing two birds with one stone. I contacted Phyllis, told her of my plan and asked if I could come by while I was out there. I told her that I wanted to talk to her, and her staff. She agreed, as long as I was discreet about it. I assured her I would be and booked a flight to Los Angeles.
When I arrived at the hospital, Phyllis told me that she was told by her supervisor that she was driving everyone crazy, talking about what happened that night and taking pictures hoping to capture whatever it was on that pic again. She was told to stop or risk losing her job. Unfortunately, because of this, no one on her staff was too keen about talking to me, except for one—Tony. He was wearing the vampire outfit with a gold costume jewelry necklace that had a red “crystal” in the middle.
“Do you think what showed up in the picture had anything to do with the necklace I was wearing?” he asked me. “After all, it was standing next to me.”
I asked him about it. He told me he borrowed it from a friend of his who was an antiques dealer. The merchant purchased the necklace from an estate sale during the early 1960s, and believed it was from the 1940s.
I had heard of objects being haunted before, but hadn’t investigated one, so I was intrigued. “It’s possible,” I told him, “but I won’t know until I do an investigation of it. Do you think she’d sell it to me?”
“I’ll ask her,” he said, and called her on the phone. “She said she’ll sell it to you. If it’s haunted, she doesn’t want it anyway.” Tony and I laughed.
I asked him if she said how much she wanted.
On my way back home, my flight was delayed so I wanted to ask someone at the gate how long the wait would be. I had the trinket with me in my backpack. There was someone in front of me, and the woman behind the counter was all smiles, and extremely helpful. After she was done helping that passenger, and he walked away, I walked up to the counter. She looked up at me and scowled. Without a word, she walked away.
There was another line next to me, but I didn’t want to go to the back of that line, and have to wait all over again. I might as well have because apparently the woman who walked away was on a break. She didn’t return for about 15 minutes. Instead of asking me, “How may I help you?” she looked at me and said, “What do you want?”
I chalked it up my newly acquired piece of jewelry, whatever energy it might be holding. I hoped for the best when I finally did get on the plane.
THE THIRD BRIDGE
Back in Denver, Melissa, a member of my ghost hunting team, asked me to check out “The Third Bridge” with her. It was supposedly the site where Indians massacred several settlers living in the area. I wasn’t really interested, but when she told me that no one else she knew had the guts to go there, I agreed.
A full moon lit the sky, making it easier to see, but every time the clouds would overshadow the moon, the region around us became pitch black. As soon as I got out of the car, I felt a deep chill that had nothing to do with the air, so I took a picture. The moon was behind the clouds. In the flash, I could clearly see that there was nothing in front of me. In the LCD I saw what appeared to be a woman carrying a baby on her hip. The baby looked like it had a green Mohawk.
A few more occurrences happened that night. I heard the sound of footsteps walking towards me, from behind, crunching on the gravel of bridge I was standing on. I thought it was Melissa, but when I turned around, no one was there.
Later, I heard a female talking to me. Thinking it was Melissa, I turned around, and saw she was sitting in my car, a good quarter of a mile away. I walked down to the car and told her what just happened. She said that she heard someone too, but it was a male voice. She thought it was me talking to her and replied, “I’m looking at the pictures I just took.” before looking up and seeing I wasn’t standing in front of her.
It didn’t take long before I became bored, losing complete interest in why we were there. I did think the night sky was so beautiful that I decided to take a few pictures of the full moon and the clouds that surrounded it. I also shot a couple of images in “negative” mode.
Before I went home that night I bought a meal at a hamburger place and was looking at the pictures on the camera’s LCD, deleting most of them. I did keep pictures of the moon I thought were “artistic.” I noticed on a couple of images what appeared to be a dot I couldn’t explain next to the moon. I was curious as to what the speck was, so I kept them to view later on my computer. When I did I was stunned to clearly see the angry face of a Native American with a Mohawk, looking toward his left. I could even see pock marks in his face.
The next image, which I shot as a “negative,” showed the terrified face of an older Caucasian male. I went outside and took more pictures of the moon that night, but I was never able to replicate those images. It made me wonder if the pendant was somehow able to, psychokinetically, imprint images simply thought about into digital pictures. It would explain the picture of the “man” in the mask that appeared on Halloween.
A few nights later, I was meeting with members of the team I founded, The Rocky Mountain Ghost Hunters Alliance, for dinner. We were going to investigate a school that was supposedly haunted later that night. I showed them the images I had captured earlier, and shared my theory regarding the pendant.
“Have any of you seen the haunted painting on eBay,” Melissa asked.
“There’s a haunted picture on eBay?” I asked, stunned. I’d been on eBay many times buying collectible coins, but this was the first time I had ever heard of anything “haunted” being auctioned. I couldn’t believe it. To me this changed the game… after all, what is a haunted house, other than a huge haunted, object?
“Instead of me going to where hauntings were supposedly happening, I could bring them to me!” I thought to myself.
The next day I went onto eBay, put the word “haunted” into the search and sure enough, there were hundreds of listings. I decided to refine my search, so I typed in,
• Haunted antiques
• Haunted clocks
• Haunted paintings
• Haunted mirrors
• Haunted dolls
I wondered if there was any truth in any of the seller’s claims, so I placed bids on a number of items. That’s how I ended up on eBay, and ultimately owning “Haunted Harold”—eBay’s Most Infamous Haunted Doll.
Kathy lived in Dublin at the time she won the auction, but planned to be in New York to attend her aunt’s upcoming wedding, and to go on a cruise to Bermuda with her fiancé, Rick. She met with Greg in Manhattan two weeks before the cruise to get the doll. Seeing it for the first time, she was surprised at how large it was. Greg handed the doll to her in a Duane Reade drugstore bag. Rick, her fiancé, wasn’t happy about the whole thing. He let her know that he thought she had paid way too much on it. Kathy says that she didn’t believe that the doll was cursed, but wanted to use it to learn how to do doll restoration. When Rick saw Harold he had to agree that it would be a doll that Kathy could learn a lot from.
Shortly after receiving the doll she began to experience some coincidences and “strange things” happening to her and her family. Kathy and Rick put the doll in the trunk of their rental car and left it there until her aunt asked if she could see the doll. The idea that it was supposedly haunted struck her as hysterical.
The next day her aunt called Kathy asking that she pick her up at work. Her back had gone out and she couldn’t walk. Kathy’s aunt was diagnosed with a herniated disc and put on bedrest until her wedding.
The very next day, the back of the groom-to-be went out. The chiropractor who diagnosed her aunt, made a diagnosis of a herniated disc with him as well.
Then, Kathy’s back went out. The chiropractor probably wondered what was going on with this family, but no doubt enjoyed the income these strange coincidences brought him.
On the day of the wedding, the hairdresser for the bride and bridesmaids was a no show. The wedding cake fell apart and the groom made his vows in a wheelchair.
Kathy and her fiancé Rick had planned to go on their cruise with Kathy’s aunt and her new husband a week after their wedding. Just days before they were supposed to go, Kathy received a phone call from her aunt. She and her new husband weren’t going to be able to go on the cruise because they both developed bronchitis and strep throat. Kathy’s aunt had also been stricken with shingles. According to Kathy, it never occurred to her that all of these things might have had anything to do with the doll.
Before she and Rick left on the voyage to Bermuda from New York someone suggested to her that it might be interesting to bring Harold with her as it’s supposedly cursed and she was going into the notorious “Bermuda Triangle.” She brought the doll with her in the same bag she received it in. They checked in and watched her three pieces of luggage go on board the ship. When they made it to their room, their luggage wasn’t there. By noon that day, the crew were able to find two of the bags, which had Rick’s clothes, but not his shoes. Kathy’s luggage containing all of her clothes, and shoes (with the exception of the change of clothes she had in a carry on), were still missing. Her toiletries, toothbrush, clothes to change into, shoes (she boarded the ship wearing sandals that were uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time), bathing suit, formal wear, her camera, were nowhere to be found. Despite what the crew said was an “extensive” search for her luggage, they were unable to find it. She spent the entire cruise wearing two outfits. Sadly, she missed the formal events she was looking forward to attending on board the ship.
Ten minutes before they were getting off the ship when it returned to New York, Kathy was called by the Purser’s desk. Her luggage was finally located. It was dropped off by a man who shared a small room with three friends and said the bag was in their room throughout the entire cruise. Rick was understandably upset, as was Kathy but, again, it never occurred to either of them that it might have had anything to do with the “cursed doll” Kathy had with her.
When Kathy and Rick returned to Kathy’s aunt’s house with the doll in tow, her aunt had been pain free without any back issues for two weeks. Suddenly, her back went out again, causing her to end up having to go to the emergency room.
That night, Kathy decided that when the post office opened the next morning, she’d be there waiting. After the fiasco on the cruise, and her aunt ending up in agony shortly after seeing Harold again, she wasn’t taking Harold back to Dublin on a plane. She was shipping him home. She wasn’t going to chance luggage going missing again, or worse still, the plane going down in midflight. She began to believe the doll really was cursed.
A year later, at Rick’s insistence, she put the doll back up for auction, hoping that whomever did win it this time, would know what to do with it.
EBAY’S MOST INFAMOUS HAUNTED DOLL IS BACK
Kathy put the doll up for auction, but the winning bidder failed to honor the deal, so she put it up for auction a second time. That’s when I came across it. I knew nothing about the doll or its stories. What caught my eye was the listing’s title, “Haunted Harold – eBay’s Most Infamous Haunted Doll is Back!” I didn’t see her original listing of the doll, but a reposting of Greg’s listing, and the two videos that Greg had up. It was obvious to me from the “stutter” in the video that what was supposed to be the doll’s lips moving was really nothing more than a camera trick.
The second video was of the doll’s right arm moving up. My first thought was “fishing line.” Watching the videos made me laugh. What did catch my attention though was the auction’s reserve.
A “reserve” is the least amount that the seller will accept for the item. For me, the “reserve” was like a gap in a fence with a sign over it saying, “Don’t look through this hole.” I just had to find out what the amount that she had to have for the doll was. I put in a bid of $300 thinking it would easily get the auction officially started and I was right. I was shocked to see I had an active bid of $295… for a doll I didn’t even want! Based on the number of views from Greg’s auction, and hers, which totaled over 500,000 at that point, I was hoping that someone would outbid me.
Almost immediately I received an email from Kathy asking why I wanted the doll. I wrote back telling her the truth… I really didn’t want it. I was simply curious about how much the reserve was. She sent me another e-mail –
I don’t believe that this doll is haunted. I do believe it’s cursed.