Finedon in Northamptonshire is home to one of England’s spookiest haunted doll cases, writes RICK HALE
Buying and collecting so-called haunted items appears to be all the rage for paranormal enthusiasts these days.
Folks will spend hours scouring the internet and plucking down their hard earned money for a samurai sword allegedly possessed by the soul of a centuries old Japanese warrior.
Or a hula girl lamp that seems to take on a life of its own and dances its ancient dance of the Hawaiian people.
Those two are a joke of course, but what isn’t a joke, are haunted dolls. And these haunted dolls, creepy as they may be are the haunted items that people really zero in on.
Thanks in part to dolls such as Annabelle, Robert the Doll and Norman the Doll, which is owned by a colleague.
These dolls have convinced the masses that something sinister can possess something so utterly innocent.
Although people these days actively seek these dolls out, that of course hasn’t always been the case. Sometimes people unwittingly buy a doll, or have one created, not knowing that merely owning one can cause all hell to break loose.
The history of the town of Finedon, Northamptonshire, in England is long and ancient.
Originally mentioned in the Domesdsy Book of 1086, Finedon hosts a number of historic and haunted buildings that are known to be quite spooky in their own right.
However, none is more spooky than St Mary the Virgin Church, where a demonic doll terrorised the young girls in its care.
The Dutch Doll of Finedon
In 1901, Mary Ozier, headmistress of The Charity Girl’s School, wanted to do something special for the school to commemorate its building in 1717.
So, she had a three-foot wooden doll made that not only looked almost too realistic, but was dressed in the manner of a Dutch doll.
Of course, the headmistress’ intentions were pure as she believed the doll would be loved by the girls in her care.
Good intentions, perhaps. But the girls of the school soon learned that there was much more to the doll than met the eye.
Because according to them, some unknown malevolent force seemed to reside in the doll.
The Doll Comes To Life
Within days of the doll being brought into the school, rumours of the doll coming to life began to spread.
Several girls believed the doll to be demonic and claimed that it would come to life at night and terrorised them as they tried to sleep.
It wasn’t uncommon for the girls to complain about hearing the unmistakable sounds of the doll walking the halls at night and stealing their personal belongings.
The nocturnal visitations by the doll became so bad the girls refused to sleep at night for fear the doll would attack them in their beds
For over 60 years several generations of girls lived in terror of the demonic Dutch Doll.
That was until the school closed in 1961 and the possessed doll was mounted on the wall of St Mary’s Church in Finedon.
But not before some unknown person took a saw to the doll and amputated its legs ensuring the doll would never again terrorise the living. Or so they thought.
The Doll Goes Missing
For 20 years the doll hung on the wall of St Mary’s Church until the 1980s when it mysteriously vanished from its spot.
According to the church’s former priest, Richard Coles, a former member of the 80s pop group The Communards, the doll suddenly just vanished.
It’s widely believed that some merry prankster knowing the history of the demonic Dutch Doll somehow got into the church and made off with it. If that is so, then why has it never been found?
Others believe the doll was truly possessed by some unseen malevolent force and it one day just got tired of being a mere decoration and left.
Whatever the case may be, the demonic Dutch Doll that once disturbed the girls with its nocturnal horrors and knocks and bangs is long gone.
However, according to some, the doll may have left physically but remains spiritually to carry on i’s haunting of this spooky building in this otherwise pleasant Northamptonshire town.
Have you ever seen the Dutch Doll of Finedon? Did you experience its haunting? Tell us in the comments section below!
On Christmas Eve 2022, BBC Radio 4 “Hunting Ghosts with Gatiss and Coles“. Richard Coles invited writer and actor Mark Gatiss to his former parish of Finedon to discover the truth behind the local hauntings.