The possessed doll has long been a horror trope. The "Chucky" film franchise is loosely based on an actual haunted doll called Robert, and Annabelle, of a recent movie of the same name, is an actual doll owned by the Warren estate, Connecticut’s famed supernatural investigators. These, however, are far from the only haunted dolls out there. Google “possessed doll” and you’ll find dolls you can buy off Amazon, Ebay and Etsy—not cheaply—and have shipped to you the next day.
Or you can come to Café Madrid in Norwalk on Nov. 1 and meet Rusty. Clairvoyant Nick Grossmann (aka Nick Storm) and empath Peter Cerow—co-founders of the Norwalk-based paranormal investigation group Ghost Storm—will bring a collection of five possessed dolls (including the aforementioned Rusty) and an actual shrunken head to the stage. During the course of the night, they along with special guests will present a lecture and offer a question-and-answer session on all things supernatural as well as make contact with the spirits in the possessed items.
The dolls currently reside with Storm in his Norwalk home, sitting on a dresser in his bedroom where he monitors them with camera surveillance.
“To be honest, “ admitted Storm, “I was a little worried when I first got them. And there are times when it’s uncomfortable lying in bed and feeling this presence. But I’ve had this kind of stuff around me all my life and you get used to it."
Storm purchased Rusty from a collector who claimed to have bought the doll from a children’s home in Massachusetts that had been shut down due to the owner’s conviction on child neglect. The owner, according to the collector, had been into the occult and captured spirits in the doll.
"I was at work today when this happened. Look above the painting on the wall..." said Nick Storm.
Another doll in the collection is an old Amish toy from Pennsylvania. Dolls in that particular community are typically rag dolls without faces because the Amish believe all are alike in the eyes of God. Storm and Cerow simply call this one the Faceless Doll.
“It’s a very creepy doll,” said Storm. “No ears, eyes, mouth or nose. It’s quite something to see. There are three to five spirits attached to it.”
The spirits inside manifest as orbs that fly about the room, according to Storm. But why attach to a doll in the first place?
“Spirits get attached to certain objects. The dolls however represent a human being and are usually made of porcelain. Porcelain has continuity so electricity can easily flow through it and spirits consist of static electricity so they are attracted to the dolls and they make easy vessels.”
"...there are times when it’s uncomfortable lying in bed and feeling this presence."
Storm calls today a very “paranormal age” because interest in spirits and ghosts is high among the general public—which is eager to experience something supernatural.
“It’s so fascinating to me to see the look on people’s faces when you show them a ball of light flying out of a doll caught on camera,” said Storm. “People have so many questions about spirits; there’s a lot of curiosity and I love answering all the questions.”
Storm and Cerow do all this to learn about and understand the paranormal and to prove “this stuff is real.”
“At [Café Madrid] we’re going to make contact with the spirits in the dolls and the shrunken head.”
The shrunken head, by the way, is purported to belong to a local man’s relative who was an explorer of the Amazon jungle years ago and met with unhappy natives. The explorer’s spirit is said to be in the object.
If you’d like to experience the paranormal in psychedelic fashion, visit Limelight or Café Madrid for more information or to make reservations. Be warned though, you may have to sign a waiver to interact with the possessed items. Visit Ghost Storm on Facebook for more information about Storm and Cerow and what they do.