This is the 100 percent true account of how a bunch of creepy old dolls scared the pants off of a bus of middle school kids.
Back in the day (aka ninth grade), I was in an environmental science class that was deemed “totally impossible” by my fellow students. The teacher was known for being extremely strict and a rough grader on tests. So you basically took any extra credit opportunity that the teacher presented. One of the opportunities was a trip to Kelleys Island.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ohio, there’s a small series of islands off the coast of the Sandusky area. The islands are tourist traps, filled with resorts and nature trails. Kelleys Island is one of the islands better known for their scenery and historical value – a perfect destination for an extra credit field trip.
One gray, blustery April morning, my class loaded the ferry to the island. Once we came ashore, my teacher said the first half of the trip would be spent visiting historical buildings, which resulted in a collective groan by my classmates. So, we trekked up the hills towards the island’s “historic” district.
The first building we stopped at, aptly named the Old Stone Church, served as the island’s historical museum. It was a dark, dingy church filled with artifacts celebrating the island’s history. A lot of the artifacts were from the War of 1812 (yawn), but finally I stumbled across a selection of old toys. Nestled among the toys was a collection of china dolls – very “Annabelle”-esque.
Relieved to find something girly in an area inhabited by bayonets and uniforms, I snapped a picture of the dolls with my camera. I checked the image on my camera and discovered the image was blurred. I adjusted the flash setting and took another picture. Still blurry. Puzzled, I took a picture of a different toy besides the dolls. The image came out fine. I tried changing the angle of the shot, fiddling with flash and filters, but the pictures of the dolls still turned out blurry. I asked a few of my friends nearby if they could take a photo of the dolls. Theirs turned out fuzzy as well.
By this time, we had formed quite the hubbub of camera flashes and exclamations. Naturally, my teacher strolled over and we frantically explained to him what was happening. My stern teacher’s face turned pale as he said, in a grave tone, that Kelleys Island was known for being haunted by the spirits of dead soldiers. He suggested that sometimes ghosts attach themselves to objects and that may be the source of the blurry dolls. Adequately freaked out, my class and I “noped” all the way out of the church.
It’s probable that my strict teacher actually acquired a sense of humor and was pulling our legs or that there was something with the lighting of the church that made the photos blurry. Regardless, I’m wary of china dolls ever since that day.