In 1970, a precious Raggedy Ann doll that became known as Annabelle was bought used from a hobby store by a woman, who gave it to her daughter, Donna, as a gift. Annabelle found great joy in making life hell for Donna and her roommate Angie, both nursing school students. The doll moved on its own, changing positions and taking itself from room to room. They also began finding strange notes on parchment paper around the house (something they never kept in the first place), appearing to have been written by a child. The notes would say things like “Help us” and “Help Lou.” One time, Donna came home to find blood on Annabelle’s chest and the backs of her hands.
Paranormal experts Lorraine and Ed Warren intervened, initially determining that it was the spirit of seven-year-old Annabelle Higgins possessing the doll; but they eventually learned that it was actually a demon posing as the girl, a demon that wanted to steal one of their souls. The Warrens held an exorcism, and the problem seemed to disappear. But after taking Annabelle with them, she proved to still be quite the troublemaker, so the Warrens ended up locking her up in a case.