The paranormal and supernatural has always had a place in geek culture. Dresden Files, Supernatural, Neil Gaiman’s wonderful Sandman series, Hellboy; I could keep going but you see my point. In fact, we have to look at wildly popular fictional shows like Lucifer and the untold number of reality shows that dot the History channel to know it’s no passing trend. As far back as we can go in our history we have had a love affair with the paranormal and now Destination America along with The Line Up wants to bring it to you live!
This is Ann. From the look of her she is a fairly standard porcelain doll dressed in little bo-peep fashion. She has a crook and the the usual lifeless doll eyes and she is rather unassuming. Currently on the stream, which you can see at the bottom of this page, she is sitting upright with an EMF meter next to her. While the stream itself is very much the same the story behind Ann is anything but normal.
Her story, well the Real Ann’s anyway, begins with the infamous Waverly Hills Sanatorium in the early 1900’s. Ann is suffering from tuberculosis, which in that day in age was lethal, killing one and seven people in the United states. She was placed there on “rest-cure” and in those days that was considered a death sentence. The idea of the “rest-cure” was invented by neurologist Silas Weir Mitchell and was regimen of enforced bed rest, isolation, force-feeding, and massage. The most well documented version of this prescription is described by Ann-Stiles in her autobiography The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and she details her experience as this:
“Live as domestic a life as possible. Have your child with you all the time. . . . Lie down an hour after each meal. Have but two hours’ intellectual life a day. And never touch pen, brush, or pencil as long as you live.”
You can imagine what this might due to a person and Gilam herself claims she came close to losing her mind. Needless to say things did not go well for Ann but she was cared for by a caretaker named Lois, who according to reports, worked in the institution from 1919 to 1935. The staff records do not show her but they are far from complete. It is said Lois cared so well for many of her former patients that when they died their spirits would follow her home hoping she would continue to care for them. A friend of Lois’s suggested a vessel, which is a common concept in paranormal lore, and Lois began a doll collection.
Though she has passed away, her journals detail various aspects of her dolls and Ann has been know to cry out for help at night; she is terrified of the dark. Investigators themselves claim that the air is visibly colder in Ann’s presence and that a damp-basement like smell permeates from her.
For the next two weeks Ann will be watched 24/7 by as many viewers as they can get their hands on via their live stream. On top of that they plan to run through an entire battery of tests to see just how paranormal she might be and it’s going on now.
The Line Up has her under constant surveillance and they are also willing to give her away for the ghost enthusiast who wants her. You can join their contest here if you want a shot at giving Ann a new home. Check out the stream below.