For some people, it's not enough for a doll to talk, walk or wet itself -- it also has to be possessed.
It seems sales of haunted dolls are making a killing on eBay, such as one listing for a "nasty perverse possessed doll" that attracted a final bid of $1,526, according to Vice.com.
The original eBay ad claimed that the doll gave off nasty vibes and was sexually abusive to the other dolls in the owner's collection.
Amazingly, claims like that are selling points to haunted doll collectors, according to Jak Hutchcraft, who wrote the Vice.com piece.
"Some people want to connect solely with the spirit," Hutchcraft told NPR.org. "Some people buy them just for the doll because they're doll collectors and the spirited aspect of it is just a secondary thing. I thought it was baffling, really, because I can look past the ghost as long as it's a cute doll."
Katrin Reedik, a haunted doll lover in Glasgow, Scotland, has 22 so-called haunted dolls, and says they are a great way for people to connect with their own "mediumistic skills."
"When you own a spirited doll or item, you can do sessions in your own home whenever you want," Reedik told Supernatural Magazine. "They can be companions, friends and teachers. They can teach you a lot about death, afterlife and more. One day you may discover your mediumistic skills as a result of connecting with spirit dolls."
Reedik purchased her first haunted doll, Mystical, back in 2010 for around $15. The doll wasn't advertised as possessed, but she said she quickly figured that out in fact was.
"When she arrived I realized straight away she was not a doll, she was a person," Reedik told the Daily Mail. "That night I put her near the television I told her: 'If you're happy switch it off, if you are not happy leave it.'"
"The response was terrifying," she said. "The TV switched off and on, the lights flickered and I knew it was Mystical talking to me through the electricity. She told me she was happy to have been adopted by me. I was overwhelmed and had to put her away."
Reedik claims she tried the same process a week later and that Mystical told her through the TV that she had died when she was 103.
The current eBay policy makes anyone selling an allegedly paranormal product put a disclaimer that the products are for entertainment purposes only.
How much entertainment value is a matter of personal opinion.
A current listing for a "cat goddess" doll named "Koshka" adds that the doll's spirit will only communicate with you if "you are one of the special cat whisper people."
The owner of another demonic doll, "Yulia," claims the buyer can expect things like the sound of screaming babies, thought interference, and poodles -- yes, like the dogs -- to manifest. She warns: "She is not caring of your feelings, she wants and she gets."
Haunted products have become such a hot enough commodity on eBay that one seller, The Haunted Store, felt obliged to offer tips to potential paranormal buyers, including these tidbits:
- Do not purchase any haunted items unless you are willing and able to deal with the consequences it may bring into your life.
- Never buy a haunted item without some sort of documentation with it.
- Be leery of sellers with mass amounts of haunted items. Even if someone claimed that they found 100 haunted dolls in an attic, it would still be doubtful that all 100 dolls were haunted.
The idea of owning a haunted doll may sound cool to audiences who've been raised on haunted doll characters like Chucky, but there is reason to be skeptical about the haunted claims.
Case in point: Anne McLaughlin told NPR that she once had a doll attached to a music doll that looked as if it stepped out of a New Orleans ghost story. The doll terrified McLaughlin, especially one night when it mysteriously crashed to the floor.
McLaughlin was convinced the doll was truly haunted and locked it away for years, until she finally got the courage to look at it closely.
McLaughlin said the music box attached to the doll was off-balance, which is probably the reason why the doll fell to the floor, not because it was possessed.