An unassuming puppet that looks like a harmless, friendly old man has a dark, sinister story behind it. Its former owner gave it up to Paranormal Investigator, Jayne Harris, 32, from Stourbridge, West Midlands after he claimed that the puppet tried to strangle him while he was sleeping in bed with his wife. Jayne decided to put his allegations to the test and had a camera set up to record the puppet every night for three months.
Last month, she finally got what she was looking for as she looked back on the recordings and caught the heart-stopping moment the wooden doll appears to come to life in the glass cabinet it is being contained in. Night-vision footage shows the puppet's operating cross slowly moving upright before crashing into one of the sealed box's glass panels.
Jayne, who takes a special interest in haunted dolls, said: “I've never had anything as exciting as this. I've caught pictures of mists, orbs and shadows but nothing as physical as this video evidence.”
Jayne Harris with the puppet
“Normally you expect to see an orb or a shadow, but as soon as I saw a bit of movement and a glint from the metal hooks it made me jump and I knew we'd recorded something important.”
“We've always kept the puppet in a sealed blessed cabinet as it's a safe zone. It also means we can keep our experiments as controlled as possible.”
“The cabinet has no doors, so you would have to physically lift all four sides and the base off to move it, there are not any holes or space for anything to sneak in there either.”
“For us there is no point in faking your own evidence as it's only tricking yourself - this footage is real,” Jayne insisted. “Now we're going to keep filming with motion sensors as this is just one video and we want to build a bigger picture currently we don't know the name or anything else about the spirit.”
“Our ultimate goal is to find out as much as we can about the spirit and then try to understand why he is still here,” she explained.
The old man puppet with an electro-magnetic-field (EMF) which detects ghosts
Trained psychologist Jayne - who has been investigating spiritual attachment to haunted puppets for 17-years - took the old man puppet in November last year after its former owner claimed to have been choked by a spirit connected to the children's toy and also experiencing haunting nightmares.
She keeps the puppet inside a container that has been blessed by holy water in her basement. The footage has convinced her that there might be a spirit residing in the puppet.
“A medium said the spirit attached to the dolls is an old man who is mocking us as he can pass in and out of our sealed box,” she said. “The container is only a physical thing so in theory something that's not of the physical world could pass in and out.”
“Since obtaining him there have been strange bumps and knocking sounds, but nothing we could definitively say was the puppet until this video.”
“This video evidence is real and more difficult for us to disprove than people believing they have had paranormal experiences from other haunted dolls.”
Jayne photographed in candlelight alongside another supposedly haunted doll, Peggy
The puppet's former owner, John, who didn't want to release his full name, inherited the 1960s toy after his father's death. He claims to have experienced minor haunting experiences which built up to one evening where he believes the spirit attached to the puppet was choking him.
“I was wide awake in bed and thought I saw a shadow move from one side of the window to the other and worried something was trying to scare us,” he recalled. “Then without warning my throat suddenly went really tight, I've never had anyone's hands around my throat before so it was really scary.”
John attempted to wake his wife up while he was choking but it took her quite some time to come round.
“When she did I remember looking straight at the puppet sitting on the drawers near our bed and realising it was him.”
John says the haunting experience began two weeks after inheriting the puppet, which he reluctantly kept because it was one of his father's favourite possessions.
He added: “My first memory of it was when I was 19, it used to hang in my Dad's spare room.”
“I never liked it and people would never sleep in the same room as the puppet because there was a weird atmosphere in the room. Two weeks after inheriting the puppet I started to have really bad headaches and feeling dizzy, which I never thought could be the puppet,” he said.
“I struggled to sleep because I'd have nightmares where an old man would be holding me down or sitting at the edge of my bed.”
After the choking incident, John contacted Jayne, who started to investigate the puppet.
He added: “Jayne used an electro-magnetic-field (EMF) reader, which helps detect paranormal activity, around my house and when I gave her the puppet the meter started flashing and beeping. Once Jayne took away the doll both me and my wife felt much better.”
“The fact that there's video evidence now makes me uncomfortable to be honest, I wouldn't watch it as I don't need any more proof that it was haunted. I lived with the puppet for months and it did more than enough to convince me.”
What do you think? Is there really a ghostly prankster living in the puppet or is this just another elaborate hoax? Check out the video below of the puppet's cross moving. In my opinion, it looks like stop motion because the movements are not as fluid as it should be.