Feathers were ruffled on Wednesday, December 2nd when Twitter user missjellinsky posted a picture of an unsettling discovery in her sister's basement. The peculiar find (depicted in the photograph below) is none other than a baby doll head—embedded entirely into the brick of the wall. Naturally, people rushed to drop reply after reply of warnings to get out of the house, fearing evil spirits must be involved.
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While there are plenty of instances of real-life haunted dolls like the infamous Annabelle and Robert the Doll, there were just as many alternative theories and skeptics jumping onto the thread. Instead of suggesting moving companies for the homeowner, another Twitter user, Iamthe401 offered this snippet of historical knowledge:
"Those are cellar babies. In the late 60s/early 70s it was a trend in both NYC and California to embed doll parts in the walls of your house, including basements. Sometimes items were hidden inside of these as well, including newspaper clippings and (rarely) cash. Take a look."
However, a search through the internet related to cellar babies doesn't turn up a solid confirmation of this trend. And for the love of God, if you have any amount of squeamishness around the subject of spiders or infanticide, never Google the term "cellar babies."
But after some digging, it's entirely possible that the haunting visage of this doll face was left behind deliberately. I first turned to a reliable personal source (my dad) who was alive in the 60s to see if he had anything to say on the matter. He confirmed that he personally left things in the walls in that era—and in fact, though my memory fails me, I left my own wall treasures behind in childhood.
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Expanding my search yielded intriguing results, including interesting tidbits from an article in The New York Times. It suggests things are left behind in the foundations of homes all the time, be it for ritualistic protective purposes, a bit of fun, or a complete accident. One homeowner found a (thankfully) animal skull in her wall, while another found a fire-scorched corset. If you ask me, those two things are far more likely to be haunted.
Nonetheless, while the article confirms this habit of tucking items away in foundations dates back to the times of Ancient Egypt, through history and across the world in Ireland and yes, America, there is still room for skeptics on this matter.
Some Twitter users shared images of similar spooky experiences in the replies, including an image of baby heads glued to an exterior wall near a traffic light. In this instance, the disturbing display is actually street art. Artist Yiannis Bellis is responsible for these charming little hair-raising installations.
Another Twitter user shared an image of a doll head found in another exterior wall, which they saw while at a vacation spot. It seems relatively clear that in this instance, the doll was left behind for the express purpose of creeping out passersby. And why not? The locals have to have fun somehow.
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However, the deliberate placing of the objects adds a little bit of heft to the theory some Twitter users have that missjellinsky planted the doll head herself. It's possible—after all, it's odd that it's placed in the center of a brick, unless the homeowner poured the bricks themselves. Perhaps a gouge was left in the wall, and the new homeowner's sister simply couldn't resist the pull of creating something terrifying.
What are your thoughts on this unusual "discovery?" And what potentially haunted mysteries lie in the depths of your own walls?
Featured photo: @missjellinsky / Twitter