That’s right, the rag doll with the triangle nose and the “I love you” heart on her chest turns 100 this month. We thought there were a few interesting things you should know about the ginger dolly.
1. Symbol of the anti-vaxxer movement
Hard to imagine a link between the rag doll and the anti-vaccine faction, but apparently, the creator of the Raggedy Ann dolls and stories, Johnny Gruelle, became an opponent of vaccines after his daughter, Marcella, received a smallpox vaccine and died soon after, possibly from an infection from the shot. Gruelle insisted it was the vaccine that killed his 13-year-old daughter and the doll was chosen as a symbol of the “refusers.”
2. Demonic possession
Image: Warner Bros.
If you’ve seen the films The Conjuring or Annabelle, you already know that Annabelle was actually a Raggedy Ann doll, not the doll pictured above, which was a terrible menace to parapsychologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. They believed the rag doll to be possessed by the spirit of a dead girl named Annabelle Higgins. The real Annabelle Raggedy Ann doll, and its supposed demon, is locked in a cabinet with other dangerous occult items and has been reported to levitate. Yikes!
3. Raggedy Ann gets a voice, but is silenced after two years
The Nasco/Bobbs Merrill Company created a plastic, ventriloquist-type doll that spoke when you pulled a string from 1972 to 1974. We can only imagine how grating that voice would have been.
4. Adult-size pillowcase dress
Nostalgic for that Raggedy Ann sheet set you had as a kid? You’re in luck! This dress is available for a mere $28 on Etsy.
5. Raggedy Ann makes the perfect gift for a Quinceañera
We love that Raggedy Ann celebrates diversity.
6. Raggedy Ann also enjoys Kwanzaa
These versions of the dolls are adorned in adorable Kwanzaa-inspired outfits.
7. Does Raggedy Ann freak you out? You may suffer from pediophobia
Pediophobia is the fear of all dolls. According to Wikipedia, symptoms include trembling, an elevated heart rate, inability to speak or think clearly, panic, dread, breathlessness, crying, nausea and a sensation of detachment from reality. Wow.
8. Hospital bans volunteers in Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes
Apparently, the plan for volunteers to dress up as the colorful dolls in hopes of bringing joy to patients suffering at the Santa Barbara and Goleta Valley Cottage hospitals backfired. According to Noozhawk.com, “There were complaints from family members of patients who either had brain injuries or were under heavy amounts of medication and thought they were hallucinating.”
9. Raggedy Ann as a cremation urn?
Florida resident Robin Amato is so obsessed with her Raggedy Ann doll collection, she’s reportedly convinced her husband to allow her to fill a Raggedy Andy doll with his remains after his death. We can’t make this stuff up, people.