Friday, August 30, 2019

That Teddy Bear is Totally Haunted

This article sounds exactly like the first act of a new horror movie. The movie I'm thinking of would be a little like the Chucky series of films, with the twist being that Chucky is a haunted, murderous teddy bear. The whole concept manages to be ridiculous, but at the same time pretty creepy. Here's the story.

Marie and Steve Wesson, owners of Nottingham's Haunted Museum, discovered the venue's only metal door under a layer of plasterboard when they acquired the old Mapperley picturehouse last year. It was sealed shut in an emergency exit chute with plugs and electrics fitted over it, and sinister rumours circulated about its past.

Marie and Steve, scared of what they might find behind it, have left it locked for more than a year, Nottinghamshire Live reports. But on Thursday, along with a group of seven paranormal enthusiasts, they finally cracked it open. Inside, Marie claims they found a five-pointed pentagram star made from charcoal, a grubby old teddy bear and a collection of white candles burnt to their stubs.

It was a shock to the 44-year-old, who'd just expected to find a brick wall on the other side of the door. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing," says Marie, who recreated a ghostly groping for an American TV show. "We're paranormal investigators not satanists so were are going to have to get on it to find out as much as we can about it."

She's convinced however, that spooky things have already been going on. "During investigations [at the museum, recently ranked the 29th most haunted place in the UK by supernatural website], we've had voice recordings of someone saying 'don't open the door' and 'don't open the door' with a sinister laugh after.

This is so much like a movie, in fact, I have to wonder if it might some sort of setup to generate publicity. But let's say that it isn't, just for the sake of argument and because it makes the whole thing a lot more potentially interesting.

First off, I'd like to know how long the room was allegedly sealed up for, because a pentagram set up like that looks pretty modern - it's very 1980's-Satanic-Panic - and the teddy bear brings in at least the suggestion of ritual child abuse, which is what alleged "Satanists" were accused of doing during that period. The vast majority of those accusations turned out to be false, and the ones that were true had nothing to do with Satanism or occultism or anything of the sort.

This also brings to mind another story. A friend of mine remodeled her kitchen a few years back and decided to play a joke on whoever the next owner happened to be. The remodel resulted in an odd, useless corner in the cabinetry, which is what gave her the idea. She got ahold of a child-sized plastic skeleton, dressed in some clothes from the thrift store, and sealed it into the useless corner with a children's book titled "Does Mommy Love Me?" The story is extra funny because my friend plans on living in the house for the rest of her life, so it's not going to be sold for decades.

So did the previous owner of the building do something similar? "Hey, I have to seal up this little room. How about we stick a pentagram and some candles and a teddy bear in there? It'll be hilarious whenever the next owner finds it." The fact that this doesn't look anything like what you would use for a real ritual and a lot like what you would see in a movie makes me wonder. Maybe it was created by some clueless metal fans trying to be edgy, but it doesn't look functional. Look at the space - where would you even stand?

The center of the pentagram is way too small for a person, at least if you know what you're doing and understand that you shouldn't cross the lines. There's maybe space for two people to stand in the far back of the room, but it looks like a pretty awkward place from which to cast a spell. More likely the pentagram was drawn from outside the room - after all, it is right inside the door. Maybe I'm breaking this down too much, and maybe this was set up by an entirely incompetent ritualist trying to copy something from a movie. But still, it doesn't look very authentic to me, whether it was built as a joke or not.

At any rate, whoever set this up did succeed in one regard - they made it into the papers. And they also gave me an idea for a horror movie, so there's that.

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