Mandy the Haunted Doll lives at the Quesnel Museum, which is located on the Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail in British Columbia. There she is just one of over thirty thousand artifacts on display for the public, but there is little doubt that she is the most unique.
Mandy was donated to the museum in 1991. At that time her clothing was dirty, her body was ripped and her head was full of cracks. At that time she was estimated to be over ninety years old. The saying around the museum is, “She may seem like an ordinary antique doll, but she is much more than that.”
The woman who donated Mandy, also called Mereanda, told the museum curator that she would wake up in the middle of the night hearing a baby crying from the basement. When she investigated, she would find a window near the doll open where it had previously been closed and the curtains blowing in the breeze. The donor later told the curator that after the doll was given to the museum, she was no longer disturbed by the sounds of a baby crying in the night.
Some say Mandy has unusual powers. Many speculate that the doll has acquired these powers over the years, but since little is known of the doll’s history nothing can be said for certain. What is certain is the unusual effect she seems to have on everyone around her.
As soon as Mandy arrived at the museum, staff and volunteers began to have weird and unexplainable experiences. Lunches would disappear from the refrigerator and later be found tucked away in a drawer; footsteps were heard when no one was around; pens, books, photos and many other small items would go missing – some were never found and some turned up later. The staff passed these events off as absent-mindedness, but this did not account for everything.
Mandy did not have a permanent “home” inside the museum when she first arrived. She was placed in the museum entranceway, facing the public, and visitors would stare and talk about the doll with the cracked and broken face and sinister smile. Eventually, Mandy was moved to another part of the museum where she was carefully placed alone in a display case because museum staff had been told that she should not be placed with other dolls because she would harm them.
Since her permanent placement there have been many stories about encounters with the haunted doll. One visitor was videotaping Mandy only to have the camera light go on and off every 5 seconds. When the visitor’s camera was turned on another exhibit, it functioned just fine. (It is interesting to note that the same thing often happens when visitors try to photograph Robert the Doll in his Key West museum home.)
Some visitors are very disturbed by the doll’s eyes, which they say appear to follow them around the room. Others claim to have seen the doll actually blink, and still others say they have seen the doll in one position and minutes later she will appear to have moved.