The underground culture of possessed objects has found a marketable home on the auction giant eBay, where the most popular item among collectors is haunted dolls. The Things delved into the online world of spirited playthings and had the chance to speak with an insider on the subject.
Mankind has been obsessed with the idea of an afterlife ever since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Even the ancient Egyptians spent an incredible amount of time preparing the deceased for their journey into the unknown. Thousands of years may have passed, but our fascination with the spirit world has never been stronger. Some people wholeheartedly believe in ghosts while others think it's nothing more than fantasy. For avid believers, items can hold just as much significance as places - and be just as haunted. With the rise of internet shopping, it's never been easier to get your hands on mystical items, but collectors go wild for a particular niche - haunted dolls.
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A quick eBay search brings up a plethora of porcelain dolls, all claiming to be possessed by spirits. Retailing anywhere between $40-$50 dollars a piece, each rosy-cheeked ornament is supposedly home to a ghost that stays with it wherever it goes. Descriptions of the dolls vary greatly. Some claim to be friendly and playful, while others are mischievous and best bought if there aren't children in the house. Gerald, a porcelain clown doll, claims to be a crotchety old man that likes to cause arguments, while Agnieszka is a 20-year-old Polish woman who loves the color purple. Among creaking floors and flying orbs, buyers can expect a variety of unexplained goings-on if they choose to purchase these pint-sized beauties - but is it real, or a big hoax designed by those that are just trying to make a quick buck?
The Things spoke to seller haunteddolls10 about what it's like to run a doll-based business and how you can avoid getting sold a spooky scam.
"I've been selling dolls since January. There's a good market for them," said the shop owner, who prefers to remain anonymous. "I think they are popular because lots of people believe in ghosts. The thought of 'buying' a ghost sounds cool."
With the market for haunted items on eBay growing by the day, it's not surprising that haunteddolls10 is doing well. Just like the seller, many buyers end up making the purchase out of curiosity. "I got my first doll for company, after watching a video called 'Never Buy a Haunted Doll on eBay', which made me fascinated."
Although eBay strictly requests that all "haunted" items be sold for entertainment purposes, haunteddolls10 always ensures that her items are 100% legitimate before she puts them up for sale. As buyers purchase a spirit who can't be physically seen, the potential for scam sales is huge. The key to working out if you've been sold a dud is all in the communication, says our insider. "Always buy communication tools before purchasing - e.g. a pendulum, k2 meter, spirit box, dowsing rods, because it will help you connect more. You can also ask your pendulum if a doll is actually haunted before purchasing it, so you can't really get scammed if you do this."
Have you ever bought a haunted item? Tell us your ghost story in the comments.