Everyone has seen a doll at least once in their life. Whether it be a Barbie doll, a baby doll, or even a simple rag doll, we’ve all seen them. But the doll that was favored by little Marie Creasey was none of these. Barbies weren’t even around during her childhood. No. The doll that Marie owned was a china doll, like one may see on a collector’s shelf. This doll that would ultimately lead to disaster.
The year was 1910, and Baltimore, Maryland had been taken by surprise when a nasty blizzard struck just before Christmas. But that did nothing to dampen the spirit of Marie Creasey, who was eagerly waiting for the day when she would wake up and there would be presents piled high under the Christmas tree. She was one of the only children in school whose tree had real lights. There were several perks to being the daughter of such wealthy parents.
Marie was a young child about seven years of age, with straight, dark brown hair and blue eyes. Her parents, Sara and Matthew Creasey, both worked as businesspeople. They wanted to make sure that when their little Marie awoke on Christmas, she’d open all her presents with a smile. The 25th of December came soon enough, and Marie was racing to her parent’s room in a hurry. Flinging open the door, the small child dashed over and pounced on her father.
“Mommy, Daddy! Wake up! It’s Christmas!” she cheered, shaking his shirt happily. Matthew groaned, though a smile tugged at his lips.
He sat up, prying her off his person. “Alright, alright, we’re up! Go downstairs and wait for us, we’ll be down in a moment.” Marie gave him a wide grin and hurried off, out the room and down the long set of stairs. A half hour later, Sara and Matthew sat beside each other on the couch as their daughter sat in the midst of paper and ribbons on the floor; gleefully examining all of the toys she had been given.
Her presents consisted of wooden building blocks, a new set of books, a tea set, a few new dresses, a makeup set (which Marie had begged for the year before), and train set. Marie was most pleased with the gifts, and was about to take them upstairs to play, when her mother took her by the hand to prevent her from walking away, “Marie, those presents are from Santa. Mommy and daddy still have a present for you.” Marie’s ears perked up at this and she ran back into the living room, parking her rear on the floor and waiting impatiently. Sara walked down to the basement, where she and Matthew knew Marie would never dare to look as she was too frightened of it, and emerged with a wrapped box in both her hands. Marie bounced a bit as she sat there, watching with eager eyes as her mother approached her.
“Merry Christmas, Marie,” Sara said, handing it off to her. Marie wasted no time in tearing the wrapping off, carelessly discarding the ribbon. If she hadn’t known her father was allergic to them, the child might have expected a puppy. But even still, what Marie discovered upon opening the box was not at all what she’d imagined.
It was a doll. Its skin was pale and smooth, made from the finest porcelain. Falling out from its burgundy bonnet was curly brown hair, stopping at its waist. The doll was wearing a white, lacy gown with ribbons and bows all over it. It soulless, glass eyes were emerald green, and there was a beauty mark on her cheek, “Do you like her, sweetie?” she heard her father ask.
Marie stared at the doll resting in her hands, running a finger over its rosy cheek, admiring how beautiful it was. Its eyes seemed to stare up at her, as if it acknowledged her presence as much as she acknowledged its. She had seen dolls like this in department stores. The eyes of those dolls weren’t nearly as welcoming as the ones belonging to this one. In fact, Marie was certain it was smiling a bit. Grinning, she looked up at them as she hugged the doll close.
“I love her! Thank you mommy, thank you daddy!” she said, standing up and giving them both a kiss on the cheek.
The adults both grinned as their daughter gathered up her toys in a stack, leaving the blocks and train set behind as they proved too heavy for her. Running up the stairs, Marie smiled down at the doll, “Let’s show you your new home, Josephine!” And from that moment onward, Josephine would be the doll’s name.
About a month passed, and it had become clear that Marie had fallen absolutely in love with her new companion. No matter where she went, Josephine was with her. Marie had always been a bit of a shy girl, so she hadn’t had many friends to start with. Now that Josephine was in her possession, Marie wouldn’t even bother starting conversation with the other girls and boys at school. On the school yard, while the other children played about with their friends or partook in sports such as baseball and basket balls, Marie would sit off by herself and play with Josephine until they were called in for lunch.
One day, Marie had been sitting in the grass on the schoolyard, as the other children shrieked with delight in the background. She contentedly took in the pleasure of playing with her best friend, talking with her, even if she wasn’t responding. That was when the trouble started. Marie noticed that the sun that had been shining down on her was now blocked out by a shadow. For a moment, she believed it was the teacher and she hadn’t heard her calling them in. Looking up, however, she realized how wrong she was. Hovering over her was a tall girl, her blonde hair woven into a braid and a smirk on her face. Marie had seen this girl before, and she’d heard her classmates talking about her. This was Jenna Anderson. She was the sixth grader who took pleasure in bullying second graders. Why she did so, Marie would never know.
“A doll?” Jenna snatched Josephine from Marie’s tiny hands. The girl’s eyes went wide, fear leaping into her heart.
“G-Give her back!!” she yelled, jumping up in an attempt to get her friend back.
Jenna raised the doll higher, chuckling, “This old thing? Why would you even want it?” Marie continued to frantically reach and jump for her doll; tears budding in her eyes as she stared into Josephine’s glass ones. “If you want her, go catch her!” Jenna said, getting Josephine in a throwing position.
And for that moment, Marie was certain that Josephine looked at her. The eyes were still as soulless as ever, but something about them screamed ‘Help me.’
The previous fear she had felt was gone, and all Marie could feel now was a blinding rage. Clenching her fists and gritting her teeth, the child let out a shriek and sprung forward, clinging to Jenna’s shirt and causing her to fall to the ground. Jenna screamed and released Josephine, who fell into the grass with a light thump. The students paid no mind, not hearing the screaming in the midst of their own shrieks.
Marie viciously clawed at Jenna’s face, screaming, “NEVER! TOUCH! HER! AGAIN!!” and by the time she had finished, Jenna was no where close to bleeding, though there were dozens of angry red scratches all over her face. Kneeling down, Marie plucked Josephine from the ground and held her close, smoothing out her slightly messy brown hair. “Don’t worry, Josephine… She can’t hurt you anymore…” Marie said as the teacher came out to call them in for lunch. Marie walked off, leaving Jenna on the ground in tears to be found by the teachers.
When Marie returned home that afternoon, she was greeted by her mother, who looked rather upset. “Marie, Ms. Smith called me this afternoon. According to her, you attacked a sixth grader during recess. Is that true?” Sara asked.
Marie merely smiled, completely naïve to how much trouble she would be in. “Yes, mommy. She was going to hurt Josephine.” She replied, hugging the doll close.
Sara’s frowned deepened, “What was she going to do?”
“Throw her. She would have been killed, momma. I just had to save her,” Marie said, trying to make a good argument. What her mother did next proved it wasn’t good enough.
She pried Josephine from her daughter’s grasp and walked to the basement. Marie shrieked, running after her, “JOSEPINE! DON’T PUT HER IN THERE MOMMA! GIVE HER BACK! THERE’S MONSTERS DOWN THERE!!” the child yelled in anguish, tears budding in her eyes. Sara walked back up from the basement and locked the door, turning to face Marie.
With a sigh, she said, “You may have her back once you learn that hurting people is wrong, Marie. Go to your room, please.” Marie obviously couldn’t do what she’d done to Jenna. Her mother was far stronger and taller than she was. Instead, her lip quivered and she burst into tears, taking off up the stairs.
“Marie… Marie!” A voice startled the child as she opened her eyes. It was late at night, and she’d been put to bed two hours ago. She sat up with a yawn, scanning the room for what could have awoken her. Upon looking forward, she found the answer sitting right at the edge of her bed.
With a gasp and a wide grin, Marie bolted forward, “Josephine!” Indeed it was. The doll had somehow returned from the basement. Marie hugged her friend close, quietly laughing so they wouldn’t be caught.
“I’ve missed you…” Josephine said. Marie didn’t question why Josephine could suddenly talk, she was simply happy to have her back.
“Mommy and daddy aren’t happy with us, Josie. They’re both really angry. What do we do?” Marie asked.
Josephine replied, mouth not moving, “They don’t like me, Marie. I can tell. I don’t like them. They need to go away. And so do we.”
The months that followed could only be described as hell for Sara and Matthew. Every week, they would receive a new report from the school about Marie attacking a student or teacher to dared to touch her precious Josephine. And every time they would lock the doll up, Marie would come down for breakfast the next morning with it in her arms. Marie found herself loathing her parents more and more with each passing day. They always fixed her with such strange looks, as if they were afraid of her. They weren’t afraid of the doll, because they knew dolls didn’t walk on their own. Marie was somehow finding her way into the places they hid Josephine, they just knew it. And every night when Josephine would find her way into Marie’s room, the two would discuss how they were going to go about getting rid of Sara and Matthew. Marie came up with several ridiculous ideas, which Josephine quickly talked her out of.
One night, the two friends finally came to an agreement.
That morning, Marie reluctantly left Josephine in her room. She didn’t want her parents giving her those looks. Her mother sat a plate of eggs in front of Marie and she began to eat, every once in a while catching a glance from both parents. To break the awkward silence, Marie spoke up, “Josephine doesn’t like you, mommy. She doesn’t like you either, daddy.” Their plan was put into action the following night. Marie crept out of bed, holding Josephine in her arms. The hallway was dark, the only light coming from the moon that shown thru the windows. By her parent’s room was a small table, which harbored an oil lamp in case it needed to be used. Marie picked it up by the handles, walking down to the library. She’d unlocked the back door, so she and Josephine would be able to escape quickly.
With a bright smile, Marie released her hold on the handle and ran out. Sara had first awoken when she noticed there had been an incredibly foul odor in the air. It was hot and heavy, making it terribly hard to breathe. She coughed, closing her eyes and covering her mouth. She turned to her husband, shaking him gently, “Matthew.. Darling wake up… Do you smell that-“ Sara stopped when her eyes wandered up. The room was filled with smoke.
Marie panted as she raced out on the backdoor, the flames spreading like the plague. Soon the fire would engulf the whole house, and all of those other memories would be gone. She didn’t need them. All she needed was her beloved Josephine.
Sara and Matthew were trapped. The flames were quickly consuming the entire abode. They couldn’t jump out the window, else they risk breaking their necks. The windows were open to let the smoke out, though it was becoming more and more difficult to breathe. As the flames entered their room, Sara saw one last thing before they devoured her. She saw Marie, walking away from the sight, with a doll in her arms. The doll met eyes with Sara, and slowly smiled, resting it’s head on Marie’s shoulder and waving. Marie turned around and grinned, waving with her. They bid them farewell, turning and exiting into the woods as if nothing had happened.
When firemen arrived to the scene after being alerted by neighbors, the corpses of Mr. and Mrs. Creasey were hardly recognizable. They were so burnt and charred that they could barely be classified as human. No traces of Marie were found in the burnt down estate, and after weeks of searching, the authorities concluded that she had run off, but they had no idea where.
Stories of Marie and Josephine still circulate around that town to this day. Some will tell you, that Marie and her precious doll continue to lurk around in the woods. Those who have supposedly witnessed it will tell you that they saw a child, dressed in a white nightgown with pale grey eyes, and in her arms were a doll, which seemed to be smiling. According to the witnesses who managed to return, the child would approach them and ask the doll a question. Your fate would be sealed with one simple sentence.
Almost every time, the girl would say:
"Josephine doesn't like you".,