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People always tell you not to play with Ouija Boards. Personally, I’ve never bought into any of that nonsense. I’m not afraid of something invented by a toy company. Every account you hear of weird stuff happening after someone used a Ouija Board at a slumber party or whatever are just due to the power of suggestion. If you tell someone that something creepy is going to happen, they’ll see something creepy in everything.

I’m sorry. I just didn’t buy it. I also didn’t buy into these stupid “ritual” memes that keep popping up on the internet. They’re these games…I guess you’d call them games…where you go through some ridiculous set of steps… a ritual…to either speak to the dead or predict your future or summon a demon or whatever. They always come with a warning along the lines of “do not try this”. Then why post it on the internet, you morons? You want people to do this shit and then report on all the “creepy” stuff that happened and blah blah blah. Probably the most famous one is “Bloody Mary”. It’s the one where you stand in front of a mirror and repeat “bloody Mary” three times and then supposedly this ghost appears to scratch your eyes out. Why would I want to do that? Why do people do any of this bullshit?

So…I decided to do a little trolling. I went on a forum that discussed topics of the supernatural and paranormal. Those places are full of superstitious schmucks that will eat up anything even remotely disturbing. I posted the following: Hey everyone. Have you heard of the Ragdoll Ritual? A friend of mine (yeah, we’ll call him John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith) told me about it and I wanted to see if anyone has actually tried it. I can’t seem to find any accounts of it online anywhere. (That’s because I made it up.)

Apparently, what you do is take an old doll- any doll will do but they say it works best if you use one you made yourself (these things always want you to make stuff). This ritual also seems to work best when performed in the month of August, but you can really do it any time. (Because why not?) You take a lock from your own hair and wrap it around the neck of the doll. If your hair is too short or you don’t have any, any small personal piece of yourself will do- a fingernail clipping, or even a drop of blood. (I didn’t really want to encourage bloodletting, but it sounded good.)

After attaching the personal item from yourself to the doll, wait until Midnight. The ritual must begin exactly at the stroke of midnight or else it will not work. (Arbitrary rules! A must-have component!) Exactly at midnight, hold the doll tightly in your hands and repeat the phrase, “I invite you, Asteroth (I did a random search for demon names on Google) to inhabit this object” three times. After the third time, you will feel the doll move in your hands. This is a sign the demon has accepted your invitation. (They always have to accept, don’t they?) If after the third time you do not feel the doll move, repeat the process. If it still does not move, the demon has not accepted your invitation. You do not need to do anything further. The ritual is over.

If you receive an acceptance, place the doll inside a closet or other small space that can be closed. It is very important that you do not open the door until the ritual is complete. You may hear knocking on the door or shambling inside the closet. Do not open the door. The demon is bound to the doll, but if you allow it to roam throughout your home, it may attach itself to something else and refuse to leave after the ritual is over. (Because creepy!)

You may now ask the doll any questions you like, but you only have until 1 a.m. Sometimes the doll with answer with a voice, sometimes through knocks on the door signaling “yes” or “no”. If you do not complete the ritual by 1 a.m. the demon may be locked inside the doll forever.

After you have completed your questions, repeat the phrase, “Asteroth, I release you,” three times. Wait until you no longer hear any noise from inside the closet. Then it is safe to open the door. Afterward, bury the doll and mark the ground with the symbol of the cross. This will prevent the demon from ever returning. (Sounds legit, right?)

Please follow the instructions exactly as failure to do so can have disastrous results.

After I posted the ritual, I kept close eye on it. It took a few days, but soon replies started coming in.

“Oh my God, you guys! I tried it and the doll really does move!”

“Please, don’t try this ritual. The demon still hasn’t left and I’ve had nightmares every night since.”

“Fake. Didn’t work. This is stupid.” (I agreed, Buddy, but of course, I couldn’t say that.)

“I tried it and when I opened the closet the doll was gone! What do I do?”

I had a few good laughs. The stories started to get more detailed and some were actually pretty good. I don’t know if these people were just delusional, or if they were playing along by making things up to add legitimacy, but it was still fun. I read dozens of stories about the ritual going wrong, and a few about how it went perfectly and the person in question had all their questions answered. One person told of how the demon doll predicted his brother’s death.

It was fun. But soon it was growing stale, so I moved on to other things. A few weeks went by without me checking the forum.

That is until one day when I came home from work. I went through my usual routine. I pulled off my shoes and my jacket, and when I went to throw them in my closet, something stopped me. There on the floor was a little ragdoll. It looked to be hand made. Around its neck was wrapped a strand of hair.

I would have been creeped out, but I had told a friend a while back about my little prank online and I figured he left it there for me to find. I chuckled to myself, and went on about my evening. I opened the refrigerator to grab a beer…another little doll…nestled among the leftovers. I took it out and placed it on the kitchen counter. I had to admire my friend’s dedication to the prank. Though I was starting to regret ever giving him a key to my house.

But that was just the beginning. I started finding dolls everywhere. In the shower. In the kitchen cabinets. In my car. Under the sofa. In the fireplace. Dolls of every shape and size, some handmade, some factory. Some had hair wrapped around them, some had little droplets of blood.

It was then I decided to check the forum. I was astonished at what I found. There were hundreds of posts…all variations of the same thing…someone had tried the ritual but the doll had gone missing.

I haven’t slept in days. They won’t let me. I keep throwing them away but they always return. All night long…knocking…roaming….whispering. ​ Please…I’m begging you and this is no joke…do not try the Ragdoll Ritual. I can’t take any more of them. When the doll goes missing it finds its way to me. I suppose it’s a punishment for playing around with things I didn’t understand…didn’t even believe in…but please…if you have a heart, do not try it.