When most parents say that they're haunted by Princess Elsa, they just mean that their kids won't shut the fuck up about Frozen, or that they've been forced to play the soundtrack for six straight years, or both. That's not the case for one Houston mom, who says that her family has been haunted by Elsa in a very literal, very unsettling way.
Emily Madonia's daughter received a singing Elsa doll for Christmas in 2013, and for the first couple of years, it did exactly what it was supposed to: It repeated lines of dialogue from the movie and belted out "Let It Go" when someone pressed a button on her necklace.
But after that, the doll started to speak in both English and Spanish, which seemed strange because Madonia couldn't find a switch that would've let her change Elsa's language. Then it started to sing when its power switch was turned off, and she decided that maybe there was something weird about the doll, and maybe she should just throw it away.
It didn't take. Several days after Elsa was collected with the rest of the trash, she appeared inside a wooden bench in the living room. "The kids insisted they didn’t put it there, and I believed them because they wouldn’t have dug through the garbage outside,” Madonia told Click2Houston.
She tried again. "We […] tightly wrapped it in its own garbage bag and put that garbage bag INSIDE another garbage bag filled with other garbage and put it in the bottom of our garbage can underneath a bunch of other bags of garbage and wheeled it to the curb and it was collected on garbage day," she wrote on Facebook.
The family went out of town for a few days, but when they got back, that cursed doll was back in their yard, leaning casually against the house. Madonia says that there's no question that it's the same Elsa, because her daughter had colored on its plastic limbs with markers. "HELP ME GET RID OF THIS HAUNTED DOLL," she wrote.
If Madonia isn't pulling some kind of pointless prank, then this Elsa is pretty terrifying even to those who have extensive experience with this kind of thing.
"This is not the typical behavior of all haunted dolls. This is what we would consider a 'troubled spirit' or possibly a negative entity," Kat Blowers, an Arizonan who investigates haunted items and safely rehomes haunted dolls through her Etsy shop, told VICE.
According to Blowers, most haunted items are inhabited by dead souls who are holding on, possibly because they have some kind of unfinished business here in the earthly realm. "We see a lot of doll vessels, jewelry, even paintings that are haunted by spirits who can not 'let it go,'" she explained.
"This Elsa doll has an entity attached that either needs help [because] the spirit inside is clinging to the living in the hopes that someone will keep loving them and showing them attention, or the spirit is seeking someone who can help them cross over."
Or— great news, Madonia family!—there's also a worst-case scenario that involves the kind of negative entity she mentioned. "It could be a demon, but more likely and more common, it's the manifestation of a bad situation, perhaps a murder or a rape or some other trauma, and that energy has stuck to the doll vessel,"
Blowers said that to determine whether the doll is haunted, the Madonias could've used a K-II EMF (electromagnetic field) meter, a pendulum, or a dowsing rod, as each of those instruments are believed to react to vessels that contain spirits. "[But] nothing is more important than that gut feeling," she said. "It will feel as if you are sharing space with another person and not a doll. You will feel as if someone is there with you."
The Madonias weren't exactly hype on sharing space or anything else with the doll. After Elsa materialized in the yard, they packaged her up and shipped her to a friend in Minnesota, who promptly taped her to the brush guard of his Jeep. (In a follow-up Facebook post, she said that this dude had asked for the doll.)
According to Blowers, that wasn't the best idea; she said that the family should've contacted a spiritual intuitive, a representative from a local paranormal society, or someone who could've performed a house blessing to help the spirit cross over from this world to the next.
"I have a feeling that spirit will find its way back to the family. When it reappears, as I think it will, they need to have their home blessed and saged and have a ritual cleansing done," Blowers said.
"If the spirit is a demon or a truly negative entity, then the guy who has it taped to his truck is in for a bad time. Regardless, someone should call in a shaman or a priestess and have the family's home cleansed, and the guy with the truck needs a protection ritual."
In a v. weird way, this entire situation could become a learning experience for the family involved, for anyone who suspects that they may have an object that holds someone else's spirit, and for the unhaunted who still have both feet firmly in this realm.
"Energy is everything and in this case, it is palpable and tangible," Blowers said. "Perhaps this Elsa situation will show people how important energy is, and how important it is to keep your personal energy positive and light or risk THIS situation happening to someone after death."
And nobody's spirit should end up strapped to the front of a stranger's Jeep.