Evil by design: VooDoo dolls

How about if we talk about a common iconic symbol of evil that we’ve all heard stories about; especially those of us that live here in the deep south. I’m talking Voodoo Dolls, oh yeah, you’ve heard of ’em. Now, most folks are under the impression that these little darlings were created by creole slaves in New Orleans, well, though they’re still widely used in these parts today, I gotta tell you, the Voodoo doll is not native to Louisiana, or Africa or Haiti for that matter. In fact, the history of what a Voodoo doll “is” goes back to at least 1100 BC. Yeah, think back to the Pharaoh’s and the pyramids ya’ll.

There’s a story about a treasury official and the women of Pharaoh Ramses the second’s harem who worked together to make a wax image of the Pharaoh to bring about his death.” So yeah, there’s been evil intent behind these images for centuries. However, sometimes they were used in healing or blessing rituals, they weren’t always shrouded in evil. For centuries man has been creating these images out of cloth, hay, sticks, stone or pretty much anything they could get their hands on. The “dolls” sometimes look like their intended targets, and sometimes they don’t resemble them in the slightest.

In European history these effigies were known as poppets. They were also created out of whatever was laying around, but the cloth ones grew popular for use in rituals. The body of these cloth dolls would be stuffed with healing herbs along with fingernail or hair clippings of the person they were intended to help, or hurt depending on the type of ritual that was going on. But as time progressed, the Voodoo dolls evolved into tokens mostly used by those with evil intent. Enter a little crescent city influence. Now, Voodoo originated on the islands of Haiti, but in their practice, there had been no dolls. These little suckers are the result intermingling legend and religion, and what came to be of that? New Orleans Voodoo!

Voodoo dolls were popular among slaves, some thought that making the dolls and sticking them with pins was one way they could lash out at their master: These white plantation owners, mostly of European descent, were scared shitless of this practice. More often than not, the voodoo doll was used as a weapon against other believers in voodoo. Let me tell ya, these folks did not hesitate to use it, and you bet your sweet asses, they got the results they were looking for. These primitive looking dolls that were usually wrapped with twine or cat-gut and stuck through with everything from pins to fish bones, have been unearthed on several plantations in South Louisiana.

So Voodoo dolls were being left on doorsteps all over New Orleans back in the day, the idea of using them combined with other forms of hexes like gris-gris and mojo, had reached its peak during the reign of the infamous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Her Highness, Marie Laveau.

Legends in 19th century New Orleans are filled with the tales of victims of this dark magic. Each one of them, after waking from nightmares, would find bones, graveyard dust and a creepy little voodoo doll laying on their porch steps – placed there during the pitch of night, by Marie Laveaux herself. These tales would be easy to file away as local lore if it wasn’t for the fact that nearly all the voodoo Marie Laveau performed, actually worked. Sometimes just the mere suspicion that Marie had someone in her sites would be enough to cause physical or emotional collapse; and sometimes the fear alone, according to some accounts, was often followed by actual death. The power possessed by Marie Laveau is still at work in the Voodoo practiced in New Orleans today, and the tradition of the Voodoo Doll is still alive and well.

So what goes into one of these dolls that gives it so much power? Ever heard the expression, “baked with love” well, it’s kind of like that, except NOT. When someone orders a voodoo doll, the creator will focus vengeful and angry energies into the materials as it is being constructed. Depending on the task of the doll, it could take hours or weeks. For example, Your boss has been up your ass for days and you really just want him to go get bent. He’s not a bad guy and you kind of like him, but right now, he’s on your last nerve. So you go and order a doll to help you focus your energies. You don’t want him dead or anything but a week of violent diarrhea would keep him at home and locked in a bathroom, thus he’s off your ass, right?! That doll can be put together in a day.

On the other hand, if you’re wanting to exact your revenge on someone that has hurt you, and I mean, devastated and destroyed you, that doll is going to take quite a while. Now not to say that it would be better for you to do this yourself, but just imagine. The person making the doll has an understanding of the purpose of this doll but they don’t know this other person and it isn’t their pain. Imagine if the practitioner were making this very doll for themselves, in order to punish the one that hurt them. Imagine the hate and anger that could be woven into this doll. Pretty intense huh!

Yeah, these little bastards can be anything from a good luck token to the harbingers of a painful and agonizing death. Sometimes the evil intent of the one that created them is so strong that it attracts evil, you know that old saying, evil begets evil, yeah right. There’s a recent story about a cursed voodoo doll that I ran across, let me tell ya about it.

So this chick in Galveston, Texas bought a real haunted New Orleans Zombie Voodoo doll on ebay October of 2004, When it shows up at her doorstep she opens the box and sees what she described as a metal box that had been bound by twine. She thinks it’s just “window dressing” so she unties all of the twine from the creepy looking little curio, opens it up and pulls out the doll, because she wants to show of her newest novelty. In her own words, that was a big mistake, because that’s when the weird shit starts happening. The doll would move around the house, it was never where she last left it. There were times when the doll actually even attacked her, causing small but deep gashes on her ankles and lower legs.

So now this chick is literally afraid for her life. So she grabs the doll and crams it back into the metal box it had arrived in. Even though she knew that the doll was restrained in it’s box, she got no peace. Every night she was tormented by horrible nightmares that were so terrifying they continued to haunt her during the day. Living in fear and now to the point of mental exhaustion, she decides she’s going to destroy it. So first she tries burning it, it wouldn’t burn. So then she tries cutting it up, but the Knife, and scissors broke. So as a last resort, she tries burying it at a cemetery. But that didn’t work either, as she tells it, the dolls grave was just too shallow because it appeared lying dirty on her front door step a few days later.

So now she’s desperate to get rid of this evil doll, she resold it on ebay. A few weeks later, the buyer wrote her that the doll had just disappeared from her home. Well, guess where it shows up! Yeah, on this chicks front step so she sent it back to the purchaser. Not long after, she found it on her door step again, so she shipped it back to the purchaser, again. The third time it happened, the buyer called her and told her that the box arrived empty. Again, guess where the doll shows up, yeah, you got it.

Folks, all of this could have been avoided if she had just read the directions. The Original Ebay sellers ad said that this Haunted Zombie doll was very active and almost alive. It went on to say that the new owner had to follow the rules of keeping it hidden away and NEVER open the silver box it was locked in, not even to sneak a quick peek. Well this dumb bitch thought all of this was just too unreal, she thought the warnings were amusing, a corny selling tactic. Guess she found out! Now, this chick was actually just getting into ghost hunting. She thought this would be a great piece to investigate even if it was not really haunted. But to her surprise it was more than haunted, the little bastard seemed to be possessed.

So she tried getting in touch with the person in New Orleans that originally owned it, but her emails were not returned. She even packed it up and sent it back to the address it was shipped from but the package came back with an attachment “resident deceased.” She called in 3 different paranormal groups, two showed up but after examining the doll they said there was noting they could or would do to help her. After countless emails to all that is paranormal on the internet including Art Bell and George Norry Coast To Coast AM, none have answered her or even tried to get in touch.

When she had contacted a local Radio Station and told her story on Halloween of 2006 several callers to the show told her to seek out a priest, Which she did. The Priest who visited her was shown the large antique silver box that the haunted voodoo hoodoo doll is kept in. She begged him not to open it just to take her word on it. He then blessed the box as she asked to hold the evil spirit locked inside to stay there for her.

Others offered to take it off her hands but no one has ever called or showed up. People think she’s crazy, she says but she knows she is not. Now, she keeps the doll locked away, hidden deep her attic. One day she says she will sell her home, move else where and maybe if she’s lucky she’ll leave the the haunted doll tucked away in the attic and no one will ever find it or let it out again.

Like this story? Listen to it and others like it on past episodes of my show here

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