When I first moved to NYC almost 8 years ago, I lived with my older brother on the Upper East Side. I didn’t have a full time job so I would help him sell his antiques on eBay. My brother collects everything and anything, so there was definitely a variety of items to sell. This included Art Deco nudes, antique ivory dice carved on a whale ship, old textiles, and lots of dolls.
eBay became a weird place. What I mean is that it became super oversaturated with “RARE” items. Some of these items were in fact rare before people started to clean out their closets, attics, garages, etc. and realized that they could sell these items on eBay. Also, a lot of Antique and Collectible stores closed their brick and mortars to exclusively sell on the web. Why pay rent for a store when you can pay a fraction of the cost for a storage space OR work out of your own house?! These factors contributed to eBay becoming saturated with these “rare” items.
Realizing this, I came to find out the best way to sell items, which consisted of simply using keywords, nice photos, clever descriptions, and sometimes a good story. I created the story of Haunted Harold to sell a vintage composition doll on eBay. In an antique store, this doll might have fetched anywhere from $40-60 in its condition. On eBay, I would be lucky to get one bid of $9.99. So begat the story of Haunted Harold.
The doll became a mini-phenomenon. According to Ghoststudy.com, Haunted Harold was the FIRST Haunted Doll sold on eBay. This same claim is made on HauntedAmericaTours.com, reminding me that this was talked about on the Art Bell Coast to Coast radio show and that “paranormal websites were discussing this doll around the world.” As I am now sitting and looking for saved descriptions, I found a great index of my Haunted Harold doll auction on a New Zealand Ghost Hunters Website. Here is my original description from the first time I listed the doll:
I’m sure it’s happened to us all at least once or twice. You are walking around the flea market or antique mall looking for a treasure or two, and you come upon a beat up looking doll. You think to yourself, “oh that’s charming”, or “the child who owned that doll must have really loved this thing”… but what I thought after seeing the doll that is offered today, should never, ever, be repeated…
This doll was purchased in a small dirt lot flea market in the quaint town of Webster, Florida. Webster is a very charming, industrious town about 60 miles south west of Gainesville. They have a weekly flea market offering treasures, bargains, and aisles of kernel corn…anyways I digress…
I had arrived at the flea market fairly late in the day, when most people were packing up to go home. That is when I saw an elderly man placing the doll in a box. It looked interesting, so I asked the man if I could see it… the conversation went something like this..
Man: you don’t want to see this doll
Me: sure I do, what do you want for it?
Man: well, that’s a good question, because it’s very old… (the man looked like he was going to begin to cry) … it was my son’s, I bought it for him when he was born, and he passed away a few years after…this doll has sat in my work shed for over 60 years. I wasn’t going to bring it out today, but I figured I just needed to get it out of there…anyways, I want 20 bucks for it.
I gave the guy 20 bucks, put it in a bag, and walked away. When I was half way down the aisle, the man came running over, visibly out of breath…
Man: I have to warn you about something, I can’t just let you take him like this…the reason it has been in my shed, is that the doll brought an eerie presence into our house after our son died…we would hear crying and singing from his bedroom…when we went to check it out, there was nothing, just the doll.. other things started to happen, and the priest told me I should burn the doll, I tried and tried, but it would barely burn, that’s why his arms and head and legs are so worn.. anyways I just wanted to let you know…
I told him ok, and chuckled to myself as I walked away… that was until I got home, and my life has never been the same…
Two days later my cat died, my gf left me for the pool guy, I began to have chronic migraines, and this is only 2 days after purchasing the doll! A week later I began to hear a children laughing and crying in my basement…Every time I would go to check it out, of course, nothing…
This doll has been in an armadillo coffin in my basement for the last year and half, and I need to get rid of it… I really do believe it’s cursed, sometimes I touch it, and it seems like it has a pulse, maybe im just paranoid, maybe not… The cursed doll measures 21″ tall. His/her/its head, arms, and legs are all composition. The eyes are closed when it’s lying down.
Please ask any and all questions before you bid on this doll. I have not had it out of the coffin for years, so if anything else happens this week I will be sure to let you know. This auction is sold as is! WITH NO RETURNS! PLEASE!
Winner pays exact shipping and optional insurance. Check out my other auctions for more vintage collectibles and other fine antiques. Ask all questions before you bid. Even if you think you are sure about condition, pictures, etc, please ask all SPECIFIC questions, BEFORE BIDDING. Thanks for looking and Good Luck!
To make a bit of a long story short, the doll at one point I think had over 100,000 views. It was bid up to around $700 and the person didn’t pay. I then put it up again, and it sold to a family friend for around $300. I think in the second posting, I created a video with the doll “moving” and “talking” I can’t for the life of me, find the videos, but if I do I will be sure to update this post.
I don’t know what made me think of the doll. I think someone brought it up recently, or I just randomly decided to Google Haunted Harold. I was pretty satisfied, that I sort of made eBay history by selling the first Haunted doll, and I figured it was fitting to post about it this Halloween.
I have no clue where the doll is now. I know Kathy (our family friend who bought it) brought it with her to Ireland. She actually listed the doll, hoping to cash in on Harold’s celebrity status. At this point no one was buying it. Last I heard though, she experienced two odd occurrences after having the doll in her possession for about a year. A friend of hers had come over to see the doll after seeing her auction posting. About a month later this friend developed a brain tumor and died about a month later. Her friend had been completely healthy with no prior medical condition. A week later another friend had inquired about the doll during a dinner party at Kathy’s house. A month later he fell from a flight of stairs to his death.
Maybe Haunted Harold really is…- Twerps!