A doll is typically a model of a human or humanoid character, often used as a play toy for little girls.
And a doll that is considered haunted, when it is reported to be cursed or possessed.
One of the best known haunted dolls on the internet, is "Harold."
The haunted doll has been studied by a number of paranormal researchers. Taking form of a baby doll that is very worn-looking, it is believed that Harold has caused harm to its different owners, by making them sick or hurt by simply looking at them.
Reports also suggest that another owner was found saying that people were dying when the doll was not stashed.
"It's not a real doll, mummy. It wants you to think it's a girl's doll, but it's not. It has a black heart," once said Vincent, a victim of Harold's attacks in 2014-2015.
Harold was first put online in 2003. Due to numerous reports that said Harold is a haunted doll, Harold became the subject of many websites, newspaper articles and radio channels. Kathy bought it, but only owned it for about a year, before selling it again.
"I don't believe the doll is haunted. I do believe it's cursed," she said in 2004.
But after the doll went up on auction on eBay in 2004, Harold quickly became eBay's most infamous haunted doll to date.
This happened because the buyer, Anthony Quinata, bought the doll for himself to conduct research on it.
In 2005, he was convinced that Harold is indeed evil, and for that he stopped every research he did, that decided to hide it in a storage unit.
About a decade later, the public's interest in the doll was still high. This was why he continued his research, and made it more thorough.
Working as a psychic medium, Quinata described his research as a "1,000 piece puzzle with 1,000 pieces missing and no picture to go on."
Quinata found that Greg, the original seller, said that he made up stories about Harold, in order to make the sale more expensive.
At first, Greg hoped to increase the price from $9 to around $50. But with the hype, the auction ended with a winning bid of around $700. Unfortunately for Greg, the winner failed to pay, making Greg to relist the doll.
Greg admitted this, and saying that he was doing this with Kathy, a friend of his brother, who was also bidding on Greg's second auction.
Kathy was doing this to capitalize on the viral doll, by keeping the doll for a few months, to then make a public statement that the doll is actually haunted, and then sell it for an even higher price.
But instead of keeping it for a few months, Kathy stored the doll for about a year.
It was in 2004 that the doll was again up for sale on eBay.
She said that the doll was not haunted, but cursed. And she said this, by claiming that she isn't doing it for the sake of profit, but because she really believed that the doll is cursed.
Kathy who was in a back-and-forth email with Quinata, said that she was worried if Quinata was to have the doll.
"I should have just thrown in in the ocean," she wrote.
When the doll finally arrived to Quinata's home, he tested it with his Tri-Field EMF meter, and saw nothing. Taking pictures expecting the doll to do something, also failed. Recording it with EVP, also failed.
"I put the doll back into the Duane Reade bag it was in, but after all the stories I had heard from Kathy, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so I put a bottle of holy water and a crucifix into the bag with the doll as well."
But this was when Quinata experienced the fear himself.
For example, when he brought the doll to a psychometrist friend, the doll was heard in the recording "screaming" when sprinkled with holy water.
“I’m sorry Anthony, but I just can’t do this anymore,” his friend said, adding that "the doll just threatened to kill me. I have a heart murmur, and it feels as though the spirit in the doll is squeezing my heart.”
"It may have started as a hoax," said Quinata, "but it became a real life nightmare. Not just for me, but for others as well. I decided to take the doll out of storage to clear up the myths and misconceptions about the doll, and to find out the truth, no matter where it led me."
Quinata documented his experience through a book he wrote, in which he calls Harold "The Devil's Doll."
Some said that the eerily-looking doll is actually harmless, and the stories behind Harold were nothing more than a hoax.
Researches suggest that people can perceive a doll as "creepy" based on varying conclusions.
For example, a 2013 study by psychologist Frank McAndrew named doll collecting as one of the creepiest hobbies an individual could have. Of the topic of creepiness thing about a doll is related to uncertainty, as something "might be dangerous but you’re not sure it is". In a 2015 article for Smithsonian.com, stated that "dolls inhabit this area of uncertainty largely because they look human but we know they are not".
Dolls aren't capable of mimicking humans. But humans that see dolls that resemble humans, involuntarily expect the doll to respond, or at least do the most basic movements.
This makes the brain to remain suspicious, which results to the feelings of coldness when the doll does not act the way one thinks it should.
As for Harold, the doll got its name from Greg, the original seller.
In one video, it was shown that the doll's arm supposedly moved, with its mouth saying the word “Here,” or “Harold,” according to Greg.
Since then, the doll is known as “Harold.”