By Charles Wade-Palmer
A dad-of-two has driven his teenage children out of the house – after he began collecting haunted china DOLLS.
Barry Collingswood, 63, who is a full time carer for wife Sarah, 56, has horrified his family with dolls he started collecting eight months ago.
Spooked out son Josh, 18, now likens the house of dolls to 2014 horror smash Annabelle and cannot wait to move out and live without fear of being watched.
The family say the dolls have turned appliances on and off in the home with no warning – and mum Sarah claims she found an unplugged tumble dryer switched on in the middle of the night.
Barry also claims that his first doll tried to kill him, another doll’s eyes moved during conversation and a third provides a live commentary on activities in the household.
Josh who is applying for apprenticeships this Summer said: “It will be nice to be in a house where there aren’t haunted dolls watching me. I’m hopefully moving out this year to live with a friend.
“During the daytime the dolls aren’t so bad but at night the mood in the house turns completely.”
“I don’t think all of them are haunted but I do get quite creepy feelings from them and I sometimes feel as though they’re watching me when I’m home alone.”
Barry had never shown any interest in china dolls until last November when one in particular caught his eye in a local charity shop near his home in Kingsbridge, Devon.
After posting online about his new dolls Barry was told some had life stories and could be communicated with using a mobile phone app – which claims to let the dolls ‘speak’ to him.
Barry and Sarah’s bedroom is now overflowing with 30 old dolls from local second hand shops and Barry believes at least ten of them to be spirited.
Barry said: “I wasn’t the sort of person to buy dolls and I never had done before but I went into an old shop and thought: ‘Oh, that’s a very nice old doll’ only to be offered two more for free.
“I put a photo of one doll up online and after just two hours I had a reply from someone who told me about her.
Barry uses an app called Spirit Story Box designed for simple communication with the paranormal.
Josh, 18, has watched his dad’s collection of dolls grow and has joined in a few times on his daily ‘sessions’ which last up to an hour long depending on the doll.
Josh said: “I do believe some of the stuff he says I think my dad is a bit eccentric but I do believe there’s something paranormal about them.
“I watched a movie a few years back called Annabelle and it reminds me of that. I do feel a bit uncomfortable around them.
“There’s this one called Clara which creeps me out the most ever since I saw her eyes move.
“My mum recently said she experienced something in the kitchen with the tumble dryer which wasn’t even plugged in but was going on and off.
Sarah said: “The tumble dryer incident was totally unexplainable and that did spook me, whether the dolls were responsible I do not know!”
Sister Natasha, 21, who is graduating university this week said: “I first heard about my dad’s dolls over Facebook, when he started sending me pictures of them.
“He told me that he had named them all and that he sleeps with them by his bed.
“Every time I go home there’s a new addition. Mum will send him out to get milk and he will come back with a new doll. We often don’t know where he gets them from!
“At the start my mum would have to throw a blanket over them before she could go to sleep but now I think they’ve both adjusted to the odd collection.
“I try to avoid them totally when I visit home.”
This time last year Barry could never have imagined he would own a couple of dolls let alone 30 including ones he believes to be spirited.
Wife Sarah, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, told him to get rid of the first one without even seeing it because she had a bad feeling about it.
Barry said: “The very first doll I brought into the house Sarah said, ‘I don’t want to look at it and I don’t want it in this house.’ So I went to get rid of it.
“I know it sounds crazy but I got up on the wall outside about to put the doll which was still wrapped in polythene in a bin when a gust of wind unwrapped it and all of a sudden I was on the floor.”
“There was a pane of glass which I almost put my wrist through. She must have sensed what I was doing and tried to kill me.”
This was a sign of things to come for Barry who says he has had daily run-ins with the paranormal since collecting second hand china dolls.
Barry said: “I was told Clara was 13-years-old from Manchester and she passed many moons ago from high fever.
“She prefers men to women as her mother was not nice to her and she likes pets, car rides and would prefer to have a scenic view out of a window instead of being cooped up in a room.
“My wife and son and I were speaking to Clara the other day when experimenting with the box.
“The most amazing thing was when Clara objected to Sarah because she was a woman due to her previous life.
“The three of us saw her eyes turn towards me as if to ignore Sarah from the conversation.”