In the early 1980’s, my sister received a gift of a doll from our native Ukraine from an aunt when she came to visit. She was 10 and of course occupied the bigger of the 2 kid’s rooms in our small Georgian style house in Chicago. I was 8 and pretty annoying as a little brother, always wanting to get into my sisters stuff. I have always had an active imagination and was convinced a vampire always hovered outside our window and would get me at night if I had to go to the bathroom down the hall. Simple solution – dive-bomb across the hall onto a rug and into the bathroom. Mom put a stop to that once I knocked myself out on the toilet after going to far. But I digress.

My sister and I were talking and she said she was getting help in math from her new friend. I naturally asked who. She said, “Katya, the doll.” I was sure she was screwing with me, like a good older sister does, so I tried to brush it off. Well, that’s when weird stuff started to happen. My sister would mention to my parents that the doll knocked a dictionary off the shelf and bounced it back on to her desk. She was never mean to my sister, just did a lot of silly things. My sister would be talking to someone in her room, but she had no phone and no cordless. I was convinced she was doing this for my benefit, but I would catch her talking when I just happened by. My parents were a little worried, but she had no other signs of problems, so they brushed it off as an active imagination.

Things were pretty quiet for a while until I really needed to go into my sister’s room to get a field trip permission slip so my parents could sign it. She was too busy spraying Aqua Net all over the bathroom and was running late. I protested but I was given the option of going in her room or getting a beat down. I should have taken the beat down. Going into my sister’s room, I felt the dread. I didn’t want to close my eyes just in case the doll tried attacking me; I wanted a second or two to get away. I get to her desk and start opening her drawer, when the door slams behind me and the shit hits the fan. I the doll never moves, but her eyes turn blood red and I swear she had a frown on her face. The desk drawer slammed on my fingers and a couple of perfume bottles came flying at me. I was doused in the crap.

By now I am freaking out like a little kid only can and my sister runs in the room. By the time she came in, the doll was back to normal. But, she knew better. She’s holding me while I’m crying as she tells the doll that only to give me grief if I went into her room to read her diary…nothing else. After that incident two things happened. Mom put the doll in the basement where my sister played most of the time and I never went into her room again.

The story may not be the best, but it takes a weird turn. About 8 years later, I’m at a friend’s house with a bunch of kids from high school on a Saturday night. Someone decides to break out the Ouija board. At that time, I had become cynical of the paranormal, trying to convince myself that I must have had an overactive imagination. So, I decide to kind of rain on the parade and tell them that Ouija boards are stupid and nothing is going to happen. We do the lights and cut the music and we get going. People start asking questions and they all start creeping out because yes/no questions are getting answered. I’m thinking “Well a 50/50 shot is not too hard”. I decided to test this thing for real. I ask a question that none of my friends would know. I asked, “Who is Katya?” The board hits the letters D-O-L-L!

Ok, I’m freaked out. I’m trying to remember if anyone could have possibly known about her. So I ask, “What is so special about the doll?” The board spelled out A-N-G-R-Y-A-T-Y-O-U and P-O-S-S-E-S-S-E-D. Ok, no joke, I’m 16, but I look 20. I’m 6’4, 250 pounds, got a full beard, long hair, and I’m crying. My girlfriend was scared because she had no idea what the hell was going on and people wanted to end the game, but I had to know who provided me with this information. I asked who the spirit was. The board spelled G-A-B-R-O. I had no idea who this person was but I figured I would check it out after I cleared my head.

I didn’t have much luck finding who this person for years. I actually gave up pretty quickly. This was before the internet where you can Google anybody. Then, when I was in my early 20’s, I was at a formal dinner for our Monsignor at our church who was celebrating 25 years of priesthood. Looking inside the booklet of photos and captions, I came across the name. Bishop Gabro was in a photo with my monsignor when he was a young priest. I asked about him to my priest. He mentioned that he was a kind man who loved the priesthood and he died a little over 15 years ago. He died around the same time that my sister got the doll. He also mentioned that he seemed to have an acute connection to his surroundings, but mentioned, not just physical but spiritual surroundings.

I really don’t know if it was him or my sister who ultimately stopped the doll from messing with me. I also don’t know if he was being my guardian again the doll, or if he was just informing me of a little tidbit of my childhood that I had forgotten (or more like repressed). Who knows, maybe it was just all a big coincidence or I was screwed in the head. I never found out what spirit was in the doll because I figured I’d leave well enough alone. As for the doll, I asked my mom what happened to her, and all she would say is, “we gave her a good home”… I hope wherever she is, she is happy.

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