Some say Janesville doll stares from window to remind drivers of children
MSU Reporter | October 27 2005
Need a pickup line for this Halloween weekend? Try this one on an unsuspecting French maid or naughty cop: "Have you ever seen the Janesville doll? Wanna go check it out?"
Janesville is a town 15 miles east of Mankato. Don"t blink or you"ll miss it. This small town is the home to one of Southern Minnesota" most popular ghost stories.
"The Janesville Doll" is a legend with more variations than there are people in the town. It seems many people on the MSU campus have their own version to tell on why the doll remains and what it signifies.
"It seems to stare at you when you drive by, like it" watching your every move," said junior Sara Foss.
Foss, who has seen the creepy doll in the attic window of an old house on the main road in Janesville, said the story she heard about the doll goes like this: The doll belonged to a little girl who lived in the house and was killed by a car when she ran into the street after her ball. In memory of the girl, her parents placed the doll in the attic window overlooking the street to remind passing cars to watch for children.
Unlike Foss" rendition of the tale, senior Jake Wolters heard a bit more disturbing version:
"A long time ago, a little girl was left with a deranged babysitter when her parents went away for the week," Wolters said. "The babysitter locked the girl in the attic without food or water, and when her parents came home, she was dead, upright in a chair facing the window."
Wolters said when the girl" body was removed, her grief-stricken mother placed a doll in the spot, where it still remains today.
According to VirtualTourist.com, the story of the doll has yet another twist:
The woman who lived in the house had a 9-year-old daughter who became possessed one night and hung herself in the attic window. Ever since the incident, the doll has been kept in the girl" place, haunting the town.
Some people remain skeptical of all the stories floating around about the doll.
Adam Nori, founder of the Web site MinnesotaGhosts.com, said, "I believe the story is that of a tourist trap so people would talk about the small town of Janesville.
Nori also added that there is a time capsule to be opened in about 200 years buried in the park directly across the street from the house.
"Only the time capsule has the real story as to why the doll is there," he said.
Whether or not you believe any of the spooky tales surrounding the Janesville doll remember this story when you are about to approach that special someone this weekend.