no childhood companion is more familiar or more revered
than the Teddy Bear. Friend, companion, confidante,
protector, playmate – these are just some of the
roles the loyal, loving Teddy Bear has assumed over
the years. Since its introduction to the world in the
early 1900’s, the Teddy Bear – named after
American President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
– has been the indisputable image of a happy childhood.
is it possible that the beneficent Teddy Bear, like
many other childhood toys, has a darker side, less often
seen, but once experienced, impossible to forget? Is
it within the realm of reason that the fuzzy friends
of our childhood, living and sharing every moment with
their adopted children, might take on a life all their
own once the innocence of youth has worn away? Can it
be possible that the beloved Teddy Bear is actually
the most haunted (and haunting!) toy of all time?
are the questions posed by Haunted America’s resident
ghost hunter and paranormal investigator Gina Lanier
when she set out to discover the history of haunted
Teddy Bears. Considering the subject a little “off
the wall” at the outset, Lanier was surprised
to find there are many examples of these plush ghostly
companions with owners – and former owners! –
eager to tell the tale of their brush with a haunted
a ghost hunter and paranormal investigator, Gina Lanier
has encountered many haunted possessions such as jewelry,
paintings and furnishings, but she contends that toys
are far and away the most haunted items of all.
is probably because toys spend an awful lot of time
with their children,” says Lanier. “Most
kids forge a strong bond with their toys, dolls and
teddy bears especially, and we encounter situations
where some toys have gone through every major event
in a child’s life – positive and negative
– and it would not be outrageous to say that the
toys pick up the energy of the child who spends the
most time with them. But I think I chose Teddy Bears
because they’re almost a symbol of childhood and
they have such an innocent reputation.”
warm and fuzzy companion of our youth has a long history
of popularity both in America and abroad. For generations
children have received Teddy Bears to mark all sorts
of occasions and childhood milestones or for just “no
reason at all.” The Teddy Bear has been the keeper
of childhood secrets, the companion of childhood illnesses,
the playtime partner, and some Teddy Bears have even
accompanied children on that final journey into the
dark when they are placed in the coffins of infants
and children who have died.
all that the Teddy Bear is exposed to,” says Lanier,
“it would be absurd to think that somewhere along
the way you wouldn’t get some pretty haunted and
even possessed toys out of it.”
launch her investigation into the secret lives of haunted
Teddy Bears, Lanier first had to acquire test subjects
with appropriate backgrounds. With the help of friends
and family she has amassed a large collection of Teddy
Bears, all of which just happen to be the objects of
paranormal and ghostly activity. Many of these were
subjected to research and returned to their owners;
others were willingly donated with no return required.
collection spans all types of Teddy Bears: some are
antiques (made around the 1920’s and 30’s),
some are just old and tattered, some are more modern
examples, and some are brand new. Several were collected
from the massive debris piles left in the wake of Hurricane
Katrina. What they all have in common is a history of
association with paranormal activity, as verified by
the statements and real-life accounts of their owners
or as discerned by Lanier herself over the course of
many months’ work.
why the Teddy Bear is the most haunted childhood relic
is something Lanier considered at great length throughout
many cases, Lanier concluded, the haunting or possession
of the teddy bear occurs over a long period of time.
For all the years a bear remains in possession of a
loving child it becomes an integral part of that child’s
life. As the child creates this relationship with the
bear, the toy naturally begins to take on the energy
being directed toward it. Eventually, it is surmised,
the essential energy becomes a force that draws other
remnant energy to it; for example, if the child and
his toy live in a home that already has an established
history of paranormal activity, this may begin to use
the toy as a conduit to manifestation. In this instance,
the toy can become something similar to the “familiar”
associated with practitioners of magic, though of course
not frequently on such a powerful scale. The object
may not move and act as if of its own volition, but
the fact remains that the high concentration of energy,
sometimes combined with external anomalies, will cause
the teddy bear to almost take on “a life of its
own.” When this occurs, the teddy bear begins
to act in response to the child, taking on – at
least to its companion – all aspects of an independent
in homes where a family member such as a sibling or
other close relative has died, it often happens that
the teddy bear becomes the receptacle for the etheric
energy of the deceased in question. In this event, the
toy might manifest audible phenomena as well as local,
independent motion, i.e. moving from place to place
without the assistance of human interaction.
the situations described above it is often found that
the energy manifest in the teddy bear is generally benevolent
and that, outside the somewhat unsettling fact that
an entity is present in the toy, the most unnerving
aspect seems to be the intense loyalty the haunted object
will demonstrate toward the child that owns it.
is when the link between child and plaything is broken,
either through the natural breakdown of interest that
occurs as the child ages or in situations where adults
intervene when they feel the child is appropriately
old enough to discontinue playing with toys, that malevolent
activity associated with haunted teddy bears has been
it’s the sudden withdrawal of the energy that
causes the bears to ‘go bad,’ you might
say,” Lanier comments. “After all, this
toy has spent nearly every waking moment of the child’s
life involved in all of his or her experiences. To be
cut off from the constant companionship and the natural
interaction can be a shock; if the etheric energy within
the bear has gained enough strength, it might be capable
of all sorts of activity on its own.”
investigations suggest that this premise can explain
much of the strange activity surrounding some of the
older teddy bears and those newer ones abandoned to
the trash heap or the thrift store.
know of one instance where a mother decided that her
son was too old to be sleeping with his teddy bear,”
Lanier relates. “At first, she began to wean him
off of the habit by allowing him to go to sleep with
the bear and then removing it while the boy was asleep.
Often during the night the little boy would wake up
and call for his bear and sometimes the mother would
give in. But she eventually lost her patience with the
process and simply refused the boy his bear at night,
even going so far as to sleep with it herself to make
sure he wouldn’t have access to it.”
young mother soon found out to her dismay that Teddy
Bear had other ideas, as Lanier relates:
night as she was finally settling down to sleep after
an exhausting tantrum from her son, she cradled the
child’s little bear in her arms and tried to get
to sleep herself. She had only shut her eyes for a few
minutes when she felt movement in her arms and she immediately
thought she could catch her son in the act of swiping
the Teddy Bear.
can imagine her reaction when she opened her eyes and
her son was nowhere in sight. But when she looked down
at the Teddy Bear in her arms she saw it was wiggling
and MOVING ITSELF out from under her arm, trying to
get away and back to the little boy’s bed!”
mother sat up and threw the Teddy Bear from her in fear.
The little bear hit the wall and fell to the floor;
in the bedside light she could see it crumpled on the
floor. At that same instant her son woke startled from
sleep in the next room and began to cry miserably. Not
knowing what to do the frightened woman eventually got
up the nerve to approach the bear which she quickly
locked away in the well of a nearby entertainment center.
Eventually, however, the bear found its way back to
the little boy – but by no paranormal means: his
father simply found the bear locked away and gave it
back to his son. Still, when it did reappear, the child’s
mother was too frightened to remove it again. Ultimately,
the boy himself apparently outgrew the toy on his own.
Or, as Lanier likes to speculate, could it be the toy
outgrew the child?
bears really just want to be loved,” Lanier says.
“They want to be cuddled and valued and cared
for – in fact, that’s what they’re
made for. And as long as there is someone around to
provide for those needs, I think the energy within the
toy remains positive and content. When the child is
allowed to naturally outgrow the toy it’s possible
that the energy dissipates and perhaps reappears in
some other form in the older child’s life or moves
haunted teddy bears, however, don’t know when
to let go.
have found this phenomenon in some of the subjects I
have received or removed from homes where there is a
history of abuse, either of the teddy bear’s child
or of a sibling,” Lanier explains. “I speculate
that the primary energy the toy gets exposed to is fear,
obviously, and then anger that the child isn’t
able to express outwardly. As in other situations where
pent up emotion combines with a child’s strong
energy, poltergeist activity centered around the teddy
bear is not uncommon.”
such instances the teddy bear can become the source
of a very real and potent threat in the environment.
Always endeavoring to protect the child it loves, oftentimes
this energy can manifest in very negative ways.
have confirmed accounts of teddy bears in these environments
apparently taking action of their own either to reveal
the perpetrator of the abuse or harm that person in
some way,” says Lanier.
one instance a malevolent bear appeared on the stairs
seemingly out of nowhere; when the negative individual
who was the bear’s target descended the stairs,
roused by some noise, the bear was in just the right
place to cause a fall that resulted in a protracted
hospital stay. While the subject remained hospitalized,
the bear seemed completely harmless and inanimate.
an interesting case,” says Lanier. “First
of all it seems the bear was determined to get at the
person it felt was harming those it loved. Also, in
that case, no one except the target heard the noises
that caused him to walk down the stairs in the first
place. Then, finally, when the man came home from the
hospital, the activity only got worse.”
it seemed Teddy Bear had upped the ante considerably
while the abusive subject was away. Now convalescing
in the home but still unable to get around without the
aid of a crutch, the injured man spent considerable
time in bed – at least at first.
in the middle of the night the injured man awoke to
hear his bedroom door shut but when he tried to lift
himself to investigate he was shocked to find the malevolent
teddy bear straddling his injured leg. Almost as soon
as he became aware of it, the man says, the bear began
to move toward him.
firmly believes that bear might have killed him if he
hadn’t have screamed loud enough to wake the whole
house!” Lanier says with a smile.
the bear “got around” so much that, as soon
as he was able, the man went to stay with relatives
and refused to come back despite the pleadings of his
wife “as long as the kid has that god damned bear!”
of the most touching stories of haunted teddy bears
involve the toys left behind when a child dies –
either suddenly or after succumbing to a long illness.
evidently, the bears go through the same grieving process
as human survivors of death,” Lanier states. “Loneliness
is probably the primary feeling, I suppose, although
often there are signs of anger and confusion as well.
I said, teddy bears just want to be loved and taken
care of. That is the purpose of their existence, well,
that and to keep their companion happy. When this relationship
is suddenly cut off, there is a backlash of energy that
can manifest in unexpected ways.”
most touching example of a bear whose energy remained
positive though its link to its child was severed is
the story of Laredo. The bedside companion of a terminally
ill child, Laredo was named after a song by popular
country singer Chris Cagle. Laredo’s child suffered
bravely through terminal illness with the bear constantly
by his side and before his death the child made it clear
that he wanted Laredo to go and live with Cagle.
a very touching example of a strong bond between a child
and his teddy bear,” Lanier says sadly. “The
child’s family was convinced that the boy was
receiving much of his strength and his will to live
from his companion teddy bear. Not only this, he also
found strength in the words and messages he heard in
Cagle’s music. In the end, he wanted Cagle to
have that bear, and that’s how it went.”
completing his task as bedside companion to a dying
boy, Laredo the Teddy Bear now lives with Chris Cagle,
his presence a constant reminder of the value of life
and the bond between a boy and his companion.
the most disturbing report of post-mortem teddy bear
activity is of the teddy bear that returned from the
that happens more than you might think!” Lanier
laughs. “Bears seem to have a knack of showing
up, even through six feet of dirt!”
is quite serious in her contention that some teddy bears,
knowing the bond with their child is broken by death
and not content to remain forever in the grave, will
“find a way” back to the world of the living.
report from a Tennessee woman involved a teddy bear
that had been the constant companion of her grandmother
who was suffering from Alzheimer’s in a nursing
home. The presence of the little bear seemed to delight
the elderly lady and from the time she received it,
she never let it out of her sight.
family felt it only fitting that the bear should be
put in the coffin with the lady when she finally did
pass away,” Lanier explains, “so this is
what they did. Several people, including the entire
family, witnessed the bear in the coffin when the lid
was closed. The same people saw the coffin lowered into
the funeral the granddaughter and an aunt went to the
nursing home to collect the remainder of the deceased’s
things; this amounted to a small box and couple of shopping
their distress and consternation when they opened one
of the shopping bags only to find grandmother’s
favorite teddy bear lying right on top!
is very true,” says Lanier. “In fact, I
know the family personally and that is how I obtained
Lanier says there seemed nothing out of the ordinary
about the bear at first, however, the longer it remained
in her home the more unusual its behavior became.
another one of those ‘get around’ bears,”
Lanier laughs. “I’d put it in one place
with the other bears and go to bed and in the morning
I’d find it laying in the middle of the hallway,
or worse, inside a room I never use and hadn’t
been inside of in weeks!”
concluded that the bear didn’t like company and
that it hated to be confined. Eventually, it made it’s
own way to a windowsill overlooking the backyard. “And
that’s where I left it!” she laughs. “If
it wants extra room and a view, it can have it!”
way of explanation, Lanier ventures this: “I firmly
believe that what begins as a base energy in the teddy
bear – just the combination of its history and
reputation gives it that – produces a reaction
and connection with its owner. It’s likely that
discarnate spirits – human and otherwise –
are attracted to this energy and begin to feed off of
it. These spirits find more energy connected with the
child or person keeping the teddy bear and discovering
this, they aren’t inclined to leave.”
of Lanier’s most troubling experiences stem from
her investigation of teddy bears she has collected in
the post-Katrina morass. Although her work with them
continues, she says, “There is such a sad and
depressing energy about all these toys. Not only were
they abandoned and cut off from the love and connection
they had, they have been thrown onto garbage heaps and,
literally, bulldozed away.”
has managed to save several examples of old and new
bears from the trash heaps of New Orleans, but as her
work with them continues she admits that she can only
take these creatures in “small doses” to
avoid being overcome by the horrible feelings emanating
bears, angry bears, playful bears, old bears, new bears
– what follows is a random sampling of some of
Lanier’s investigation test subjects.
the Teddy Bear the most haunted toy ever? Read on and
judge for yourself!
is a bear usually one of a child's first stuffed
toys? And why are toy bears called "Teddy?"
Look no further than our nation's twenty-sixth
president, Theodore Roosevelt. The most common
explanation for the rise of the "teddy
bear" begins in November 1902, when Roosevelt
visited the southern United States to help settle
a border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana.
While on the trip, Roosevelt went bear hunting,
but had little luck. Others in his party did
find a bear, which, cornered near a water hole,
fought with and killed one of the group's hunting
dogs. When Roosevelt saw what had happened,
he ordered his men to humanely put the wounded
bear out of its misery.The incident caused Clifford
K Berryman to draw a cartoon titled “Drawing
The Line in Mississippi” which linked
the incident to the political dispute that had
taken President Roosevelt to Mississippi in
the first place. The cartoon appeared in the
Washington Post on the 16th November 1902
cartoon drew immediate attention. In Brooklyn,
NY, shopkeeper Morris Michtom displayed 2 toy
bears in the window of his Stationary and Novelty
store. The bears had been made by his wife Rose
Michtom from black plush stuffed excelsior and
finished with black button eyes.
rendition is of the Berryman cartoon as it appeared
in The Washington Post.
soon recognized the immediate popularity of
the new toy. He requested and received permission
from President Roosevelt personally to call
them Teddy's Bears.
Read more here!
Teddy Bear History
Where it all started...
don't think my name is likely to be worth much
in the toy bear business, but you are welcome
to use it." ~ Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt,
The story begins in Germany, in late October
1902, where Richard Steiff, a toy designer working
for the family firm in Giengen, visited the
USA in search of ideas for new toys and went
to see a touring American circus . Among the
performing animals he saw there was a troupe
of bears. They sparked off his ideas and he
saw the possibility of making a bear toy jointed
in a similiar way to the dolls that they produced.
He put his thoughts down on paper for his aunt,
Margarete Steiff, who had founded the firm in
1880. She liked the idea and Richard set to
work on visiting zoo’s to sketch the bears.
REAL LIFE ACCOUNT OF A TEDDY BEAR HAUNTING
used to love going to yard sales. One particular
summer it seemed like there were at least five
or six every Saturday and my sister-in-law would
drag our kids around digging through other people’s
unwanted things hoping to find treasures.
one such trip I found a darling little black
teddy bear. It was old, obviously, because it
was well worn. It was made of chenille and had
black buttons for eyes. When I picked it up
I was surprised to find that it was a “beanie”
or was at least filled with the same material
as the popular stuffed collectibles.
turned to the woman running the sale and said,
“You can’t be selling this?”
To which she replied, “Oh, yes, he’s
for sale. He used to be my son’s, but
I had him for years. He’s very old, probably
early 1900’s.” Looking over the
bear, I could believe it, and I paid the ungodly
price of $3 for this little bit of history.
I got it home, I cleaned it up a little and
sat it on my bed among some other stuffed animals
I had there. Later, I went back to my room to
take a short nap. I pushed the animals aside,
though the little black bear was close to my
arm and at some point I must have put my hand
guess I dozed off quickly because when I woke
up it was getting dark outside and I felt as
if someone were tugging at me to wake up. Out
of the corner of my eye I could see the little
black bear moving. It looked as if someone was
tugging it, but there was NO ONE in the room
with me. Unseen hands were pulling the bear
away from me. Instinctively, I grasped the bear
and held it tightly, still amazed to find that
something was tugging against me.
sat up and put the table lamp on. The bear fell
to the floor – I might have knocked it,
or my unseen opponent might have pulled it down.
Either way, I was convinced that if this particular
little bear was going to be in my home, he wasn’t
going to sit on my bed!
the ghost of a previous owner hadn’t liked
that the bear was sold in a yard sale? Who knows?
I just know, if anyone from the “other
side” misses it, they can visit it in
my china closet from now on!
lyrics of Teddy Bear by Elvis Presley
& music by mann-low) ©1956
Bear / Loving You
(US) RCA 47-7000 (45) 20-7000 (78)
Released: June 1957
* Recorded: Paramount Studios, Hollywood, January
** Recorded: Radio Recorders, Hollywood, February
let me be,
Your lovin' Teddy Bear
Put a chain around my neck,
And lead me anywhere
Oh let me be
Your teddy bear.
don't wanna be a tiger
Cause tigers play too rough
I don't wanna be a lion
'Cause lions ain't the kind
You love enough.
Just wanna be, your Teddy Bear
Put a chain around my neck
And lead me anywhere
Oh let me be
Your teddy bear.
let me be, around you every night
Run your fingers through my hair,
And cuddle me real tight
Elvis Teddy Bears - Elvis Presley Collectible
Elvis Memorabilia - These Elvis Presley collectible
Teady Bears feature a newly developed technique
to take full colour images, works of art, and
in 1907 by John Bratton of the USA
you go down to the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down to the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.
every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic.
Teddy Bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.
the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
'Cause that's the way the Teddy Bears have their
you go down to the woods today
You'd better not go alone
It's lovely down in the woods today
But safer to stay at home.
every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic.
time for Teddy Bears
The little Teddy Bears are having a lovely time
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout;
They never have any care;
six o'clock their Mummies and Daddies,
Will take them home to bed,
Because they're tired little Teddy Bears.
to the music The Teddy Bears' Picnic
written by 1933 by Jimmy Kennedy of Ireland
- The Teddy Bears’ Picnic
written in 1907 by John Bratton of the USA
Gina "Gnothz" Lanier