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Small Details You Missed In Annabelle Comes Home

The third Annabelle film keeps the scares coming, but it also features a range of connections to previous films. With a full roster of spooky ghosts and a literal room full of references, Annabelle Comes Home is stuffed with small details — as opposed to the original Annabelle doll, which is only stuffed with cotton. Or whatever old Raggedy Anne dolls were stuffed with. Fiberglass? Maybe that's why everyone's scared to touch it — it's devilishly itchy.

If the devil is in the details, then Annabelle Comes Home is a round-trip ticket straight into hell, and the road to that hell is paved with Easter eggs. Are we done with the half-baked metaphors? Not even close. Call the babysitter, because we're diving deep into all the small details in Annabelle Comes Home, and we're conjuring up plenty of spoilers along the way. If you haven't seen it, you may not want to open this door quite yet.

We've been here before

Right at the beginning, Annabelle Comes Home puts viewers on familiar ground. If you didn't notice, the story picks up right where we first met Annabelle all those years ago, in 2013's The Conjuring — and really, where we all first set foot in the Conjuring universe. That film starts with the porcelain poltergeist terrorizing some girls in an apartment before the Warrens step in to take that mean old doll off their hands.

Annabelle Come Home opens on a continuation of that scene, which both grounds the story for longtime fans and gives it a firm chronological place in the Conjuring universe. Since the story jumps ahead a year after the Warrens bring Annabelle home, you immediately know that Annabelle Comes Home takes place in between the first two Conjuring films. 

Of course, we also get a little insight into why the Warrens are so dang scared of Annabelle, since the doll decides to bring half a cemetery back to life to terrorize the couple on the drive home. Geez, Annabelle, can't you chill for even one night?

The reference room

The one place you never want to go in the Warrens' house is into the artifact room. That door has 18 locks on it for a reason — there's nothing on the other side but unimaginable horror.

At least, in the film world. For viewers, the artifact room is undoubtedly a treasure trove of Easter eggs and sly references. There, we can see Rory's music box from the first Conjuring, as well as the mechanical circus monkey that's been onscreen before. There are also items that haven't shown up in the Conjuring world, but are taken from the real world instead. The book The Black Shuck alludes to a mythical ghost dog with red eyes that supposedly roams the English countryside. And the Ferryman is a figure in multiple mythologies. In Greek mythology, he was a dude named Charon who ferried souls across the River Styx. People would put coins on the corpses to pay their toll into the afterlife, though the old myths are vague on whether he went into a vengeful rage and murdered the people who didn't pay up.

Similarly, the samurai was apparently inspired by Japanese demons called Oni. There are even rumors that there's even an Aquaman artifact in the room somewhere, rumors which director Gary Dauberman appeared to confirm in an interview with IGN.

Miss me?

Like a teenage girl with a crush, or a mailman, Annabelle is a big fan of leaving notes. Specifically, she leaves notes with the spooky question "Miss me?" when she's in the throes of haunting the living daylights out of someone. You probably saw that question pop up a few times in Annabelle Comes Home, and again, this little detail goes all the way back to the first Conjuring film. In that intro sequence, the girls find the message scrawled in red crayon on a crumpled piece of paper. 

In Annabelle Comes Home, the motif shows up in several different places, notably on the (haunted?) typewriter in the Warrens' artifact room. What does it mean? Who knows! Maybe she wants to be noticed! Appreciated! Or... maybe it's just a creepy thing she does. 

Also worth mentioning is that the repetition, and the use of the typewriter, is reminiscent of Jack Torrance's "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" mental breakdown in The Shining. That may or may not have been intentional, but it's a nice nod to a horror classic if it was.

Comic connection

One of the cooler Easter eggs in Annabelle Comes Home happens early in the movie, when babysitter Mary Ellen is in the supermarket buying cake-making supplies. She runs into her friend Daniela, and the two stop for a chat in front of a rack of comic books. They were only onscreen for a second, but the specific comics really say a lot. 

First of all, they're all DC comics. No big surprise there — the Annabelle films are owned by Warner Bros., which also owns the DC extended universe. You can catch the cover of a Detective Comics issue, as well as an issue of Strange Adventures, starring everyone's favorite super-powered archaeologist, Adam Strange.

But most fittingly, Annabelle Comes Home director Gary Dauberman revealed that there's also a Swamp Thing comic on the rack. For those who don't know, Dauberman also co-created the DC series Swamp Thing, which was sadly canceled before the entire first season could even air.

Picture of the past

Ed Warren was a man of many talents — he was an author, a public speaker, and a ghost chaser, and on top of it all he was really good at convincing people to pay him for all these things. But one of his lesser known talents was painting. According to Warrens.net, that hobby was actually what got Ed and his wife Lorraine into the whole paranormal research thing. Ed would hear about a haunted house, go out and sketch it, then offer it to the homeowners in exchange for a tour of the house. That's not weird!

Eddy's paintings have shown up in Conjuring films before. At least, fictionalized versions have. The one most fans know about is, of course, the painting of the demon nun in The Conjuring 2.  But Annabelle Comes Home introduces a new painting in Ed Warren's signature style — and not just any painting, but what looks like a rendering of the house featured in the previous film, Annabelle: Creation. It's not a perfect recreation, but the placement of the tree and the remote house are pretty much unmistakable. Eagle-eyed viewers can catch it on an easel in the corner of the Warrens' office, first visible just after the Bride Ghost tries to attack Judy. Spooooky!

There you are, Raggedy Ann

For those who don't know, the so-called real-life Annabelle doesn't look anything like the eerie, cracked porcelain doll we see in the films. In fact, the real thing looks downright goofy — it's just a Raggedy Ann doll.

The story behind it is essentially the same, although no doubt embellished for the silver screen. Some girl got the doll, weird stuff started happening, and the Warrens eventually stepped in to save the day. That's one way to look at it. On the other hand, maybe they just stole a little girl's Raggedy Ann. You can take anything from a kid if you tell them it's haunted.

Anyway, Annabelle Comes Home did pay a little bit of fan service to the real doll in the form of a quick clip of a game show on the TV. Don't blink, and you'll see a contestant winning a huge doll with little black eyes and a triangle nose — the classic Raggedy Ann. And frankly, it's a good thing the Conjuring films decided to change the doll's appearance. Did we mention that it looks pretty goofy? Because it does.

Priestly production

If you were paying close attention near the beginning of the film, you almost certainly caught a seemingly important name that was never explained: Father Michael Thomas Morrissey, the namesake of Judy's Catholic school. He's the bust that Judy inexplicably spends about 30 seconds staring at.

The name doesn't have any connection to the Conjuring universe or any of the Warrens' investigations. He never turned into a werewolf or found himself locked with his family in a haunted house. But the name does bear more than a passing resemblance to Annabelle Comes Home executive producer Michelle Morrissey. Coincidence? In the Conjuring universe, there are no coincidences. Only spinoffs. Get ready for Father Thomas: Busted!, coming to theaters in 2027.

Name slip

Father Tom isn't the only behind-the-scenes name that made it onto the screen. An extremely obscure reference also shows up when Judy is reading the "Heroes or a Hoax?" article with her morning cereal. Because really, is there anything an eight year old girl doesn't love more than reading the news at breakfast? The gist of the article is basically the question of whether the Warrens — Judy's parents — are actually helping people or are just defrauding the public with their silly game of demons and ghosts, a question that has come up in real life more times than you can shake a cross at.

That article ends up getting a bunch of kids less interested in coming to Judy's birthday party, because grade school is hard, but the real Easter egg is on the newspaper itself. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but for a second you can see that the article was written by a Thomas Corvino. That's very likely a mash-up of Thomas Spence and Theresa Corvino, who served as property master and assistant property master, respectively, on Annabelle Comes Home.

Likely? Yeah, more than you'd think. On a film set, the property master is in charge of keeping track of all the props. What better place to put a nod to the folks responsible than on a prop itself?

The devil card

One detail that was never explained is the picture that you can see stuck to the door of Annabelle's glass cage. If you look closely, it looks like a horned devil dude sitting on a chair with one hand up and two naked people chained in front of him. No, it's not the birthday card your grandma sent you last year before she got her eyes checked. It's actually a tarot card, which is kind of, sort of like a playing card people use to read fortunes. Specifically, the card on the door is the "Devil" card.

According to people who put stock in these kinds of things, that card just happens to be "the most powerful card in the deck." So sticking it on the door of Annabelle's cage is sort of a subtle double warning (in case the actual "DO NOT OPEN" warning isn't assertive enough). It's basically saying: Look, out of all these possessed knick knacks in this room, this is the one you gotta worry about. 

And that becomes clear soon enough, of course — once Annabelle gets out, all the spirits in the room start getting frisky, and the movie goes into full-on AnnaHELL mode. There's another card — the Magician — pasted to the door that leads into the artifact room, but we're not fortune tellers, so we aren't sure what the significance of that one is.