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The Evil Ted

Submitted by Jaymes on July 18, 2012 - 1:15 pm 36 Comments

The Evil Ted - A Jehovah's Witness urban legendWe’ve all heard them – superstitious Jehovah’s Witness urban legends that always seem to end with the main character shouting out “Jehovah” at the top of their lungs.

Have you ever witnessed one of these urban legends yourself? I am proud to say that I have – at least partly – witnessed one of the greatest Jehovah’s Witness urban legends that did the rounds in North London, England, during the late eighties.

Grab a beer and a bowl of popcorn and get ready for the Evil Ted Jehovah’s Witness urban legend.


Read the urban legend in full here.

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Teeny

    If you can possess a teddy or a doll, why doesn’t the military carry out a mass possession in a Toys R Us and simply drop all these possessed toys on their enemies?

    Oh yeah, you can’t possess toys…

  • jws

    When I was a kid, probably about the age of 10, give or take, my sister (married in her mid 20’s) told my brother and I a blood curdling tale that she said happened to a couple at our hall that we all knew.

    Well, seems this couple went on a vacation and came back with a wooden tiki doll. The wife began to hear noises and when she went to investigate, she had found it had come to life. It chased her around with a spear. She finally trapped it in the oven and burned it.

    The implication being that these islanders or whoever that carved it worshiped false gods and practiced spirtism.

    I was terrified at the time, but I later dismissed it as an urban legend. And then I found the source.

    A few years ago when Will Smith did the I am Legend movie, I saw a paperback with the original story by Richard Matheson. It wasn’t an extremely long tale and would have made for a thin book so the publisher added some of his other short stories.

    One of these, written in 1969, was called Prey. It tells the story of a young woman who is given a carved statue of a warrior. I don’t recall the details, but there was something that wasn’t supposed to happen, but it fell over and did and came to life. So, it chased her around the house and eventually she trapped it in the oven and killed it.

    I would have been 8 or 9 when this story appeared in the movie Trilogy of Terror. But Wikipedia says the story first appeared in Playboy magazine.

    Interesting. Did a JW steal the story from a film or from a Playboy? Was my sister deliberately BSing me or did she hear it from somebody else? I tried asking my sister about it, but she doesn’t recall the story.

  • smmcroberts


    That’s a strange story for Witnesses to believe since they don’t believe in ghosts.

    The existence of ghosts would require a soul or spirit to survive death. It’s diametrically opposed to Witness dogma. Yet such stories are evidently told and believed.

    I guess they’ve had so much practice in holding contradictory thoughts in their heads that they don’t experience any cognitive dissonance.

  • Andres Torres

    Once she was baptized! How convenient.

  • Andres Torres

    I was once told a story about demonized WTS literature. No kidding! A brother told me that a friend of his had gotten some old literature second hand and put it in his trunk. While he was driving the literature evidently was flying around and banging on the walls of the trunk. So he pulls over and burns the literature. I’ve probably heard a dozen of these kinds of stories. Thankfully the society recently asked JWs to stop spreading them, saying that they shouldn’t concern themselves with the Demons or exaggerate their powers. I think they finally realized that this was a problem.

  • Andres Torres

    If you want to properly understand that experience, I highly suggest reading “The Demon Haunted World” by Carl Sagan. You will be shocked by how very prone human beings are to experiencing supernatural phenomena that just aren’t there. Sometimes it seems they can even share hallucinations like the one you report here. No demons, ghosts etc are necessary to explain it.

  • Andres Torres

    I had frequent nightmares as a child, 90% of them were about demons. I once ran out of a building because I was told it was haunted. All children have nightmares, so I suppose if I’d been raised in some other religion they would have been about something else. But still, I realize now how scared and superstitious I was and how unnecessary it was.

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Teeny

    As I pointed out in the article Carlos, Androulla was (and might still be) suffering from thyroid problems. If you couple that with fear and make-believe supernatural activities, you have the reasons as to why she would believe.

  • Carlos Geijo

    Very easy, a lot of this experiencies about being chocked while sleeping by a force can be easily explained by sleep paralysis and their associated hypnagogic hallucinations. These hallucinations are usually “colored” by the belief system of the person that experiences them.

  • John

    Yes Steve one of those old portable plastic brown made piano organs. It is kind of ironic considering my father was a acomplished musician and his brother actually played his whole life for the new york philormonic. my uncle also conducted some of the sessions for the wto in bethel. also my x wife had a uncle by the name of Wilfred Guch, im sure you know the name. or how about Ernest Beaver? It was amazing to read a letter Wilfred wrote that made one of Ray Franz’s book’s. I do remember some conversations with the man about policies the WTS would hold fast to and he wasn’t happy about. The sad part is a lot of these folks start out their life with good intentions to help others but its the societys rules they have to adhere to that sucks the good out of them. I also had cousins who were involved that were about 15yrs older then me and would relate rediculous storys about supposed Demon activity. They told me they were going door to door one day and a lady gave them some strawberries to eat and while they were driving in the car the inside tempeture would go from hot to cold by itself and they felt like someone was in the back seat with them. lol I think those two brothers who were pranksters were into Drama and story telling. Oh yea they said it was the Strawberries because when they said when they threw them out the window it stopped. Well my question today to them would be then why did what you already ate not still effect the spirit zone in your car lol. Perhaps my cousins 1965 Pontiac Gto’s automatic climate control system was the cause of it all lol Just unbelievable stuff that rolled out of those guy’s. You just gotta chuckle in the end. I know one thing and thats im not afraid of the dark or being destroyed by fire. I have to say since not being associated with that cult i have not heard of any storys of such things from anyone. Perhaps it’s just a way of them trying to use scare tactics yet once again to get you to join their ranks. Surely Funny stuff

  • Steve

    An organ? Maybe your Dad was feeling good connecting with the music: that certainly would’ve been a “strange feeling” for a Witness to experience. No wonder he panicked!

    I was just thinking: Isn’t it funny how no one in the OT was ever “demon-possessed”? Then suddenly in the NT it’s a common occurrence. What were the demons doing all that time before Jesus came around to drive them out?

    Another interesting thought: the Bible never relates that an inanimate object was ever demon-possessed. It was always an animal (human or non-human). So where do the JWs get their precedent for believing smurfs, organs, etc. could be possessed by a demon? It’s not biblical, so it’s obviously just superstition.

  • John

    while its true that the bible says “everyone that calls on the name of jehovah will be saved” it certainly is out of context in these contrived instance’s. our family got involved with the jw”s when i was around 10 yrs old. i remember my Dad telling me to take a organ he was given by a friend out back and destroy it with a sledge hammer because he felt it was demonized after feeling strange from playing it. How ridiculous to 1) have me at the tender impressionable age of 10 be exposed to this type of thinking and 2) do this by myself! You talk about being scared to death of refusing to do it or let alone being traumatized by this thinking. Sometimes as a fifty something adult i think my parents were just plain stupid to buy into this cults pitch.

  • amy

    This cracked me up. I quit the JWs at 18 years old and now at 35, I still sometimes have dreams about demons. In those dreams, I always call out to Jehovah.

  • Amanda

    I heard the story but with the 90s band L7. Hahahaha Earth Wind and Fire!

  • Merri-Ella

    funny thing is, i’m pagan now…so i’d be in that spiritistic camp, GASP!!!

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Andrew

    I hope now that you’ve left those superstitious beliefs behind.

  • Merri-Ella

    We had a spiritistic camp in our territory. No one ever wanted to work that territory, but you could always leave it up to the “strong” pioneers to volunteer. The story that me mother told me is that a she was in that camp with other witnesses and going to the doors one-by-one (why they would spread themselves thin in a camp they thought was sworn to Satan I’ll never know). But one sister went to a door, by herself, and the lady at the door was very nice and invited her and her friend in. When she told the woman she was alone the woman then went in to describe the sisters mother who had been dead for years.
    I also heard about a ouija board that while thrown on a bonfire was screaming.
    And when I was about 4 or 5 my mother and my much older sister (probably about 31 at that time) read all up on trolls and witches and such and got rid of all of our Disney movies. We were only allowed to keep 101 Dalamations and Dumbo. I remember being really mad, and insisting that we would have to get rid of Dumbo too due to the magical feather that let Dumbo fly. My mom pointed out that it was just his confidence that allowed him to fly. Though Dumbo and that mouse did get drunk…

  • Becky

    When I was very little, my aunt went through a period of time when she was having nightmares. Of course, nightmares were caused by demons (couldn’t have anything to do with the abusive husband she was divorcing). So the family wracked their brains for anything that had been brought into the house recently. First they suspected a coat, so they left the coat outside overnight, and still the nightmares continued. Then they suspected a doll, given to her by our “demonic” neighbor (I believe her doctor diagnosed her with schizophrenia, but that’s obviously because doctors do not understand about demons, poor uneducated fools). The story goes, my parents tried to burn the doll, but it wouldn’t burn (again, this is due to demonic possession, not flame retardant fabric), so my step-dad had to tear it apart and throw it away. Demons can resist fire, but my step-dad is still stronger than they are, obviously.
    I don’t know if my aunt’s nightmares ever went away. I think my nightmares may have started about that time….

  • http://diovisuals.com Dion Snoeijen

    Hah, I remember my mother asking if I was still able to read the bible. People that are in touch with demonic powers are unable to read the bible she heard. Naive as I was I actually tested it with her. This was probably after she caught me playing a role playing computer game of some sorts, I don’t exactly remember. I also used to buy magazines about computer games, often to find them with missing pages or covers, if there was anything on them referring to magic.

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Andrew

    Cheri, I believe you had such an experience, but I find it hard to believe your explanation and interpretation of it. I think there are much more logical explanations for ‘ghosts’ and the like. I hope that doesn’t sound mean :-)

    Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.Etsy.com/shop/SoVeryCheri Cheri Romero

    I am an ex-jw who was born to a fanatical jw mother. I had 3 older siblings. sister 7 years older, sister 8 years older and brother 11 years older.

    My oldest sister was getting married and a customer of my mother gave my sister a wedding gift of praying hands. It was put in the closet in my mother’s room. Now this is the funny part to the story. I no longer believe anything the witnesses teach but on THIS night, these weird things really did happen.

    So my baby neice got real sick when we were babysitting her, my guinea pig died for no apparent reason and a couple other strange things happened. Then when I was in my sisters room looking out the window, I saw a apparition across the street that look like a ghost so I called my friend (who was spending the night) and she saw it too. We told my mother about it. We were put to bed in the same room where that plaque was in the closet and then the curtains started blowing but the window wasnt open and then a bat flew through the closed window and my friends started screaming Jehovah over and over again.

    My mom took that plaque down and put it in a garbage bag and she and my sister took it outside and beat it to death with a hammer. And then my guinea pig came back to life and… and… and…

    No really that last part is not true of course (just a little humor) but all the rest is. I often think of that time for some reason. I was 10 years old then and I am now 51.

  • Nico

    There was a story that went around IL congregations to keep us from dating & *gasp* possibly marrying into “the World”.

    I girl dated a Worldy Guy, nice guy, good job, she fell in love, & even managed to carry on a chaste courtship! Good for her right? Doo doo doo. On her wedding nights she notices a rocking chair in their bedroom rocking all by itself. At first she thinks the floor is uneven, then she checks for a draft, etc. Finally she asks if her new husband has noticed it & Doo doo doo He says it’s his dead mother’s ghost! Now she has to live with that!!!

    Wish I had a picture of the other young girls faces when we were told this. I never did fit in & I’m sure on that night my expression of “that’s BS” didn’t help any.

  • The lamb

    I’ve heard the same story with Chris de Burgh…

  • Chippy

    I heard this same story, except with Earth, Wind amd Fire. Plus a little more: from then in, Earth Wind and Fire would ask any JWs to leave before they began their performance.

  • trusting poet

    It has taken me a long time to realize some things for what they were. I am just starting to come to terms with it all. Being here, reading others stories and sharing some of my own is helping. It makes me realize for the first time that I’m really not alone, and not altogether insane… I just had some traumatic emotional experiences in my childhood and have to find a way to deal with them.

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Andrew

    That’s horrible. It’s nothing short of psychological abuse to do that to a child.

  • trusting poet

    I remember bringing home a shiny silver baton once from my dads girlfriends house when i was about 10. I was excited to show it to my mom and show off the neat trick i had learned to do, but i was was also afraid I wouldnt be able to keep it as it was something cheerleaders used and of course cheerleaders were bad…. but that was not why I wasnt allowed to keep it. I was forced to throw away my beautiful shiny baton (oh, i forgot to mention the tassels..) because my dads girlfriend owned a ouija board and my baton had been in that house. I had to throw it in the garbage can then tie up the bag and carry it outside so that it wasnt in our home. I had felt like such a horrible child for not only bringing such an evil object into our house, but for wanting to keep it even after mom told me it was bad…

  • http://scottleblog.wordpress.com Sally

    I remember one about a family that had a demonized painting. They put it in the garage and that night they heard it slamming around trying to get out of the garage. They poured gasoline on it and lit a match, but it wouldn’t burn. They ended up tearing it to shreds, and it screamed. Then they were able to burn it. Now, doesn’t that have the ring of truth?

    I’ve spent entire evenings with other JWs relating their demon stories. Wish I could remember more of them, just for entertainment’s sake.

    My ex-in-laws were great believers in the demons and had a van parked out back that was stuffed full of “suspicious” items from their house. Supposedly, if you put the item outside of the roofline of your home you were safe. If the “demon activity” stopped while the item was outside they’d get rid of it.

    During the 27 years I was married to their son we threw out all of our furniture two times because of supposed demon possession.

    I think they feared the demons more than Jehovah!

  • Lacy

    The pioneer sister who studied with me when I was 10 told me that there was once a KISS concert that some JWs went to. The band tried to call upon the demons and it wasn’t working. They announced from the stage that if there were any JWs in the crowd, could they please leave as they were hindering the performance. So the JWs left and they concert apparently went on as planned after that. I’m so very sure that story is 100% accurate. (There needs to be a sarcasm font!)

  • Flo

    Yeah,my mom(and some of the Brothers at the Kingdom Hall) used to tell me that absolutely anything regarding the paranormal,magic,or other completely harmless fictional things could bring demons into the house(she used to burn anything and everything that darest mention such things,including an issue of Nat geo kids).Once I watched smurfs on Boomerang.She caught me and almost broke the remote trying to grab it from my hands. That night I couldn’t sleep,I thought I had done something terribly wrong. I stayed up the whole night praying to Jehovah and begging him to dispel the evil demons from us. I felt even worse after watching an episode of,”The Haunting”. *sigh* I can’t believe I was ever silly enough to believe something like that..
    Even now,I have frequent sleep paralysis episodes,nightmares,and insomnia. When I finally told my Mother,she wanted to look through my room to see if I was,”experimenting with the occult”.

    I really hope one day she comes to her senses and leave the JWs.

  • dan wicks

    sounds like your mom had and has mental problems that have nothing to do with j.w. face it j.w. or any other religon she needs med.help reread your post ….about the way she was anyways im not trying to be hurtful my mother not as intenes as yours was of her rocker way before any .j .w came around

  • Jason

    As was told to me by my grandmother when I was a child.

    A woman who had been involved with the occult started studying with JW’s and attending meetings. Every night she was attacked by demons who were angry at her for wanting to serve Jehovah. Every time she went to the meeting she could see the demons outside the kingdom hall waiting for her. Once she was baptised the demons left her alone.

    To this day I still can’t believe I fell for this story.

  • Buddhagan

    I’ve heard the stories of a doll (Smurf, Cabbage Patch, Teddy Ruxpin) walking out of the kingdom hall.

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Teeny

    Hi Sakura and thanks for commenting.

    Andrew today said just how stupid the shouting out of Jehovah’s name is. He went on to add that if Angels are far greater beings than we are, how comes they shudder when the word “Jehovah” is mentioned? After all, demons are Angels. We’re lesser beings, yet I’ve never shuddered.

    You should all try it next time a tiny teddy is trying to strangle you. Shout out “Jehovah” and see if it puts him (or her) off. I’m sure it won’t, so you’re doomed to die. Death by teddy!

    Next up – Playing Hotel California backwards!


  • Sakura

    My mom would burn my brother’s Pokemon and Yugi-oh cards and claim that it made screaming noises. Some tv shows were (still are since I live at home but I’m too old to watch that now) off-limits such as the ones I mentioned. And having those cards around would bring demons she would say! Any t-shirts with band names on them she’s rip up and throw away. Thus my beloved Paramore is evil to have around.. My beloved Twilight series she threw away and I absolutely loved twilight. I had shirts posters and all the books. She made me get rid of them all.(I paid for it myself) It “supposedly” brings demons. Posters are just off-limits altogether. which is understandable. But jeez romanticism can’t be explored without someone shouting “Demon or spawn of Satan!” Your story is hilarious though! My mom likes to say “Get behind me Satan” or “The devil made me do it”

  • http://smmcroberts.net Steve

    I didn’t know that JWs were also skilled ventriloquists!
    Maybe your mom was just helping out since the teddy bear didn’t have any vocal chords and she knew the demon wanted to scream.

    If any deception is good when it furthers the “truth” by frightening people into the organization (witness 1925, 1975, etc.), I wonder at what point the quantity of the deceptions render it no longer “the truth”?