An eerie hand-sewn doll was locked in a reliquary and is currently on display in downtown El Paso.


Earlier this week, I met with the folks of the Paso Del Norte Paranormal Society (Ghosts915) to talk about all things haunted and discovered that they are currently holding a reliquary for Dave's Pawn Shop that they bought a few years back.

A reliquary is a container or shrine that holds relics of a saint or martyr, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures, providing a means of protecting and displaying the relics thought to be endowed with healing powers.

So how did this eerie hand-sewn doll end up seeing the light of day? The story goes like this:

A few years ago, someone came into Dave's Pawn Shop saying that they had this reliquary in the family for years, but the key to unlocking it was lost, and they had no idea what was inside.

Soon after, the pawnshop allegedly bought the shrine for six figures. Why would this box be worth so much? For starters, reliquaries are uncommon today. This one in particular, which measures about 10 inches long, 5 inches wide, and about 6 inches high, is made out of lead, and easily weighs between 12-15 lbs.

The box's intricate exterior depicts twelve men, apostles, saints, or philosophers; we're not sure precisely, along with the twelve animal zodiac symbols.

After Dave's Pawn Shop bought the box, they sent it out to have it professionally opened so the reliquary would not be damaged.

Once opened, they discovered an impish hand-sewn doll complete with a tail and wings inside.

attachment-Juju 4

Dressed in reddish shorts, a v-shaped top, and a hoodie, the odd figure measures about 10 inches long and was hand-sewn out of some burlap type of material. Its body is perfectly formed, from its ears to its feet, and its wings are made out of heavy cardboard material. In addition, the doll's eyes, eyebrows, lips, and nose have all been sewn-in with a light red thread, and if you look closely, it also has sewn-in teeth. The doll's arms have also been sewn in such a way that they don't move and may have at one time been holding something like a sword, staff, or lance.

After revealing the contents of the reliquary, the pawnshop asked the crew of Ghosts915 to keep the lead box on their premises as part of their museum collection, which is where "Juju" (named by Ghosts915) currently resides.

While no one knows why the doll was locked up, there may be a few explanations, according to some occult community members:

  • The figure may have been used as a fertility idol.
  • The doll may be an effigy stuffed with teeth, hair, skin, or nails of an evil person.
  • The doll perhaps was used for rituals and was considered a sacred relic.
  • The doll may have been used to encapsulate a demon and was locked in the lead box for safety reasons - but if the figure was harboring an evil spirit, it has since been released into the world when the reliquary was opened.

Of course, all these explanations are just speculation, and until someone comes forward, Juju's origins remain a mystery.

Brave enough to see Juju in person? Visit him at the Ghosts915 headquarters located at 110 E. San Antonio Ave. in downtown El Paso.

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