All you Hummel fans might want to think twice before buying your next figurine from a flea market. At least that’s what some Tallahassee, Florida residents are saying.
It all began about two years ago.
Brenda Torrance, 35, returned home from work January 17, 2020 to news that would change her life. Her brother Rodney Torrance, a 52-year-old Tallahassee native and part-time pizza delivery driver, vanished while working the late shift three nights prior.
Brenda’s mother called her, panicked. “No one has seen him since that night,” Florence Torrance, 79, said, sobbing. “What do we do?”
Brenda called the cops, prompting local media and law enforcement to investigate.
More than two years have passed since then, but Tallahassee residents remain on guard. Others are just plain mystified.
Today, Tygan Moore, 27, the last customer to see Rodney the night he disappeared, tells investigators he’s baffled. When asked about that fateful night, Tygan shrugs and says, “Dude delivered my sausage supreme. Gave him a fat tip. Where the [expletive] did he go?”
One unnamed investigator shares Moore’s confusion.
“Sometimes people decide they want to start over, build a new life,” says the investigator. “They just up and leave.”
But more than two years have passed since Rodney vanished, and some residents aren’t so sure. Rumors have swirled around town that sinister forces are to blame.
One former neighbor Peggy Jane, 44, doesn’t hold back. “I heard a Hummel did it.”
When asked to clarify, Peggy averts her gaze. “Ask Florence.”
As it turns out, Rodney was an avid Hummel figurine collector, amassing more than 110 of the collectible statuettes in a floor-to-ceiling glass case that still occupies Rodney’s living room. One figurine—a ruddy-complected Bavarian boy in a green cap and mittens—stands out.
“That thing creeps me out,” Florence says, shuddering. “Something about his eyes. They just stare a little too intently. I never cared for that thing, but Rodney loved it.”
Brenda shares her mother’s sentiment. “I hate it.”
The doll’s questionable history could be one reason.
“Rodney bought that figurine from a flea market, ” Florence says, sighing. “Even the lady who sold it to him tried to warn Rodney it was haunted. But Rodney thought it was cool, of course.”
Brenda shakes her head, then shudders, glaring at the cherry-cheeked figurine.
But life took a dark turn after Rodney brought the figurine home.
“Weird things started happening,” Florence says, frowning. “Two days after he bought the doll, he’d wake up to shuffling sounds and a child giggling. He’d go in the living room to get some water, and the doll case would be open even though he kept it locked.”
The first time that happened, Rodney spotted the figurine standing by the sink.
“It was just sitting on the counter,” Florence says, “but Rodney didn’t put it there. No one lived with him or had access to his house. And even if they did, who would do that?”
Then life took a stranger turn.
“A week later,” Florence says, “Rodney started getting knocks on the door late at night. Sometimes one or two in the morning. He’d answer, but no one was there.”
That’s when the nightmares started.
“The Hummel would appear in Rodney’s dreams, laughing or speaking in tongues,” says Florence.
In one dream, the creature chased Rodney with a knife. “Rodney woke up in a cold sweat.”
Florence pauses, taking a deep breath. “Sometimes Rodney woke up to see the figurine on his nightstand. My son was a big bear of a man — husky and six foot four — but he called me crying, he was so scared.”
Rodney would lock the figurine in its case only to have it reappear at his bedside hours later. He even threw it away, but it returned.
“He couldn’t get rid of it,” Florence says.
But after two years, Florence admits she has lost hope. She pauses in somber reflection, thinking back on the past. Then her voice drops. “I have no doubt that doll was involved in my son’s disappearance,” she says. “Let’s just say I’ve had dreams, too.”
Next, read about the foul-mouthed porcelain doll who unleashed F-bombs on one Ohio family.