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SYFY WIRE Exorcism

A $70k exorcism to transfer evil spirit into a Barbie doll ends in psychic’s arrest

By Benjamin Bullard
Barbie Doll Exhibition 2019

Could we make this stuff up if we tried? Of all the uses that Barbie dolls of every permutation have been put to over the classic toy’s 60 years in kids’ creative hands, we’ve never heard of her being called upon to serve as the receptacle for an exorcised evil spirit — until now.

Perhaps awakened in the process to the realization that there’s nothing in this world (or the next) that Barbie apparently can’t do, police in Somerset, Massachusetts, arrested 37-year-old professional psychic Tracey Milanovich and charged her with “larceny, intimidation of a witness, and multiple counts of obtaining property over $250 by trick,” last month, according to local NBC News affiliate WBTS-Boston.

Those may sound like your average lineup of mundane accusations, but they stem from law enforcement’s suspicion that Milanovich, whose main business is reportedly reading palms, allegedly bilked a 10-year-old girl’s mother out of more than $70,000 after allegedly telling her that the girl was possessed by a demon, and the supernatural solution was to exorcise the malevolent invader and transfer it into (what else?) a Barbie doll.

According to the report, Milanovich allegedly told the mother that the young girl was “dead in God’s eyes” and had “something inside of her that was bad,” and that the answer was to “purchase her daughter's soul back” in a series of alleged transactions involving both cash and “household items.” After reportedly paying ever greater increments to Milanovich as the psychic kept asking for money, the mother contacted the police and told them she suspected she’d been tricked.

There’s no word on which version of Barbie was allegedly selected to carry out the thankless task of catching a specter. (Was it the 1959 classic that started it all? Or maybe the iconic Malibu Barbie from the early 1970s? Heaven forbid it should be the Talking Barbie of 1968, whose chirpy callouts like “Let’s go shopping!” would no doubt take on a whole new horrific dimension when they’re being commanded by a wicked demon.) But according to the report, Milanovich was about halfway through the process of finding out when she allegedly asked for money — at least in the eyes of the mother — one too many times.

Citing the police report, WBTS reports that the mom told officers that Milanovich claimed that her paid-up services to date had “only cleaned half of her daughter,” and that it would take exactly an “additional $6,058.00 to remove what was left.” The whole enterprise would allegedly fall apart if the mother revealed anything about the proceedings to outsiders, because, as the report states, the “spirits would know what she was doing if she told anyone.”

There’s no word on what happened to the Barbie doll. But if you’re sitting quietly at home one night and a battery-powered little voice suddenly pipes up and says “Let’s go shopping!” — by all means, get the hell out of the house.

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