A mysterious case of 'whoddunnit' took place in a Northland museum after a 200-year-old doll was stolen in broad daylight - only to be returned two days later.
The crime was discovered early on Tuesday morning when a volunteer for Waipu Museum noticed something was amiss.
"One of the volunteers was walking through [the museum] and noticed a lock of hair on the floor - it was like something out of a horror movie," museum manager Fiona Mohr told Newshub.
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The worker hurried to the room where the doll was kept and saw the glass dome the doll was kept under, and the stand it stood on, tipped on the floor.
The museum posted on social media to try and locate the stolen doll. Comments on social media suggested the "creepy" doll would haunt its thieves.
"Oh no what have they unleashed," wrote one woman.
"Poor people that end up with this doll, [I'd] take my chances with Chucky any day," said another.
It's unknown if the doll haunted those who stole it, but something gave Mohr the feeling she had returned.
"I came into work this morning and I just had this feeling," Mohr told Newshub on Wednesday.
"I don't know why, I just felt like I should check the letterbox. And there she was, wrapped in a bread bag and duct-taped."
The doll was "scalped" during the theft, and damaged in the return says Mohr.
"[The return is] bittersweet. The descendant who's connected to the doll is just devastated at the damage," she said.
As for rumours the "creepy" doll is haunted, Mohr could not confirm nor deny.
"The funny thing is we had a primary school girl impersonate the doll for a speech, and when she was rehearsing in the museum she met the man who had the doll in his hallway for years," Mohr told Newshub.
"And he said he didn't like the doll, it creeped him out because its eyes would follow him at night."
The doll has a monetary value of around $3000 - but the sentimental value is much greater.
It belonged to a three-year-old migrant girl named Emma MacKay who emigrated from Nova Scotia to New Zealand during the gold rush.
It was passed down through her family before being donated to the museum.
Police are investigating the theft of the doll.