Episode 4 of Cruel Summer saw Kate tell her family and therapist about a character named Annabelle but just who is this mysterious figure?

Cruel Summer has been full of dramatic twists and turns since it arrived on Freeform and Hulu in April 2021.

Episode 4 has given us one of the most puzzling moments of the show so far as Kate mentions a character named Annabelle and it’s safe to say that Cruel Summer fans have been left a touch confused.

But just who is Annabelle in Cruel Summer and why does Kate mention her in episode 4?

Cruel Summer on Freeform

Cruel Summer arrived on Freeform with a two-hour premiere on April 20th, 2021 and each new episode has served up plenty of dramatic twists and turns.

The series, which is set simultaneously in 1993, 1994 and 1995, tells the story of Jeanette Turner a nerdy wannabe who is befriended by Kate Wallis, the most popular teen in their small Texas town.

Not long after the pair meet, Kate goes missing without a trace and is feared dead.

Thankfully, Kate is found alive and well but the events of the abduction take their toll in the years that follow.


Annebelle in episode 4

As ever, episode 4 of Cruel Summer is set over the usual three time periods, 1993, 94 and 95.

In 1995, Kate and her family are due to appear in court over the abduction case and must have their stories straight in order to help the trial go smoothly.

The family end up going on a tense hunting trip and while they’re sat around the campfire, Kate begins to tell her family a spooky ghost story about a girl named Annabelle who ends up alone in the woods while out on a similar hunting trip.

Kate explains that Annabelle was all alone until a man joined her. “A man the grownups trusted,” she says.

“Now, of course, Annabelle trusted him too,” Kate explains, “And that trust led to something unspeakable.”

However, what makes Kate’s story even more perplexing is that once she returns home, we see her going through tapes from her therapy sessions and during the sessions, Kate mentions Annabelle to her therapist and explains that Mr Harris – who kidnapped Kate – began acting strange when Annabelle mysteriously appeared.


Who is Annabelle?

  • The exact answer hasn’t been revealed yet but it appears that Annabelle could be an alternate personality that emerged within Kate to help her cope with the abduction.

There are a number of theories about the identity of Annabelle in Cruel Summer but the most likely appears to suggest that Annabelle is a separate personality that Kate created in order to help her overcome the horrific ordeal.

It seems as if this alternate personality emerged and caused Mr Harris to start acting strange as ‘Kate’ was no longer recognisable.

Following on from the ordeal, the character of Annabelle that Kate created could be a way for her to compartmentalise the abduction, almost as if she’s saying it happened to someone else.

Another fan theory suggests that Annabelle is a second personality within Mr Harris which prompted him to begin acting strangely himself.

While another theory suggested by fans touts the idea that Annabelle is the name given to a gun that Kate was in possession of.


Hopefully, the concrete answers to these theories will be answered in episode 5 of Cruel Summer when it airs on Freeform on May 11th and Hulu on May 12th.

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