Morning jolt: Why are dolls creepy?

Dolls, they are collectible, loved, and terrifying.

When I was a kid my grandmother had a guest room that had a line of dolls sitting on a rail along all four walls of the room. They sat there, smiling, staring at me while I kept watch on them to make sure they didn’t come alive to eat me.

Ah, memories.

This is something that is shared with many people around the country and the world. Dolls are either loved or hated for a number of reasons. Those who hate dolls, especially the ones with the blinky eyes, are totally healthy people who do not have any psychological problems. The ones that love them are made of pure evil. They are, in fact, so full of evil that they even make more dolls in order to terrorize us all. You get them as a gift, and are forced to keep it in your room. It tries to sit there, innocuously, but the damn little sentinel of the old gods is simply waiting.

Waiting for the perfect time to strike.


Which begs the question, why are they so creepy?

In my honest opinion, I think it has to deal with horror movies. I grew up in a post Child’s Play world, where dolls are freaking evil, but what also reinforces that imagery is their use in horror films; to the point of nauseum today. Regardless of their use, they often do the job, and that’s to creep us out. They creep us out because dolls typically look like us but are simplified and made for kids.

What else have horror movies done? They’ve made us fear the laughter of children, specifically, the laughter of British children. This might be symbolic of colonial times, the echoes of the future rulers of your lands striking fear in the heart of the bravest man, woman, and even child.

Or it’s just a simple trick that gets anyone.

Horror films have used these tricks for a very long time. Today’s horror films don’t really try to do anything else interesting or scary. They just go for dolls and kids laughter, maybe they have them reciting a childhood song so maybe the kid actor learns how to read, but really it’s out of laziness. This is at least true for American horror films as very few are coming out that entertain or frighten us, because most of the time they go for straight terrifying and never letting go of the button.

They go for dolls, and until we, I, get over these creepy things, they will never let go.

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Nick enjoys making things and drinking coffee, specifically the latter, for without it the former wouldn’t get done. He also wrote a book titled “Where Monsters Lie & Other Tales”