Dolls can be kind of creepy. They seem to be less creepy now than in the past, though. Here’s a look back at some of the scarier ones and their history. One common thread? Gimmicks like talking or walking seem to up the creep factor to the Nth degree. Get ready to have nightmares tonight.
10) Casper the Friendly Ghost Talking Doll
This was one I actually saw in a thrift store in college. It was more blue than the one in the video above. I pulled its string and it let out a moaning “I’m coooooold.” I instantly realized Casper is a dead boy and dropped the doll back in the bin like it had been cursed.
9) Edison Talking Doll
Thomas Edison designed the above doll in 1888 with a recording of himself reciting a prayer. Even he admitted that the result was upsetting. Recording engineers reconstructed the sound this past week and you can listen to it on this NPS page. It sure doesn’t help that the doll’s eyes look like that of a zombie.
8) Baby Laugh A Lot
This doll came out much more recently, in the 1970s. But its permanent rictus grin makes it a quick cinch for the list. Then, to add to the creep factor, when its batteries run low the voice turns flat out demonic.
In 1871, this doll was built and they called it the Creeping Doll. Perfect name. Can you imagine the terror you’d feel if this thing was inching its way towards you, gears spinning, permanent dead look in its eyes focused right through you?
6) Mandy the Possessed Doll
Mandy, pictured above, was a porcelein doll made in Germany between 1910 and 1920. Her owner claimed she was possessed and donated her to the Quensel Museum in 1991. The employees at the Museum claim strange things began happening when she lived there, like lunches disappearing. Clearly no living person could be the culprit. Anyway, it’s easy to blame the doll for being possessed when it looks as disturbing as Mandy does.
A swing and a miss for Hasbro (G.I. Joe, Transformers). They made this street urchin-looking doll for one year in 1965 and it bombed. Probably because it looks like her eyes have been carved out of her skull.
4) Robert the Doll
If you are the inspiration for Chucky the killer doll, you are a creepy doll. That’s the story with Robert the Doll who supposedly was possessed by spirits and tormented painter Robert Eugene Otto as a child. His parents ended up believing him and they locked Robert the Doll away in the attack. Later, a new family bought the house and the daughter claimed the doll would move around her room at night. He was donated to the Fort East Martello Museum. He looks like some sort of monkey/human hybrid that went through a fire.
3) Letta the Gypsy Doll
The story goes that Kerry Walton found this marionette in the basement of an abandoned house. Psychics claim it has evil spirits in it. Whatever. It has a creepy face with real human hair and you can remove the scalp to see a carved brain inside. Who thought that would make a good toy?
2) Devil Baby Doll
Just its name would probably scare most kids. Legend has it that the doll was created by Marie Leveau, the infamous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, in the 1800s to help a jealous ex-lover curse a woman. Citizens claimed for years to see it around the city, hiding in shadows. Well, I wouldn’t want it in my house once the lights go out.
1) Two-Faced Doll from 1920
Apparently in 1920 it was fairly common to give a doll a second face on the back of the head. In practice, it looks like some Kuato-style mutant growing out of the body, ready to spin the body around and rip you to shreds as soon as you dare fall asleep.