Strange Stuff #38-Haunted Dolls

I admire the work of David Weatherly, and haunted dolls has always been a fear of mine, so I decided to take some notes on the work Weatherly has done on the subject haunted dolls and share them with you here. And if you are not familiar with Weatherly’s work on black-eyed kids, then I recommend you take a look at that as well. Anyways, here are the notes I took about haunted dolls by Weatherly.

-Haunted dolls have become more popular in recent times because of movies, characters and franchises like those that include Annabelle and Chucky.

-Dolls weren’t really designed as toys in their origin. They were developed as ritual and ceremonial items. Examples are for fertility and cursing purposes.

-Voodoo dolls are rooted in the Celtic world. Earlier European nations used “pockets”, handmade dolls used for ritualistic purposes. A blending of traditions happened along the way where European traditions and African traditions and other influences came together, which ends up with the voodoo doll.
-Dolls have been found that date back to 4,000 years ago, carved out of stone, and dolls have been found that date back 2,500 years ago in Siberia. Research into Egyptian periods has discovered dolls made of rags and stuffed with linen.
-Some cultures have used dolls as teaching tools.
-Robert the doll and Annabelle are probably the two most famous haunted dolls in the modern world. Robert the doll is probably the most influential. Robert was of course the inspiration for the character Chucky.
-A doll can be haunting for a number of reasons. in science, the uncanny valley can be an explanation. And a lot of religious traditions and spiritual beliefs say that you shouldn’t make something in human form, because it is an invitation to a spirit. They say it’s since demons would want to possess a human form. This is why Amish dolls are made without a human face.
-Weatherly believes putting energy into a doll can help a doll be possessed, become a living entity, because children give their dolls names and treat them like they are alive. This type of energy and focus is also imbued by those that wish to curse somebody with a specially made doll.
-Mr. Creepy is a haunted ventriloquist doll that Weatherly believes is gaining notoriety. The doll’s hair is made out of human hair. The creator of the doll made the doll in his own image and allegedly gave it life because of it.
-A lot of people, me included perhaps, have a phobia of dolls. Many people have automatonophobia, which is a fear of anything that is human-like, such as dolls, dummies, mannequins and robots.
-There’s a subculture of people that have lost children and babies and as a coping mechanism, buy dolls that are made to resemble children and babies. These dolls have heartbeats and make noises and people purchase strollers and cribs for them, treat them as if they were alive. These dolls are called “reborns”.

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