121 Creepy Dolls That Might Give You Nightmares

While we usually think of toys as fun things to play with, sometimes they can be a bit creepy. Just think of dolls—their vacant stares and uncanny smiles can feel eerie, making us wonder if there’s a spirit trapped behind those beaded eyes.

Whether dolls can truly be haunted is up for debate, but there’s an entire community on Facebook dedicated to sharing them. From stiff porcelain figures to beat-up rag dolls, this group has it all. We’ve combed through their collection (at a safe distance, of course) and picked out the most chilling ones we could find. If you’re brave enough to take a look, keep reading!

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“Not for young kids or the faint-hearted,” reads the bio of the Facebook group where followers share all sorts of items with a paranormal aura—everything from toys and teddies to crystals, jewelry, and paintings, but mostly dolls. Dolls are typically meant for children, but these particular ones are not something you might want to own, even as an adult. However, the group’s admin isn’t deterred. In fact, she encourages anyone with a creepy or bothersome item to reach out, and she’ll gladly take it off your hands.

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The group likes to gauge from the photos just how haunted each doll is and sometimes asks for advice on what to do with them. One member posted a doll she got from her great aunt, mentioning how she felt a sense of dread after taking it out of a box and noticed things disappearing around the house. “Should I try to speak with it? Is it negative?” she asked. In the comments, a user suggested trying to communicate using two flashlights, one for yes and one for no.

Some people, though, are skeptical. One woman thinks trying to interpret if an object is haunted from a photo is comical. However, the replies assured her that some items have a certain energy you can feel just by looking.

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Frank McAndrew, a psychologist at Knox College in Illinois who has researched creepiness as a phenomenon, explains why dolls can come off as sinister.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of a little piece of plastic, but it’s sending out social signals,” he notes. “They look like people but aren’t people, so we don’t know how to respond to it, just like we don’t know how to respond when we don’t know whether there is a danger or not… the world in which we evolved how we process information, there weren’t things like dolls.”

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Becca Hisle, a porcelain dollmaker from Texas, believes that popular movie depictions of dolls are the reason people are afraid of them. Director John Leonetti, who made Annabelle, elaborates on why these toys make great characters for horror films. “If you think about them, most dolls are emulating a human figure,” he said. “But they’re missing one big thing, which is emotion. So they’re shells. It’s a natural psychological and justifiable vehicle for demons to take over. If you look at a doll in its eyes, it just stares. That’s creepy. They’re hollow inside. That space needs to be filled.”

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However, dolls were considered scary long before the Hollywood takeover, writes Linda Rodriguez McRobbie for Smithsonian Magazine. In the 18th and 19th centuries, dolls began to look more realistic, prompting writers and artists to explore their horror potential. The works of German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann are widely regarded as the origins of the creepy doll genre in literature. Hoffmann is the author of The Sandman, where a traumatized young poet discovers that his beloved is actually a wind-up doll, and The Nutcracker, the story of a famous Christmas toy coming to life.

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Even though some people are scared of dolls and prefer to keep their distance, others are willing to spend significant amounts of money on them. Haunted dolls are a big business on sites like Ebay and Etsy. Jak Hutchcraft, who wrote about it on Vice.com, found an ad for a possessed-looking doll that later sold for $1,400.

“Some people want to connect solely with the spirit,” he explains. “Others buy them simply because they are doll collectors, with the spirited aspect being secondary. I found it quite baffling, really, because I can overlook the ghostly element as long as it’s a cute doll.”

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Hutchraft even contemplated owning one of those dolls, but eventually decided against it.

“I thought about it,” he says. “But the thing is, the more it went on, the more it took over my life for about a year, really… and then I started to think, ‘Will my brain trick me into thinking it is haunted? Or something will happen when I get it.’ And, to be honest, I didn’t have the money to fork out—and I was a little bit scared!”

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According to the internet, there are ways to tell if your doll is supposedly haunted. SpiritShack, a shop that sells “ghost-hunting gear” in the UK, lists a few of these signs. One common description is the doll moving or changing its expression when no one is touching it. Others mention hearing strange sounds like whispers, crying, or laughter coming from the doll. Some also say rooms suddenly feel cold, which they believe happens when dolls draw energy from their surroundings.

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Kevin Cain, a paranormal investigator in Alabama, thinks that just because a doll is haunted doesn’t necessarily mean it’s evil. He suggests that there are good spirits out there, too. “If a ghost can haunt a house, building, or ship, why can’t it linger around an item it once owned or that reminds them of something from their past?” Cain theorizes that spirits may be drawn to dolls and other toys because of their familiarity and a strong emotional connection.

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Cain has a collection of hundreds of haunted dolls, but warns those who’d like to own one. “I tell them it’s not for everybody. You don’t know what you’re getting into,” he says. “These dolls aren’t for entertainment or amusement. They are genuine haunted items with attached spirits that deserve respect.”

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Source: boredpanda.com

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