Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dolls, Clowns and Mannequins, Oh My!

What is with the common fear of dolls (both baby and ventriloquist), clowns and mannequins?

My acquisition of both Dale the ventriloquist doll and Skittles the clown doll were to try to unsettle myself and perhaps manage to get over my distaste for these toys. As well, I plan to add a mannequin to my list of acquisitions. Those 1950s female ones that look like June Cleaver most unsettle me.

Human facsimiles are unsettling. We feel the same way about robots that are too human-like. Ventriloquist dolls with their hinged mouths and ability to "talk," are unnatural. Clowns are people in costumes and makeup that look human-like but their expressions are exaggerated in a disturbing manner. Mannequins look nearly identical but stand stiff and stuck in one position. There is a lack of soul to these effigies that gives them a sinister feel.

Have you ever seen a dog react to a stuffed dog? Yeah, humans do the same with these dolls. They approach with apprehension, study it, shake their heads and back off.

Want to get more frightened? Try these movies:
"Clownhouse" Victor Salva made this film rather infamous by having pedophilic encounters with one of the actors. It still remains to me more disturbing than "It." This one has three brothers alone at home and a clown that torments them.

"Dead Silence" This is one of my favs of all time. It's atmospheric, creepy, and includes tons of ventriloquist dolls and even some mannequins thrown in for good measure. The music alone is creepy and the dolls are horrifying.

"Tourist Trap" This is for those who love 80s slasher films and fear mannequins. Are the mannequins in this off the beaten path museum really coming to life? You begin to wonder if you're losing it when the actors appear to be losing it.

"Fear of Clowns" An artist is being stalked by a clown that looks like the one she painted and she has a fear of clowns!

"Trilogy of Terror" That little Zuni hunting doll goes down in history as being the creepiest idol to stab someone.

"Magic" Anthony Hopkins did a brilliant job as a head case ventriloquist who has an unnatural belief that his doll is alive.

"Poltergeist" Single scariest kid versus doll encounter when the boy is pulled under the bed by his clown doll.

"Dolls" People stopping into a mansion where doll makers have a haunted collection of dolls.

"Child's Play." Chucky doll is everyone's nightmare.

So, if you had to be stuck in a dark room all night with one of these, which would be worst?

A room full of clown dolls?
A room full of ventriloquist dolls?
A room full of mannequins?

And, what makes you so frightened of them?


  1. You missed out my favorite: "Killer Klowns From Outer Space".

  2. Sucio;
    You're soooo right! That movie totally rocked! I have to admit that even though it was done tongue-in-cheek, it totally freaked me out!

  3. I hate all of these things, they are so creepy!

  4. Have you seen the new fed ex commercial with the evil clown doll? It is wonderful! My son is afraid of mannequins. He has elaborate dreams of them chasing him through the mall. They are the least scary of the bunch to me so if I had to chose I would take the room filled with mannequins.

  5. now this is one i love, strings baby... strings. i want my own little army of all three. i do hate the clowns, there is just something wrong with them. lock me in a room with all but the clowns, i would have something to talk too.

    pee-wee's playhouse has some puppets, howdy doody. that comedian jeff something with puppets, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, lambchop, Charlie McCarthy, Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood, Punch and Judy, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, bert and ernie, H.R. Puff n' Stuff... oh boy i am sure there are more...

    you probably mentioned them... i was just overwhelmed...

  6. bozo, cookie, wizzo,emmett kelly, clarebell... crap i really hate mimes.

  7. emmy from Mannequin, jessie from Mannequin 2, Darren McGavin in Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode crap i cannot remember... oh yes the night at the museum...

  8. I really struck a note, huh? I can't wait to get my mannequin. I found a set of mannequins I would kill to get myself as the ultimate gift for myself:
    I'm not sure how I could justify $500 for a couple of vampire mannequins, but hell I sure want to find a twisted way to do it!

  9. Jeremy;
    Buddy, you seriously have your dolls straight! "Magic" and "Dead Silence" were really the ultimate best at creeping me out. But, hell, all Anthony Hopkins has to do is stare and speak slowly and I'm hiding under the covers.

  10. Dale is just a creepy midget pretending to be a puppet.

  11. Max;
    I totally agree with you. He says he's proud to be a doll, but he likes the internet like a human. I just found out he bookmarked a page for inflatable dolls.

  12. Well, I would like to see "Dead Silence", but I only ever been able to find the unrated version, which my step dad won't let me watch. Oh, and clowns dolls would worst. Definitely.

  13. HN;
    Can you see it at your mom's? Heck, you probably could see it online somewhere. It's crazy too because the movie is not very gory and does not have sex in it or nudity or really any cussing. I don't know what could concern a parent. When my son was younger, I would watch the movie first and decide. I considered it to be a very wimpy horror movie as far as the gore/violence factor, but it was very terrifying.

  14. I don't get it either. Maybe it's the "Unrated" part that's scaring him off. In the meantime I'll just keep searching for the regular version.

  15. Good luck, buddy. I have a feeling, knowing you pretty well from online and your tastes and what really curls your toes in horror/Halloween, that this will be your favorite horror movie of all time.

  16. HN:

  17. Jessica;
    That commercial kills me! It's life in my house everyday!

  18. Mister Sharaf;
    I'm glad to give you shivers.

  19. I'll have to vote for ventriloquist dolls. Sorry Dale! I don't have a fear of clowns. This is due to the fact my uncle was a Shriner when I was a kid and he played the clown in the dunking booth at some of their festivals. Mannequins don't particularly bug me. As a matter of fact, I'm looking for old ones now.

    Now, I will admit that I have jumped and startled myself walking into a bedroom where I have my antique dress form dressed in a Victorian Mourning dress. The headless aspect of it kinda creeps me out a little. Yet, I LOVE IT! LOL

  20. iZombie! I LOVE KOLCHAK! If you have a Netflix account you can watch them for free on line!

  21. Jeez, sis, we are too much alike! I used to have an antique dress form. My ex wanted it out of the house. It freaked him out. At Halloween, I always did life-sized ghosts coming out of the walls and then a 6-foot tall dummy in the living room. He would get up at night and about wet himself. Haha. I loved it! In the dark, though, if you stared at it long enough, you could swear it would move. There's a movie from the 80s that Diane Lane did called "Lady Beware" and she worked as a window dresser and had a huge warehouse apartment filled with mannequins. I used to watch that movie over and over again wanting that life. It looked sooooo cool to dress them up and live with them like you're in a store window 24/7.

  22. I need to start writing down these movies you mention. That sounds like it's right up my alley! Which reminds me, I need to watch the ones that I won from you still! Now...what the Hell did I do with them? LOL

  23. Ventriloquist dolls are creepy because their mouth and eyes move. All dolls whose face has moving parts creep me out the most.

    I am interested in seeing how uncomfortable I am when we stay in Abby's room with all the dolls.

  24. Maybe I should bring Dale and see if he stirs the room up?

  25. you found mannequins at the mannequin store... check ebay, even amazon... or at the very least sears, jc penny's... maybe that can let you have one for free????

  26. Jeremy; One of my ex's band members had a wife that worked at Kohls and said they were getting rid of mannequins all the time. I wanted to get one from her, but apparently I lost the friends in the divorce too. Just as well, their mannequins suck. I've been looking in antique shops for one of those 1950s style ones that are all Betty Crocker looking. They really creep me out the most. I think I'd have to put her in one of this belted full skirted 1950s looking dresses or something just to make her so squeaky clean and happy--that creeps me out the most.



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