Why Are Mannequins So Scary?

If you like 80s movies--"Tourist Trap" is seriously good. I have it in my collection. The mannequin element is freaking creep-o-rama!

Why do mannequins unsettle us so much?

As a kid, I remember wandering off at Montgomery Ward (yes, that does date me, doesn't it?) I would grab onto a woman's purse and follow her and not look up. Since I had facial amnesia, looking at people's faces meant not that much to me. I needed to see their clothing, hear their voices or see them in a place I expect to see them, like my brother in his bedroom or my teacher in our classroom. So, I would grab a purse that looked like mom's and follow the woman until she noticed someone holding her purse and turned me around and took me back in search of my mom. One time, I grabbed a mannequin's purse and stood there patiently waiting for her to walk. My mom came along and laughed when she saw me holding the mannequin's purse. I looked up, saw the plastic face and screamed and cried.

There's actually a syndrome (uncanny valley) in which a robot becomes too human-like and then it goes from being trustworthy to frightening.

Let's be honest, have you ever stared at a mannequin and felt sure it might move and then sure that if it did move, you would totally lose it and run like a pussy? I used to dream of being a window dresser. There was a cool movie called "Lady Beware" with a young Diane Lane starring in it. I wanted her life. She lived in a big warehouse apartment that she decorated with mannequins and displays and then designed windows for a department store and had free run of the place, designing anything she could dream up, controversial and cool. I always thought living with mannequins would be cool and I think part of it dates back to my modeling days. I actually modeled as a mannequin in a store window one time. Now, they have my total respect; it is not an easy job.

"Lady Beware"


  1. warr309 I understand the fear of the department store models.. (I mean those unblinking HYPNOTIC EYES could make you think that the life sized doll could move and chase you down the isle)

  2. I think the ones with expressions on their faces are the most scary... ughhh...

  3. Manequins...are creepy.

    What freaks me out more is the life like wax dummies...

    I swear...



  4. I actually plan to get myself a mannequin for my apartment. I've always dreamed of owning a few of them, just milling around the dining room corners dressed up as if part of a party. I'm certain that in the dark walking into the room, it'd probably make me think there's intruders, but I love that they'd unsettle others when they visited.

  5. That's funny, like Bubba, I too thought of the movie Mannequin.

    I know it was scary for you at the time, but I laughed my ass off at the purse story. Are you sure it wasn't your calling to be a purse snatcher???

  6. Lil; in retrospect, it was freaking hilarious. Standing there in Montgomery Ward on a little stand, holding a woman's black purse and waiting for her to finally walk again so I can see new stuff.

  7. They are really good to hang the clothes!


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