And there's a creepy doll
That always follows you
It's got a ruined eye
That's always open
Dolls are perceived as harmless, and they can be gorgeous and/or adorable, but there's still something scary about dolls. It's probably because many of them fit squarely in Uncanny Valley
territory. The blank gaze and unmoving stare reminds us too much viscerally of corpses
, perhaps. This goes even more when the doll is damaged in some way, such as missing limbs or eyes, or having holes in its head.
Another way to do it is make it a clockwork toy (usually an organ-grinder's monkey with cymbals
); something that moves on its own when someone winds the key, then not have it wound up for years, and have it click its cymbals in a haunted, mechanical rendition of Terrible Ticking
In horror, dolls are often used as part of the scenery to help establish the mood, even providing a theme for The Doll Episode
. They may even be the antagonist
or be used by the antagonist
. Despite how ridiculous a doll trying to kill people should
be, it's still seen as quite frightening. A similar idea lies behind the Demonic Dummy
and Scary Scarecrows
. Can overlap with Monster Clown
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- One of V's targets in V for Vendetta has a huge doll collection. When V abducts the man, the punishment he devises for the ex-concentration camp official is to populate a mock concentration camp with the dolls, and send them all to the ovens. It successfully breaks the man's mind, and the effect on the reader of all those dolls burning is none too pleasant either...
- "Scarface," the leering, knife-scored dummy that is an alter ego/tormentor of Batman villain The Ventriloquist. He's particularly horrifying in scenes where he isn't being operated and his mouth's not moving, but the psychotic Ventriloquist still imagines that the puppet is talking to him! An especially effective scene occurred in the animated "origin" episode "Read My Lips," where Batman - who is one of the smartest and most rational men on the planet - had to convince himself that the doll wasn't really alive.
- It is revealed in her ongoing series that Zatanna has a deep-seated and crippling phobia towards puppets. Not voodoo dolls or wax effigies, those she can handle with no problem and occasionally uses herself, but normal, garden variety puppets. It all stems from an unpleasant experience in her childhood, but even now, as a grown woman and powerful superhero, her unease is nearly paralyzing. When she tried to guest-star on an episode of Sesame Street, reasoning that helping educate and entertain children was worth any sort of personal discomfort, she did not even make it through her scene before she vomited into an on-set trash can. She is currently in therapy to help her deal with this issue, averting There Are No Therapists.
- In an issue of the revamped CREEPY comics there was a story called The Doll Lady. Needless to say, it was creepy.
- The Tails Doll from Sonic R made an appearance in Archie's Sonic series, being guarded by Cream the Rabbit. The issue prior to the Megaman crossover, Team Freedom discovered its true identity as a Badnik and moved to attack it - only for it to transform into an Eldritch Abomination. The fight was cut off just after its transformation by the Genesis Wave that started the Megaman crossover, and since the reboot at the end of that arc, hasn't been revisited.
- In Aeon Natum Engel, the cultist suffers a nightmare, where she hears a sobbing of a little girl. When she reaches the source, she finds five dolls, a large one and four smaller ones, laying broken before the large one. And then the larger doll starts screaming while sinking into the void. It Makes Sense in Context. Too much sense.
- This is Naruto's reaction in the Naruto/Negima crossover Happy Families Are All Alike when he meets Chachazero. Not that she didn't have plenty of that to begin with...
- In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, its side story Month of Sundays has Damballa a Serpent who transforms people into creepy dolls. The people he transforms? Kamen Riders. He's made Shotaro into a marionette with nails for teeth and Haruto into a cloth doll with gold button eyes. He then transforms Eiji into a porcelain doll before sending them off to be killed by the Cosmic Hunting Dogs.
- This story turns It's a Small World into an army of these. "You've been a very wicked man, Jacob..."
- In Harry the Hufflepuff 2 Harry gets some help charming a life-size mannequin so it can take his place in History of Magic classes. Dubbed "Larry" by Luna, it gives everyone but the two of them an inexplicably creepy feeling.
Film - Animated
- In Disney's The Princess and the Frog as Dr. Facilier is being dragged away by his "friends" some of them take the form of voodoo and rag dolls.
- 9 has The Seamstress. It's a giant snake with a porcelain doll's head that grafts the corpse of 2 onto her tail and uses it to hypnotize 8 into submission, before sewing him inside her body and dragging 7 away and boasts numerous appendages just designed for slashing up the skins of the stitchpunks; thus rendering them immobilized.
- The various dolls that the Other Mother makes in Coraline. All of the Other people invoke this themselves, with their creepy button eyes.
- Toy Story has one, although it's the face of a doll on top of metal spider legs. It's not exactly evil but it's still fearsome. The other toys can also be this way if they choose, as shown when they rebel against Sid.
- Toy Story 3 has an even scarier doll in "Big Baby", as well as... the monkey.
- In Monsters University, the walking girl doll that Mike and Sulley use to creep out the human police.
Film - Live Action
- The 1987 movie Dolls has several people taking refuge in an old hotel filled with all sorts of dolls. Turns out that they are inhabitated by "fairies", which start attacking the characters.
- The various mannequins in Tourist Trap, which are controlled by their owner.
- The Zuni Fetish Doll from the last segment of Trilogy of Terror, which comes alive after a certain necklace is removed from its neck and starts vehemently chasing the main character.
- The razor-toothed killer dolls from Barbarella.
- The Clown Doll from Poltergeist. For the first half of the movie, it just sits on a rocking chair, doing nothing. Then it disappears....
- Deep Red: the walking deformed doll provides a Jump Scare.
- A dying serial killer Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray transfers his soul into a doll in Child's Play, and continues to cause havoc as he searches a proper new body.
- There's also Tiff and Glenn from the same series. Though Glenn is somewhat of a subversion and Tiff is... Tiff.
- All of the puppets from the Puppet Master franchise.
- Reincarnation (aka Rinne) features one of the creepiest damn ones you may ever see.
- Parodied in that fake French commercial under the brand of "Dolls Klaus Barbie." In that time, Klaus Barbie was a former Nazi judged for crimes against humanity.
- The opening of Titanic features a group of divers exploring the Titanic wreck. A few shots pan across some of the destroyed trinkets and other such former valuables scattered across the ocean floor. One shot reveals an eerie white face that resembles a child and for a moment you think it's a child's detached head, but it turns out to just be a lone face separated from a doll.
- Based on a Real Life story. Bob Ballard on his first visit to the wreck by manned submersible encountered a disembodied doll's head just like the one in the Cameron film. The sub's crew of three hardened explorers freaked out at this discovery.
- The abandoned baby doll in Johanna's bassinet from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It's decayed with age and probably smoke damage/mildew, and is damn scary. (This scene also serves as an Empathy Doll Shot for Johanna's current plight.)
- Subverted in Pinnochio, a B-slasher film. The kid had a split personality which she projected onto her doll.
- Black Devil Doll is a Blaxploitation slasher flick with a radical black activist being reincarnated as the eponymous doll.
- How about Casey? Newt's doll in Aliens was the hollow plastic head that probably used to belong to a baby doll. The girl comforted it when she was nervous.
- The film version of Red Dragon has this, with the dolls of the murdered children. The Uncanny Valley effect of their eyes actually helps The Profiler figure out part of the Serial Killer's fantasy.
- That harlequin doll that Jigsaw uses as his mouthpiece in the Saw movies.
- In Shallow Grave there is a perfectly normal laughing doll. It still manages to get a creepy scene.
- Freddy Krueger often decorates his victims' dreams with mutilated dollies, and is occasionally seen holding one by its legs or hair. A symbolic nod to his past killings of young children, which we never actually see on-screen.
- Subverted in Summer School, where the male lead is seen slicing the head off a Raggedy Andy doll. This could've been creepy, had he not immediately offered the cloth head to his dog, whose favorite doll-head chew toy has been misplaced.
- The titular carnival attraction in The Funhouse is filled with them.
- Maniac's Frank Zito keeps various mannequins in his apartment as odd trophies that wear the clothes and scalps of his female victims. In the ending, he has a hallucination where they come to life and rip him into pieces.
- In Amusement there is a scene where a babysitter goes to bed in a room filled with creepy clown dolls. She is so disturbed that she complains on the phone to the parents of the kids she's watching, especially about one freaky life-sized clown doll sitting in a chair. The parents reply that there is no "big" doll. It turns out it's a killer in disguise, which the kids have for some reason let into the house because he said he wanted to play.
- In the miniseries for The Tommyknockers, police officer Ruth has a collection of creepy dolls in her office. After she finds out what's going on with the town, the aliens make the dolls come "alive" and attack her, to prevent her from phoning for help. The scarecrow doll is especially scary.
- The ventriloquist's dummy in the 1978 film, Magic.
- Dead Silence is a good example of how creepy a doll can really be even when NOT possessed by evil spirits bent on ripping out your tongue and making you into part of its collection.
- There is also the creepiest doll in cinema history in James Wan's other film, The Conjuring. It is also possessed by a demon.
- In the 1951 version of Scrooge, Tiny Tim is first seen gazing into a shop window with (authentic Victorian) mechanical toys - including a laughing-man doll that's pure nightmare fuel.
- The Woman in Black just loves this trope. Everywhere you look in the spooky ole house, there's a doll on a shelf with a truly hideous face. Even the 'normal' kids at the start of the film are playing with some creepy dolls.
- The granddaddy of them all, the British film Dead of Night. Michael Redgrave is a ventriloquist who is having a nervous breakdown and thinks his dummy is going to abandon him for another performer. He even attempts murder to keep him. In another man's psychotic breakdown the doll gets up and attempts to strangle him. This movie was the direct inspiration for Devil Doll, Magic and the Twilight Zone episode with Cliff Robertson.
- Devil Doll (best seen on MST3K) in which the dummy is actually possessed by the spirit of a man and can walk around and demand ham.
- The functional equivalent thereof in Mad Love, in which Dr. Gogol, having been rejected by a pretty actress, buys a wax dummy of said actress. And has his maid brush the dummy's hair. And buys a negligee for the dummy.
- The movie The Conjuring and its spinoff Annabelle features a truly creepy doll by the name of Annabelle that has been possessed by a demon, and is apparently based on a real-life case (see Real Life below).
- As mentioned before, the various dolls that the Other Mother makes in Coraline.
- In Richard Matheson's short story "Prey", a young woman is terrorized by an African Zuni warrior doll that she brings home as a gift for her boyfriend, and which subsequently comes to life. (The story was memorably adopted as part of the ABC TV movie Trilogy of Terror in the '70s.)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: Pretty Penny, a doll that Aunt Josephine gave Violet in The Wide Window.
- Also the movie adaption of the first three books in the series has a creepy bobble head doll called "the littlest elf'' in the rearview window of Count Olaf's car.
- In the Stephen King story The Sun Dog, a character thinks that a toy (not exactly a doll, but a stuffed panda, that talks) that her niece has is very creepy, and imagines that one day, it will say stuff like: "I think tonight after you're asleep, I'll strangle you to death" or "I have a knife".
- The Ragwitch. The titular Creepy Ragdoll is an Evil Overlord that takes over the body of the protagonist's sister, turning her into a half-human, half-cloth thing and forcing her to watch helplessly from inside as the Ragwitch resumes Her interrupted reign of terror.
- In Elizabeth A. Lynn's The Silver Horse, a world of animate toys includes broken dolls who are very, very bitter about the wrongs committed upon them by careless children.
- The action figure in the short story "Good Friends and Good Family" (scroll down) by Desmond Warzel isn't particularly creepy at first, but it gets worse.
- J.R. Lowell's Daughter Of Darkness is about Willie, a super-intelligent little rich girl who collects dolls — not the cute kind, either — from all over the world. The maid refuses to clean Willie's room because she feels like the dolls are "watching" her. She's right.
- There's a short story about a girl who goes to stay with her aunt for a vacation. While there, she finds her aunt's old china doll, which is described as being very beautiful, except for its orange-ish, creepy eyes. When she keeps the doll in her room at night, she sees the eyes are glowing and freaks out. The doll becomes less creepy when we find out later why the eyes look the way they did - one of the doll's previous owners died in a fire and the doll, sitting on a mantleplace, had to watch. The orange coloring was the firey scene, replaying in her eyes. After the girl comforts the doll, the eyes turn to a normal grey color.
- Terry Berger's The Haunted Dollhouse may have the dollhouse's owner turning into one of these.
- The young woman in Robert Holdstock's Lavondyss has a good reason for making her masks and figurines, but the old caretaker thinks he's on to her. "There's dolls you play with, and dolls you pray with..."
- In an 87th Precinct novel by Ed McBain, a doll has a recording of an actual murder in it.
- The House of Dolls in Septimus Heap is filled with these, to the point that even the protagonists find it creepy.
- The Birthing House features one of these during one of the first nights Colin spends in the house.
- Robopocalypse Baby Comes Alive turns into this.
- Johannes Cabal the Necromancer has one of these as a prize in the title character's demonic carnival.
- In Stephen King's The Tommyknockers Ruth McCausland had a doll collection which frightened two children and gave her brief uneasy feelings before the Becoming. After the Becoming first started, they began talking to her...
- The War Against the Chtorr. McCarthy becomes a Parental Substitute for several traumatised orphans, one of whom keeps a stuffed bear with its head missing. McCarthy thinks of sewing another head on the bear, but is warned against it by the other members of the orphanage, who explain the child is likely to freak out if his toy suddenly has unfamiliar features.
- The dolls in M. R. James' "The Haunted Dolls' House," which come alive to reenact a murder and its aftermath.
Live Action TV
- As you can see at the top of the page, Jonathan Coulton has a song about this very trope. In fact it's the Trope Namer.
- Laura Branigan's song "Self Control" begins and ends with a shot of a rather creepy doll.
- The video to the song "Technologic" by Daft Punk.
- It should be. It's the animatronic Chucky doll used in Child's Play (mentioned above) with its silicone skin removed.
- The video to the song "Blue" by The Birthday Massacre.
- There's a few of these in the P!nk video "Please Don't Leave Me" starting at 2:22. Notice all the dolls in the audience and then the close up on them. Brr...
- The video to the song "Clown" by Korn has both Creepy Doll's and Monster Clown's. Plus a lot of insanity.
- The MTV special editions for Issues had one of these.
- The video to the song "He's My Thing" by Babes in Toyland, as well as some of the cover art for their albums.
- Rasputina's "Gingerbread Coffin". Kids find an old doll and say a black mass around her. Despite the subject matter, neither the music nor the lyrics are at all eerie.
- The Dresden Dolls have a song called "Coin Operated Boy" while not wholly about a doll, the boy is a life size puppet of sorts that ran by dropping a quarter into its pay slot.
- The video for Velvet Eden's "..And schism".
- Elise from Sound Horizon's Märchen is an animated china doll that constantly compels the eponymous Märchen to enact revenge.
- At least two PVs for Rin and Len's "Trick and Treat" contain creepy dolls. In the second example, Rin and Len turn out to be Miku's old dolls that she threw away in favor of a new Luka doll. At the end of the video, Len rips out her heart.
- Another Vocaloid example: KAITO's "Heartbeat Clocktower", composed by mothy, is about a clockwork doll covered in burn marks who apparently needs (and inevitably gets) a human heart so that she can keep "living." Also mentioned is a theatre populated by dolls who are the "vessels" of sin.
- Finnish band "Lordi" have a song called Schizo Doll. Also, their keyboardist Hella acts as a living doll.
- Kerli's Walking on Air video.
- The doll family on the album cover of Marilyn Manson's Portrait Of An American Family.
- Mortasheen has an entire sub-category of monsters based on this, some examples being a ragdoll stuffed with mind-control parasites and teddy bear that manipulates emotion
- The Ravenloft setting is home to doll golems, animated toys which cause uncontrollable laughter with their bite, and 'carrionettes', sentient puppets that can swap minds with their victims.
- Then there's this little gem, from Exalted:
The Scripture of the Maiden on the Shelf:
...who sat on a child's shelf and watched the entire world.
For years and years, she did not move.
"Survival is control," she said.
- Magic: The Gathering has the Stuffy Doll, which is apparently a living voodoo doll. Which is completely indestructible. It's a reference to the doll's appearance in (and survival from) previous cards, starting with Black Vise and The Rack.
- Galateids often fit this trope.
- Betrayal at House on the Hill has an event called "Creepy Puppet".
- The description: "You see one of those dolls that gives you the willies. It jumps at you with a tiny spear."
- Pathfinder has Soulbound Dolls, crafted from a fragment of a creature's soul—either donated, or taken forcefully. In theory, they're Empty Shells, but in practice they retain some of the donor's personality, and it's not predictable which personality traits will appear. On top of that, they're the only construct that's vulnerable to mind-affecting effects, so even if they start out okay, they could still become Brainwashed and Crazy later.
- Ghostrick Doll, a member of the Ghostrick archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh! is based on a Bisque Doll, a doll made mostly or entirely of bisque porcelain and characterized by their highly realistic features and skin-like texture. These dolls were at their most popular in the late 1800's, and are now considered highly valuable among collectors. In addition, due to their eerie wide-eyed stares and historical nature these dolls have recently become pop culture fixtures in horror movies– often related to the ghosts of young girls.
- Alma carries a doll around with her in First Encounter Assault Recon. The effect is not really all that childish.
- Especially since she's covered in blood up to her ankles and typically surrounded by hellfire.
- In Majora's Mask, there's a little girl in Ikana Valley whose father lives in the wardrobe in the basement because he's slowly turning into a Gibdo. Later on, if you look inside his wardrobe it's revealed that he had a mummified little doll resting in the corner.
- The skull kid slightly fits this... especially with how Majora plays with him.
- In Wind Waker, when you meet the Great Fairy Queen, she takes the appearance of a child, yet holds a doll that looks like a miniature Great Fairy, all of which look like grown adult women. The effect is rather unsettling, a fact not helped by the background music.
- The Brawl Doll, a boss from Wario World.
- Fatal Frame cannot help but place them in every title.
- The first game had a room filled with long haired, creepy dolls with a little ghost girl wanting to 'play' with you.
- Fatal Frame 2 took that to the next level with the Dollmaker and the lifesized doll of his dead daughter, who was promptly possessed by an evil spirit and convinced her sister to murder her father. Now the pair of them wander around as shuffling ghosts, while the father controls his dolls and convinces them to kill you.
- Fatal Frame 3. The attacking handmaiden ghosts who look like little geisha dolls that will kill you with their hammers and ghostly tricks each have their own room. Their choice of decoration? Dolls. A whole ton of them. Skewered on the walls.
- At the very beginning of the game, there's a doll in the mansion displayed in a nook. You can look at it through your camera; as you slowly walk towards it, will look up at you.
- A doll in Miku's room will grow hair throughout the game.
- Fatal Frame 4 takes the cake with Ayaka, a Creepy Child, whose room is littered with dolls and severed doll limbs with a creepy laugh as the BGM. There is also a sidequest to take pictures of dolls littered throughout the game. The downside is you after each one, a creepy image of a little girl alongside a creepy laugh plays to verify your picture was successfully taken.
- Condemned 2 features an abandoned factory full of creepy baby dolls that run at you and explode. You can also pick them up and throw them like grenades. Ethan even pulls a pin out when he does this.
- Calcobrina from Final Fantasy IV.
"We love to kill!"
- Silent Hill seems to LOVE these:
- Silent Hill 2 features the Mannequin, a monster made out of two shiny plasticine womens' lower torsos stacked on top of one another. Possibly symbolizes the main character's objectification of women.
- Silent Hill Origins features Ariel, appearing as a doll that can either break your neck in the air... or run around on its hands to kill you.
- Silent Hill: Homecoming, however, cranks it up to Eleven with Scarlet. A giant, elongated mannequin with porcelain armor that, when blown off, reveals that there's inexplicably flesh and muscle beneath it. Add this to the fact that it came out of a pool of Doc Finch's blood and the One-Woman Wail creating Soundtrack Dissonance... it is EASILY the most frightening monster in the entire game. Finding out WHAT and WHY Scarlett is doesn't help. Not that you probably hadn't figured it out by now anyway...
- Silent Hill 3 also contains a slightly more traditional Creepy Doll in the form of the dolls Stanley leaves behind for Heather in the hospital. The protagonist originally thinks of the doll as another child's, and is disgusted when she finds out it's supposed to be for her. On his last journal entry, the doll is torn to pieces. Creepy...
- And there's the dolls in the Otherworld Hillside Center. One's in a wheelchair, while another- only a few feet away- is held by a humanoid...thing, suspended over a hole. Symbolism?
- Silent Hill 4 has Walter Sullivan's doll, which if picked up and placed in the box, haunts Henry's room permanently (unless you remove it from the box and carry it around with you for the rest of the game), making it impossible to get the best ending.
- The Robbie the Rabbit Doll pointing at YOU when you look in a certain hole.
- Silent Hill: Downpour has the aptly-named Dolls, which resemble (very creepy-looking) sex dolls. They summon shadows to attack Murphy, preferring to stand (almost) stone-still while they do so.
- Vagrant Story's Quicksilver and Shrieker enemies.
- Clock Tower: The First Fear has a room full of beat up dolls. One gives you a key. After that, another will attack you.
- If you're not careful whilst downloading custom content for The Sims 3, you can unknowingly download a doll that will slow down your game loading times and crash your games.
- That's probably Dexter The Bear, a stuffed Bear that gives you the ability to kill other sims with either a knife, a poker, or a hammer. The hammer lets you kill toddlers too, which gives way to the creepy toddler behaviors. That is, when Dexter worked properly and didn't crash the game.
- In summer 2010 there was also a custom content girl doll in a dress that attached itself like a virus to any uploaded content you created. It got onto the official exchange and caused a number of crashed games before people found it.
- For actual creepy dolls rather then bugged ones, we have the Imaginary Friend doll from the Generations expansion pack, which is generally agreed to be extremely creepy, and is delivered in the mail most of the time when your sims have a baby, and to make matters worse, if you let your toddlers play with the thing it will evolve into an animated thing with a creepy walk that follows your sim kids around everywhere. Also, the developers went out of their way to make the thing hard to get rid of, you can't even blow it up in an explosion.
- Your child will constantly play with it, ignoring their needs and their homework, along with constantly being interrupted when you tell them to do something. On top of that, if you take the doll away and leave it out, it will act like a gnome, which disappear in the night to show up elsewhere, often turning on TVs and stereos, or just poofing up beside a bed to stare at the occupant.
- Each game in the Shadow Hearts series has a dungeon called the Doll House, which is the home to a demonically possessed doll. In the first game, the spirit possessing the doll is not quite as scary as the doll itself, which sits in the middle of an extremely disturbing room, on a rocking horse, creaking slowly back and forth. In the second game, there's a similar dungeon, meant for a character who has a doll of his own. Not quite as scary as the first, but still quite a bit disturbing, given that there are dolls all over the house watching you... In the third game, there are dolls all over the place, and the scariness comes from what you have to do to them - plucking out their eyes.
- The PC kid's game I Spy: Spooky Mansion has a wardrobe filled with nothing but dusty, antique dolls as a level where you were told a poem (like in the books) to find things. In the game, when you found an object you were told to find, the object would become animated and then the object was checked off the list. In the wardrobe level, nearly every object you were told to find was a doll, and when found would move and talk with high-pitched voices and squeaky joints. Very creepy to a kid playing the game.
- Gaia Online has a "joint puppet" feature for avatars to use. If that doesn't fit this trope, then the livid-patchy "dead doll" option will.
- Subverted in Touhou with the character Medicine, a doll youkai, master of poison. Subverted because the character is not really creepy... being a loli, like all the others.
- Played straight in that she does hate humans and is of the very few instances a character is canonically NOT friendly.
- Averted with Alice Margatroid's adorable dolls. Granted, they're (almost) all inanimate. (We aren't sure about Shanghai.)
- Ironically, Alice herself has been described as creepy.
- Hina Kagiyama is head of the Nagashi-bin doll army, which is entirely cursed with misfortune. It's possibly a subversion, though, since the idea is to ensure the misfortune doesn't affect anyone else.
- There is a mod in Unreal Tournament called Unreal4Ever, which has a doll for a weapon. When used, the doll skips around a map making doll-like noises, until an unlucky victim comes too close and detonates the doll, causing a nuclear explosion. Just imagine being chased by a seemingly harmless doll that's really out to kill you.
- Tails Doll, from Sonic R. Can you feel the sunshine?
- The Castlevania series has an animate man-size marionette with long-blond hair. It's lying around idly until the hero comes nearby. Then it giggles, twists its neck in a circle, and floats through the air with unnatural movement as if manipulated by invisible strings. There are also variations that emit electricity, said to be possessed by the ghosts of prisoners that died in the electric chair. Chronicle has small dolls, the walking clowns and hover dolls, though you might find the voiced hover dolls adorable.
- In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, your character has the option of buying a teddy bear for your child in chapter three. And then it turns out that the fucking thing blinks and moves and your child will hold conversations with it.
- Used very subtly in Half-Life 2. They're never in plain sight, but if you go out of your way to poke through the trash or explore the abandoned playgrounds, you can find normal children's dolls... in ruins. Missing an arm. Missing an EYE. Covered in something black. Very creepy.
- One of the hidden-object search scenes in Return to Ravenhearst consists of dozens of creepy, damaged dolls arranged on shelves.
- In the sequel, Escape From Ravenhearst, you interact with dozens of creepy animatronic mannequins.
- Onimusha has Ayame, a demonic, Ax-Crazy Genma-doll which will randomly appear in the castle and will try to slash you to pieces with her gigantic claws. Also fiendish puppets and dolls will appear hidden in some chests in Onimusha 3. They'll leave behind the object they're guarding when defeated.
- A creepy doll whose eyes move is part of the antique shop's decor in The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure. Not exactly a doll, but this game also features a spooky, headless dressmaker's dummy that inexplicably appears in the bathroom each night, looking like an intruder in the dark.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has the thoroughly creepy Psycho Mantis and Sorrow dolls as unlockable weapons.
- Kingdom of Loathing has the Misfit Doll accessory. A normal doll with black hair, white skin, and hollow eye sockets. Adds Spooky damage (which is apparently generated by frightening the opponent) to attacks. Also has the Evil Teddy Bear and Cymbal Playing Monkey familiar and Killer Rag Doll and Creepy Marionette off-hands.
- You can get a creepy clockwork monkey as a combat item. The item description is in the quotes page.
- An update to Spookyraven Manor in May 2014 added a "creepy doll" monster to the Manor, as well as the quest reward "Elizabeth's Dollie".
- There's a junk item in Forum Warz, the Haunted Doll, but it doesn't really do anything... At least, nobody's seen it do anything.
- You can also wind up stuck with a Burnt Doll by pissing off a certain NPC.
- Resident Evil had a few moments with creepy dolls:
- First with Code Veronica (and its remake level in Darkside Chronicles) in which you travel through a house of dolls, filled with Zombies, Bats, Bandersnatches, oh and little dolls and a giant suspended doll, all of which are modeled after the games main antagonist Alexia Ashford. Plus there is also the music, and gets its worse in the games remake in Darkside Chronicles.
- And there was also the Resident Evil 4 prototype, which featured Leon going through a castle owned by Umbrella (at least we assume) that is... weirdly enough haunted with hook-wielding ghost demonic dolls and tentacles in a black mist. It was as if he made a wrong turn at Raccoon City and went to Silent Hill. (Damn it would have been scary.)
- Haunting Ground has a room full of it, and is, in fact, a puzzle. Doing this incorrectly will prompt spikes coming out of the dolls to give you a game over.
- Ōkami has some of these in the Sunken Ship dungeon. They aren't exactly creepy on their own right, but combined with the surroundings, occasional chest-monsters and the sound world that at first makes them seem like they're laughing at you, we can't really blame you if you feel like Power Slashing them, just to be sure.
- One made to look like the game's protagonist spooks the player out near the beginning of Rule of Rose. It makes an appearance later on, but its plot-significance is small.
- What makes this doll even creepier is the fact that it was created specifically to be slapped around and beaten by a character that hates Jennifer that much.
- The Rose Princess also appears to be one. It turns out that was just a stand-in for when the real one was ill.
- Torned out and dirty dolls in Epic Mickey, which you can do a spinning attack on for restorative items. They're even creepier than an eyeless Dumbo ride.
- The second battle in EarthBound Zero is against a possessed doll which one of your sisters owns.
- These are encountered as late-game enemies in Alice: Madness Returns. They are damn creepy, to say the least. They represent the children that Dr. Bumby has brainwashed and broken into child prostitutes.
- In Monster Girl Quest, Gnome can be seen holding a mud doll, a marionette-like doll with hollow eye sockets. She created many of them, animated, to ease boredom. Gnome summons them during her battle to test Luka's strength. They're even creepier if you lose, for Gnome will have these dolls repeatedly rape Luka. There is also a Cursed Doll in the Haunted House sidequest.
- Ib not only has a creepy doll that follows Garry around and keeps on asking him to play with it in one scene, but also an entire room of creepy dolls that lock him inside and force him to "play" with them to find the key to the door before a giant version of them finishes crawling through the window. If he fails to find the key in time, Bad Things happen.
- Pokémon has Banette. Its Dex entry states that it was a doll that came to life as a Pokemon after being abandoned by a child.
- The Calling has a room filled with bisque dolls. You not only get scared by those but you also get into that same room later in the game.
- Ambridge Mansion, an indie horror game, has a room full of dolls in it. In the second game, the dolls even lock you inside the room for a little while when they're just there staring at you. It's creepy as hell.
- The Puppetshow series is made of creepy dolls. Creepy mechanical dolls ranging from naked sexless automatons to a baby doll head mounted on a giant spider body.
- Near the beginning of Strange Cases 4: The Faces of Vengeance the main character discovers a doll of herself hanging - literally - inside an old fridge. When touched, the head falls off. Also, since the game is set in an abandoned mall, it gets a lot of mileage out of old mannequins in various disturbing poses. After solving a particular puzzle involving three child mannequins and a plastic birthday cake, she comments "It looks like someone is turning seven - if he was human and not a creepy doll."
- OFF has the Secretaries,, who resemble baby dolls. They're huge, they hit crazy hard (with math equations, oddly enough), they're creepy, they show up in zones devoid of all life, and they get even uglier as the game goes on. They're also good for EXP grinding, if you're careful.
- Twilight Town in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is populated by Twilighters, green creatures resembling shadowy dolls with visible stitching and glowing yellow eyes. Fortunately it's the game's Halloween Town and they're the ones in need of rescuing.
- Soul Hackers features the shop "Robot Haus" which normally sells these. It is run by a creepy old lady who talks as if the dolls were alive, and when you show her the GUNP, she sells suspicious items to you such as water that attracts demons and molotov cocktails.
- Illbleed has Cutie Marie/Cuty Mary, a cute little doll who challenges you to a series of deadly games in the "Killer Department Store" level.
- Video Game/Device6 has many creepy dolls, some more important then others.
- Donkey Kong 64 features the Monster Clown jack-in-the-box Mad Jack as the third boss, although for many he's more remembered as That One Boss for the frustrations due to the camera angles than for being scary (unless the player was younger than about 7 or 8).
- The vision of a doll which an evil toymaker, Henry Stauf sees and recreates, is what kicks off the storyline of The 7th Guest.
- In The Matrix: Path of Neo there's creepy animatronic sex-dolls in Club Hell, they giggle when a mook pushes them onto an electrified table.
- The game menu in Mishap: An Accidental Haunting consists of signs held up by extremely creepy dolls in various states of disrepair. Similar dolls appear throughout the hidden object scenes.
Web Original & Webcomics
- Very Creepy Doll Commercial From The 60's and Extremely Creepy Doll Commercial
- Open Blue v2 had Vice-Amiral Swasou, who owned a lot of creepy dolls. Even creepier is the fact that they appear to go places when nobody's looking.
- In The Secret Life Of Dolls, it's particularly bad with Tonner Edward Dollen, but at first when Anna Dollerious says what she thinks about getting The Littlest Edward◊:
"[I'm] not so lonely that I wanna go to sleep and have THAT lurking over me when I wake up. And you know he'll, like, imprint on one of us or some shit—knowing your luck, E, he'll imprint on Cleo, and he'll just sit on her pillow all night, rocking back and forth."
And we all shudder together. It's a nice feeling, sisterly solidarity.
- Silent Hill: Promise has a terrifying kewpie doll.
- Fred Finds A Creepy Doll: an officially licensed Fred doll, which he thinks is a voodoo doll of him. And then it starts talking...
- Inverted in The Order of the Stick, where Goth undead-phile Tsukiko keeps a doll of Xykon (who is creepy) in her bedroom. The doll, in contrast to the actual Xykon, is a cuddly plush toy.
- In Marble Hornets, the Slender Man doll Jay finds in an abandoned house may or may not count, but the baby doll in totheark's "Indicator" video definitely does.
- In Frankie And Stein, there's SUTURE tm, this little doll "stitched together out of love, respect for your elders, and the remains of other stuffed toys."
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Creepy Child Rebecca has a teddy bear that speaks in a demonic voice, worships Satan, and makes death threats to the other characters.
- Chad Vader has Baby Cookie who seems to be trying to the creepiest of creepy dolls. She wears nothing but booties and a zorro mask while making her chosen minion play, dance and kill.
- Any of Salad Fingers three finger puppets can be this. Hubert Cumberdale can become human-sized, gain red eyes, and scream for no apparent reason, as well as randomly turn into a black liquid that burns at the touch. Marjory Stewart-Baxter jealously watches Salad Fingers have a picnic with a little girl through the window. Jeremy Fisher can also become human-sized, stores a weird green fluid in his plugged-up mouth, and can suddenly transform into a second Salad Fingers to get eaten alive by the first.
- Homestuck has Lil' Cal, who appears completely inanimate, if nightmarishly designed... as long as you're looking at him. When you're not looking, he moves around on his own. Although it's actually Bro moving him. He's also cursed, is the ectobiological father of The Dragon, and contains the soul of the Bigger Bad.
- Squiddles further in. Some people found them unnerving to begin with, but finding out they're a subconscious representation of the Horrorterrors really cuts it.
- Doctor Steel makes several of these.
- Tina's muñeca para el Dia de los Muertos looks outright hideous! Its true nature (assuming it is in fact more than a decoration for the Day of the Dead) has yet to be revealed, although given Tina's backstory, it is easy to develop some theories about this.
- BitmapWorld has a storyline that parodies the Jonathan Coulton song, but then swerves off into Edgar Allan Poe territory. It begins here.
- Eerie Cuties has Blair, a girl doll possessed by a male spirit. Rather stupid and very, very perverted one, at that. Though he's annoying rather than creepy and ends up as The Chew Toy.
- In Minion Comics the protagonists have Tur-Tor - a stuffed turtle with drugged-out eyes that plays tapes of gangster rap songs about children committing domestic violence.
- Desert Bus For Hope had a creepy doll which was actually named Creepy Doll.
- The... odd-looking... figurine from Doom House. It haunts the protagonist by appearing wherever he goes.
- Toki's new doll The one who owned is looked the similar and was obviously suffering similar to her.
- From Solstice Twins. During Kiri's first nightmare, she runs through a hallway with a few of them staring at her.
- Hetty, Reynardine's "friend" in Gunnerkrigg Court, who like him, seems to be some kind of spirit or demon trapped in an object.
- In Not A Villain, Bloody Mary uses a pair of them in her special attack.
- Robert the Haunted Doll is a doll on display at the Fort East Martello Museum. It is the former doll of painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. When he was a child, Otto was given the doll as a gift from a servant who, according to legend, used black magic to curse it. Through the years, family members reported hearing Otto speaking to the doll, and hearing a strange, inhuman voice answering back. They also reported that the doll seemed, at times, to move. People who visit the doll where it currently resides sometimes claim the doll moves and that, if they want to photograph it, they need permission first otherwise their cameras don't work.
- Even worse is the fact that the doll's owner's wife (who hated the thing...like everyone else) apparently starting haunting their old house. Robert's old room, to be exact. This Travel Channel clip insinuates that she has no choice in the matter. Oh, also, Robert ages, apparently. His hair's gone white and he's got liver spots now...
- Related to Robert The Haunted Doll is Annabelle the Haunted Doll., whose story would become the basis of The Conjuring and its spinoff Annabelle. Possibly even more terrifying than the former, this Raggedy Anne doll was first owned by a woman by the name of Donna, whose mother purchased the doll from a hobby store in the 1970s. She and her roommate were cool with having the doll at first... until freaky things started happening in their apartment, where the doll not only supposedly moved on its own, but also wrote messages. When a medium was consulted, she said that the doll was being inhabited by the harmless spirit of a girl named Annabelle who died on the property, and Donna and her roommate felt compassion for the spirit. However, Annabelle the Doll was not what she seemed as she reportedly violently attacked one of Donna's friends. After two incidents, the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were consulted, and eventually came to the conclusion that the doll was being haunted not by the spirit of a little girl, but of a demon. The doll was eventually relocated to the Warren Occult Museum in Moodus, Connecticut, where it is reported that the doll still moves and growls at visitors on occasion from behind its glass case.
- One thing that can make dolls really creepy in real life is the fact that kids aren't gentle with toys. If you ever see a doll in a kid's playroom, stuffed uncomfortably in a toy box, or in the middle of a toy pile, often getting "crushed" under other, heavier-looking toys, and still having that smile, it becomes a quick way to convince anybody to clean that room.
- How about this commercial for PS3?
- The Struts fashion doll line. Toy ponies with big come-hither eyes that can be dressed up Barbie-style. No, really.
- The Doll Face video features a doll face on a jack in the box type contraption that mimics images on the tv screen trying to find the perfect visage for itself. The worst part is the fact that the thing is apparently sentient, and it falls very very deep into the Uncanny Valley once it paints its face with makeup to give it such a healthy glow that it resembles a human face.
- This might help, although it does increase the tear-jerker quality. If nothing else, the song is amazing.
- If it makes you feel any better, it is a human actress' face on the doll.
- When author H. Rider Haggard was a boy, his nanny used to own a creepy doll called "She-who-must-be-obeyed" which she used to get him to behave. This was at least partly the inspiration for his novel She.
- Surrealist artist Hans Bellmer combined this trope with lolis for maximum creepiness. His dolls inspired the Silent Hill 2 Mannequins. See a Not-Safe-For-Work-Or-Sanity photograph◊.
- Allegedly, he developed his "thing" for ball-jointed dolls after meeting his 15-year-old niece. Thankfully he felt his feelings for her weren't appropriate and switched to the "poupee" (puppet) instead. From Bad to Worse after his wife died.
- It's Baby Laugh'a'Lot!
- This Youtube user lampshades this trope to its fullest.
- Some ball-jointed doll owners embrace this to the fullest. Onegreyelephant's doll mods are something between art objects and Eldritch Abominations... and still more than a little cute.
- Any doll that has a function (most commonly crying) and being given to someone without being warned about it will cause distress and alarm in the unsuspecting recipient.
- Then there's that ghost story...Dolly one step, dolly two step, Dolly's gonna get you...Don't tell me you weren't scared of that as a kid!
- A lot of people find the Doll Room in House on the Rock to be hard to get through.
- Aaron Spelling's mansion had a room especially built to house a huge doll collection; unfortunately the kids it was intended for found it to be a little creepy.
- The marionettes used in the OP of the Chilean Soap Opera "Los Titeres". Brrrrr!
- The lyrics of the song skyrocket it into scary: "You are not the owner of your life/We are puppets and nothing else/Our threads are Fate/Which moves us at its will"...
- Not helped by the very Creepy Monotone singing voices and the just as terrifying background music.
- Clown dolls, invoked by this USPS commercial.
- Truthin Television moment about these things, it turns out according to one "study" we perceive what is alive and what is inanimate by the look of the face and eyes more then anything else, so now we know the human truth..dolls are just freaky soulless things!
- Who in Japan came up with this horrifyingly creepy Woody toy?! It's so creepy that it's the cover picture for Memetic Molester!
- "My Buddy, My Buddy...wherever I go, he goes..."
- The Island of the Dolls (“La Isla de la Munecas”) south of Mexico City. Featuring trees decorated with hundreds of mutilated dolls.
- Mattel's Saucy doll. The website is appropriate. Look at that face.
- Deliberately invoked by Imezco with their Living Dead Dolls, and BeGoth's Bleeding Edge dolls-these are dolls that take the idea of Creepy Dolls and run with it. Living Dead Dolls come in coffin-shaped boxes and have dates of death, while the Bleeding Edge dolls are pierced and have odd eyes. Not surprisingly, both of these kinds of dolls are very popular with Goths.
- The creepy-weird avatar of the mysterious Parent Child Testing Product. Reviewers are still trying to figure out what it does as well as why it's only sold in a 5-pack.
- A scary Georgian era mechanical puppet found in Portsmouth Dock's museum. quite unnerving
- Laughing Sal
- Porcelain dolls by Marina Bychkova, a Canadian artist of Russian descent, are beautiful beyond any words - and creepy beyond any words, as well. Here's Salome◊, here are Snow White and her prince◊ (look at Snow White's neck - it's pretty obvious that she is dead) and here is Bychkova's tribute to breast cancer patients◊ - beautiful, scary and heartwarming at the same time.
- Some Japanese dolls can be very creepy-looking. The aforementioned ichimatsu ningyou◊ are the most famous examples, but Iki-ningyou and some Bunraku puppets aren't slouches on this either.
- Older "talking dolls," especially those made in the 80s. The problem lies in their distorted voices: for example, Talking Pee-Wee Herman has the character's trademark "Secret Word Scream," which sounds more like a bloodcurdling roar. The official Sheriff Woody doll averts this because it uses a state-of-the-art voice chip instead of the old miniature record player.