In media, every
villain base, haunted castle, or scary old house seems to have a scary stuffed animal tucked away in a dark corner somewhere. Crocodiles, bears, gorillas, wolves, lions, owls (the huge unblinking owl eyes that seemingly follow you around the room, admit it, that's freaky)...
These are typically encountered by a child or teenager exploring the house, creepy background music optional. Sometimes the character gets up in the middle of the night to find a bathroom and/or a drink of water, and encounters the stuffed monstrosity that way. Sometimes, the character walked right past it when the beast was brightly illuminated during the daytime, but now that it is night, and the house is dark, running into the animal freaks them the hell out. Bonus points if the person stumbles into it in the dark, shines their chosen source of light on it, screams and runs away. Double
bonus points if, instead, a lightning strike outside the window lights up the room so it can be seen.
happens to any character past their mid-twenties.
Also rarely, the animal will occasionally come alive, due to some kind Applied Phlebotinum
, and when it does come alive, expect it to attack.
Not to be confused with Taxidermy Is Creepy
, which is more about taxidermists themselves, rather than the products of their profession.
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- In one of the earliest Cattivik stories, the eponymous thief ends up in the mansion of a senile british hunter, decorated with the preserved heads of fellow thieves. The old hunter promptly tries to add him to the collection.
- Back when Knuckles the Echidna had his own solo series, one of his foes was a human named Hunter. The first time they meet, Hunter showed off his collection of stuffed Mobians that he had hunted down. Since this series focuses on anthropomorphic animals, Knuckles reacts the way most people would when seeing a wall full of stuffed human heads.
- The Shadow Society in Seekers of the Weird utilizes an army of taxidermied Mix-and-Match Critters.
- The Far Side has two bears looking at a stuffed bear saying "That's Vinnie all right, but his eyes... There's something not quite right about his eyes..."
Films — Animated
- Gru's home in Despicable Me is full of furniture made from stuffed animals. As the girls walk down the hall, they see a stuffed lion's head. In it's mouth is a stuffed dog, with a stuffed cat in its mouth, which has a stuffed mouse in its mouth.
Films — Live-Action
- The NeverEnding Story. Bastian sees the taxidermied heads of a fox, an eagle and an owl, and later in the land of Fantastica he meets three sages with the heads of said animals.
- In The Hotel New Hampshire, the family dog dies and the protagonist's older brother decides to take it on as a taxidermy project. It comes out looking far more terrifying than it's supposed to, and keeps getting found in various unexpected and startling places. At one point it keeps the protagonist from getting laid by frightening the girl; at another, it literally scares his grandfather to death.
- In the Fable Haven series, Seth has to sneak into a mortuary that had stuffed animals standing around. Turns out the guy who owned the place wasn't actually evil, but it still scared the crap out of Seth.
- A stuffed SS Standartenfuhrer is a prized possession of Cristobal Junta, the Magitek scientist from Monday Begins on Saturday. Played for Laughs.
- "The Mutation" in Animorphs had the group going into an undersea cave and stumbling into a whole museum of stuffed humans on ships(with a few just-added Hork-Bajir in the mix as well.)
- Ned from Pushing Daisies is afraid of taxidermy animals, as related in the episode "Frescorts", but that's more because he can bring them back to life with a misplaced touch than anything to do with taxidermy being inherently terrifying. He mentions an incident of a polar bear rug coming to life and totally killing the mood.
- On Heroes, Danko comes home to see a taxidermied rabbit sitting on his table. He's understandably confused and creeped out, not knowing that Sylar is hiding in the shadows the next room over.
- Doctor Who example: Ace gets trapped in a room full of this, and freaks out, during "Ghost Light."
- The Janitor on Scrubs has an extensive collection of stuffed animals, and likes to make additions whenever some small and furry creature crosses his path. They all have names as well, and he likes to play with them.
- In the video for the Genesis song "No Son of Mine," there's only one animal head, but it's still pretty freaky.
- Future Perfect has a taxidermied moose head in one room of a creepy old mansion that comes out of the wall with a zombie body as a mini-boss.
- The first game also has a moose head, also in a haunted mansion, although here it is simply a disguised turret that shoots you when you're in the same room.
- In World of Warcraft, there is a boss fight with one of these. It begins with two random trophy monsters unfreezing, attacking you. Then Gortok Palehoof unfreezes from the other side of the room and charges your group, starting the actual boss fight.
- In Rama, the stuffed alien may not raise your eyebrow. The stuffed co-worker, however...
- The Safari Room in Luigis Mansion is filled with various stuffed creatures, which nod kind of creepily when the Poltergust 3000 is used on them.
- In the Ambridge Mansion series, in your nightmare you see what seems to be the skin of a shadow monster stuck on the ceiling and dripping blood.
- In the flash game Haunt The House two of the objects the player can possess to scare people is a stuffed bear and a moose head.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Module EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror. When the PCs first arrive in Murlynd's house they're in a room with stuffed animals. The description makes them sound scary.
Several small animals and birds are sitting on shelves and tables. They are regarding you with unwinking stares!
- Module A2 Secret of the Slavers' Stockade. When the PCs open a door they get a shock from a stuffed bear.
When the door is opened there comes a low, rumbling growling noise, and a grizzly bear, on his hind legs, comes lurching out of the shadows. He rushes right at the head of the party.