ByArturo Cervantes, writer at
Not only do they go bump in the night, they do so in different media. As well as in real life. A short look into the horror that plagues our
Arturo Cervantes

My mom has a fairly big porcelain doll collection. Needless to say, I've always found dolls über creepy. Dolls are, for some reason, really frightening, and the girls who play with them seem to be perfectly fine with that fact. They play with them everyday, they keep them in their bedroom. That's the worst. My dad used to buy me and my siblings cassette tapes with stories for children, folk-tales and stuff like that. One of those tapes was called ¿No será Puro Cuento? (What if it's just a story? or something like that. I'm Mexican, BTW) and it was full of horror stories which were creepy enough, like one about an old lady whose dogs kept barking at night, so she rubbed the dog's eye-goop on her own eyes to see what they were barking at and was found dead the next morning. Charming little story, right? There was one that always made me get out of the room or stop the tape if I was listening alone, about a girl who took her doll everywhere she went and even slept with it next to her. Her mom warned her not to sleep with the doll, but she didn't listen. So one night she awakes to the doll clawing at her face. I was sitting on my bed while writing this and had to get my feet up on the bed while remembering the story.

The first two Child's Play movies used to scare the crap out of me. I remember one time, when the yearly town festivities were in full swing with bumper cars, a ferris wheel and all that jazz, they put a haunted house right down the street from my grandmother's house. The front of the ride had pictures of Freddy Krueger, possessed Regan and Chucky. I was terrified of walking past. And I was always afraid that a doll might come up to me and start talking, like one of my cousins told me had happened to her. Recently one of my students (I'm also a Teacher, FYI) told me about a motion activated doll she and her sister used to have that played music and danced when you clapped. It would go off in the middle of the night, as haunted toys are wont to do, and keep doing so even with the batteries removed. Annabelle didn't scare me, though, which was kind of a relief.

What did scare me was watching a DVD of Night Gallery in the middle of the night and coming across the episode The Doll. It made me jump and turn on the light for the rest of the night. I checked the intro again and saw that it was based on a story by Algernon Blackwood. I immediately went on Amazon and bought it. It arrived a couple of weeks later -actually sooner than I'd expected- And proceded to devour it. It was a second-hand copy and quite ad hoc with the whole creepy theme. The book made me shiver as I read how the doll moved across the bed to reach the little girl's face (A reminder of childhood terrors) while the governess stood there petrified. I then noticed one of my students staring at my face and trying not to burst into laughter. I was reading it while my students wre taking a test.

Nowadays my mom keeps her dolls in their boxes, under her bed, since there's no more space to display them and nobody liked them anyway. I generally feel relieved to know that I don't have to look at them anymore. That they're not there, watching me all the time. But sometimes I get chills when I think that they're inside their boxes under the bed, probably not too happy about it, and listening, and scheming...


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