Traumafessions :: Reader Laura from Michigan on Dolls

Hi guys, I love this site! OK, here is my traumafession

When I was a kid, I went to my friend Michelle’s sleepover birthday party. At the party, we watched CARRIE (also traumatic!), and this other movie called DOLLS. This movie was from 1987, and the plot went something like…. Strangers get stranded because of a storm or something, and all end up at the house of a creepy dollmaker. Once they all go to bed, the dolls come to life and kill them one by one. Terrifying, but it got worse!

That night at the sleepover I was lying awake, scared out of my mind that I was going to be chopped to bits by dolls, when I heard what sounded like little, high-pitched voices. I also died right then, but then I remembered…Michelle has cats! Phew. The next morning, when I recounted this to my friends, Michelle said, “But the cats were outside!”

As if this wasn’t enough to cement my life-long terror of dolls, a week or so later I was asleep in my own bed, when I suddenly woke up because something had fallen on my pillow. I opened my eyes and…it was my SPANISH DANCING DOLL, which had fallen off the shelf above my bed. I hurled that sucker across the room, and the next day, I begged my mother to box up all the dolls in my bedroom and put them away.

I’m an adult with my own little girls now, and even THEIR dolls creep me out!

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, Kindertrauma!

Laura from Michigan

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11 years ago

It’s been years since I’ve seen that movie, wasn’t there a killer teddy bear, too? Victorian dolls with their gappy little Chiclet teeth are freaky as hell.
Not marginalizing your trauma, but I laughed out loud at your throwing that doll across the room :-)>

11 years ago

I sympathize!

I accidentally saw a part of this movie when I was a kid – I was flipping channels and unfortunately arrived at Dolls just at the moment when Bunty Bailey is turning into a doll and her eyeballs fall out.

Later that week I slept over at my friend Melissa’s house…I was pretty troubled by what I’d seen and we discussed it at length while shooting hoops in her driveway. Unfortunately for both of us, her bedroom was full of dolls. We lay there in the dark freaking each other out, and finally I said, “Would you please turn on the light on your nightstand?” (I could just make out the silhouette of a frilly lampshade on her nightstand, easily within her reach.)

“That’s not a lamp,” she whispered. “It’s a doll.”

I thought she was teasing me. But no, no she wasn’t. It was definitely a doll.

Eventually she went to sleep, leaving me alone with my thoughts. I think I was awake until somewhere around 4 a.m.

unkle lancifer
11 years ago

I love this movie so much! When I originally saw it I remember being a little disappointed that it wasn’t as gory as director Stuart Gordon’s earlier efforts “Re-animator” and “From Beyond” but over the last couple of years it has somehow eclipsed both those two films in my heart.

It’s brilliant. How can you go wrong with a very eighties killer doll movie with an “Old dark house” set-up and an overall fairy tale atmosphere. It works as a great kiddie revenge flick too even though the kid never has to lift a finger & lets the dolls do all the work for her. It’s just as funny as it is creepy and the doll effects are beautifully done. The more you watch it the more of the amazing subtlety you can see in the effects.

Thanks for the great traumafession Laura! I feel your pain but it really cracked my up!

BTW, DOLLS is in Netflix streaming so anyone who has not seen it should and anyone who has not seen it in a while has got to watch it again. Perfect late night viewing and I love that it’s only 77 minutes long! Also I have the DVD of this and I have to say it has one of the best commentaries I have ever heard too!

Carolyn, “That’s not a lamp,” she whispered. “It’s a doll.” made me laugh out loud too! What a classic kindertraumatic film !

11 years ago

This movie is great. I am definitely a Stuart Gordon fan. I realized recently that I have many of his films because I loved them so much as a kid.

Dolls was probably the first one I saw. I had an antique doll with glass eyes designed to follow you around the room. She was totally staring my sister and I down as we watched the movie a few feet away, as if to say: “Yeah, thats right … I come to life at night and run around the house while you sleep”. Creepy doll went in garbage can following the viewing.

I have Dolls, Castle Freak, Dagon, Fortress, and yes…Robot Jox. I appreciated how much movie he could squeeze out of a low budget. Also, my favorite Masters of Horror episodes were his – “The Black Cat” and “Dreams in the Witch House”. Both of which were actually horrifying and memorable. Oh, and the episode “Eater” on Fear Itself was pretty great too. These can be found on Netflix streaming.

11 years ago

Stuart Gordon can do no wrong in my book. And Daslyter, I agree on “The Black Cat” – one of the best episodes of that show (though “Jenifer” freaked me out so much more).

I watched Dolls for the first time about two years ago, and I loved it. Creepy, funny AND heartwarming? I really loved the big guy (I forget his name)’s relationship with the little girl – he was such a nice guy that was just understandably freaked out by it all. Plus that attic scene is burned into my eyes.

This reminds me I am finally getting around to watching Beyond Re-Animator tonight. Sure, it’s not Stuart Gordon, but you can see my line of thought.

unkle lancifer
11 years ago


Dagon is doggone amazing! I love that one too. I find the beginning in the town scary as hell. It’s such a nightmare! I immediately purchased a Miskatonic University T-shirt after seeing it! I loved dream in the witch house too…

I didn’t know he did a Fear Itself episode! I’m going to watch that on streaming asap!!!


It is heartwarming and I love the evil stepmom she is just perfect in it. I have yet to see “Stuck” which is also streaming but I’ve only heard great things about it.

11 years ago

I never had dolls as a child. i liked stufed animals. But now that I have a daughter Ive realized Im freaked out by dolls that are too life-like. She used to have a whole bunch of AMERICAN GIRLS dolls and (even worse) a MY TWINN doll which was a doll you ordered with a pic of your kid so they could design it to look just like them. I remember any time I slept in my daughters room thinking the dolls were watching me and I also remember once when i was alone in the hosue I thought I heard whispering upstairs! To this day I think those dolls had a little life in em!

I have the movie DOLLS too. At a little more than an hour running time its the perfect movie to watch when you just wanna climb in bed with a glass of wine and watch a quick one before going to sleep 9although the ‘relationship’ between that grown man and the litle girl sorta freaks me out a bit).

Jami JoAnne Russell
11 years ago

Every time someone confesses one of these doll fears I feel the need to confess something to them to comfort them.

I was in the GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) program as a child. One day out of the month I went to a totally different school with a bunch of other smarty pants. One girl told me this story one day about an American solider in Japan who saw this beautiful doll of a Japanese woman under glass in a shop. He forced the shop keeper to sell it to him and the shop keeper warned him to never remove the glass.

The solider gave this doll to his eight years old baby sister who lived in California. One day there was an earthquake and of course the glass broke. The girl hid the doll and it’s broken case in the closet. Sure enough, when the solider came the next day to visit he found his entire family slaughtered and no sign of the beautiful Japanese doll, but he did find a monstrously ugly doll holding a bloody axe in his sister’s closet.

Now I didn’t have any Japanese dolls, but a few years before a Japanese woman came to our house, she was selling paintings door to door. Each was done on strips of bamboo that could be rolled up. I picked out one of a beautiful Japanese woman standing near a stream. One of my brothers bought one of a vicious looking tiger.

After that story, I kept hiding the picture in my closet. Mom would find it and hang it back up, unable to understand why I was so terrified by a painting.

Eventually she got tired of me hiding it and sold it at a garage sale for 25 cents. While I was old enough by then to realize the story wasn’t real – though it’s teller swore it was true – I still felt a great deal of relief when that painting was no longer in the house!