Ah, the post-Christmas lull. That special time when the house is finally looking sort of tidy again, there’s probably at least enough left over turkey to fill a sandwich or two… and your kids are starting to get bored with their shiny new toys.
Hey, I don’t make the rules. I just point out the short attention spans as I see ‘em.
Speaking of toys, there seems to be a never-ending fascination with haunted playthings, most especially dolls. So much so, that if you go onto eBay and type in ‘haunted doll’, pages of supposedly possessed dolls will pop up for you to browse through. The bulk of these seem to be old-fashioned or porcelain dolls (what? No one wants to possess Barbie?), although I did spot two handmade rabbits. Interested buyers should proceed with caution though, as it is hard to prove that the dolls for sale are actual repositories of ghostly energy, as opposed to just plain creepy.
All joking aside, there are many suggestions as to why there seems to be so much paranormal activity linked to dolls. One is that the humanoid appearance of dolls (from the highly detailed to the barely discernible) triggers the more primitive, instinctual portions of the human brain that simply expects the presence of life in something possessing a face. Reality is crafted by expectation, so if we expect a creepy doll to be haunted, does it become so? (Sort of like a ‘thought form being’ or golem?)
Another idea is that since dolls are given to children to draw comfort and companionship from during the most emotionally charged periods of their lives, they ‘collect’ energy, and quite possibly even take on emotional imprints. Emotional imprints are quite common in houses made of brick or stone, where energy seems to seep into the building materials and then cause ‘replay hauntings’ – sort of a paranormal video loop, that cannot be called a true haunting as such, but is no less frightening. In a doll, this accumulation of energy would give the doll the appearance of being haunted, when in fact it is simply looping the energy of its previous master. Dolls that seem to have repetitive paranormal activities associated with them would most likely fall into this category.
Then there’s the ‘all things living’ theory – the idea that all things, from humans to rocks to trees to man-made objects, possess some form of life force and a degree of intelligence. Based on this theory, though, one could logically assume that ALL dolls were ‘haunted’, or at the very least alive to some degree. But that then begs the question – why are some dolls more ‘alive’ than others?
Of course there’s always the ‘possessed doll’ theory (think Chucky from ‘Child’s Play’), but we won’t get into that one today.
Have you had a doll or toy in your life that you were convinced was haunted? As always, I’d love to know.
P.S. The Stubborn Dead is now available for preorder on a number of sites, including on Apple’s iBookshelf! (Many thanks to my sister for pointing that out.)