Bisque doll

2022 Milwaukee Area Halloween Decorations Include Spooky Doll Display

While on her lunch break, Julie Ertman’s husband, Ron, found someone on her porch.

He took a picture and sent it to his wife.

“You have a friend,” he said.

This friend, a doll in a blue and gold dress, is now part of the “Doll Display,” the nickname Julie Ertman gave to the elaborate Halloween decorations in her front yard.

A black bag in the shape of a person is surrounded by around 50 dolls apparently guiding the body off the property. Ertman said she didn’t know where the dolls took “Adam,” a name given to the bag by Ertman’s daughter, Chloe, who created it.

The dolls are unnamed, although Ertman has joked on social media that he hopes the only donated doll isn’t called Annabelle – a reference to the 2014 horror film of the same name where paranormal activity surrounds a vintage porcelain doll.

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The idea for the display came from a random Facebook photo. Last year, Ertman made four trips to various thrift stores to pick up the dolls.

“It was pretty easy to get them and cheap,” she said, adding that she knows, as a horror movie fan, that scary dolls can own.

An assortment of classic Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and other random dolls are on display in this disturbing Halloween exhibit at the corner of Nicholson Avenue and Marquette Avenue in South Milwaukee on Friday, October 7, 2022.

The entire scene, now in its second year with the addition of a ghost, cost around $50 or $60 to create. The setup took Ertman and his daughter about an hour with each doll tied to a wooden stake.

Ertman said passersby often do a double take when they see him; some stop and take pictures.

“We had a lot of fun with it,” she said.

Is there a story behind the scene? Ertman said the lore was “nothing elaborate,” but also didn’t elaborate further.

“We’ll see what we can find next year,” she said.

Contact Erik S. Hanley at [email protected]. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter at @ES_Hanley.