Baby doll

Museum October events include a spooky doll contest, shootout

A competitor was found buried on the grounds of an allegedly haunted mansion. Another was delivered in a white coffin.

A third is ‘Boogha’, whose owner is reasonably certain, or at least fairly sure, that even if she doesn’t win first place, she won’t harm anyone.

These contestants are all dolls that will compete against each other to win the honor of “the country’s scariest doll” for the Sanilac County Historic Village and Museum “Scary Doll Contest”.

“Every day this contest gets better and better,” said Dawn Malek, administrator of the Sanilac Historical Society, with approximately 25 dolls submitted for the contest so far.

A Times Herald archive photo of the historic village mansion and Sanilac County Museum.

The museum still has October events like its haunted village, but this year, the competition and a session have been added to the event schedule.

“I would say it’s another scary year,” Malek said.

Submissions for the doll contest include a doll found buried in the grounds of the reportedly haunted Bruce Mansion in Brown City, “Joyce” which a woman received as a gift when she was 10 in 1945 but whose daughters refused to play with later, and of course, Boogha.

When the dolls started arriving, Malek said she would not be bringing them into the museum where her office is located. Instead, they were placed in the dairy barn, far enough from her desk for her to be comfortable.

The museum has a “very loose deadline” of October 9 for doll contest submissions, but Malek has said they will accept some on Halloween week.

People can bring dolls to the museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Dolls with a “high creep factor” are most encouraged, such as old creepy dolls or newer dolls that have been “artificially frightened”. And all dolls will be gladly returned to owners once the winners are announced.

People will be able to view the dolls from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on October 9 and 16, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on October 23 and 30. The dolls will be in the museum’s rail depot and people can vote for the doll they find the scariest by putting a dollar bill in the corresponding jar.

The doll that wins the most money will be considered the scariest and the first three votes will receive ribbons. The accolades are the doll’s price, but the real price is that the museum receives financial support, with all money raised going to the museum, Malek said.

"Boogha" was submitted by Brian Derowski for the upcoming Creepy Baby Doll contest at the Sanilac County Historic Village & Museum.

She is very surprised by the community’s reaction to the contest and the enthusiasm of people in general.

People love Halloween, “so it’s just one more thing we can offer,” she said.

The 150-year-old mansion and museum grounds will also host psychic readings and paranormal tours on October 23, but a month was not enough to contain all of the spooky events.

The museum plans to hold a session on November 1, where psychic mediums will serve as a bridge between worlds to bring messages from beyond the grave, Malek said.

A wooden cross sits on a fence outside the historic village church and Sanilac County Museum in this Times Herald file photo.

The museum will try to set the mood for the session and ask all participants to wear black. Participants are also encouraged to bring keepsakes or a photo of their deceased loved ones, she said.

She was surprised by the people who wanted to participate, people she generally considered to be nonsense.

“It will be a really fun month of October at the museum,” she said.

People can know more about the Sanilac County Historic Village and Museum Facebook page and can contact (810) 622-9946 and [email protected] for more information.

Contact Bryce Airgood at (810) 989-6202 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ bairgood123.

A photo of a past event from the Haunted Village to the Sanilac County Historic Village and Museum.

Haunted village

  • Date: Oct. 9 and 16, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Price: $ 4 per person
  • By the way: People can visit the spooky and creaky old museum buildings with different Halloween nightmares and goodies. New this year are two spooky nature trails, one for families and one for those looking for more spooky. There will be a bonfire and a food booOOth and people will be able to enjoy a cup of hot apple cider after getting chills.

Scary doll contest

  • Date: Oct. 9 and 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 12 and 30 from 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Price: entrance to the haunted village
  • By the way: Ghosts, Ghouls, Vampires, and Monsters can scare with their fangs and growls, but is there anything more spooky than a scary doll?

Psychic readings at the museum

  • Date: October 23, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Price: $ 45
  • By the way: Enjoy a 20 minute private, social distance reading from a psychic or psychic reader. $ 15 from each ticket will be donated to the Sanilac County Historical Society. People can purchase tickets from the Eventbrite website.

Paranormal investigation at the museum

  • Date: Oct. 23, 7 to 9 p.m. and 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.
  • Price: $ 65
  • About: Join Detroit Paranormal Expeditions for a paranormal investigative event at the museum. During the event, guests will investigate inside the Loop-Harrison Mansion, Museum Church, and School. Tickets are available on the Eventbrite website.

Victorian session at the museum

  • Date: November 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Price: $ 40
  • By the way: Psychic mediums will act as a bridge between worlds to bring messages from beyond the grave. There will be room for 20 “seated” during the session to experience this strange aspect of 19th century Victorian life. Tickets are available on the Eventbrite website.
A photo of a past event from the Haunted Village to the Sanilac County Historic Village and Museum.