Bisque doll

Which historical doll will be crowned the scariest? | Smart News

Vote for the scariest doll via the center Facebook and Instagram pages.
Nate DeBoer Photography / Olmsted County History Center

Anyone troubled by Victorian starring nightmares porcelain clowns or empty eyes dolls would be well advised to skip an annual event hosted by the Olmsted County History Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

As since 2019, the organization is invite the public to vote for which doll in her collection is the scariest, reports Samantha Fischer for KARE 11. Fans of the scary season will be able to meet the 2021 contenders, as well as last year’s winners, at a “Scary cocktail”Housed in a former armory known as the castle This weekend. (The 2021 winner will be announced during the party on October 23.)

cloth doll

Gagool the cloth doll is at least 90 years old.

Nate DeBoer Photography / Olmsted County History Center

Choose from a collection of around 100 dolls, the nine old toys in the race are Princess Aouda, an 1860s porcelain doll wearing a lace-trimmed dress; Miss Havisham, an 1880s bisque porcelain doll named after the antagonist by Charles Dickens High expectations; a doll nicknamed Lizzie Borden as a nod to the 19th century murder suspect; and Lady Corn Envelope.

“We pick nine dolls from the collection and give them funny names and take them out on social media and ask people to vote on what they think is scariest,” said center executive director Wayne Gannaway. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) Ava Ewald. (Participants can vote through the center Facebook and Instagram pages.)

framed doll in antique window

Cloudy Eye is a bisque doll from the late 19th or early 20th century.

Nate DeBoer Photography / Olmsted County History Center

“It’s a mix of history and fun,” says Abby Currier, community engagement coordinator at the center, for KTTCby Megan Zemple. “We could put these dolls on display with nothing with them and the chances of people stopping voting are slim to zero. So we dress it up, make it fun, but we also want to tell about how we protect the dolls, how we keep them in this fun and exciting way.

the winner of the 2019 competition was a 169-year-old cloth doll with faded paint that left her looking like a “mummified child”, As Brigit Katz wrote for Smithsonian magazine at the time. That year, other contestants included a doll whose eyes suddenly come to attention when lifted, and another with real human hair. In 2020, Mrs Danvers, a doll with a giant hole in the back of the head, came out victorious.

According to Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of Smithsonian, it’s quite common for people to find many dolls to be “scary”, a separate concept from “scary”. Frank McAndrew, a psychologist at Knox College in Illinois, explained that goose bumps are linked to uncertainty.

Miss Abyss doll

Miss Abyss is a bisque doll dated between 1850 and 1900.

Nate DeBoer Photography / Olmsted County History Center

“You get mixed messages. If something is clearly scary, you scream, you run away. If something is gross you know how to act, ”he said. Smithsonian in 2015. “But if something is scary… it can be dangerous, but you’re not sure it is.” … There is an ambivalence.

Dolls can look scary because they exist in the “strange valley, looking like humans without being human. Patricia Hogan, curator at the Fort National Game Museum in Rochester, New York, and associate editor of the American Gaming Journal, Recount Smithsonian that dolls became more human in the 18th and 19th centuries.

porcelain figurine of a jester

Professor Moriarty is a porcelain figurine made in the 1890s.

Nate DeBoer Photography / Olmsted County History Center

“I think that’s where the discomfort comes with the dolls,” she said. “They look like humans and in some ways move like humans, and the more they look or move or look like humans, the more uncomfortable we become.”

Yet dolls remain beloved toys for children. Gannaway tells MPR that this trend once applied to minifigures who also headed to the castle for a snack.

“At one time, dolls were someone’s precious possession,” he says. “I think that’s something really special about this competition. He brings this to light. So on the one hand there’s this sometimes unsettling feeling that dolls look scary, but on the other hand I think people intuitively understand, “Wow, this doll was loved at one point. . “