Pediophobia 2016



We took a break last year, due to camera issues, but guess what? It's time for new Pediophobia post! 



I have no fear of dolls. I love dolls, in fact, especially old antiques. But over the years, I have learned that others do not share my love of old dolls, and popular entertainment has been loaded with creepy doll stories lately.

So in the spirit of Halloween, I give you... creepy doll photos!

Some of these were photographed at the Historical Museum...



I think they are beautiful. I always wanted an antique bisque Kestner or Jumeau. Little Sis, however, prefers the simpler antique china dolls. (She is my doll buddy.)


We have a few modern-but-old-looking porcelain dolls of our own. Because I'm committed (or is it I should be committed?), I took a few to my favorite old cemetery and had them pose for Halloween.





And because this is a bookish blog, here are a few books, all featuring wonderful creepy doll covers.




For older elementary-aged kiddos:

Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn.
Clarion Books, 2015.
Took was one of the most popular titles at our school's recent Scholastic Book Fair, and if you read yesterday's post, you'll know that Mary Downing Hahn is very popular in our house. This isn't her first scary doll book, but it's very different from The Doll in the Garden (see my first Pediophobia post). It deals with rural Appalachian folklore (a mountain witch!), and the doll in question isn't old at all. Rather, it's an American Girl-inspired vinyl doll, made to look like the protagonist's little sister. It may not be my favorite MDH title, but it's fun, and just right for older kids who like scary stories.

For older elementary/middle school kiddos:


Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge.
Amulet Books, 2015.

Cuckoo Song isn't really about creepy dolls, despite the enticing cover. It's a beautifully-written fantasy about a girl named Triss who wakes up after a bad fever, very confused and insatiably hungry. There a couple of scenes involving dolls coming to life, and there is another doll (of sorts) who is a main part of the plot. UGH! It's so hard to explain this book without giving too much away! Despite the fact the big bombshell drops early in the book, it would still be cheating the reader if I give it away here. Here's what you need to know: it takes place in England during the 1920s, and there are fairy-like beings known as "The Besiders." I loved it. Now, go read it.

For grown-ups:


The Doll Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow.
Tor/Forge, 2014.

The Doll Collection is a dark short story collection, and all of the stories involve dolls (or puppets or mannequins, etc.), illustrated with doll photos. The stories vary wildly, as does the creepiness factor, but it's definitely a worthwhile collection, for adults who love horror and have any kind of fascination with dolls.




And for your viewing pleasure, I leave you with just one of many old British Pathe newsreel videos involving doll factories. (Really. Go to YouTube and type British Pathe dolls.)





You can see lots of vintage doll commercials on Little Sis's Vintage Doll Commercials playlist. Little Sis and I also keep a "Doll Decor" Pinterest board, and dolls can also be found on other boards of mine, here, here, here, and here. (And probably on other boards, too. Go check out my Pinterest, if you want. Click "Follow All," then go through and unclick anything you're uninterested in.)

For more Pediophobia, check out the 2013 and 2014 installments.

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Halloween Favorites

Hay, Hooves and Halloween at Old Cowtown


Five more days! October has just zipped by, no? We haven't been able to fit all of our favorite things into the month, and time just keeps getting away from us. But last night, the whole family took the time to ask each other questions. What are our favorite Halloween-y things?


Big Sis at the pumpkin patch, this year.

Big Sis's Halloween Favorites

To watch: Ghostbusters (1984 AND 2016, but not Ghostbusters II), the Addams Family movies, Nightmare Before Christmas, the Halloween episodes of Parks and Recreation, scary movies like Poltergeist, The Birds, The Sixth Sense, The Others, Killer Klowns from Outer Space (but not the part with the old man and his dog - that part is sad!), old Halloween cartoons

To read: Mary Downing Hahn, cute picture books. Does Harry Potter count? Because Harry Potter is everything!

Past costume: fall fairy. (I also liked my zombie cheerleader costume.)

Past costume of Sister's: Amelia Earhart

Fall fairies! I made the tutus and wands, and decorated the cheap wings.

Halloween memory: getting cleaned up after trick-or-treating, then curling up to watch TV and eat popcorn and candy.

Candy: Mars brand candies like Twix and Milky Way. Also SweetTarts, Smarties, and Dum-Dums.

Zombie girls.



Big Sis's Least Favorite Candy? Twizzlers. Least Favorite Old Costume? witch. What will you be this year, Big Sis? ???

It was chilly that year. Little Sis wound up staying home.

Little Sis at the pumpkin patch, last year.


 Little Sis's Halloween Faves:

To watch: Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Just Add Magic, Ruby Gloom, Goosebumps, The Haunting Hour, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Deadtime Stories

To read: Wait Till Helen Comesthe Zombelina books, the Vampirina Ballerina books

Past costume: Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart


Past costume of Sister's: Raggedy Ann

Halloween memory: The first time I remember trick-or-treating and eating all the candy!

Candy: full-size chocolate bars.

my little dolls: Raggedy Ann and Holly Hobbie


Least favorite candy? toothbrushes
What will you be this year, Little Sis? zombie ballerina (again)


They want your brains.


The Nightmare Before Christmas is very popular in our house.

at Old Cowtown, with my little Alice and Dorothy

Danzel's Halloween Favorites

To watch: I love everything I loved when I was a kid (old cartoons, the Ichabod half of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Ghostbusters, Poltergeist and The Changeling, Child of Glass, Mr. Boogedy, Young Frankenstein), and I love Tim Burton movies and The Addams Family movies. I'm still an old movie freak, and I love Freaks, The Old Dark House, Alfred Hitchcock. Oh, and I still love The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror episodes, and The Twilight Zone.

To read: Edgar Allan Poe, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Diviners series, The Graveyard Book. I'm always on the lookout for creepy, magical stories.

Past costume of mine: As much as I love playing dress-up, I haven't had a great Halloween costume since I was a kid. I don't know if it was the best costume I ever wore, but when I was 3, my mommy made me a princess costume, and I loved it. (She put lipstick on me, too, and I hated it.) I once went as a Nancy Drew book. Not Nancy - the actual book.

me, age 3

Past costumes of the girls': The whole family agrees on Little Sis's awesome Amelia Earhart costume. My favorite costume of Big Sis's is probably her Pippi Longstocking costume from kindergarten. My mom made a fabulous yarn wig, which we used at Old Cowtown and some other pre-Halloween events. For school and trick-or-treating, I used floral wire and orange hairspray to make her own braids stick out.


Pippi Longstocking


Halloween memory: As a kid, I loved getting to wear my costume to school for the day. There were some fun parties at my church, of all places, too. When I was older, but before I had kids, I always made it a point to see the Halloween movies at the Orpheum. My favorites were a double-bill of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and The Birds my freshman year of college, and much later, Psycho and Night of the Living Dead, which I saw with Mr. B. And as a mom? I love going to Hay, Hooves and Halloween at Old Cowtown Museum.

The Headless Horseman at Old Cowtown Museum

Candy: Hershey's miniatures (Mr. Goodbars!!!) and Snickers. Least favorite candy: Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and those black and orange hard peanut buttery things. Least favorite past costume: Many of my costumes were meh, but nothing sticks out as that heinous. What will Danzel be this year? I seldom have time to play dress-up. I hope to come up with something. We'll see!



Mr. B's Halloween Favorites

To watch: The Haunted History of Halloween, swanky '50s B-movies.

To read: Edgar Allan Poe, spooky stories.

Past costume: a pancake. My mom made me a pancake costume.




Past costume of the girls': Big Sis's Red Riding Hood Wolf Hunter costume. Little Sis's Amelia Earhart costume.

Halloween memory: I have two. 1) In the pancake costume, trying to walk around on the prairie in a flat, round foam-rubber suit on a windy evening. 2) In high school... Halloween mischief (wink).

Candy: Kit-Kats

Least favorite candy? Bit-O-Honey. Least favorite costume? In 7th grade, my mom made me a hooker costume. Really. What will you be this year? A railroad conductor on the local. I will be at work.



A few of our Halloween favorites!



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Birdie's Happiest Halloween

Birdie's Happiest Halloween by Sujean Rim. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 

Little Sis was so excited to find this one at the library! Long ago, my mother bought her the very first Birdie book. Birdie's Big Girl Shoes was the perfect book for my shoe-obsessed, dare I say, shoe-stealing 2-year-old. There have been other books in the series, but this is the first one to really grab her since the original.

Let us take a moment to applaud these sweet endpapers. I love lovely endpapers.




This is a simple book. Birdie loves fall, as so many of us do. She loves jumping in the leaves, picking apples, and wearing fuzzy sweaters. "But Birdie's most favorite thing about fall was HALLOWEEN!"


Birdie cannot decide on a costume this year. All of her friends know exactly what they want to be.


Even Birdie's dog, Monster, has some ideas. (CUTE!)


Birdie asks her Mommy if they can visit the museum. She hopes she might get an idea from the exhibits. There are so many awesome historical figures. Should she be an astronaut? Physicist? Supreme Court justice? First lady?


Then, on Halloween night, she surprises everyone. Why be First Lady...



when you can be President?



I love it! Little Sis loves it, too, having gone the historical figure route herself in the past. This year, she is going to be a zombie ballerina again. (No word on her sister yet.)

One more week! Happy October!


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