Which historical doll will be crowned the scariest? | Smart News
Anyone troubled by nightmares featuring Victorian porcelain clowns or white-eyed dolls would be well advised to skip an annual event hosted by the History Center of Olmsted County in Rochester, Minnesota.
As since 2019, the organization invites the public to vote for which doll in its collection is the scariest, reports Samantha Fischer for KARE 11. Fans of the scary season will be able to meet the contenders for 2021, as well as the winners of the year last, at a “Creepy Cocktail Party” held at an old armory known as the Castle this weekend. (The 2021 winner will be announced during the party on October 23.)
Chosen from a collection of around 100 dolls, the nine antique toys in the running include Princess Aouda, an 1860s porcelain doll in a lace-trimmed dress; Miss Havisham, an 1880s bisque porcelain doll named after Charles Dickens ‘antagonist’ Great expectations; a doll nicknamed Lizzie Borden as a nod to the 19th century murder suspect; and Lady Corn Husk.
“We select nine dolls from the collection and give them funny names and put them on social media and ask people to vote on what they think is the scariest,” said center executive director Wayne Gannaway, at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). it’s Ava Ewald. (Participants can vote through the centre’s Facebook and Instagram pages.)
âIt’s a mix of history and fun,â Abby Currier, community engagement coordinator at the center, tells Megan Zemple of KTTC. âWe 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 talk 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, Ms Danvers, a doll with a giant hole in the back of her head, came out victorious.
According to Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of Smithsonian, it’s quite common for people to find many dolls “scary”, a separate concept from “scary”. Frank McAndrew, a psychologist at Knox College in Illinois, explained that goosebumps are linked to uncertainty.
âYou get mixed messages. If something is clearly scary, you scream, you run away. If something is disgusting you know how to act, âhe said. Smithsonian in 2015. “But if something is scaryâ¦ it can be dangerous, but you’re not sure it is.” â¦ There is an ambivalence.
The dolls can look scary because they exist in the “strange valley”, resembling humans without being human. Patricia Hogan, curator at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, and associate editor of the American Journal of Gaming, Recount Smithsonian that dolls became more human in the 18th and 19th centuries.
âI think that’s where the discomfort comes with the dolls,â 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.
âAt one time, dolls were someone’s precious possession,â he says. âI 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, âWow, this doll was loved at one point. . “