Monday 22 July 2019

Do You Think Large Dolls are Scary or Friendly?

I've seen a lot of posts on social media recently about dolls - particularly large dolls - with people commenting that they find them creepy.

Now, I suspect a lot of this is to do with the latest Annabelle horror movie. I haven't seen any of the films in that series, but I do collect dolls, so I thought I'd blog a bit about the subject today.

The dolls in the photo at the top are all mine, and one of them is a large doll. Her name is Esther. I was given her for Christmas when I was a very little girl, and at the time she was about the same height as me. She was my favourite doll.

As I got older she got relegated to the loft. Then she nearly got thrown out, but I rescued her from the rubbish before the bin men came, washed her and put her in my bedroom, where she still has her own chair. She is a bit broken and doesn't have her original clothes, but I couldn't part with her.

The roly-poly doll is also from my childhood; the giant bear was a gift from my husband; the small cloth doll came with a bottle of perfume a long while ago; my mum knitted woollen dolls in aid of charity and gave the one in the photo; I bought the vintage china doll in a charity shop and the cat toy came from Build-a-Bear Workshop. I don't find any of them creepy.

However, I thought I'd discuss the various ways in which dolls can possibly have spirits.

The animist world view is that every single thing has its own spirit or soul, including animals, plants, natural inanimate objects and even man-made things, including dolls. It is a view I'm sympathetic with. Such spirits can be communicated with, but the spirits of inanimate things tend not be very obvious or active unless you specifically look out for them.

Objects, including dolls, can also have a connection to the people who own them or who owned them in the past. Dolls can also be made to look like a person to create the same kind of connection. Witches can use this in spells employing sympathetic magic to affect the owner or person represented. This is more of a link to someone else's spirit, than any within the doll itself.

If you believe in ghosts, then a common idea is that those who have died, but not yet fully passed on to the next life, can attach themselves to places or objects that were important to them when they were alive. This could, of course, be a doll.

Finally, magical practitioners can perform rituals to deliberately attach or trap spirits into objects. This can be done for many reasons. The spirit could be wanted as a magical helper or guardian or it could be a troublesome spirit trapped to stop it causing mischief.

In my experience, it is very, very rare for a doll to have any sort of troublesome spirit. While some dolls do look creepy, it is usually just appearance - and nothing to be scared of.

If you suspect that you own a haunted doll and want to know what you can do about it, one book I would recommend is What Dwells Within - A Study of Spirit Attachment, by Jane Harris.

You can view What Dwells Within on Amazon and also view my own book on poppets and magical dolls on Amazon

But what are your thoughts on the subject?  Do leave a comment.

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