While logic attempts to rescue all pediophobic people from their fear of dolls, the majority are never saved. Why are dolls so scary? What is it about them that ups their freak factor?
Pediophobia: The fear of dolls or, more generally, of false representation of sentient beings, such as mannequins or robots.
The above definition touches upon one possible explanation: false representation.
When we look at a thing, our brain automatically places it into its tidy drawer in the file cabinet of “the known.” Therefore, when we discover the thing is not what we labeled it, oftentimes completely the opposite, our fear of the unexpected, of the unknown, is triggered. An inanimate object modeled after human beings, such as a doll or mannequin, with a secret life of its own, feeds into our fear of the unexpected. If we can’t trust a thing to remain as we know it to be, then what can we count on? Our sense of control over things beneath the “all powerful human” takes a huge hit.
Or, perhaps, the fear of dolls is rooted in a fear of children.
Tiny creatures with coveted amounts of energy, who are sweet and eager to please, children possess the ability to entertain themselves for hours and bounce back after the most horrific events. Their imaginations are filled with pictures, characters and worlds that amaze and astonish the dormant (or dead) adult imagination. And, most times, children aren’t suspected where foul play exists because, well, they’re innocents, aren’t they? Yet, we all know how sneaky kids can be. How cunning they are when they want something. Master manipulators in adorable packaging. Those probing questions we just can’t believe came from the mind of a child; they had to hear it someplace else, from a grown up or on TV. Could it be, we imply their innocence because we fear our vulnerability to the little darlings?
Of course, there are several more theories to explain the fear of dolls, so please share your two cents in the comment box below.
The subject fascinates me — being a long-time pediophob — and if I had to explain my fear, it’s a doll’s eyes. They look so real that I can’t stop wondering, “What is it thinking? Is there actually a soul inside there looking out at me? Does it want to hurt me?” Needless to say, Cabbage Patch Kids (with yarn hair) were the only dolls to survive my childhood; all the others went to a better place – far away from me.
Wanna test your level of pediophobia? Watch the following:
(But with the lights on and away from dolls.)
CHILD’S PLAY (1988)
DEAD SILENCE (2007)
And just for giggles, or screams if you’re easily frightened, check out these baby dolls. Now, honestly, could you sit in a room with even one of those things and not freak out?
Pediophobia – The Fear of Dolls (Associated Content)
10 More Extremely Bizarre Phobias (Listverse)
Evil Doll Movie List (Undead Backbrain)