Character: Liz McCall
Series: Vintage Toyshop Mysteries
Author: Barbara Early
As Halloween approaches, the market for creepy toys is at an upswing. I don’t mind some of it. The Addams Family, Munsters, Scooby Doo, and Casper stuff, for example, can be cute.
It’s also a time where those running haunted houses come in and buy the creepiest of our old dolls.
My sister-in-law Cathy often feels insulted, and I guess I can understand why. She’s spent hours cleaning and repairing many of them, often hopeful they’ll be loved by a child. But I can’t go into the doll room without feeling all those glass eyes staring at me, plotting my demise, so I say, “Good riddance.”
Except usually I say it when I know Cathy can’t hear me.
We’ve unloaded a lot of scary stuff in October. But the creepiest toy ever made has to be the…
Some may argue the ventriloquist dummy is a professional tool and not a toy, but several toy companies have manufactured dummies for children and other aspiring amateurs. (For which I think they should be held liable.)
|Photo public domain, |
courtesy of Wikimedia commons
But as for the noble roots of ventriloquism? Well…there were strong ties to witchcraft and the occult from the beginning. While ventriloquism has been around for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the early 19th century when it became a popular form of fun family entertainment.
A century later, it was prime fodder for horror movies...perhaps even more terrifying that the most evil of clowns.