Connect with us
Dolls 1987


The 10 Creepiest Dolls in Horror!

The 10 Creepiest Dolls in Horror!

There’s something inherently unsettling about inanimate objects that move on their own accord. Especially if they happen to resemble people. Which is what makes dolls perfect for horror. The opening sequence of The Conjuring proved so terrifying that the creepy doll at the center of it, Annabelle, was the first to receive her own spin off in the Conjuring universe. With Annabelle back in theaters now in Annabelle: Creation and Chucky set to slay audiences in Cult of Chucky this October, we look 10 of the creepiest dolls in horror history.

Trilogy of Terror – Zuni Fetish Doll

Trilogy of Terror

Appearing in the final segment, “Amelia,” of the made-for-TV anthology Trilogy of Terror, Karen Black was terrorized by this pint-sized nightmare. Based on Richard Matheson’s short story Prey, the segment sees Karen Black as Amelia, the unwitting recipient of “He Who Kills.” The oddly proportioned aboriginal doll with one gnarly mouth of razor sharp teeth contained a vicious spirit within, only contained by a loose gold chain with a penchant for falling off the doll. The cat and mouse game between the Zuni doll and Amelia was not only frightening for the doll’s ghastly appearance and determination in catching his prey, but also how easy it was to for him to hide. That the Zuni doll is tough to kill only makes the tension draw out further. The little killer terrorized another victim in the sequel, Trilogy of Terror II.

Tourist Trap – Mannequins

Tourist Trap

Mannequins are already unnerving, with their life-like appearance and vacant eyes. But what if they unhinged their jaws and made eerie sounds as they closed in on their victim for the kill? Yeah. Pure nightmare fuel. A group of friends discover this the hard way as they find themselves stranded at a roadside attraction owned by the plucky Mr. Slausen. Of course, things are more than they appear to be as the friends begin disappearing one by one. Released during the golden era of slashers, it’s the creepy mannequins that have made Tourist Trap so memorable.

Dolls – All of them

Dolls 1987

From the perspective of little Judy, a sweet little girl with a love of toys, the Gothic mansion belonging to Gabriel and Hilary Hartwicke is a dream come true. Not only are they far kinder than her own father and stepmother, but the mansion is filled to the brim with dolls, puppets, and toys. If you’re a jerk adult, however, the mansion is a death trap. While this Stuart Gordon directed film draws clear lines between the innocent and the morally corrupt deserving of their fate, it’s still really creepy to see them meet their doom at the hands of the dolls. Even creepier? What happens to them after the dolls attack.

Asylum – Mannikins of Horror


Before Charles Lee Ray transferred his soul into a Good Guy Doll, Dr. Byron was already experimenting with soul transference in the final segment of the horror anthology Asylum. In “Mannikins of Horror,” the doll was a weird robot automaton with a lifelike head and stuffed with organic tissue and viscera. Like Charles Lee Ray, Dr. Byron also had a proclivity for revenge and homicide. The enduring influence of this segment on horror is clear. While the Child’s Play franchise is much more iconic (and frankly better), there’s no denying the little mannikin in this segment is eerie.

Pin – “Pin”


When Leon’s dad, a doctor, uses a life-sized anatomical medical dummy named Pin to explain the birds and the bees to his children, Leon believes the doll to be real. Leon’s already a bit unbalanced and lonely, so the doll becomes his closest friend.  Throw in traumatic events from childhood to further unhinge Leon’s mental stability, and Leon grows up to be best homicidal buddies with Pin. While the horror induced by Pin is psychological, that doesn’t make the featured doll any less creepy. Especially when Leon decides to give him latex skin.

Love Object – Nikki

Love Object

Desmond Harrington’s Kenneth Winslow is a socially awkward, shy type who orders a realistic sex doll, named Nikki, to curb his loneliness. Kenneth and Nikki’s relationship develops well enough (ok, it’s weird) until he meets a cute temp at work. That’s when Nikki gets jealous. The jealousy grows into unnerving stalker behavior. Should I remind you that this is a sex doll? It’s creepy. Of course, there’s much more to their story, so if you haven’t watched this underrated film you should. Not only is Nikki worthy of her spot on this list, but Love Object also makes you wonder why Desmond Harrington doesn’t appear in more films.

Dead Silence – Billy

Dead Silence

While Mary Shaw had many dolls, ventriloquist dummy Billy was by far her favorite. Which meant that it was Billy cut out the tongue of Jamie’s wife in the opening sequence, and it was Billy that haunted him more frequently than any other puppets. Before Annabelle’s first appearance in The Conjuring, James Wan practiced scaring audiences with Billy.  Though Billy may not have been puppeteered by a demon, the vengeful ghost of Mary Shaw is just as spooky.

Puppet Master – Leech Woman

Puppet Master

Of all the many dangerous dolls in the Puppet Master franchise, why is Leech Woman the creepiest? Because this unassuming female doll, clad in a pretty pink dress, turns monstrous when going in for the kill. Her jaw unhinges like a snake and she regurgitates poisonous leeches onto her victims. According to series creator Charles Band, Paramount wanted Leech Woman killed off because they found her to be repulsive. Of all the dolls spanning across multiple films, that’s the one they couldn’t handle. She didn’t stay gone for long, though. After sitting out Puppet Master 4: The Demon and Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter, she returned to her unladylike ways once more.

Poltergeist – Clown Doll


This formative classic captured horror loving hearts for many reasons, but one particular scene stood tall above the rest for inducing many, many nightmares. While Diane Freeling is swimming with corpses in her backyard would-be swimming pool, poor Robbie is being stalked by his own gangly clown doll upstairs in his bed. And it’s terrifying. The combination of a clown and a doll into one phobia sucker punch is enough for many, but save for one small hint early in the film giving away Robbie’s trepidation towards his toy, this scene comes out of nowhere. The unexpected attack from an unexpected source, one creepy doll, solidified Poltergeist in collective horror memory.

Magic – Fats


The ventriloquist dummy at the center of this horror film, Fats, was so creepy that the TV spots had to be taken off the air during the promotion of Magic. Just the 30 second ad featuring Fats was enough to cause nightmares in children, scarring some for life. Who can blame them? Ventriloquist dummies are a special brand of horror on their own, but one as menacing as Fats? That he resembles his human counterpart, Corky Withers (Anthony Hopkins, who also voices Fats), probably doesn’t help either. Ventriloquists and their dummies have nightmarish co-dependency issues, and Corky and Fats take the cake. If you think Hannibal Lecter was scary, well, you haven’t met Fats yet.

Which doll terrifies you the most?



  • I just rewatched Dead Silence the other day because my sister had never seen it and I feel like it really holds up. It’s beautifully shot, creepy, and ridiculous. What kind of cop stalks some dude to his hometown and then proceeds to dig up 100 little doll graves? Come on.

  • Huh. I just realized that I’ve seen very few doll movies.

  • Kori Batchelor

    Absolutely love Tourist Trap!! Chuck Connors was clearly having a blast playing Slausen and that performance (along with his creepy masks and the lullaby-like music) has stuck with me ever since I was a kid. Such a weird and trippy little movie.

    • Creepshow

      Hell yeah! The beginning bugs me out so much, that the hair on my arms stand up. I frickin hate dummies and mannequins!! (but enjoy getting freaked out by them anyways)

    • HalesTales

      Yeah, that beginning sets the stage for true madness. I love how when Slausen is just Slausen, he totally seems like a Scooby Doo character, but when he becomes his brother . . . a wonderful performance with a cool twist.

  • Creepshow

    Love Object gave me the heebie-jeebies. I thought it was going to be a crummy movie, but surprisingly it was a really solid film.

    There was a horror short on Saturday Nightmares on USA back in the day called “The Dummy”. It ruined me as a kid, and laid the groundwork for me loathing ventriloquist dummies as a whole. That shit was creepy as all hell.

    • Kori Batchelor

      Is The Dummy the one where that damn thing keeps popping up in random places in the house (or apartment, been a while since I’ve seen it) and at one point, the lady looks under the crack in the door and the dummy is looking back at her?
      That and Magic ruined me on ventriloquist dummies my entire life.

      • Creepshow

        That would be the one. Damn dummies…

    • Kori Batchelor
      Lookee what I found. Enjoy!!

      • Creepshow

        Haha, damn you to Hell!
        I stumbled across it a few years back after looking for it for a while. I didn’t remember what it was called so it took me a bit to find it. But after finding that damned short again (that crippled me years ago), I watched it about 10 times in two days.
        Yup, horror fans are gluttons for punishment…

      • Madstand

        LOL I was just getting ready to look for that myself. Freaked me out as I was pretty young. Glad you posted that. Side note – I really miss Up All Night. 🙁


    Sorry of this is a little off-topic, but speaking of dolls, the corner ad with Annabelle in the rocking chair is creepy. Get that damn thing away from me.

  • Elizabeth

    Pin is such a weird movie. Weird, but good. And Dead Silence might not be the best horror film by any stretch but it’s fun to watch. I know a lot of people who aren’t into horror who still like it.

    • Creepshow

      I like Dead Silence. But the one fucking thing that kills it for me is…Donnie Walhberg and his goddamn cordless razor. I mean holy shit, enough is enough already!

      • Elizabeth

        What, you don’t start shaving in the middle of every conversation? I think it’s time to turn in your Man Card (I literally have no idea if you’re a dude or not).

        • Creepshow

          It was always a life long dream of mine…to feel the need to shave every 3 minutes. XD

          • Elizabeth

            I’ve known some guys like that. Definitely living the bear life.

  • Bloodkry

    The ending of Pin really hits you.

    • Stewart peart

      You should read the book.. it’s even darker!

  • pumkinheadfan VHS Forever!

    Couldn’t the doll that May has in “May” or how it ends kinda fit into this category?

    • Necro

      Nice mention!

  • amir ezra

    The laughing doll in Deep Red is also very creepy.

    • michael35

      Nods that doll was freaky as hell.

  • Necro

    So glad ‘Love Object’ was mentioned! As soon as I read the headline there were two off beat ones that popped in my head. The doll in ‘Love Object’ and the other one is from ‘The X Files’ season 5 episode ‘Chinga’ (written by Stephen King). I don’t know the name of the doll off hand but when it talks and says “I want to play” right before its victim dies is utterly creepy. Another thing is when it gets full size I like how you never actually see it clearly, it’s always just out of sight or the shot is unfocused just giving you barely enough to know it’s not small like it was. Really well done! Back to ‘Love Object’, that was a very creepy, unsettling film and I agree Desmond sure is an underrated actor. Udo Kier was good in that as well as his quirky, weirdo neighbor.

    • Kyle Cole

      That doll from the x files was creepy!!!

  • Necro

    Another nightmarish doll is from the show ‘Paranormal Witness’, season 4 and the episode is called ‘Susy Doll’. Truly reminds me of ‘Annabelle’, but regardless it is one of the more creepy episodes of that series! IMO

  • AdamX

    The doll from the Haunting Hour episode Real Me comes to mind, Tina D. I believe.

  • Carl Chrystan

    Would the slave dolls from ‘Tales from the Hood’ be worth an honourable mention? Or do they not count, as you’re kind of rooting for them?

  • Monkeymanbob

    The Jester dolls from The Hole is pretty creepy. But Hugo from Dead of Night is the daddy.

  • Frank Gambino

    Not a movie but Talking Tina from TZ episode also mega creepy.

    • PetCactus

      I’m Talky Tina and I’m beginning to hate you.

  • Trash Patch

    Though it may not hold up, I vividly remember being traumatized by the kids flick My Teacher Ate My Home Work.

    The Mrs. Fink Doll still haunts me

    If anyone else had a similar experience, our support group meets every Tuesday to try and work through our residual issues.

    There is occasionally cake.

    • Austin Young

      Slappy….. Goosebumps (TV series version)

  • Briand

    Those are all great, but I also found that old show thunderbirds to creep me out. Also another children’s show called Tipi Tales.

  • Nice Marmot

    Coolest doll in horror: ventriloquist dummy from Humanoids From The Deep.

  • Putricaya Windiarti

    Dolly Dearest scarred me for life.

  • turk

    Not as creepy as the “real thing”…

    • Matheus Martins

      If its real that means its just a doll.


  • pmarfleet

    Ashy Slashy from Season 2 of Ash Vs Evil Dead?

  • DirkShadows

    Sarah Polley’s doll from the first episode of “Friday the 13th: The Series” deserves an honorary mention.

  • Munchie

    I’ll be super happy when the term ‘nightmare fuel’ runs its course.

  • Kyle Cole

    None of these scared me. I hate ventriloquist dolls, the only doll that scared me as a child was chucky, which im surprised he’s not on this list. The little voodoo doll wasnt scary either. Also surprised that the annabelle doll wasnt on here either.

  • The Horrorist

    I was scared by Holly as a kid, from the Monsters TV series. She’s the host of her tv series Holly’s House.

  • The first three Chucky films to be released were more scary than anything because of the facial expressions. Now it is all CGI, so we won’t see those face expressions. Dolly Dearest did something similar, it was cheaper but the faces on those dolls were a real life nightmare.

More in Editorials