Why are we afraid of creepy dolls? Why do we think dolls can be scary?
Why do people have a fear of dolls?
This fear, called pediophobia, can be triggered by popular culture, horror movies, or another traumatic event even loosely related to dolls. Pediophobia is a type of phobia known as a specific phobia, an irrational fear of something that poses no actual threat. Pediophobia is relatively common. It is believed to be a type of automatonophobia, or fear of humanoid figures. Some people are afraid of all dolls and stuffed toys, while others fear only a specific type.
Creepy dolls in pop culture
The fear of dolls has been heavily exploited in pop culture settings, ranging from movies to Halloween events. In most of these occurrences, the premise is that a seemingly harmless doll has become a sentient being bent on destruction. Whether this happens through magical spells or random chance, the net result is the same: a child’s plaything has become deadly.
These films tap a primal fear that may be one of the roots of pediophobia; the fear of the silent killer. In a world filled with threats, ranging from bioterrorism to tainted spinach, it is common to worry that something we cannot recognize as dangerous could lead to our destruction. This is one of the basic fears present in doomsday phobias and exploited in Hollywood films, such as Without Warning.
A word of warning – the doll’s new owner — or victim — might not survive the night.