Pediophobia is the unwarranted, irrational and persistent fear or worry of dolls. It is a specific phobia belonging to the category of ‘automatonphobia’. This is a type of phobia where the individual is afraid of all humanoid or “human-like-but-not-quite” objects including mannequins, marionettes, ventriloquist’s dummies, wax figures, animatrix or robotic figures etc. The word Pediophobia originates from ‘Paidion’ which means ‘little child’ in Greek and ‘Phobos’ meaning fear or deep dread. Many adult sufferers of Pediophobia are also known to fear little children.
Some Pediophobes are afraid of all kinds of dolls while others are known to be afraid of only specific kinds like the talking/walking dolls, Chinese porcelain dolls, stuffed dolls etc.
Dolls are, in reality, child’s playthings. Little girls are especially known to love dolls and pretend play with them which can help in fostering imagination and creativity. Naturally, it is a matter of great worry for parents when their little daughter starts screaming at the sight of dolls. While most childhood cases of Pediophobia disappear once the child has grown, in some cases though, this fear can persist even in adulthood.
Causes of Pediophobia or fear of dolls
Like any other phobia, Pediophobia is also possibly triggered by an intensely negative or traumatic incident in one’s past/childhood that is remotely connected to dolls. The young mind then forever associates dolls with the trauma and recalls the negative feelings experienced then.
Dolls, especially voodoo dolls are associated with witch craft. Burning voodoo dolls to bring misfortune to an individual was a common practice in the past. To an individual already suffering from nervous or anxiety disorders, all dolls represent evil.
Dolls have fixed staring eyes. Some dolls also have button eyes that appear “soulless pools devoid of any emotion akin to those of a corpse”. This can make younger children especially afraid of them.
Dolls have been shown in a negative light in pop culture. Many horror movies (Chucky in Child’s Play) and novels (Althea, Stone Dead etc) have portrayed dolls as evil or villainous characters that come to life to cause harm to humans. This can induce fear in young or overly-nervous minds.
Mischievous older siblings or friends etc can also unknowingly instill a fear of dolls in the minds of younger kids by telling stories of dolls coming to life at night.
Symptoms of Pediophobia
Whatever the cause of fear of dolls phobia, there can be intense emotional upheaval and turmoil in the mind of the sufferer. Some people might experience a full blown panic attack upon sighting a doll. Still others live in constant fear of dolls. The following physical and psychological symptoms may be present in the phobic:
- Rapid breathing
- Elevated heartbeat
- Dry mouth. Feeling like being choked to death
- Shivering, trembling
- Freezing on the spot
- Crying, screaming, trying to flee etc.
Some phobics experience a full blown anxiety attack in the presence of dolls including store mannequins. This can be quite embarrassing as well as debilitating enough to affect normal functioning of the individual.
Treating and overcoming the fear of dolls
Hypnosis and desensitization therapies are the two most popular ways of overcoming the fear of dolls phobia.
Desensitization or gradual exposure therapy consists of slowly exposing the phobic to dolls. They can begin by looking at photographs of dolls, reading books or watching movies about dolls etc until they are able to remain calm in the presence of dolls without having an anxiety attack. This is usually done in the presence of a therapist or can be done at home with the help of close friends and loved ones.
Hypnosis, Cognitive behavior therapy and behavior therapy also aim to reprogram the Pediophobic to help him/her rationalize fearful thoughts about dolls and change them into positive ones.
These are a few ways of overcoming Pediophobia or the fear of dolls.
I am terrified of voodoo dolls. That’s the whole reason why my mom said do not draw them. I’m scared now. Please help me.
Today I’m scared. It’s dark, and my mom is downstairs. My sisters are in a room, and my baby brother is in his room watching his show. I’m here posting this right now because I need you guys’ help.
I can agree with a lot of you. I was (and I am still) terrified of dolls. A few months ago, I had a super scary nightmare about me going to a creepy, haunted old castle. I found some dolls there, and my mother brought them home. They were the creepiest dolls ever – they looked a bit like Chucky, and they all had little plastic scythes. I thought they would try to murder me, so (still in my dream) I burned them one by one until I came across the last doll (at least I thought). It was the scariest one. It kinda looked like an alien that was red and black, and he had scars all over him (of course, he HAD to have a bloody scythe to scare me even more). I went downstairs (for some reason, it was daytime downstairs but nighttime upstairs), went straight to my oven, turned it on at 600 degrees (lol), and put the last doll in. My parents were watching me, and I was creeped out by that. When I ran upstairs to my bedroom, a creepy white doll with ratty red hair, a gingham red and black dress, and black Mary Jane shoes was sitting on the top of my window. I screamed as she said in a croaky voice, “You shouldn’t have killed him…” I woke up sweating from that dream, and I promised myself NEVER EVER to get any sort of doll ever again, being afraid it’ll be possessed.
I personally love dolls. I have a ball jointed smart doll, and her eyes are beautiful. I swear sometimes it’s just like she’s human. When I tried showing her to my friend, her (friend), her mom and her 6 year old brother, all thought she was creepy and she was a waste of $90. I think it was more than worth it, and for anyone with a fear of dolls, exposure may be the best treatment. Hope you overcome your fears.
I doubt this will ever be read, but I will tell my tale.
When I was very little I was obsessed with goosebumps like most kids around my age. I never read one that really scared me until I read “Night of the Living Dummy 1-3”. Even then I didn’t fear dolls just ventriloquist dummies. But as I grew older I became more and more obsessed with my phobia of them. I’m a hard person to scare so I would read and watch videos about haunted or possessed dolls or figures. A good one should you ever wish to give yourself a good scare is Robert the doll. He’s a wooden doll that was supposedly made in Germany picked up by a boy’s Grandma and named Robert in the early 1900s. He named the doll after himself and it supposedly was severely haunted. Robert was so obsessed with the doll he drove everyone around him insane including his wife. He would insist on it being present during meals and take it everywhere. Robert’s wife claims to have successfully burned the doll only to find it sitting at her breakfast table the next morning with Robert have claiming to have heard from the doll what she did. The doll and him discussed it and they decided they would try to move past it as long as she never tried to harm him again. When he died it was donated to a museum down in Florida where they lived and it stays in a blessed glass case until this very day. People have claimed to have taken the doll’s picture without permission before and have claimed to have extremely bad luck following, even going as far as to write apology letters to the doll asking for forgiveness. It’s claimed you must ask his permission before taking the photo. There are some great videos out there on the subject if you want a good scare.
Keira Carney says
I was in kindergarten. I decided to sit next to the older kids (teens and such). They were talking about dolls. I didn’t think much of it, and asked what they were talking about. They said “dolls, would you like to hear it?” in a slyish voice. I wanted to be seen as cool, and older then I was, so I replied “yes!”. They then told me all the stories about bloody Mary. It scarred me. I didn’t tell my mom for 1 year, but she found out while trying to teach me how to braid my hair. Using my American girl doll as example, we then threw the doll away, and donated the rest of my toys. I know that this fear is not real, but it scares me so much! I am now older, and have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, which is irrelevant. Whenever I hear the name, I get nightmares for 2 – 3 weeks. My parents don’t understand the fear, and often think it will go away. But I have a feeling that it wont! By the way, I’m still pretty young, only 11.
I had a similar experience. First, I used to adore stuffed dolls. But, since, I somehow heard a rumor from my friend, I got too scared. I could not go near the doll my grandma brought when I was promoted into fifth grade. The doll is still up there, and I still have trouble typing this, thinking the doll will be angry. I am so scared.
To all on this forum. I read all the above posts and my story is quite severe as well. Partially as a result of seeing a male therapist that was excellent at systematic desensitization, I have mostly overcome my pediophobia that started at age 2. I recommend a max of 5-10 sessions with a competent behavioral therapist that is very trustworthy. Biofeedback was the treatment that helped me reduce my doll phobia by 90% in just 2 sessions. Treatment works and you will be transformed forever, able to tolerate the presence of a doll with some mild discomfort but not full blown panic. I’m now a psychiatrist.
Peetree E. says
I was always skeptical of the unknown, I never was sure if aliens or the paranormal existed, I only believed in God at the time. But when I was 8 years old, I was at my cousins house and we were all having a family dinner yada, yada, yada. I had to use the bathroom and to get to the bathroom, I have to walk by my cousin’s room who had a few dolls all arranged on the bed, and one was face down, it was like a plastic doll, not a stuffed one. When I get back from the bathroom, my eyes could not believe what they saw. The doll was flipped over. I’m almost positive I wasn’t just hallucinating, because I remember it flat on the bed. I was nervous but not too nervous since my whole family was there, I just quickly rushed to the table again. I didn’t say anything for 1. I figured they would call me crazy and 2. They weren’t my dolls and it wasn’t my house so tbh I didn’t care. But my fear of dolls stuck with me thinking that there’s a chance that a spirit powerful enough is able to physically take possession of an object, and my theory is that they aim towards dolls because they are attracted to the human body and try to feel human again. That’s just a crazy theory though, don’t take my word for it. But I still don’t mess with most dolls and I avoid eye contact with any kind I see. I’m embarrassed of this phobia but I also take it very seriously and I found this to see how many people actually share the same fear and I am glad I’m not alone. I don’t want this phobia nor do I wish anyone else to have it because it is traumatizing, but just glad this isn’t as embarrassing as I thought.
My fear of dolls developed when I was around 5-6 years old. So I was visiting my grandma’s house, and on her walls she has all sorts of masks and paintings with people on them (she’s very spiritual and believes they protect her from evil or something). She also has different types of statues of men and women, even those little angel children that still freak me out till this day. She left the house to go buy groceries and I decided to go explore the place a little more, as I was only really ever in the living room. I walked inside her bedroom (it was an old house and the locks were old-fashioned so you would need a key to lock and unlock the door). With the key in my hand and locked the door because, well, I think I just wanted to try out the key. And then, after that all the lights (every light in the house, i’m assuming) shut off and me being my dumb self got scared and immediately dropped the key. I tried looking for it but as my eyes adjusted to the darkness I saw about 3-4 porcelain dolls on every corner of the room. I literally just stopped everything and froze, staring at a doll in front of me. After that I can only remember my grandma waking me up and asking if I was okay. She later told me that the power went out and she had to call her neighbor to pick the lock on the door to get in the room. Even now, whenever I see a doll, or if someone brings up the subject, I always have panic attacks, freak out, etc. My friends used to make fun of me for it but as soon as they saw it happen in person they realized it ain’t funny.
My fear resulted from my grandma’s porcelain doll being left outside my door so I had the choice to either sleep in the dark (which I was also afraid of as a kid) or sleep staring at this doll.
When I was about 5 years old around Halloween my mom got this Chucky mask, hair, scars, eyes everything and I was terrified of it, just seeing it sitting on the table would make me scream and cry so my mom thought that she could help me get over the fear by putting the mask on me, even though I was screaming and crying she persisted, long story short that did not help my fear. Ever since then I have been terrified of dolls/stuffed animals, when I was 8 I had this doll that my grandma got for me that happened to look like this doll that was in an episode of the haunting hour, once I saw the episode it’s like it made it all 10 times worse, I couldn’t sleep in the same room as the doll, it had to be locked in the closet by my dad and after some time I made my dad go take it to the dump and even after I was terrified it would come back and kill me. Any dolls I ever got I feared they were gonna some how murder me, I used to not even be able to say the word “doll” or even talk about them. I would have nightmares every night. I’m now 16 and I know this all sounds irrational but I still have the fear that if I am left alone with a doll or stuffed animal or if it’s dark and I’m around one or even if it’s just in my house, that it will come and kill me.
Keira Carney says
Wow, now I didn’t say this in my comment, but that pretty much sums up my story! I’m only 11 tho, so stuff might change.
When I was a little boy, exact age is difficult to recall, me, my Dad, and stepmother went to buy a gift for my uncle’s birthday. They wanted to get him a gag gift so we went to Spencer’s which is a punk/rock store at the mall. At this time I’m assuming that Bride of Chucky, the fourth film of the series, was recently released. I assume this because inside there were chucky and Tiffany dolls hanging from a rafter for purchase. The second I saw them I was instantly terrified and refused to even walk down the aisle of the store. Keep in mind I was young probably less than 10. My stepmother realized that I was scared of the doll and pointed it out to my Dad. My Dad then proceeded to purchase the doll in front of me as I cried hysterically. If you did not know in bride of chucky, chucky’s face is extremely cut up and fleshy and stitched together. Once we left the store and got to the car my Dad forced me to hold the doll and stare at it the whole way home. While I was crying out of fear and terror he continued to mock me and call me a baby as I was terrified. He continued to make me do things like bite the dolls hands to prove that he couldn’t feel the pain. He poked me with the toy plastic knife to show that it couldn’t hurt me. He kept telling me that he would make me sleep with the doll. Once we got home he did something worse. Instead of forcing me to sleep with it. He stood the doll on the kitchen counter. Which I could see from my bed if the door was open. When the lights were off I could see the silhouette of the doll in the dark. The next morning (after I barely got any sleep) my father made me grab the doll and bring it to him. He said he only wanted to help me get over the fear. He said he got rid of the doll that day. Over the years I remember periodically looking for the doll. Because I didn’t believe a word my Dad said. I never found it. But that fear was still there. And then there are a few times where my family teased and prodded at me with pictures of chucky or other things like that. Fast forward, I’m almost 18 years old. I hate dolls, I’ve always hated them. But recently I’ve taken an interest in child’s play. In my head I think that if I force myself to like it I won’t be scared anymore. I was wrong. Recently I’ve been so paranoid, on edge, and anxious. I’m always looking over my shoulder. Sometimes I can’t even sleep at night because I feel like I’m being watched by chucky. I recently had one of the worst nightmares I’ve ever had in my life. I was in a house, and there was this constant distant tapping, as if something metal was clanking against an object. It was completely dark. And I’m sure some of you have had these dreams before where you know what is in the dream. I knew chucky was in the dream. To my left there was a stairway that led to the front door. I began climbing those stairs. There was all of a sudden a chair in my way. Filled with anxiety and fear I threw to the floor below. As I was going to open the door I heard these ear piercing noises. All of a sudden a living furry thing jumping into my hands. I was completely frozen in my dream and unable to move because I was so caught off guard (I fear loud and obscure noises as well) as I was frozen in fear trying to thrown whatever was in my hands down and run out of the front door I hear footsteps coming up the stairs. And of course it was a live chucky doll who ran up the stairs and sprinted behind me so I couldn’t see. The second that happened I bolted awake. Ever since then I’ve been researching childhood trauma. And as for my Dad, he’s apologized for what he did and explained that he didn’t know how to handle the situation and that he knows it wasn’t right. While I know that he means it, that doesn’t mean what happened left. I’m sorry for the long post. I just had a lot to say and needed to get it out there.
I had a similar experience although not entirely as traumatic as yours, but when I was a kid, my parents and family members used to tease me and actually scare me with a doll used by my little cousin when she was a baby. They used to use the doll as an excuse to make me do things that I should do instead of not listening and scare me when I did something I shouldn’t have. It was so terrifying for me to watch the actual doll right in front of me staring soullessly into my eyes, that every time they used to prank me, I would cry and run in fear whenever I saw the doll or even whenever people mentioned it. I used to immediately get anxious and nervous and sometimes go under the table to hide. It was terrible for me. One day tho, I was bathing peacefully and I heard my parents call me to get out (pay in mind I was 7-8 years old) and that damned woman of my aunt had the brilliant idea of sneaking in while I was bathing and silently throwing the doll inside the tub and to this day, only few scenarios were just as much terrifying, to the point I yelled my heart out, started running naked outside the bathroom and I slipped to the ground because of my wet feet. Needless to say I hit my head so much everyone heard it and from laughing their ass off, they all ran into me as I was laying on the ground unconscious from the fall. Till that day, no one ever dared use or bring up the doll in fear I was going to hurt myself again. They finally learnt their lesson and I’m so glad I found out it’s an actual phobia and not something I was the only one afraid of. To my knowledge idk how to feel anymore about dolls, even when I think about it nothing happens, but I’m sure if I ever saw one I’d react to it, who knows. Thanks for sharing your story.
My granddaughter mistakenly left a doll at our house. This did not turn out well. My wife ended up decapitating it and throwing it in the trash. She will not watch Antique Road Show because of the dolls.
wow that is so harsh to hear that
Logan Gageby says
Hi my name is Logan i have a big fear of dolls
I can’t even be in the same room as a doll without freaking out. -Anika
Brooklynn Reich says
I’m the same way. I freeze as soon as I see one, and I start having a panic attack immediately. I can’t not look at a doll without feeling like it’ll sneak up behind me and harm me in some way.
I feel the same way too, when I was younger my sister made me watch movies with her. (she’s almost 30 now) and this one time I remember she made me watch the conjuring. After watching the movies with creepy dolls like Chucky and Annabelle I hated dolls. Days after watching the movies I was paranoid. I was around 6 or 7 and I also had a fear of mirrors so I would change in my room. I had plastic dolls all over my room and Every time I came out of my towel I could see them stare at me and I made myself think that they all smirked at me or even smiled big. After that, I made my mom throw them all away. Ever since then I hate dolls and I refuse to be in a room with them.
Anxiety girl says
Oh my, I used to be like this as a child up to age 8. Kindergarten and its many dolls were my personal hell. It was for plastic baby dolls only, I loved Barbies and rag dolls, though. And when I was 8, I noticed the cutest baby doll ever in a Christmas toy brochure and basically fell in love. I begged and begged and I was overjoyed when I actually got her for Christmas. Oh, and’ve always been fascinated with porcelain dolls, looks like I’m in the minority. What creeps me out up until this very day is old and obviously worn dolls. Like those older than, let’s say, 25-30 years. Some older and lifelike mannequins make me a bit uneasy too and dummies freak me the heck out. I also can’t stand real babies and small kids.
I had it when I was a kid, it still affects me but not as much as when I was younger. I probably had it because my siblings used to scare me with dolls and the movie Chucky. Especially when I was younger I used to have nightmares almost every night for years. I used to feel like dolls and Chucky were constantly following me everywhere I went. I never got therapy for it even though as a little kid I knew I needed it.
I can tolerate certain kinds of dolls like Cabbage Patch Kids and horror movie dolls like Chucky. But, other kinds like porcelain dolls and Raggedy Anne Dolls literally send shivers down my spine. I can be in the same room as one but will not get to close and I certainly would never pick one up.
hey guys, I’m also suffering from this phobia and I’m so so glad that I’m not the only one.. actually, I had this fear from my very childhood. i don’t exactly remember from where this fear came into me, but one thing I remember is that i was not afraid of dolls when I was an infant. infact, I once had a doll when I was almost 2years. My parents also don’t have any idea that what happened to me exactly. All my cousins use to tease me. I’m now 19 years old and it feels so embarrassing. I want to get rid of this fear and I don’t know how?
I’m scared of those dolls with blue blinky eyes and golden hair.. it has been a long time since I have touched a doll. i don’t even dare to look at them for much time. please, any suggestions?
I have had a fear of walking/talking dolls for as long as I could remember. I dont know how I could handle them when I was little and I actually now cant believe I played with them. I cant eat or drink near them and when my dad found of of them in the attic one day and came closer to me with it I ran outside to the car crying my eyes out. This wasnt long ago.
Extending to this, I cant eat when I know that these dolls have these features, and only get scared when the dolls are turned on. If I dont know, then I will be ok.
Oh wow, me too! If I am eating a meal and, say, a child walks in the kitchen with a doll, I lose my appetite
My fear started when I was about 4 and my older brother had one of my baby dolls in front of me while I was asleep. When I awoke that was the first thing I saw, after that day I threw all life like dolls away and cant go near them. I worked at target and when someone would come to my line with a doll I had to ask a coworker to scan it. I found out I was having a girl which was my biggest fear. I would like to get over it for my daughter but i doubt that would happen.
i hate dolls
My fear of dolls (and things like ventriloquist dummies and wooden puppets) started when I was around 5 or 6, I watched a live action Pinocchio film in class and I had nightmares for weeks, since the Pinocchio puppet was particularly frightening.
I’m 18 now, and thought I got my over it, until my friend suggested we watch the new Annabelle movie and it triggered a full on panic attack :(
I’ve had a fear of dolls since I was a toddler. I am now 20 and not much has changed. My fear pertains to all types of dolls and it’s hard to be around them without feeling uncomfortable. The hardest part is that I cannot eat when a doll is in the same room as me. I remember when I was a kid my cousins would always tease me about it. In some situations they would chase me with dolls to the point where I would cry. This would continue throughout my life and at the age of 11 I stopped telling people. I mainly feared the ridicule and sometimes I would go whole days without eating when visiting family, I just wanted the teasing to stop. In my highschool and college years however, it hasn’t been an issue. Most of my female friends and peers grew out of dolls, but the fear still persists. I’ve been doing my best in the past year to get over this fear and for the most part I’m in a better spot. The only types of dolls I’m afraid of now are porcelain dolls and baby dolls. I still can’t eat when dolls are around, but I can at least be around them without being afraid.
It’s comforting to hear that there are others out there with a similar phobia as me. I hope my short summary of a story helps!
Anxiety girl says
That’s so awful! I used to be afraid of dolls up until I was around 8 or 9 and a relative’s kid (2 years younger than me) LOVED dolls. One time when we were visiting, she did the same thing as your cousins, she jumped from behind a door with a doll I found particularly scary. She was such a cruel child.
David Karlsson says
My parents don’t believe I’m as terrified as I make it sound like, but I’m absolutely not exaggerating when I’m saying that I can’t stand dolls. Like at all!
My fear hasn’t always been there and I’m 16 by the time I’m writing this but I don’t expect this will wear off. I’ve had a couple of memorable encounters with dolls. On two of the encounters I was actually on the phone with my girlfriend. I will take both these in more detail.
First one was in my basement at home. It was 23 o’clock and my mother and her man had gone to bed already. I had recently come home from my grandparents house. I had unpacked my bag and decided to put it in the storage room to rid it from my floor. When I opened the storage room I saw it sitting there, staring at me from a shelf. I went silent as a rock. Unable to talk or scream (as in one of those nightmares), I felt as being choked and stumbled back into our laundry. Fortunately my girlfriend was there and hearing her voice and knowing that she’d be there to hear everything that happened helped me to calm down. After calming down I still didn’t know what to do. It was crawling in my skin as my hand came even near the thing. I honestly don’t know how I managed but it’s now tucked in nicely in an unused guestroom in our basement. That still doesn’t satisfy me though. I’m having a hard time sleeping when it’s in the house. Yet I can’t get rid of it because I’m seriously afraid that I will upset it and make it haunt me.
The other encounter was when I was home alone at 1 – 2am. I was about to change the sand in my cat’s toilet. Her toilet is ofcourse nicely placed between the door to our storage room and our laundry. I forgot to say that the storage room and laundry is at the end of a long corridor and there’s is a door that leads to out backyard next to the door to the storage. However when I reach her toilet I look around me (as any normal person would when it’s dark) guess what I see… a creepy, worn, blonde little doll, the size of a real baby. It was my mom’s and she used to love it. She had put it on top of the laundry as some kind of joke! I was on the phone with my girlfriend this time too. But this time I wasn’t quiet. I went from talking about everyday-stuff to crying and making low screams. I pushed myself up against the door to our backyard so that I’d have an overview over everything. I remember thinking that I would die right there (Like when you panicked under water and thought that it was the end). Fortunately, even here, my girlfriend was there to calm me down. That doll is now also tucked in nicely in a bed in our guestroom.
It honestly feel as though one of the dolls is about to open my bedroom door as I’m writing this.
Pray for me.
i am so sorry for you
My mom had 2 cabbage patch dolls that she gave to me I was about 8 and I hoped it was a dream but I “woke up” to them standing next to my bed starring at me. I squeezed my eyelids back together and fell asleep. I got rid of those dolls right after.
I also watched the Goosebumps series where in 5 of the episodes a girl gets a doll the size of her and they switch bodies.
I’ve been scared of dolls and anything life-like but not ever since.
Isha Munoz says
I have this phobia about the china porcelain dolls, those who have white face, striking eyes and bloody red lips. Whenever i see them even just a glimpse, goosebumps all over. I even try to look at them longer to see if I can lessen my fears, but unfortunately it doesn’t. I always imagine them crawling up in the wall and ceiling holding a knife or something. It really freaks me out. One time, me and my boyfriend were eating dinner at a Japanese restaurant. As walking over and looking for some nice food, at the dessert area, more than 5 china dolls were there staring at me. I froze. Tried not to scream. I hurriedly walked back to our table. I was trembling, breathing heavily and i felt like the place was swirling like crazy. My boyfriend helped me to calm down. I freaking really hate that feeling. I thought i was going to collapse. Worst.
kshij more says
Hey, my sister has this phobia about blinking dolls, and whenever i show here these dolls she gets frightened and screams like hell. She is a medical student and doesn’t go in a practical room because they have dolls in there. It started when she was about 7 years old and one night a doll fell upon her from the shelf.
I am a mother of a 9 year old son that is terrified of dolls. I don’t know how it started but it has been this way since he was practically an infant. If he has any knowledge that a doll is in that room he will not go in there even if you put it in the closet he refuses to go in there. Just wondering if any of you adults have suggestions for him or me on how to get over this fear I would love it.
hi christina. i am a former sufferer of pediophobia and i used to have the same reactions as your son, often even unable to sleep alone because of the knowledge that dolls were in the house. i think it’s something that you grow out of usually, at least that’s been the case for me, but in the mean time try to keep dolls out of the house and reassure him that the fear is irrational.
It’s weird reading the definition of this because I hate, HATE porcelain dolls but I don’t mind kids. My mother had a doll on top of her book shelf in her room and my older sibling locked me in there whenever babysitting so I wouldn’t see the rated R movies being watched. I always felt like it was moving, further and further towards me when I wasn’t looking. Didn’t help it fell down in my general direction.. haven’t been alone with a doll since.
Cameron Trevino says
Hey jaron I agree Porcelain dolls are the creepiest but other dolls are fine.
Yes, I agree 100%, those pseudo-Victorian ones freak me out yet I love my nephews and nieces, I think it’s the blank indifference in their faces that gets me.
Megan Shaw says
I had these twin dolls when i was little. My mom and aunt used to play with them as kids and they were really ugly. They had blonde hair and their eyebrows covered their eyes and they were always smiling. I always had the same nightmare, every friday night as soon as i fell asleep about the dolls coming to life like Chucky and destroying everything. I would play with other dolls, but i would not even enter the room if i could see those two dolls in particular, or touch anything that had touched them. If i had to play in my sister’s room i would ask her to put them somewhere where i couldnt see them or she would put them in another room. We got rid of them when i was about 8 and i stopped having that nightmare. Then we went to visit my dad’s cousin in australia when i was about 10 and the older kids decided to watch Dead Silent. I was of course sitting in the lounge too scared to even blink as it was the first time id ever seen a horror movie, and since then ive been scared of dolls in general. Teddies i can handle, but anything that resembles a human. Ive never had a serious reaction to a doll but i dont know how i would react to one because i havent been around dolls for about 8 years now. Except the little porcelain dolls in the hallway but i never really notice or pay attention to those.
Tj Robertson says
This really helped me
Leeds Middle School says
I have this fear as well, and in my childhood I remember having THREE dolls in my closet. I didn’t want them but my mom did and she had no where else to put them. I decide to turn them around so they’d face the wall, but sometimes I would go in my closet and see them staring down at me. I finally got rid of them but I have never gotten over my fear. My friends dared me to watch child’s play so I went to the store to get it but I found all six movies so my friends dared me to watch all of them. I only have one more to watch but I am too scared and stalling so I don’t have to watch it. I wish I wouldn’t have inside panics every time I see dolls or manikins. But that’s just my life and I can’t change it.D:
I have been afraid of dolls when their heads are taken off but I really become panicked stricken when the doll in question has stuffing in the body and I can see it coming out of the body when the head is taken off. I am not afraid of stuffed animals unless there is stuffing coming out of them .I then become fearful of that particular stuffed animal but not stuffed animals in general. Even though I am not afraid of dolls that are intact I get very nervous around them in case their heads might come off. I think this fear might stem back to when I was about 3 and I was playing with a new doll on my bed and my dog started chewing up a doll that was on the floor. When I looked down I became terrified and have never gotten over that. I am now 65 and the terror hasn’t lessened at all.
Trauma through Childhood says
Wow its nice to know that I am not the only one. I am now 28 years old. I have partially conditioned myself. As far as I can be in the same room as dolls I can touch them. But I honestly still feel uneasy around them. This phobia has been since a child. At one point when I was younger I had them played with them. But then one day I woke up terrified. I honestly don’t know what happened. Unfortunately when family found out they tortured me. One day my cousin even bought one to school and chased me around the yard. My cousins also made a fort for me to go under covered it with blankets and then when I was in the middle uncovered it and trapped me in. I almost died. All of these events make me really want to know why the fear runs so deep. No one really knows. But I think the trauma of teasing made it even worse. Now that I have found Jesus Christ. This has helped me with all of my fears. :)
Hailey Grace pinter says
I know right my mom bought me a my life doll I don’t ever go near it and we have 3 girl dolls that are in the dining room they freek me out when I am home all alone for 5 hours or shorter I don’t make my self lunch or breakfast I lock myself in my room and we’re supers and I’m 10.
I’m a 46 year old man, 6′ 3″ tall, 200 lbs and while I am not terrified like most of you guys, my heart goes out to you. Dolls do however really creep me out a lot. My aunt used to have this Barbie hung on her wall with teased hair she called Dolly after Dolly Parton, it scared me so bad as a kid cause her house was already haunted and creepy. As for dummies they just creep me out side of the realism but are not alive at the same time. Like I said I’m not terrified just really creeped out, same for clowns too. Good luck to you all on this very real fear.
Anxiety girl says
Ugh, I hate dummies! It’s not like I’ll get a panic attack if I see one, but I won’t touch it and I don’t want to get too close to it either. So taking a first aid course (required for a license in my country) is out of question.
I also have a fear of dolls. I actually had a panic attack last night because I was watching a creepy doll video at 3:00 am. Yeah, I know. Bad idea. One of them in particular gave me a panic attack. It had spiked teeth, white face, completely black eyes and black spiked hair. I had a full blown panic attack. My heart was pounding, I was breathing fast and heavy, I even started to cry a little. It’s honestly a little embarrassing. I am an 18 year old and I’m scared of dolls. But I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. :/
I am 42- bad enough I still fear all kinds of dolls especially the one with their eye rolling. I have this phobia since when I was 6. As such my two girls (under 10) are deprived of having a dolls in their play room. They however do not have the phobia.
This makes me very uncomfortable and I at times try to overcome it by looking at it longer. Unfortunately, the longer I look at them the more fearful I feel.
I do not know what to do. However this at time doesn’t affect my life’ in some ways.
I am not able to work in a first aid course because you have to do CPR on a baby doll.
Secondly you can’t teach swimming as you have to use a doll as a model how to rescue a child etc. So annoying.
I have had a fear of dolls since I was three especially if the head came off or arms or legs, and all I could see was the holes. And also if the eyes came out and that cold plastic I would get hysterical. And would be physically sick.
Lesley, me too. Fear of dolls was extreme, especially if the head or a leg/arm was off and all i could see were the holes. Massive panic attack to say the least.
Suggestion for all: systematic desensitization with a very trustworthy therapist. Two 90 minute appointments changed my life forever.
Laura Harrison says
For the longest time, I have had a fear of shop dummies. Whenever I go into a shop, and see one, I have to stay well away from one, but I can’t stand whenever my nan is by one, I think it’s going to attack people.
I have had this fear since I was 7 and I remember going into a castle tour with my dad and when they had a walk-tour around it and it had a show of middle-aged play, and when we went to the dungeon, it had a dying man and the doctors said to him “You have 5 minutes until you die”.
Right after that, the man groaned loudly, and died.
My dad wouldn’t let me leave, even though I was crying in fear.
Elias lindsay says
I have automatonophobia and i’ve always had issues with it but it’s escalating, please help me cure it
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jessica harrell says
I don’t have a fear of dolls but my friend does and I was wondering how to fix it because I collect creepy and somewhat normal dolls and she won’t stay nowhere near my bedroom.
jessica harrell says
I’m hoping I can fix her fear and show her my collection and she won’t be scared. I’m glad I found this website.
I didn’t really mind dolls, until one of my friends showed me the trailer for ‘Annabelle’, which really scared me. Now, sometimes when I am alone and in complete darkness, I get scared that Annabelle might be right beside me and I would never know.
I can cope with dolls, wax figures (despite seeing ‘The House of Wax’) but I cannot stand ventriloquist’s dummies. Maybe it’s something to do with we know that the dummy is saying what the operator would like to say but can’t.
I’m afraid of dolls and have been ever since my childhood. Now I’m 29 years old.
I used to fear dolls when I was a small kid of 2yrs first, but my dad kept that doll on the shelf. Slowly I thought it started growing up as me. And I started to fear dolls as I banged and beat that doll very much.
But in that shelf there was another doll which was bigger than the previous one and I got scared.
I don’t fear barbies and all dolls but only the porcelain dolls that covered the shelf has started that fear in me but still I get scared of a doll even though I know it’s just my imagination. I am really happy that I’m not the only one who fears dolls.
If anyone overcomes this fear please let me know.
I hate porcelain dolls and puppets, they are absolutely the worst thing ever because nothing should look that realistic and I feel like every time I turn around their heads turn and they watch me, they are horrible.
I’m also afraid of dolls. I remember, it started when my cousin always threw a doll whenever I walked down the stairs. I’ve tried overcoming it many times when I was in my childhood days but until now I’m still afraid of them. It feels so good that there are other people who understand me.
Tom Valiente says
I remember the department store mannequins used to creep me out! I saw somebody taking one apart once when I was young. I can understand why you might be uncomfortable around them.
Billy The Hedgehog says
I have this phobia as for the fact that whenever I see a mannequin (not that I show it) I feel very uneasy. These kind of things just aren’t right. Humans are meant to look like that and nothing else! At least that’s how I see it.
Natalie Fraser says
I’m afraid of Porcelain dolls, and even more afraid of Ventriloquist’s Dummies. I don’t know why I have this fear but all I know is when I see a Porcelian doll or a Dummy I start to get really nervous, have a rapid heart beat and have and overwhelming feeling that the doll itself will come alive. I want to get away from the doll or lock up somewhere so “it” can’t harm me. What scares me about the dummy is the way its mouth moves and its cold soulless eyes piercing into your’s (it’s just chilling) and lets be honest, they look CREEPY like I mean creepy morbid little things. Even if you’re not scared of them you have to at least agree they look creepy. As for Porcelain dolls, it’s the way the eyes “follow” you around the room.
I watched a movie on dolls coming to life. I am hindu and it was a hindi movie. I was also told stories of dolls coming to life by older siblings. Since then I have been so afraid of dolls that my younger siblings and sometimes adults, who think I am faking it, use dolls as a means to scare me. I am just 16 years old and am so afraid of dolls. No one seems to take it seriously that I am suffering from pediophobia. I run away on the sight of dolls. When my sister corners me with a doll my heart beats so fast and sometimes I can’t even let out a scream. Glad to know that I am not the only one because I was beginning to think that I was being ridiculous at times when I actually thought about how I get scared of dolls.
Hi I am also afraid of dolls my fear is just so scary I always wake up at night after a terrible nightmare about dolls since 2012 I have never had a peaceful night without thinking about dolls :(
I have pediophobia, I remember being terrified of dolls since I was little. My aunt and mom used to run around the house with them and I would curl up in a ball, crying and screaming. Nobody ever understood why I would be so scared of them, initially I was teased because of it. My fear of dolls have since remained with me, but it’s for specific dolls now. I cannot be in a room alone with one or have it touch me still. I’ve tried to condition myself but I just can’t, it becomes too much. For a long time, I thought this irrational fear made me a freak. It’s nice to know other people have the same phobia, that I’m not alone.
I’m scared of dolls too and I was just 9 when my grandpa bought me two and I stuffed them under my bed but that did not work.
Please don’t be ashamed. The fear is very real for me as well. I have been terrified of dolls since I was 5 years old and I’m 50 now and nothing has changed for me. I cannot eat or be anywhere they are. I cannot touch one without hyperventilating. My family knew of my fear and respected it. My husband also understands it.
After therapy, I realized the reason for my fear of dolls…. I was molasted by a family friend when I was 5 years old and I had my doll with me when it happend. So, in my 5 year old rational, that doll knew my secret and every time I saw a doll, the fear of the very ugly thing that happend to me, would be exposed. I didn’t uncover this until I was in my late twenties. I still to this day carry the burden & blame of being molested & still terribly frightened by dolls.