Mystery solved: creepy dolls on suburban doorsteps

Some people are shy?


I like the original recorded version better than any of the live ones, even the one with Neil Gaiman. Which is weird because I’ve always enjoyed Coulton’s live show, on the rare occasions when he’s in the area.

That’s a great link. It makes me wistful, wishing someone would speak out in defence of deadly lawn darts. Too bad the NRA has its hands full keeping guns in the home, I wish they’d fight for lawn darts too.

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Some people think this woman mad. I think it is mad that we paid our police to investigate this when they are too lazy to pick up most people with warrants for their arrest.

Boo was killed by an angry mob? I think you might have gotten a bootleg copy…

I’m not sure which is more alarming, the thing that people got frightened by the dolls or the fact that police actually used their resources to solve this.

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DIY. 3d-print the plastic part, cast or machine or reuse something existing as the metal tip.

Ban this, do-gooders!

And therein lies a problem with our society.

We’re primed to first assume something creepy and awful, in large part thanks to the sensationalist media and the 24 hour news cycle. It’s not the only reason, but it’s definitely a big player.

The correct and properly civilized response should have been ‘Neat! Free doll!’


NOOOO! I had imagined that in THIS case it was a Boo-like figure, and that he would come to a mob-driven end.

There’s no such thing as a free doll. Any economist will tell you that.


Economy. The science of predicting tomorrow and explaining why yesterday’s predictions don’t match today.

The economy schools are said to have the same exam questions every year. The only thing that changes are the correct answers.


ANOTHER thing horribly wrong with society!

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the problem with that line of thought is that if you’re wrong about it being an innocuous act, well, no harm done and you just seem like a bit of a paranoid ass. If you’re wrong about it being a disturbed stalker type that knows what your juvenile daughter looks like…

The risk of assuming the worst is potentially far less than assuming the best (which is probably why we humans do it all the time).

And yeah, I get that the statistical likelihood of someone targeting my kid for violence is pretty minimal, and we do largely live in a pretty safe society, but it’s also pretty unlikely that someone is going to anonymously leave a doll that looks like my kid on my doorstep. Because the investment (and value)[speaking obviously in more than just an economic etc… sense] is so high in any given child, it pays to overreact/be paranoid.

And then shouted BOO!

So kind of like a form of Pascal’s Wager with a doll that looks like your kid rather than Heaven. I suppose the doll could always have a camera, so being suspicious isn’t necessarily ridiculous (although it shouldn’t be that difficult to confirm that there isn’t a problem with the doll). On the other hand, a paranoid society isn’t a good one for a child to grow up in as it represents a significant loss of freedom for that child. If you really were concerned that there could be someone in the neighborhood targeting your child, not taking the doll would only be the first thing you would do.


It is possible to teach children/anyone what to watch out for without paranoia setting in.

For example, if a stranger says “hi” in the street but doesn’t move closer to you, no worries. If they try to use conversation to pin you into a corner or get close to you in some other way, time to walk into a store or toward others on the street. They could just be socially inept, but at that point it’s appropriate to err on the side of caution.

If an unexpected doll with eerie similarity to one’s child shows up on the porch, leave it on the porch until you figure out who left it there and go have a talk with them. If you determine it’s just a lonely grandparent missing family, then invite them over for tea or even a meal during which time everyone can get to know each other. If instead you get a skeevy vibe, that’s the time to call the police and ask for an expert opinion. They might already have a file on the person for being “off”.

Black-and-white thinking has taken over the U.S.; it harms civil discourse immensely.


Ahh, but it doesn’t, that’s part of the problem. It only pays to react appropriately, and we humans don’t DO that without a whole bunch of training once you break past your monkeysphere. (Science. . . funny science)

Fear (especially of the unknown) causes us to react badly and stupidly and we inevitably make things worse. The statistical likelihood of somebody actually putting cute little dolls with dresses on everybody’s porches and then following that up with something negative is infinitesimal.

So how does somebody react? Do they drive their kids to school instead of letting them walk to the bus? Do they buy a gun and keep it in the home to defend against said imagined criminal?

Well done! By increasing their driving they’ve increased the possibility of a fatal accident far beyond the chances of the imagined initial threat. By buying that gun they’ve taken it to an even higher level.

And, of course, we’re not even mentioning what they just did to their kid. Children learn from their parents reactions, and this is just one step towards creating one more paranoid adult.

And why are paranoid adults threats? Because they’re the ones who see reports about plan crashes and instead choose to drive to their vacation destination (again, greatly increasing the risk to themselves and others). They react to events like 9/11 by not properly resisting their elected officials starting a war against a country that had nothing to do with the event, causing uncountable suffering both abroad (I’m not talking just ‘American soldier deaths’ here), creating more ‘terrorists’, and causing local economic suffering that also destroys families and uncountable lives.

Before one says ‘that’s part of the human condition’. No. No it’s not. It’s cultural training, pure and simple.

Again, the media is one of the major culprits. The ‘news’ is no such thing. It’s bite-sized pieces of horror selected from several billion people across the world and served up to you, the listener, in order to terrify and titillate you into watching so that they can gather advertising revenue.

You and so many others aren’t worried about some perceived threat for any statistically viable reason, you’re worried because you’re trained to do so.

The cumulative effect of this is honestly a freakin’ nightmare. We create more problems than we started with…over and over and over again.

I’m not saying we should all live in tiny villages away from the world, I don’t need to have solutions to point out a fundamental problem (though a few of us are indeed working on an actual solution despite having no real resources or aid nor any of that ‘desire to be important’ that so many have).

Even without solutions, there’s still that fundamental flaw. It still exists. It’s still horrible. It’s still evidence of a cultural sickness that we don’t first say ‘Neat! Free doll!’


I’m Talkie Tina, and I don’t like you!

It was correct to be concerned about unknown dolls. They might well have escaped from the set of Barbarella.

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