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Minnesota museum celebrates Halloween with creepiest doll contest

The History Center of Olmsted County in Minnesota held a creepiest doll contest. Voting closed on Thursday.
The History Center of Olmsted County in Minnesota held a creepiest doll contest. Voting closed on Thursday. History Center of Olmsted County

Some dolls are meant to be toys for kids, but not this particularly spooky collection at a Minnesota museum.

Leading up to Halloween, the History Center of Olmsted County in Rochester, Minn., is holding a creepiest doll contest, allowing Facebook users the chance to vote on which one they think is the most horrifying by liking the photo on their page.

Dan Nowakowski, the contest’s curator, described some of the dolls to the Minnesota Public Radio, saying that one of its biggest contenders is one with a face that has paint peeling off of it.

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“It was painted with a facial tone color, but the paint has chipped away,” Nowakowski said. “And now, unfortunately with the paint chipping, it looks like a mummy.”

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This 169-year-old toy has an arm missing, too, adding to its overall level of nightmarish.

History Center of Olmsted County
History Center of Olmsted County History Center of Olmsted County

He said the freakiness of each doll is all in the eyes.

“We have some dolls that have movable eyelids, and when you lift them up, they snap,” he said. “You can hear the click from the eyes moving up.”

But there’s one doll in particular that gives Nowakowski major creeps, and it’s one from the 1800s.

READ MORE: Mom terrified by ‘ghost baby’ appearance in her son’s crib

“The doll I disdain handling is the one with human hair,” he said.

The toy in question sports a braid and a dead-eye stare. During the 1800s it was very common for dolls to come made with human hair as it was a sign of wealth.

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Horror fair returns for a second year
Horror fair returns for a second year

Whichever toy receives the most votes will be on display from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. Voting closed on Thursday.

History Center of Olmsted County
History Center of Olmsted County History Center of Olmsted County
History Center of Olmsted County
History Center of Olmsted County History Center of Olmsted County
History Center of Olmsted County
History Center of Olmsted County History Center of Olmsted County

According to comments shared on the organization’s Facebook post, the mummy-esque doll with a missing arm appears to be one of the top contenders, with one person writing: “I swear that thing visited me in my nightmare last night.”

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Each has their own set of creepy qualities sure to delight terror-seekers this Halloween season.

Beyond trying to scare the living daylights out of museum-goers, Nowakowski hopes the contest helps bring interest to learning about the history of Olmsted.

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“We’re hoping these contests or these programs and new exhibits might draw more people in to realize that history’s not just boring textbooks anymore,” he told KIMT 3 News.

“There are actually unique stories with them … I have whole boxes of dolls, who all have their own unique stories to them.”

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca