What draws you to spooky/scary/horror styles?

Nov 24, 2017

    1. I've been wondering about a certain set of styles I've noticed quite regularly: the spooky, creepy, deathly, demonic, mutilated, mutated, diseased, alien, or otherwise horror-type dolls. Personally, I prefer more uplifting, elegant, or soothing styles in my decor/accessories/toys, so I have a hard time imagining wanting to have on display something designed to be unsettling or frightening. BUT, I think the fact that the doll hobby facilitates the expression of so many individual styles is beautiful, and I also believe that delving into the "why" behind people's actions and opinions is the best way to learn and connect with others...

      So I would like to ask those of you with "horror" dolls:
      • What draws you to this style?
      • What does it mean to you? (Edit to clarify: I.e. is it inspiring, is it quirky, does it give you nice goosebumps, is it somehow liberating, does it give you an outlet for negative emotions, do you see beauty in dark things, etc. Just another angle on considering "why do you like it?". "Nothing in particular" or "I don't know" are fine too.)
      • How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel?
      • Is horror "it" for you, or just one of several styles you like for different reasons?
      • Was there just one doll that you fell in love with that happened to be horror-themed, or is it a style you keep coming back to?
      • Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in the doll hobby? What about with people who are not in the hobby?
      • I said that I don't prefer horror style, but on the other hand is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having?
      • Any other thoughts about this/these style(s)?
      Let's discuss! :sumomo:I've very interested to hear what anyone might want to share.

      [PS anyone who styles their "normal" dolls (i.e. dolls that wouldn't be particularly spooky if they were naked) in gothic etc. fashion is more than welcome to share their opinions too of course, but I'm especially curious about the dolls with uncanny proportions, mods, or faceups, for example the kinds you often see from Doll Chateau, Pathos Tale, Popovy Sisters, or custom monstrous mods and hybrids.]

      [PPS I saw that there's a thread here about "horror dolls," but it's more focused on "what do you like?" whereas I would like to talk about "why do you like it?" :) ]
       
      #1 Kittzel, Nov 24, 2017
      Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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    2. I don't have any horror dolls, nor do I intend to have any, they're not really my kind of aesthetic for my own projects but I love looking at them. They're often incredibly creative and I've always had in interest in medical history etc so I'm not shocked by the the gruesome nature of them at all.

      Often it is just the strange things that people come up with that I find fascinating, especially if there's a story behind it!
       
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    3. Horror is my favorite genre. I like horror games, movies, books, you name it! There's something fun about being spooked. That being said, I don't actually have a scary doll! All mine are pretty "normal". I have some that could be scary but I made them cute instead. Haha.

      I am very interested in the scary looking dolls but I'm not sure I could own one that has horrendous scars/burning/mutilation because I would feel bad for him/her every time I looked at him/her.

      I've wanted a vampire doll forever but others always get bought before I get a vampire. Although I feel like most vampires are not actually scary, they just have little teeth.
       
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    4. All my horror dolls are characters from games or manga I enjoy. As for why I like horror, it's hard to do scary well. When it works, I admire it. I guess my dolls commemorate stories I find skillfully made.
       
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    5. While I don't have any horror themed dolls,people sometimes comment that my girls are a bit creepy.
      I don't actually intend for them to be creepy though,it just so happens that my preference in aesthetics tends to lean towards what many would consider darker looks.
       
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    6. In fact, yours were some of the dolls I'd seen recently and had in mind when I started this thread--the Tim Burton-esque faceups you've got on two and the poxy red splotches you've got on another fall under that umbrella of what to my eye appears spooky/sickly/disconcerting (which I don't mean to say is a bad thing, just that it has some of those style elements). The fact that you don't consider them to be creepy/horror styled is interesting. In that case, what is it about those aesthetics that appeals to you?
       
      #6 Kittzel, Nov 24, 2017
      Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    7. I have a goth girl ResinSoul Mi in white skin who is unnaturally pale and super skinny/gangly, and I have a Doll Factory Devil Bobo demon mouse, so I think I might qualify to answer here!

      What draws you to this style?
      Since I was a little kid, I've been into ghost stories, cryptoids, scary stories/movies and horror in general. I think it's fun.

      What does it mean to you?
      It doesn't really have any secret deep meaning, I just like the style and horror stories.

      How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel?
      No different than the casual pretty dolls.

      Is horror "it" for you, or just one of several styles you like for different reasons?
      Just one of many styles. Most of my dolls are just regular humans, with a variety of styles.

      Was there just one doll that you fell in love with that happened to be horror-themed, or is it a style you keep coming back to?
      It just kind of happened. Opaline (RS Mi) is kind of a mix between Marceline from Adventure Time (who is a vampire of sorts), and my ex-girlfriend (who was very tall, slim, pale and goth). LucyFaire (Devil Bobo) is a sculpt I fell in love with the minute I saw her, and thought she has had gore faceups at times, the sculpt itself is more cute than scary.

      Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in the doll hobby? What about with people who are not in the hobby?
      No different. There are people of types within the hobby, and it really doesn't matter what your dolls look like, there will always be hobbyists who admire it and others who hate it. Outside the hobby, it might make the general public find it a little weirder or creepier, but considering many of my friends are people I met while working at Spencers, it doesn't phase most of them and might even make some like them better.

      I said that I don't prefer horror style, but on the other hand is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having?
      Any other thoughts about this/these style(s)?

      Personally, I very much dislike lolita and other frilly styles, especially if they have "perfect" doll-like faceups, little girl style wigs or lots of pink/red blushing. Also, I'm very much not into boys in dresses, pastels, rainbow colors or anything cutesy. Nothing against people who like that, but I can't see myself ever wanting a doll like that. I think my tastes in both male and female dolls comes from the fact that I got into BJDs to be something different from dolls I had growing up, and the over-the-top outfits, lace, ruffles, bright colors, etc is just too much like the porcelain, fashion and baby dolls I had before.
       
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    8. I may be on the fringe here, as I don't own any blatantly gory or alien-looking dolls, but I like seeing them, so I thought I would offer my perspective anyway. (In this excessively wordy post probably no one will read!)

      People get extremely creative, and I always find myself wondering what interesting things are going on in the artist/owner's head for them to have birthed what I am seeing. However, when it comes to owning negative or spooky dolls, there is a limit to my personal comfort zone, and it's not very deep. I like realistic gore and some supernatural stuff, but I draw the line at the thought of owning a doll that seems to be in-your-face demonic-looking or otherwise 'malicious'. In a similar way, I am very drawn to dark and gothic themes in music and art as a way of appreciating the shadow and pain without which we couldn't define light and exultation--on a philosophical, conceptual basis, there is so much beauty in the contrast between life and death--but I cannot stomach most horror movies because I'm not so keen on clearly malevolent monsters. Because fear especially affects me more than sorrow or the idea of emptiness, my dabbling gets out of balance too quickly and it isn't fun anymore.

      ... Is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having?
      'Gonna eat you' zombies, grotesque depictions of malicious inhuman monsters, things that are incapable of reason and 'loving me in return' = I appreciate the skill required to make it happen, thanks for sharing it, but I wouldn't own it myself.

      Dead dolls, most realistic gore, supernatural dolls that maintain some humanity, vampires = glorious.

      One of my dolls has dark makeup, an angry/sad expression and scars of a rather seedy and sobering origin. He's a bit of a caricature of addiction. Another, who isn't finished, will be representative of war and bloodshed and devouring. Though these may be negative, unsettling concepts, it's the drastic contrast between them and my more positive theme interpretations--and the fact that there's always a little good to be seen in the bad and a little shadow to be seen in the light--that make up the balance I find so compelling.

      How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel?

      Fascinated, calmed to the edge of sadness and a little sorry for them, which I find pleasant as it feels like... an emotional reaching. There's a story behind the doll being like this and I want to learn it so I can dwell on it and feed on all the glorious emotions.

      Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in [or out] of the doll hobby?
      In general most people will prefer and connect with an innocent-looking, happy doll more easily. I have had people tell me my darker boy is "ugly", "creepy", "angry", and "literally terrible", and he's not remotely scary compared to some I've seen! I chalk this up to people not being comfortable with dwelling on the negative in general, and that's that's fine.

      What does it mean to you?
      It fuels me, to be honest. I'm not able to truly appreciate happiness unless I remember what sadness and anger were like.
       
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    9. @Kittzel

      I simply find them charming,interesting,and even cute in some ways as odd as that may sound to some others.

      I honestly don't think I could intentionally style a doll to be horror themed,as it's just not a look that interests me enough-though it is one that I can appreciate.

      I consider my now sold on BonBon to be the closest I have ever come to a horror doll.
      https://flic.kr/p/P7rzpC
       
      #9 Bailette, Nov 25, 2017
      Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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      • What draws you to this style? I love horrorstories! Since I've been a kid I have loved vampires, ghosts, ghouhls and everything like that. I find things connected to horrortheme like old castles, woods, fog, cemeteries, abandoned houses interesting and beautiful.
      • What does it mean to you? There is no deeper meaning. I don't believe in supernatural things I just find them beautiful in their own way.
      • How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel? I love them. I have never been scared of spooky or gory things.
      • Is horror "it" for you, or just one of several styles you like for different reasons? I have dolls in several styles. They belong to the same storyline but some are just normal people.
      • Was there just one doll that you fell in love with that happened to be horror-themed, or is it a style you keep coming back to? I have several.
      • Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in the doll hobby? What about with people who are not in the hobby? Sometimes harder, sometimes easier.
      • I said that I don't prefer horror style, but on the other hand is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having? Super cute girlie doll dressed on pink.
      • Any other thoughts about this/these style(s)?
       
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    10. Well, I myself haven’t been here for too long, but as I’ve looked around on the sight I found myself finding more horror themed dolls and then eventually seeking them out. I find the more ‘normal’ looking dolls to be pretty but I also very much like when you see a doll that seems to be disfigured in some ways has a sort of beauty behind it. It’s the same thing with I love how in some horror games I play you’ll see some kind of beautiful woman that seems mysterious and enchanting. Then she’d all the sudden do something like...with DreadOut for example. You’re in a place with beautiful women and the goddess that you see floating in the sky tears away her face to reveal she’s a monster, then there’s the snake woman at the end of the game, she opens up nearly half her body to reveal many rows of sharp teeth. I find that actually quite beautiful in an odd way I suppose, it’s really hard for me to explain why. Anyways, that’s just how I feel on the matter.
       
      #11 BlissfulDemure, Nov 25, 2017
      Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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    11. @Spuggey @Dark Angel @saraquill @Bailette @CloakedSchemer @Havra @Dark Jedi @BlissfulDemure Thank you all for your input!

      @Havra Your view sounds similar to mine--I really admire the work and creativity people put into their dolls, and I really like hearing/seeing stories with complicated, sad, and/or conflicted characters, but having one around that looks like it's malicious or in pain makes me uncomfortable. For example, I love the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series, which despite the cutesy appearance is actually quite dark and complex, so I was delighted when I found a plush doll of Bebe (a witch-monster that takes a doll-like form) at a toy shop... But even though I love the character and its (tragic) place in the story, the doll was a little bit too well-made in that it really captured the unsettling innocent-child's-drawing-somehow-turned-sinister quality of its eyes. In the end, I gave it away when I moved country because I couldn't afford to ship too much and even though it was awesome and cute it was also spooky enough that it didn't make the cut. ^^;

      @Bailette I think that's funny, because I wouldn't really consider your BonBon in that photo to be "horror" at all, since even though the head is a skull the style is so cheerful and colorful! Isn't it interesting how people's tastes and perspectives differ?
       
    12. It really is interesting,that's why I'm not one to frown upon others for the things they choose to create or how they express themselves,more often that not-it's very personal.


      And I didn't actually think of BonBon as a horror doll,I meant that I would consider her more on that spectrum than any of my current dolls.
       
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    13. I don't really consider a couple of my dolls to be horror themed. Just a little spookier than others. So I don't know if mine would count. But I do like the style. I think it's really fascinating and fun.

      What draws you to this style?


      I do like spooky stuff on occasion. Especially around Halloween. I don't want to be terrified though. At home, I try to keep things more on the ghostly side rather than murderous and gory.

      What does it mean to you?

      Trick or treating, rattling wind, cooler weather, night time walks, fall leaves... it's more about the fun and mystery. Plus, I'm a huge Addams Family TV series fan. So there's that.

      How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel?

      Well, the spookier ones live in on the bottom shelf in the corner behind glass doors. They really only get displayed on Halloween. I usually forget completely about them until around October. I mostly see them as decorations.

      Is horror "it" for you, or just one of several styles you like for different reasons?

      Definitively not it. I love all kinds of different styles. Steampunk, goth, sugary cutesy, tomboy and fancy.

      Was there just one doll that you fell in love with that happened to be horror-themed, or is it a style you keep coming back to?


      I have lots of different styles and sometimes think about getting an SD spooky themed doll. It's pretty far down the list though. As in, I think it's unlikely I'll follow through. But I do love looking at other people's spooky dolls. It's fun.

      Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in the doll hobby? What about with people who are not in the hobby?

      I wouldn't be able to tell. Generally, only people who visit on Halloween would know they exist.

      I said that I don't prefer horror style, but on the other hand is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having?

      I'm sure there is something... I just can't think of what that might be.


      Any other thoughts about this/these style(s)?


      I want to see more pics!


      This is my Amelia Thimble, Hamish doll. So very small but has his own menagerie.

      [​IMG]
       
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      • What draws you to this style?
      I've asked myself that question a lot, haha. Horror just sort of permeates my life. I watch horror movies (I don't find them scary and most of them are bad, but I still enjoy them), I write horror stories, I make monster costumes, and I am obsessed with all things Halloween. I really enjoy the aesthetic of monsters and creatures and bones. So naturally, when I got into the doll hobby, this was bound to slip in there somewhere. Being able to create my own monster dolls is like, the perfect intersection of all of my other hobbies.
      • What does it mean to you?
      I don't actually ascribe any special meaning to it. I don't think of myself as "rebelling" against "normal" dolls and styles or anything. I just like what I like. It's another expression of my own personal style and interests.
      • How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel?
      Before I got my first doll I always thought having dolls would freak me out, and that this would be especially true if I got one that was scary-looking. I've found that this isn't true though. I think that spending time with my dolls and working on them, and thinking of them as "friends" (not literal friends, but on friendly terms, if that makes sense) has helped me a lot. So overall I feel pretty comfortable having weird dolls on my shelf. I don't hide any of them or anything.
      • Is horror "it" for you, or just one of several styles you like for different reasons?
      Nope! I have dolls that wear sort of mori-ish styles, dolls that wear casual clothes and are normal people, dolls in more business/formalwear, etc. I like a variety. I even have a couple of "cute" dolls.
      • Was there just one doll that you fell in love with that happened to be horror-themed, or is it a style you keep coming back to?
      I think I keep coming back to it. Initially I just wanted to have a vampire doll who actually looked dead, and then I wanted a sort of horror robot theme for another doll, and now I'm eyeing the DollZone Deer head with some gruesome ideas. I keep finding parts and dolls that inspire me for horror themes.
      • Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in the doll hobby? What about with people who are not in the hobby?
      I've definitely heard some less-than-nice things about dolls like mine, and I've had at least a couple people react with disgust to one of the ones I own. Overall the vibe is positive, though, so I don't worry about it too much. If people don't like my dolls, they don't have to look at them. I don't tend to show my collection (even the cute ones) to people outside of the hobby, so that's something I'm not so familiar with. I've found that people who don't like dolls will call even nice, innocent-looking ones "creepy".
      • I said that I don't prefer horror style, but on the other hand is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having?
      I don't think I'll ever own any lolita/gothic lolita dolls, just because the aesthetic doesn't appeal to me in particular. And I don't think I'll ever own any decora/fairy kei dolls, either. Probably not any high fantasy types? But that's mostly because I'm terrible at period clothing.
      • Any other thoughts about this/these style(s)?
      I'm glad you're being open-minded about this discussion. All too often I've seen people say things like "what's wrong with you if you own a doll like that?" or "that's disgusting!" or things like that. I get it if it's not your style, or if it freaks you out, and I'll do my best to make sure my content stays only where people who want to see it can find it. But I think it's really unfair to judge people based on the fact that they own a doll that's not to your taste- I don't judge people who own, say, decora dolls, even though I don't like that style. So basically, thank you for not doing that, and for actually trying to understand something that's different from your perspective. :)
       
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    14. Very spooky-cute! :shudder:daisy

      I agree! I think empathy and understanding can overcome a lot of differences, because when people lash out and criticize others for preferences and hobbies that aren't harming anyone, its usually rooted in their own insecurities and biases. You see it everywhere, but regarding dolls specifically I think that kind of bullying pops up a lot around non-mainsteam hobbies/interests like BJDs, anime, cosplay, video gaming, etc. because these niche hobbies often attract people who have felt belittled or ostracized by "popular" groups and are seeking alternative communities... but sadly, a lot of people have internalized so much hatred and doubt that they seize any opportunity to make themselves feel superior by knocking others down, or they deal with their fear of being hurt or rejected by lashing out at any perceived threat, even if those responses are contradictory to their feelings of wanting love and acceptance.

      I find that keeping that in mind makes it a lot easier to deal with toxic people... it doesn't excuse their behavior or make their "opinions" any less ignorant or damaging, but if you realize that their nastiness is probably rooted in fear, confusion, misunderstandings, lies, bigotry, even abuse, it's possible to regard them with pity instead of perpetuating the "what's wrong with you?" cycle.
       
      #16 Kittzel, Nov 27, 2017
      Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
      • What draws you to this style?
      I love horror. Especially Asian horror and it's aesthetics. I love horror movies, games and tv shows. They are often very fascinating, have unique stories, themes, sounds and visuals. They can also be pretty sad and dark and there's a mystery that has to be uncovered.
      • What does it mean to you?
      I just find it beautiful, interesting and unique.
      • How does having a spooky doll on your shelf make you feel?
      I love Asami so much (I have a doll profile of her). She's currently my only horror themed doll, but I plan to get more. Seeing her makes me happy, because she is everything I love about the Japanese horror style. Every time I see her I'm just like "uwah, so gorgeous."
      • Is horror "it" for you, or just one of several styles you like for different reasons?
      It's definitely "it" for me. I do love all kinds of dolls, but horror is my thing. I have a cute doll as well and I do plan to get dolls that aren't horror themed.
      • Was there just one doll that you fell in love with that happened to be horror-themed, or is it a style you keep coming back to?
      Horror all the way. The theme never leaves me.
      • Do you find that having dolls that some consider "scary" makes it easier or harder to connect with others in the doll hobby? What about with people who are not in the hobby?
      Nah, I don't feel like it's hard. I've gotten a lot of nice and positive feedback about Asami on the forum. :3 I know this theme is not for everybody, but that's ok too. I don't really care if someone doesn't like my dolls, because I love them. Plus, there are others who love horror themed dolls, and connecting with them is great.
      As for people outside the hobby, I don't really know. I'm new to this hobby and haven't really talked about it with many people. I do however kind of wish they called my horror doll(s) creepy just so I could say "thank you" or "oh, good, because they don't like you either. Hope you're staying the night". It would be fun.
      • I said that I don't prefer horror style, but on the other hand is there a particular doll style that you could never see yourself having?
      Hmm. I'd have to say obscure anthro/pet dolls, like Dollzone Big Dipper and Dale, or Doll Chateau Ada. I like both companies and their dolls (I also like Doll Chateau's Grace and other obscure centaurs), but this very particular style doesn't work for me. As for clothes, I'm not a fan of medieval attire.
      • Any other thoughts about this/these style(s)?
      I actually didn't even like horror that much when I was younger. I didn't really understand why people liked to be scared. Something happened along the way, I'm not sure when or why, but now I can't get enough of horror and it's visual style.
       
    15. Just wanted to pop in and say I love your dolls' aesthetic. You keep doing you (not that anyone was telling you to do otherwise) :love
       
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    16. Thank you *very* much~:whee: Honestly,styling dolls is my favorite part of this hobby-so it's always nice when others can appreciate my vision.
       
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    17. Well, I always loved horror and creepy things since I was a little kid. It's a great feeing to live together with a horde of creepy themed dolls (still, I need a contrast to them, so you'll also find cute and pretty dolls around all the gore)
      Some of my horror dolls are kind of therapeutic to me: Clowns. I hate and fear clowns. So I customized a few dolls as horror clowns some years ago and have them live in my bedroom. I have to say, it really helped a lot^^