As most of you may know, our very own fabulous mid-day gal, Barb Birgy, is the director of Christmas Wish. A local non-profit organization that makes sure kiddos in the tri-state have presents under their trees for Christmas.

Because of that, folks often order or bring by toys in new or excellent condition to add to the Christmas Wish stash here at the studio. On occasion, we also get vintage Barbie or baby dolls donated from generous former collectors. There is no telling what you might find when you show up here.

We love to pull fun little pranks on each other around here, so yesterday, Barb took some vintage baby dolls and posed them in everyone's offices to scare them! I'm not necessarily creeped out by them, but unexpectedly walking by their little frozen faces sitting in an office made me jump! It got me wondering. Why are so many people afraid of dolls?

Pediophobia: the horrible name to describe the fear of dolls.

Heathline describes Pediophobia as "a type of phobia known as a specific phobia, an irrational fear of something that poses no actual threat. Specific phobias affect more than 9 percent of adults in the United States. Thinking about or seeing a doll can cause severe anxiety symptoms to someone with pediophobia, even if they know that the fear is irrational."

Symptoms like fast heart rate, sweating, difficulty breathing, but most commonly a strong sense of fear or disgust. While the source of this irrational fear is not fully understood, most experts attribute this fear to a traumatic childhood event of some sort and, of course, the plethora of scary movies, books, and television shows featuring dolls possessed by some evil force. Like Chucky or Annabelle terrorizing and murdering humans.

Obviously this could never happen in real life, right? So, it got me thinking about the first appearance of an evil doll that I can remember watching.  Before that, I grew up around my grandmother's doll collection and never thought twice about them. I loved playing with dolls. Did people have this pediophobia before The Twilight Zone's Talky Tina?

Probably! Some experts believe that folks are most afraid of dolls with lifelike eyes. When we see them, we expect there to be soul, emotion, and feeling behind them. If that isn't the case, it can be pretty unsettling.

Do you have a horror story about dolls that has made you afraid of them? Share it with us on the App Chat!

WBKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

LOOK: Holiday gift crazes and fads of the past century

Stacker compiled a list of toy crazes from the past 100 years. 

Gallery Credit: Jennnifer Billock

More From WBKR-FM