5 Scary Dolls in Video Games
Isn’t it strange how a toy designed to be cute, something designed to embody childhood innocence, can also just as easily be the stuff of nightmares? I’ve nurtured running obsession with children’s toys – particularly baby dolls – and how they walk the fine line between endearing and downright horrifying.
The idea of an evil doll is nothing new. History is full of haunted dolls causing mischief and misfortune. As of the writing of this article, arguably the most famous haunted doll, Annabelle, just appeared in her second feature film, Annabelle: Creation. A movie which grossed roughly 30 million in its opening weekend, making it the second highest opening weekend for the franchise after The Conjuring 2. Honestly though, a doll that ugly was doomed to become the vessel of a demon from the moment she was built. She didn’t stand a chance.
But, scary dolls are not just confined to the silver screen. Some of the most iconic horror videogames have also used the “creepy doll” trope to great effect.
Here are five frightening dolls in video games, which have made players everywhere want to throw their controllers across the room:
Condemned 2: Bloodshot – The Walker Doll factory
What is worse than one possessed doll trying to kill you? A condemned doll factory full of psychopaths, killer dolls, and one insane video game boss known only as the Doll Woman.
Shortly after arriving at the Walker Doll Factory, the player is soon faced with a legion of possessed dolls stumbling around the factory floor, and staring with glowing red eyes. These dolls will then proceed to rush at the player and explode like tiny terrifying suicide bombers. Get enough of these guys in the same room and it turns the factory into a firework show.
As though that wasn’t bad enough, at the end of it all waits the Doll Woman. Her name is self explanatory. She is an influenced – one of the game’s psychotic enemies – who dresses herself like a deranged ragdoll. Her weapon of choice? A sawblade on a stick painted to look like a lollipop.
Layers of Fear – Brush
Layers of Fear is a psychological horror game which delves into the mind of a mentally unstable painter. The game takes its players through endlessly looping corridors in search of the supplies the artist needs to finish his magnum opus. This game features some gruesome imagery, and mind-bending scares.
The chapter titled “Brush” was among the most memorable for fans, as it focuses heavily on the artist’s neglected daughter. Her frustration and resentment toward her alcoholic father is represented through her macabre childhood artwork, as well as her toys.
The hallways and bedrooms in this chapter are packed full of baby dolls laying in wait to jump out from behind corners, and move about the rooms while the player’s back is turned. This chapter is sure to induce acute paranoia, and a deep mistrust of small children, into any gamer.
Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly – Akane and Azami
This game is a personal favourite of mine. I have many fond memories of playing this game during sleepovers with my friends. The Fatal Frame series focuses on exploring haunted houses armed with the camera obscura; a camera with the ability to exorcise ghosts by taking photographs.
Fatal Frame is jam packed with a menagerie of vengeful spirits who will gleefully rip apart their victims. Among the most memorable in the series are the twin ghosts of the Kiryu house; Akane and Azami. After Azami dies as part of the village ritual sacrifice, her twin sister Akane is left traumatized by guilt. In a vain attempt to console his grieving daughter, her father creates a life-sized doll of Azami to be her companion. Any of you who have ever read a ghost story in your life can see where this is going.
The player encounters the ghost of Akane and her cursed Azami doll while exploring the Kiryu house. The two will attack in tandem, but only Akane can be damaged by the camera obscura, which is mighty inconvenient considering that they are identical.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location – Circus Baby and the Bidybabs
I was almost tempted to disqualify Five Nights at Freddy’s since any of the animatronics could arguably be called a “doll”. However, Sister Location gave us Circus Baby and her two pint sized hell-spawn, which I think have earned a place on this list.
The premise of Five Nights at Freddy’s is simple … even if the lore has gotten bogged down over the past few installments. All you have to do is survive the night and avoid the army of killer Chucky Cheese style animatronics. Easy, right?
Sister Location introduces a few new animatronics. Among the most notable is Baby the life sized animatronic baby doll. She comes with an ice cream scooper built into her body cavity. Perfect for scooping up children when there is nobody around to watch.
However, Baby is not alone. Players must also avoid her two companions known as the Bidybabs, which are small tan Baby-like animatronics which appear on her stage. Hearing them crawl around just out of sight will send shivers of terror down your spine.
Emily Wants to Play – Kiki, Mr. Tatters and Chester
Emily wants to play is unique in that it has three dolls with distinct “personalities”.
First, allow me to set the scene: You are an unwitting pizza delivery guy who has the misfortune of stumbling into a house where Emily and her three friends are waiting for a new playmate. The punishment for not playing the game correctly is death.
Each doll has different criteria for winning their game. When Kiki appears in the room, the player must locate her and stare her down until she disappears. When Mister Tatters appears, it is time for a game of red light green light. The player must hold perfectly still until Tatters sighs and leaves the room. When Chester begins to laugh, the player needs to run to another room as quickly as they can before they are caught.
The dolls appear randomly, which means that there is a chance that Tatters and Chester will appear at the same damn time. Now that is a recipe for disaster!
Did I miss any of your favourite video game dolls? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this article, or check out my Youtube Channel where I am all about playing scary games.