Wednesday, May 11, 2022

They're Only Dolls. Truly. We Mean It.



HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: One little question: A haunted doll? I know some of you Reds and Readers are late night/early morning readers, and we love that, and I certainly don’t want to introduce any unseemly thoughts into your impending dreams. In fact, you miiiight want to look at the photos, um, in the light of day.

If you are still with me, to you, I’ll just say: Aren’t dolls adorable?


I was not big on dolls growing up—in fact, proof positive, here’s a hilarious photo of me, at age about three? two?, trying to CRAM a dress onto a doll that apparently wouldn’t behave.


And now, reading this by the oh-so-intriguing Susan Furlong, I wonder if there was something about that doll I didn’t know. Hmmm…


Haunted Dolls, Hexes, and Holy Water

   by Susan Furlong

"Write what you know" is misleading. If you don’t think so, let me ask you as a reader: Do you want to read about someone doing laundry, running kids around town, or maybe searching supermarket aisles for the cheapest can of tuna? Because that’s mostly what this mom and writer knows. I think we can all agree, it’s best for me to write what I don’t know.


For example, in my latest story What They Don’t Know (do you detect a theme here?) my main character, Mona Ellison, collects dolls. Something I’ve personally never done. Mona, however, is an avid collector and she doesn’t just collect dolls, she painstakingly tends to each one of them by mending their clothing and their broken parts, even talking to them. The kicker— sometimes they talk back. Well, at least Mona believes her dolls talk to her. As Mona confronts the lies of the real people around her, she hears the whispered counsel of her beloved dolls … and she does what they tell her.


Do guardian spirits or malicious miscreants embody her dolls? Or are the dolls haunted at all? You, the reader, will have to decide.

While it’s unknown if Mona’s dolls are haunted, or if her mind has fabricated it all, the idea of the possibility of dolls possessed by spirits intrigued me. During research, I happened upon a series of podcasts and books written by paranormal investigator Kevin Cain who collects dolls that have been involved in ghostly and sometimes criminal activities. He considers these dolls to be haunted and who's to say he's wrong? So, when my publicist presented an opportunity to write an article for CrimeReads Magazine, we decided that a lot of folks might be intrigued by both Kevin’s paranormal collection and his related investigations.

Mind you, I’ve been on many research trips, all in the name of getting the facts right. Some have turned out to be wonderful, like tasting my way through the mid-Georgia back country for recipes to include in my culinary cozies, the Georgia Peach series. Other trips have been a little more adventurous, like meeting up with some unsavory types on a remote stretch of the Appalachian Trail while researching The Bone Gap Travellers series. But this would be the first time I’ve faced down anything paranormal.

Ready to learn more about something I didn't yet understand, I hit the road to Birmingham and the home of paranormal enthusiast and author, Kevin Cain, and his collection of over two hundred haunted dolls. 

Dolls from all walks of life: porcelains and vinyls, Madame Alexanders and Amelias, Chatty Kathys, too. And all, according to Kevin, have one thing in common; they each come with a spirit attached.



Mostly good spirits, he assured me.

Ah, mostly?

Yes, Kevin confirmed. A couple of dolls in his collection proved to have malicious spirits attached to them, but not to worry, the bad spirits have been contained.


This is where I hesitated, with visions of Chucky and Annabelle zipping through my brain. And one question lingered in my mind: Do I really believe in hauntings?

Well, I do believe in spirits, like the Holy Spirit and prowling diabolical spirits seeking the ruination of souls. But do I believe in hauntings, where a person or object is inhabited by a specter of sorts? Specifically, is there such a thing as a haunted doll?


I still don’t have the answer to that. But that day as I knocked on Kevin’s door for an interview, I was prepared not only with a slew of questions and a camera for photos, but I also had a vial of holy water tucked in my pocket. I mean, why take chances? We’ve all heard the term, stranger than fiction, right?


As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. Kevin Cain is a delightful gentleman, and he was gracious enough to share his experiences with me, like a paranormal investigation of a crime scene and the doll attached to its owner’s mysterious death. Are his items haunted? Some would say so. As for those malicious dolls he had in his collection … well … that’s a story for another day. But if you’d like to know how my research plays out in What They Don’t Know, please purchase a copy to learn more about Mona, her dolls, and the mysterious (dare I say murderous?) happenings that plague her once peaceful suburban life.

Before clicking over to your favorite book purchasing venue, comment below and let me know: Do you believe in hauntings? And if so, have you experienced one yourself?

HANK: Okay, Reds and Readers. This I GOTTA hear! Or--what was your favorite doll growing up? Or...was she a lot like mine? (And I must say, I hesitated before posting a couple of Susan's doll photos. Ahhh...)

And any questions for Susan? Or are you...hiding now?



Susan Furlong
is the author of several mysteries including the acclaimed Bone Gap Travellers series, and Shattered Justice, a New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. She also contributes, under a penname, to the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea series. Her eleventh novel, What They Don't Know, will release in May 2022. She resides in Illinois with her husband and children.



WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW

A picture-perfect suburban life fractures . . . and a darker reality bubbles beneath the surface.

Mona Ellison's life is as perfect as the porcelain dolls lined up on her shelves. She has a successful husband, a loving son, a beautiful home, and a supportive group of girlfriends ever ready for their weekly wine night.

But when Mona’s son gets entangled with the wrong crowd and runs away from home, her blissful suburban world begins to unravel. She tells her friends that boys will be boys, that he’ll be back as soon as his money runs dry . . . but deep down she knows there’s something else going on.

Then the police show up at Mona’s door. A young girl has turned up dead in their quiet town, and her missing son is the prime suspect.

Determined to reunite with her son and prove his innocence, Mona follows an increasingly cryptic trail of clues on social media, uncovering a sinister side of suburbia and unveiling lies and betrayal from those she trusted most. And as Mona spirals further from her once cozy reality, a devastating revelation shatters everything she thought she knew. Now the only thing she’s sure of is that she can’t trust anyone . . . not even herself.

With unrelenting psychological suspense and a wicked twist, What They Don’t Know marries small-town thriller and domestic mystery—suburban paranoia at its best.

Purchase What They Don’t Know: https://tinyurl.com/4bw5uszk

Connect with Susan: 

Website: www.susanfurlong.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanFurlongAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Furlong_Sue

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susanfurlong/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susan-furlong


85 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your newest book, Susan . . . definitely creepy, but I’m looking forward to meeting Mona.

    I had a favorite baby doll when I was growing up; I have a few of dolls sitting around here now [they’re either astronaut dolls or Precious Moments angels], and I seriously doubt that they [or any other dolls] are haunted.

    But I also remember that mega-creepy “Living Doll” episode of “The Twilight Zone” and I have to admit that sometimes dolls are just as creepy as clowns.

    [But I’m not hiding . . . yet.]

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    1. Hank Phillippi RyanMay 11, 2022 at 12:47 AM

      Oh, I was a big twilight zone sound! Still am! But what was the doll episode ? If you dare to tell us :-)

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    2. Hank Phillippi RyanMay 11, 2022 at 12:48 AM

      Fan. A big twilight zone FAN. So much for dictation :-)

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    3. It was called "Living Doll" . . . Talking Tina was the doll that kept saying, "I'm going to kill you" to Telly Savalas [the stepfather in the story] . . . he keeps trying to get rid of the doll, but she keeps reappearing . . . . definitely creepy.

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    4. That is definitely creepy, Joan! Thanks for stopping by today to comment.

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    5. Oh, right! I DO remember that! SO scary! My sister used to torment me with it, in fact! xxx

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  2. I typically don't find dolls creepy, but they can certainly be made creepy depending on the writing. This was certainly spooky. Okay, back to tonight's Holey Moley before I try to sleep.

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    1. Hi Mark! I never found dolls to be creepy either until I visited a haunted doll collector. :) Thanks for stopping by today.

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  3. Well I never had a creepy doll. But I did go through an absurd stage where I gave my dolls rhyming names: Milly, Tilly, Billy, Silly (yes), Willy, and then, because I ran out of rhymes, Sally.

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    1. Sally. Calli, O'Malley .... see, you can get a few more dolls now and still stay in your rhyming pattern. lol

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    2. That is adorable. And hilarious. Love that!

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  4. HANK: You look adorable, and very determined, in that photo!

    SUSAN: Congratulations on your new book! I do believe in the paranormal but certainly have never encountered a haunted doll IRL. Kevin's dolls do creep me out a bit.

    I had plenty of stuffed toys as an only child, not dolls. My mom went to kidney dialysis 12+ hours/ three times a week for 4 years (when I was 4-7 years old). My stuffed friends gave me comfort and kept me company.

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    1. Yes, stuffed toys. hose are very different, seems to me. Very comforting. We should talk about those some day!

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    2. Grace, I'm glad that your stuffed toys provided comfort to you through what must have been an extremely difficult time. I'm also glad that you stopped by today to comment. :)

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  5. Yes! I appreciate the early morning post. I have shared my distaste for all 'girly' things I felt as a child. I did like the frozen plastic action figures, and named my Betsy Wetsy a 'football doll'. Betsy did bounce off the walls frequently. Mom was smart, Sue got the Madame (look but don't you dare touch) Alexandra dolls. The creepiest dolls in my memory are from my counseling days. One of the clients had a very lucrative business repainting Barbie to return to her original days as a sex doll. He was quite proud of his work, and showed photos willingly. I smiled and thought ewww.

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    1. Eww, for sure, Coralee! And you cracked me up with the "football" doll.

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    2. My kids made Barbies do extreme sports, but never had a football doll. As far as I know. LOL

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    3. OH, YIKES. Now that...is disturbing. But football Betsy Wetsy! Hilarious! (and what a silly name for a doll, huh? And everyone thought it was so cute.)

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    4. "Ewwww!" Your client would make a good book character. lol. Thanks for stopping by today. I loved your comment.

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  6. Ooh, that book blurb gave me the shivers! As do some of the dolls in that room.

    As a child (and before I got into Barbies) I had a fairly large baby doll, and the "Edith doll." The eyes of both dolls opened and shut. A little smaller than an American Girl doll, the Edith doll pretty much looked like me. At some point I gave her a very bad haircut, but I still have her and the baby doll. They didn't look creepy when I was a kid, but they do now!

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    1. I gave my doll, Annabel, a haircut, Edith! Her hair didn't grow back, either :(

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    2. Yeah, the haircut thing. Kind of a rite of passage!

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    3. I bet the Edith doll was as cute as could be, even with the haircut!

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  7. Welcome Susan, this sounds like a deliciously creepy new book--congrats! the photos of all those dolls are amazing. Is your article about Kevin available?

    Speaking of haunted dolls, there certainly is one in Key West, called Robert the Doll. I used him in KILLER TAKEOUT, which given his history of retribution, was definitely a risk! https://www.jungleredwriters.com/2016/03/what-i-was-writing-that-you-can-read.html

    Susan, I'd love to hear about which you prefer, writing dark or light?

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    1. Yes, Robert! I remember! Yeesh. And that's a great question! xx

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    2. Hi Lucy! I looked Robert up and he's downright scary. *shiver* That's a great question about writing dark or light ... I like to read both, so I think it's natural to want to explore both styles in my writing. I mostly just write whatever story comes to me.

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  8. Okay, some of those doll pictures are flat out creepy. The one of the room? The tall doll with the braids? Ahhhh!!!

    I don't remember being big into dolls when I was young. I did have (and still do) a collection of Madame Alexander dolls. But no hauntings, not that I can recall.

    Susan, the book sounds wonderfully creepy!

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    1. You still have your Madame Alexanders? That is so fascinating!

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    2. Thank you, Liz. And thanks for stopping by to comment. Keep an eye on those Madames ... you never know.

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    3. Hank, I do! They need to go to the doll hospital. The years have dried out the rubber that holds the arms and legs together. But fix that and they are in pristine shape.

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  9. Sorry to say (for the sake of an interesting comment here) that I have never experienced a haunting. Nor did I play with dolls (although my sister did)--like Coralee, I was the tomboy in the family, with a Davy Crockett raccoon-skin cap and a rifle that shot caps. Plus a Robin Hood outfit that included a small bow and rubber-tipped arrows. Here is a good doll story, though. Peter's and my son Tommy was one of those boys who is obsessed with trucks and loud, heavy vehicles of all kinds. He played with front loaders, tractors, and buses small and large, and his favorite picture book, which he carried around with him like a...well, like a beloved doll, was about trucks. I wanted to encourage him to be less of stereotype male (me falling victim to PC-dom even then, I guess), so when his best friend's baby brother arrived, I got two-year-old Tommy a baby doll and modeled cuddling it and pretending to feed it before I left him with it. Five minutes later I heard "Clunk, clunk, clunk" along with giggles and went into Tommy's room to find him repeatedly loading the doll into the back of his biggest dump truck, pushing the button that made the back fly up and dump its load, and laughing as the doll smashed face-first into the wall of his room and slid down to the floor. If dolls do have special qualities, then that one must have developed a traumatic stress disorder that never had a chance to become "post."

    I should add that Tommy is now 29, rides a bicycle or skateboard everywhere, doesn't have a drivers license because he is a Green, and doesn't show any signs of psychopathology--so far!

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    1. I love the story, Kim! I had dolls but also a Davy Crockett outfit and pistols. My older son was the same with any kind of construction or emergency vehicle. When I gave him a stuffed Paddington Bear, he worked hard to unbutton the jacket, and then left the poor thing unclothed all winter. He's now a super caring adult of 35 looking forward to being a first-time father.

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    3. That is a GREAT story! I can truly picture it. He was very...resourceful!

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    4. Thanks for this great comment, Kim. I loved the story about your son ... it sounds like you raised him to be a wonderful person. I can imagine you're so proud. And Edith, congratulations!! Nothing better than being a grammy.

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  10. Congratulations on your new release! I look forward to reading it.

    I have my daughters' 14 inch Mme. Alexander dolls lined up on top of a bookcase in the guest room, all book heroines (Anne Shirley and Diana, Laura Ingalls, Dorothy, Alice in Wonderland, Jo March). They're a friendly bunch.

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    1. Gotta hope so! Wow, I would love to see a photo of that!

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    2. Hi Margaret! Sounds to me like you should definitely read this book! Thank you for commenting today.

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  11. Hank, that photo is priceless!

    When my grandson was just three he was best buddies with the two little girly girls who lived across the alley. The youngest one was four, and her sister was five, and he idolized them. They were the pink and purple girlies who "played Barbies" all day long, and Zak insisted on getting one, too. My son-in-law, who is usually pretty relaxed about stuff like that, had a cow. But the Barbie ended up just like every other toy did eventually, sprawled in the bottom of the toybox, forgotten. He turned out to be a super nice, very kind young man, and I'm glad my daughter didn't make a fuss about it.

    I wasn't a big babydoll fan, although I had one of the more freaky dolls ever invented, the three-faced Trudy. There was a knob on top of her head that protruded from the hood of her sleeper, and I could turn it to make her "cry", smile, or sleep. Tell me this thing isn't creepy: https://www.icollector.com/1946-Three-Face-TRUDY-Composition-Doll_i1101162

    In the 1990s a friend invited me to her house and workroom, where every nook and cranny, and shelves below the ceiling around every room, held her doll collection. Their eyes seemed to watch every movement below them. SO disquieting!

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    1. Welp, I made the mistake of going to the link of Three Face Trudy, which--well, first of all , the name alone is beyond creepy, I mean--really? WHo'd have thought THAT was a good idea? And then the actual doll is haunted even in the web photo. FORGET ABOUT IT. You actually had one, Karen? And you still turned out so nicely?

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    2. KAREN: Nope, never saw any friends with a Three-faced Trudy growing up in Toronto!

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    3. Oh my, Karen! That's the most clever, yet scariest doll ever. If I'd known about Trudy, I would have used her in the book. lol. Thank you for sharing, and thanks for taking time to stop by and comment.

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    4. Grace, you are a lot younger than I am. My younger sister was born in 1953, and by the time she came along they were no longer around. Thank God.

      Thanks, Hank. And Trudy should definitely be in some kind of horror story, Susan!

      Side note: my paternal grandmother's name was Gertrude, known as Gert as an adult, but Trudy as a child. I suspect that's where the vile thing came from.

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    5. One of the haunted dolls in my collection is indeed a Three Face Trudy! :-)

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    6. Don't you think that giving an innocent toddler one of those things could constitute child abuse? Yikes.

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    7. I actually have a Three Face Trudy type doll on this haunted collection as well. :-)

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  12. Susan, the book sounds sufficiently creepy--like the kind I'll need to keep the lights on after I've read it! I was not a doll person, so no childhood collection. Pre-pandemic, I was a docent at a local history museum. The museum has a doll collection bequeathed to them by an elderly woman. We would get doll-collector groups touring the collection every now and then. But most interesting were the kids--school groups coming through. The collection was housed in a separate wing of the administration building, accessible from its own outside entrance. The kids wanted in and then suddenly OUT quickly. Their overall summation: CREEPY! I was always glad to lock the door behind me.

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    1. I wonder if this "dolls are creepy" thing is new.

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    2. Hi Flora. I believe shows like Annabelle and Child's Play, Chuckie, etc have influenced the "creepy" doll craze. When I was in grade school, I had a few porcelain clowns that I thought were great, but no way would I have clowns around now. Have you seen "It" by Stephen King?

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    3. Susan, no to seeing or reading "IT". I don't do horror--and I had a recurring nightmare about a clown when I was a child, looong before Stephen King or the creepy clown craze.

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  13. As a little girl I loved dolls, but my mother detested such things so I didn't have many. I remember a little baby doll that would drink and 'wet.' But I made up some baby formula (the recipe was in the Dr. Spock book) and fed that to the doll. Needless to say I ended up with a rather stinky doll. I'm not sure if that was before or after I was in second grade and wanted a bide doll like the other girls had. Fat chance of that every happening. So, with parts of an old sheet and the purple !!! sequins I made a bride outfit for my doll. Of course in the class picture there were the girls, holding their dolls. The boys were just boys, holding nothing. I look back and think I must have been quite the pathetic kid.

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    1. Aw, no, Judi. Not pathetic. You were inventive!

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    2. Exactly! Inventive and determined. Bride dolls--yes, we made veils out of washcloths. And do I remember? We undid those dish scrubby things to make dresses.

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    3. Very inventive, Judi. I admire your creative spirit! I never had a bride doll, but I had a couple of homeless barbies who eventually moved into a shoebox house, complete with a thread spool table and my dad's spent and washed 22 casings for tea glasses. It's good to be imaginative.

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    4. Loved that you used those 22 casings for glasses! I thinl my father would have loved it too!

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  14. I received the tomboy gene, not the doll gene. I can't fault my mother for that. She tried. I had Betsy Wetsy, Chatty Cathy, Betsy McCall, and the entire Madam Alexander Louisa Mae Alcott series of dolls. None took the place of my Roy Rogers two gun holster and six shooter cap guns. What can I say, I grew up with all boys.

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    1. Yup, cap guns. Awesome. Also throwing rocks on the caps to make them explode. Right?

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    2. KAIT: I get it. I was also a tomboy, playing outdoors with boys more than girls.
      So I was not into dressing up dolls but I did have superhero action figures (Superman, Batman & Robin). Do those count as dolls?

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    3. Hi Kait! Your childhood sounds wonderful. I agree, cap guns were the best and slingshots, too. I also loved building forts and fishing. A lot of fishing! Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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    4. Hank - there is nothing like the smell of fired caps. It was almost as good as mimeo paper!

      No, Grace, I think they serve as role models! I hope you kept them. What great memories.

      Susan - Yes to all. We lived on a river and I sank more twig rafts than I can count. Why did that never happen in Tom Sawyer?

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  15. As someone who's written a creepy doll book, I can attest to their fascination. My favorite was a baby doll named Susie - I was sure she moved around the room when I wasn't there but I never caught her in the act. Loved cap guns, too, and had my very own Annie Oakley rifle and outfit.

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    1. Hank Phillippi RyanMay 11, 2022 at 10:34 AM

      I can completely picture you as Annie Oakley! Love that! and yes, certainly that doll moved. She was very stealthy.

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    2. Hi Hallie! Loved Annie Oakley. Creepy dolls are fascinating, especially when they belong to someone else. :)

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  16. A huge thank you to Hank and all the Jungle Red Writers for having me here today. Your readers are wonderful and I appreciate the opportunity to share my book with them.

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  17. I played with Barbies, and collected dolls from the countries we lived or traveled in. Those latter dolls passed down to my Youngest, who loved babies and stuffies as a wee tot and has continued to collect dolls in historical costume and regional dress. She would get one or two fancy dolls each year from Santa, so by the time she was in high school, her bedroom looked a bit like Kevin Cain's, above.

    In fact, one of her good friends wouldn't spend the night because the dolls creeped her out! As for me, I only really notice them anymore when I have to move a few to get to something or (occasionally) dust. Although after reading this, I may try to see if any of those glassy little eyes follow me around her room...

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    1. Yeah, better do a doll check. You never know....xxxx

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  18. Susan, congratulations of the new book. Sounds like a good read.

    What is it about doIls that makes them susceptible to all things creepy?

    We use them to represent things we want to teach children and they easily become the repository for ghosts. I think there are a gazillion things out there beyond the scope of human comprehension. But that's the point. We can't comprehend them, so we will never know there are there. So we make up stories to make points in human terms and put them in the mouth of "babes."

    I preferred books to dolls but there were two worth remembering. They both conveyed lessons. One was made by the Navajo craftswomen who sell their wares in the plaza in Santa Fe. She resembled a Navajo woman in traditional dress. There were three dolls, two women and one man. They were beautiful. More pieces of art than toys. My Mother bought them because she liked them but "gave" them to me and my two older sisters. They lived on a shelf and we weren't allowed to touch them. Though I resented the assumption that we could not or would not take care of things, perhaps My mother was working off experience. Those dolls survived until they disintegrated from dust and moth accumulated by sitting on a shelf.

    The second was a Raggedy Andy doll that My mother bought for me one Christmas. I was a teenager and had made a snarky comment that I'd never had one. She fixed that. And it wasn't your basic 10" Raggedy Andy doll. This one was 3 feet tall. The most scary part of that was the realization that My mother actually (1) paid attention and (2) had a sense of humour. I didn't take him with me to University so she sold him in her house-clearing garage sale. Yet another lesson learned through a doll!


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    1. Wow, three feet tall? yeesh! And no one as snarky as a teenager, right?

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  19. I was a tomboy but I also enjoyed my dolls. I did have a Betsy Wetsy, but that just baffled me so she didn't get much play. Ginny doll was great. My mom and my aunt made clothes for it. I graduated to Madame Alexanders. I had three who were conveniently Nancy Drew, Bess, and George. So they had adventures without interfering boyfriends. Finally I had a couple of Barbies which had to be among the ugliest dolls but had the neatest clothes and shoes that stayed on their feet. Nancy, George, and Bess had to go barefoot. The last time I played with Barbie with a friend we had them running a topless nightclub. My parents had a bad habit of donating my stuff to younger sisters without asking and the surviving dolls look like they were run over by a truck. As for their clothes and the trunk, who knows? I also played "war" with my big brother with his plastic soldiers, Davy Crockett, Zorro, Roy Rogers, all the good stuff. And yes, we had cap guns and cowboy hats.

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    1. Oops. This is Pat D.

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    2. Pat I had a Betsy Wetsy also, I loved playing with her until the day her eyes suddenly crossed and it totally creeped me out! This was the days when doll eyes were attached to a sort of metal stalk inside the doll's head so they could open and close. I think that was the purpose anyway.

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    3. WAR! Yes we played war all he time. And cowboys. Barbie's Topless nightclub? That is a classic! xxx

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    4. Omigosh, the topless nightclub is hilarious!

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  20. Hi Susan! I remember meeting you at Bouchercon in Toronto and you gave me a copy of your novel about Travelers. Congratulations on your new novel! It sounds like a page turner.

    Question: Did you see homemade rag dolls when you visited Birmingham? There are many kinds of dolls. I remember someone mentioning that a child preferred homemade rag doll to a Barbie doll.

    My favorite doll(s): I remember a baby doll that I would dress in baby clothes when I was about two years old. And my favorite was a Raggedy Ann doll, which I still have. I remember the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy storybooks.

    When I read books, I like to read fiction. When I play with dolls, I prefer dolls that look more like a cartoon than a "real" person.

    Diana

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    1. Aw, Raggedy. I loved mine, but I know I think it's kind of weird that to see the heart that proves they're authentic, you have to pull their shirt up. Hmm.

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  21. Hi, Susan! Great to see you here. Not gonna lie, dolls freak me out and haunted dolls are next level. I can't wait to read What They Don't Know - I absolutely love the description "suburban paranoia at its best" and it's not because Hub and I make up stories about all of our neighbors and their nefarious activities - is he fertilizing the lawn or...? LOL.

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  22. Hank said,"I was not big on dolls growing up... And I thought, Who would be? Back in the 70s, someone gave my daughter a doll, Growing Up Skipper. Yikes...

    Oh wait, you mean "...when I was growing up." Right.

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  23. I love books with a little haunting in them, Susan. What They Don't Know seems right up my alley. And, I love the cover.

    Hank, that picture of you and the doll is priceless. I did like dolls as a child, but I never collected dolls. I think my mother loved my dolls as much or maybe more than I did. Of course, she grerw up poor, and she delighted in being able to buy her daughters dolls like she could never afford. I still have my Tiny Tears, Littlest Angel, Chatty Cathy, Baby Chatty Cathy, and Thumbalina dolls. I have all my Barbie dolls, too, including Midget and Ken and Alan and Skipper and Skooter. I have lots of clothes for Barbie, too, some in mint condition, and I have the carrying cases for them. Then, there's the Tammy Family, too, but I don't have much beyond the dolls for them. All the Barbie dolls and Tammy fit in one of my blanket chests (a very old one with wooden pegs). Oh, and there's Tressy in there, too. I also bought one of my sister's dolls in the trunks she wanted to sell, as I wanted to keep this beautiful old doll in the family. The only creepy doll story I have is that my Thumbalina doll creeps everyone out.

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    1. Wow, Susan should have come to YOUR house! Skipper and Skooter. Whoa. SO hilarious.

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  24. Lisa. This is great! Thanks so much! We had a great time hosting you and your family to visit my dolls. I'm sure my spirits enjoyed the visit as well.

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