Have you caught on to the Doll In The Hall trend yet? It’s the Halloween version of Elf on the Shelf, conceptualized by Natasha Hudarovich, a mom who turned her daughter’s obsession with porcelain dolls into a Halloween prank.
Much like Elf on the Shelf, Hudarovich moves the Annabelle doll to a different location every night, keeping the kids guessing about where she’s going to pop up next. Part of the prank was convincing the kids that the doll is haunted, and while the kids are a little creeped out, they’re also curious about it and enjoying the doll’s appearances. Occasionally, Annabelle ends up in the trash can, but that’s ok. She finds her way out and into a new spot every night.
Doll In The Hall is a super fun Halloween idea, and a great way to celebrate the season during the month of October. Here are a few tips to get started with your Doll In The Hall adventure.
You can use a doll you already have or purchase one specifically for Doll In The Hall so you can put it away with the Halloween decorations, and the kids won’t have any residual weird feelings towards the “haunted doll.”
Porcelain dolls are creepy anyway, so they are always a good choice. Old ratty dolls that are on their last leg are perfect. If your kids don’t get scared of zombies and creepy things, consider buying a Living Dead Doll from Mezco Toyz. Living Dead Dolls are collector-style dolls that are characters from thrillers and horror movies, like Hellraiser, Nightmare on Elm Street, Chucky, and Pennywise. Mezco Toys has a wide selection of creepy characters in addition to the Living Dead Dolls collection so there’s no shortage of options to choose from.
If you want a haunted doll with sound this doll is a great fit. Other options include the Bride of Chucky doll (Tiffany) or Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Spirit Halloween, Halloween Club, Halloween City and Party City usually have a few dolls to choose from as well.
Like Elf on the Shelf, you can get as creative as you want. Here are a few Doll in the The Hall ideas to get you started.
- Sit the doll in the hallway or in a room surrounded by black plastic spiders.
- Tuck the doll into bed with kids who won’t be overly frightened to wake up to the doll.
- Sit the doll at the breakfast table with a partially eaten bowl of cereal.
- Put the doll in the closet or partially sticking out of a dresser drawer.
- Smear a little chocolate on the doll’s face and position her with partially eaten candy pieces and several wrappers lying around her.
- Position the doll in front of a window or door where it will easily be noticed peering in from outside.
- Dress the doll in a costume.
- Put the doll in front of the television holding the remote control with the station set to a screen with static.
- Have the doll take your kid’s cell phone hostage.
- Hide the doll in unexpected places, like the linen cabinet, so when your family goes to get a towel, they’ll be surprised by their haunted doll sitting in the darkness.
- Put the doll next to a mirror and and write a spooky message.
- Position the doll playing a Ouija board with other dolls.
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Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.