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The History Center of Olmsted County (Rochester, MN) held a Creepy Doll 2019 Contest last year. The “contestants” were vintage, old, and well-worn. The contest was very popular, with a circa 1850’s handmade doll missing her right arm winning. (See https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2019/10/25/creepy-doll-contest/) All nine dolls were placed on exhibit. This year offers nine new—well, technically old—dolls for consideration. In-person voting started on October 1st, and virtual voting runs October 14-24 (links below). The winning doll will be announced on October 28th and will be crowned on Halloween. Learn more about the dolls Thursday, October 22nd when Dan Nowakowski, Curator at the History Center, joins me on The Haunted Librarian Show.

Doll 1: Arsenic and Old Lace; Doll 2: Squeaks; and Doll 3: Stanley Kubrick are displayed above.

Doll 4: Bela Lugosi; Doll 5: Frankenstein; and Doll 6: Shirley Jackson are displayed above.

Doll 7: Victorian; Doll 8: Lady MacBeth; and Doll 9: Mrs. Danvers are displayed above.

Each doll sits in themed vignettes with information regarding provenance, materials, and information regarding the doll. It is quite exciting to see these dolls on display! The center has come up with a clever way to pass down stories of former residents while exposing the collection to a wider audience.

Toy dolls remain popular. According to The Toy Association, retail sales of dolls in the U.S. in 2019 topped $3.22 billion dollars and accounted for nearly 12% of the $27 billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, most dolls don’t make their way into historical centers. That’s why this collection is important. It chronologizes the history of the county.

Although last year, I had a clear favorite, this year is a challenge. I’m leaning toward one of the porcelain beauties. I look forward to voting!

Tune in every Thursday at 9 PM EST on Midnight.FM as I chat with people who are working in the strange and unique.

For more information and to vote, visit:

Website: https://www.olmstedhistory.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OlmstedHistoryCenter/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olmstedhistorycenter/