The 20 Creepiest Movie Dolls Of All Time Will Give You Nightmares For Weeks

With all the terrifying dolls that have haunted our screens over the years, you’d think parents would know better than to keep buying them for their kids. But then again, Barbie isn’t quite as threatening as the psychopathic playthings that menace and murder in our favorite horror movies. The following 20 big-screen dolls are all twisted enough to fuel your nightmares for weeks on end this spooky season.

20. Billy – Dead Silence (2007)

Never trust a ventriloquist’s dummy. Not only are those yapping mouths and intense eyes pretty darn creepy, but there’s also a good chance it’s haunted — if 2007’s Dead Silence is anything to go by. This movie’s demonic doll Billy has a penchant for cutting out tongues as penance. And if that doesn’t keep you up at night, nothing will.

19. Zuni doll – Trilogy of Terror (1975)

1975's cult horror anthology Trilogy of Terror isn’t winning any awards for subtlety. But that doesn't stop its Zuni fetish doll from being truly terrifying. Like a rabid ferret, this creepy thing scurries around after star Karen Black with its teeth bared, looking to shred her with any sharp instrument at its disposal. No thank you!

18. Chuckesmee – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Okay, so technically this doll never made it into the Twilight movie franchise. In fact, it was so creepy that it was cut from the final version of Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Known as "Chuckesmee," this unnerving animatronic puppet was originally going to portray Bella and Edward’s human-vampire baby Renesmee. But after freaking out the cast and crew, she was axed and now lives on only in the DVD extras. Director Bill Condon told Entertainment Weekly in 2012, "Truly, it was one of the most grotesque things I've ever seen. It was a horror show!"

17. Tina – Dolly Dearest (1991)

As evil dolls with actual personalities go, Tina from the 1991 horror Dolly Dearest is right up there with Chucky. Possibly because she’s possessed by a demonic Mayan spirit, Tina’s face gets more and more contorted and creepy as the film goes on. Dolly Dearest is surprisingly watchable for a straight-to-video movie — but only if you can stomach Tina’s knife-wielding antics. Good luck!

16. Suzie – May (2002)

Suzie is the ghostly-looking doll in the 2002 psychological horror film May. And while she doesn’t technically have blood on her own hands, that doesn’t make her any less scary. With her sinister ways, she drives her owner, May, to do some pretty terrible things, including convincing her to build a “friend” for herself from human flesh. A word of warning: never listen to dolls, people!

15. Hugo – Dead of Night (1945)

’40s anthology movie Dead of Night may have been the first film to successfully play with the idea of a ventriloquist descending into madness by means of his dummy. This creepy doll named Hugo has paved the way for many other creepy dolls since. And over 75 years later, Hugo’s face, both lifeless and maniacal at the same time, is still just as terrifying.

14. Chucky – Child’s Play (1988)

Chucky is basically the poster child for evil killer dolls. His face traumatized a whole generation of kids who were probably too young to watch 1988’s Child’s Play but did anyway. Possessed by the soul of a murderer, Chucky is a foul-mouthed, virtually indestructible maniac, who’s killed his way through six movies to date and even found the time to take care of a wife and baby along the way. God help us all...

13. Fletcher – Making Contact (1985)

Way before he shot to fame with Independence Day, Roland Emmerich directed 1985’s Making Contact. Although it’s mainly a fantasy movie about a boy who develops psychic powers, the menacing star of the show for us comes in the form of Fletcher, a sinister ventriloquist dummy possessed by an evil spirit. Even being buried deep in the backyard doesn’t stop this devilish doll.

12. Leech Woman – Puppet Master (1989)

1989’s Puppet Master and its unending series of sequels have no shortage of creepy dolls. But the Leech Woman is, without doubt, the franchise’s most appalling invention. After all, as her horrible name hints, she heaves giant leeches from her mouth that can quickly but painfully kill her victims. Need we say more?

11. Billy – Saw (2004)

The Saw franchise’s red-eyed puppet Billy isn’t usually one to get his hands dirty. But believe us, you still wouldn’t want to meet this guy on a dark night. His creepy catchphrase, "I want to play a game," imbues him with unparalleled menace. And just for that, he’ll always be an icon of the sadistic splatterhouse series.

10. Robert – Robert (2015)

Maybe the eeriest thing about 2015’s Robert is the fact that it was inspired by real-life events. That is if you believe in the story that a cursed doll was given to painter Robert Eugene Otto and wreaked havoc on his family. But even if you don’t, Robert the movie doll is pretty creepy anyway, given that he’s prone to wrecking furniture, tossing random objects around, and in general, being a total terror.

9. Pin – Pin (1988)

Not many people talk about the Canadian movie Pin — maybe because it was overshadowed by the creepy protagonist Pinhead in Hellraiser the previous year. But this underrated horror is worth checking out, not least for its unusual premise: it charts the destructive effect of an unnervingly lifelike medical dummy on a family’s lives. And while we never really see Pin do anything, his sinister, fleshless presence still manages to unsettle.

8. Fats – Magic (1978)

Arguably inspired by the ‘crazed ventriloquist’ classic Dead of Night, 1978’s Magic sees the great Anthony Hopkins play Corky, a shy but talented ventriloquist on the verge of success when he starts being plagued by the voice of his dummy, Fats. And the leering doll — a manifestation of Corky’s split personality — becomes increasingly jealous and dominant, causing Corky to do some very bad things...

7. Brahms – The Boy (2016)

If you’re a nanny tempted by a lucrative job for an old British couple, don’t do it if they’re asking you to babysit a pale-faced doll; it’s not going to end well. That’s what happens in 2016 horror The Boy, where a creepy doll named Brahms seems to take on a life of his own when the babysitter doesn’t tend to his suspiciously human needs. Watch at your own risk!

6. Clown doll – Poltergeist (1982)

Okay, so ’80s horror classic Poltergeist is more about invisible evil spirits than dolls, but one of the most persistently creepy entities in the movie is the toy clown. It appears towards the end of the film and immediately puts you on edge in anticipation of it doing something awful. Needless to say, it meets any grim expectations. Clowns will always be creepy, right?

5. Tiffany — Bride of Chucky (1998)

We all know Chucky, but arguably just as creepy is his former flame and murderous accomplice, Tiffany. Often referred to as “The Bride of Chucky,” Tiffany Valentine is a sadistic doll who features in the Child's Play horror franchise. She is murdered by Chucky, who then transfers her soul into a seriously sinister-looking bride doll. And naturally, more murder and chaos ensue.

4. Jack Attack – Demonic Toys (1992)

Demonic Toys is basically an even cheesier version of Puppet Master. But while this movie wasn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, it still has its creepy moments. And of the four demonically possessed toys featured, the cackling Jack Attack is the freakiest. After all, if jack-in-the-boxes weren’t bad enough already, this one has bloodshot eyes, sharp teeth, and a penchant for throttling people with his cord. Yikes.

3. Blade – Puppet Master (1989)

As the leader of the murderous doll gang in the Puppet Master series, Blade has become something of an icon — and not just because of his catching trenchcoat-and-hat outfit. While he’s used for both good and evil throughout the movies, his hook hand and knife-sprouting eyes make him definitely better suited to villainy.

2. The dolls – Dolls (1987)

This image of a doll holding its own eyes is as iconic as it is disturbing. It’s just one of the creepy toy figures from ’80s horror movie Dolls. The film follows a group of people sheltering from a storm in a spooky mansion owned by an old puppet maker. There’s something about the texture of his dolls’ faces — not to mention their twitchy movements and the slimy voodoo-like skulls under their porcelain exteriors — that makes them incredibly unsettling. That, and the fact that they’re all dead set on murder, of course!

1. Annabelle – The Conjuring (2013)

Before she became the star of her own film, evil doll Annabelle made her creepy mark in the critically acclaimed paranormal movie The Conjuring. And like other scary movie dolls before her, Annabelle is possessed — in this case, by an “inhuman spirit” that attempts to jump from her to humans like some kind of hellish flea. Even keeping her under lock and key doesn’t stop her from escaping and wreaking havoc. Annabelle has no doubt earned herself the top spot in this terrifying doll hall of fame.

Annabelle was inspired by a real-life doll

You might be shocked to discover that Annabelle was inspired by an actual doll. The real Annabelle is a Raggedy Ann doll long housed in paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren’s Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut. According to the couple, the possessed toy is to be blamed for a fatal motorcycle accident, multiple near-death experiences, and a series of demonic incidents that lasted decades.

The clown doll in Poltergeist actually choked an actor

Another creepy movie doll on this list with a scary real-life story? During one sinister scene in Poltergeist, Robbie — played by child actor Oliver Robins — is attacked by the seriously frightening clown doll. But while filming the sequence, Robins was actually being choked by the doll. It wasn't until director Tobe Hooper saw the young actor turning a purplish color that he realized what was happening. Yikes!

Saw’s Billy the Puppet is in Insidious

Saw made an idol of the creepy ventriloquist doll Billy the Puppet. It also shaped screenwriter Leigh Whannell and director James Wan into horror movie legends. And when the pair teamed up again for 2010’s Insidious, they couldn’t resist giving film nerds a nod to their past work. A sketch of Billy the Puppet’s face appears in the film on a chalkboard.

Pennywise the Clown's eyes turn from yellow to blue

The bad guy in It is a shapeshifter with the ability to alter his appearance — although we mostly know him as the nightmare-inducing Pennywise the Clown. In Stephen King's book, It makes his eyes turn from yellow to blue to bait Georgie underground — as Georgie’s brother, Bill, has the same color of eyes. And in the 2017 movie adaption, the terrifying clown does the exact same thing. It's subtle, but oh so horrifying.

The Poltergeist skeletons were real

While most filmmakers use props for scenes involving skeletons, the team behind Poltergeist did not. As it turns out, those ones you see in the famous pool scene from the film are totally real corpses. The cast didn't learn this until after they'd already filmed the scene, though. "They were using real skeletons because it’s far too expensive to make fake skeletons out of rubber," JoBeth Williams said in 2008. "And I think everybody got real creeped out by the idea of that."

The image of the alien in Signs is modeled on Bigfoot

M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs had plenty of creepy moments to keep viewers on edge. But the biggest jumpscare in the film comes when we unexpectedly see a blurry image of one of the alien creatures. To some viewers, though, the image might seem a little familiar. That’s because the alien’s stance is modeled on the famous shot that supposedly depicted Bigfoot taking a stroll.

Creepy figures are standing around the house in Hereditary

There is a lot of stuff in 2018’s Hereditary that makes for genuinely uncomfortable viewing — but there’s one shot you might have missed. And once you notice what’s standing in the darkness, it’s impossible to unsee. The scene shows the outside of a house in the forest and cuts suddenly from daytime to night. Look closely at the night shot, though, and you can see multiple naked figures surrounding the house. Creepy.

Final Destination hints at the deaths that will occur

The characters meet particularly grizzly ends in the Final Destination franchise, but these elaborate deaths don't come out of thin air. In fact, the films regularly drop hints about what is to come. In the first film, for example, Terry can be seen standing in front of a painting of a bus — the same vehicle that later kills her. And in the second film, some letters on Evan’s refrigerator spell out the word “eye.” Evan is later killed by a ladder piercing his eye.

Donnie Darko carves a pumpkin — in the image of Frank

In 2004 a director’s cut of Donnie Darko was released, and it included around 20 minutes of unseen footage. But you should pay particular attention to the scene in which Donnie and his sister are sitting around carving out pumpkins. Because when Donnie reveals his pumpkin creation, we are faced with a familiar face: Frank and his sinister bunny mask.

Hitchcock himself appears in Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock was quite fond of popping up in his own movies. But they were not always obvious, and they could often go unnoticed, like his cameo in Psycho. At the beginning of the film, the legendary director can be spotted as Marion walks into the bank. Seen through the window is a man wearing a cowboy hat with his back to the camera. This, of course, is the director himself.

People avoid potato chips in A Quiet Place

The creatures in A Quiet Place have highly sensitive hearing, so the human survivors must remain silent if they are to live. And people obviously learned this lesson quickly — as illustrated in a shot of some shelves in a grocery store. The majority of the shelves are empty, yet there are still plenty of potato chips up for grabs. Why? Because chomping down on a bag of potato chips is very noisy.

An actual Easter egg appears in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Apparently, during the production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the crew held an actual Easter egg hunt on set. They weren’t all found, it seems, as one egg even slipped into the movie’s final cut. You can see it beneath Riff Raff as he sits on the throne in one scene. Some people also think this is the reason we call hidden features in films "Easter eggs" — but this is debatable.

Zombies from Left 4 Dead show up in The Cabin in the Woods

The sequel to the video game Left 4 Dead was planned to have a downloadable content package set in the same universe as The Cabin in the Woods. Unfortunately, financial troubles quashed the plans, and it was never created. But the film and the game’s connection can still be found in a scene in The Cabin in the Woods, where a number of Left 4 Dead characters can be spotted in see-through cells.

Rosemary’s Baby slips in a very meta joke

Roman Polanski’s 1968 classic Rosemary’s Baby is not exactly a laugh-fest, but there is room for a quick meta gag. When Mia Farrow’s Rosemary suggests that the character Terry looks like actress Victoria Vetri, Terry brushes it aside without much consideration. The joke? That character was actually played by little-known actress Victoria Vetri.

A logo from Lost shows up in Cloverfield

J.J. Abrams is the co-creator of Lost and the producer of Cloverfield — and the two projects have an in-film connection. If you look closely at the start of Cloverfield, you might notice a familiar shape. The logo of the mysterious DHARMA Initiative that can be seen in Lost is staring back at you — very, very subtly.

The layout of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining is all over the place

The interior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining could not exist in real life. Large rooms show up in places that would not be able to hold them, and windows seen inside certain rooms are not seen from the outside. But given the creepy nature of the film and director Stanley Kubrick’s notoriously careful approach, you could argue that the moviemakers knew exactly what they were doing.

The killer in Saw is hinted at long before the reveal

Horror fans never forget the first time they watched Saw. There are, however, clues to the killer’s identity long before the final reveal. Spoiler alert! Within the first 20 minutes of the film, we see cancer patient John Kramer lying in a hospital bed. And in front of him, there are sketches of the reverse bear trap device that fans of the franchise will know so well.

Wes Craven appeared dressed as Freddy Kruger in Scream

In 1984 Wes Craven brought us one of the most iconic horror movie antagonists of all time: Freddy Krueger. And in 1996, the writer-director would pay tribute to his creation in another of his classics. In Scream, Craven plays a janitor cleaning the floors in a school hallway. And if you look closely, you’ll see that he’s dressed quite like a certain Freddy Krueger.

Janet Leigh has the same car in Halloween: H20 as in Psycho

Janet Leigh played a pivotal part in horror movie history, as the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho. Film buffs might recall that she drove a 1957 Ford sedan with the number plate NFB 418 in that film. And almost four decades later, Leigh was seen getting behind the wheel of this very car once again in Halloween H20. That starred her real-life daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, too.

Filmmaker Lucio Fulci is directly referenced in Shaun of the Dead

Lucio Fulci is known to horror fans as the “Godfather of Gore.” So it should come as no surprise that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg wanted to pay tribute to him when making their own gorefest, Shaun of the Dead. In the film, Pegg’s character Shaun takes to the phonebook to organize a fancy meal in the “place that does all the fish.” As it turns out, this place is actually called Fulci’s Restaurant.

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are zombies in Land of the Dead

The title of Shaun of the Dead clearly pays tribute to George A. Romero’s zombie classic Dawn of the Dead. And the favor was later returned to co-writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg when the pair appeared as zombies in Romero’s Land of the Dead in 2005. They play two undead characters imprisoned by the surviving middle-class members of society.

A poster for Batman vs Superman is in I Am Legend

In a particular shot of Francis Lawrence’s I Am Legend, we see a poster for what looks like a Batman and Superman mashup film. Yet I Am Legend was released in 2007 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wouldn’t come out until 2016. The reason for this, according to Lawrence himself, is that writer/producer Akiva Goldsman had actually written an early draft of a Batman and Superman movie that never got made. And so when it came to imagining what movies might be advertised in the future, the filmmakers had a neat idea.

The Shining and the number 42

The number 42 shows up all over this Stanley Kubrick masterpieceIt's on Danny Torrance's shirt, a license plate, there are 42 vehicles parked at the hotel, and it's in the movie that plays on a TV in the hotel, Summer of '42. Critics don't agree on what exactly this pattern means, but it may represent the inevitability of history repeating itself.

The characters in The Thing should have learned Norwegian

If only the researchers in The Thing spoke another language, they could've saved themselves a lot of trouble. Why? When a husky runs into their camp, a Norwegian stranger — whom the researchers ignore — apparently yells in his native tongue, "That's not a dog, it's some sort of thing! It's imitating a dog, it isn't real!"

Slither paid tribute to The Thing

Slither made no secret that it took a lot of inspiration from 1982's The Thing. It is director James Gunn's favorite John Carpenter movie, and it's about an alien invading a group of unsuspecting people. Slither even features a sign for a funeral home run by R.J. Macready, the main character played by Kurt Russell in The Thing.

The Witch is not really about a witch

The 2015 horror film by Robert Eggers told the story of a Puritan family terrorized by the eponymous witch. Or did it? If Redditor secretly_an_alpaca is correct, there was no witch. Instead, the family is suffering from starvation and hypothermia, and, essentially, they're hallucinating. "Who is to say it is unambiguous just because I show it?" director Eggers said on Reddit. "Every interpretation is valid. TRULY."

Signs is not about the aliens

Some believe the invading aliens in this 2002 thriller were actually demons. This makes some sort of sense because Mel Gibson's character rediscovers his faith as the movie goes on. "The sofa scene in Signs is what the movie is actually about," director M. Night Shyamalan told The Ringer in 2022. "Where he and his brother talk about, 'What kind of person are you? Do you believe in things? Or is it all just chance?' When I understood that that’s what the movie was about, it filled everything."

Some of the violence in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was real

During the filming of the infamous dinner party scene in the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the actor playing Leatherface accidentally cut Marilyn Burns' finger with a knife. Gunnar Hansen couldn't really see through his scary mask and was apparently exhausted from a long day of shooting.

Witch gender are you?

"It's one of the roles I hold dearest," star Anjelica Huston said about her turn as the Grand High Witch in the acclaimed 1990 black comedy The Witches. But there’s an interesting hidden detail in the movie, too. If you look closely during the conference sequence, you’ll notice that many of the shaven-headed witches are in fact men.

The bees in Candyman were totally real

Actor Tony Todd literally had a mouthful of bees while shooting the infamous “bee scene” from Candyman. But Todd was smart enough to negotiate a $1,000 payout for each sting — and so earned a nice little $23,000 bonus. “All Tony had was a dental dam to prevent them going down his throat. He was very courageous – it’s such an unsettling and stunning image when the bees emerge from his mouth,” director Bernard Rose told The Guardian.

The infamous chest-burster scene in Alien was a total surprise to the cast

In a bid to elicit “raw animal fear,” Alien director Ridley Scott refused to warn his actors about the terrifying moment an alien would burst out of John Hurt’s chest. And Veronica Cartwright actually fainted the moment she was splattered by fake blood. She later told The Guardian, “You see this thing start to come out, so we all get sucked in, we lean forward to check it out… all of a sudden it comes out. I tell you, none of us expected it.”

Inspiration for Hostel came from a bizarre place

Director Eli Roth first had the idea to make the film after discovering a Thai website dedicated to supposed "murder" vacations. These vacations included paying to kill and torture people. Roth told Dread Central in 2006, "The site claimed that the person you were killing had signed up for it and that part of the money would go to their family because they were so broke and were gonna die anyways. It was to give you the thrill of taking another human life." 

The radiologist's assistant in The Exorcist was a real-life murderer

As if The Exorcist wasn't already freaky enough, it turns out that the actor who played the radiology technician in the film, Paul Bateson, was convicted of killing and dismembering several gay men in New York City during the 1970s. The Exorcist director, William Friedkin, later visited Bateson in prison and a conversation they had inspired the movie Cruising.

Filming The Shining was a nightmare for Shelley Duvall

Kubrick made poor Shelley Duvall enact The Shining’s exhausting bat-swinging scene no fewer than 127 times. Duvall was also often required to spend half of her entire day simply yelling at the top of her voice. The actress admits that these tactics helped to coax an unforgettable performance from her, but she also labeled the experience of playing Wendy Torrance “almost unbearable.”

The Birds schoolhouse is a real haunted house

You'll likely remember the schoolhouse in The Birds as the place where Tippi Hedren is attacked by a pack of crazed, well, birds. Apparently, the house's current owners frequently hear children laughing and footsteps inside. “Sometimes there is the very clear sound of party noises, a cacophony of people talking at once,” Leah Taylor told The HuffPost in 2013.

The set of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre smelled horrendous

There were allegedly 500 pounds of rotten animal flesh on the set of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The smell was so bad that actors and crew had to rush off set so they could vomit. “The conditions on [one] long night that bled into the following day were intolerably putrid. Some of the cast and crew members referred to it as ‘the last supper,’” wrote Joseph Lanza in his book The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Film That Terrified A Rattled Nation.

Slot-machine silliness

The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t exactly a classic horror movie. But the creepy 1993 hit – which was dreamed up and produced by Tim Burton – is still a hoot. A neat detail you might well have missed involves the slot machines. Look closely and you can see that they’re one-armed bandits. But instead of having the usual number seven on them, they have the more appropriately spooky 13.