The Faceless Dolls

📅 Published on November 14, 2021

“The Faceless Dolls”

Written by David Feuling
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 6 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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My mother and I used to live together in a large house on the crest of a hill.  We had a sitting room that overlooked the churchyard cemetery a short way down the road.  I rarely went into that room as a child because that’s where my mom kept most of the faceless dolls.

Later, I learned that they’re also called “shy kid” or “hide and seek” dolls.  They’re life-sized and posed with their hands clasped in front of them.  They can be propped up in corners or against walls, and it looks like a child is covering their eyes as they sulk in timeout or count to ten as part of a hiding game.  They’re designed to face the wall, and so the front side is usually unfinished and doesn’t look like a person at all.

As an eight-year-old, I was creeped out by their limpness and how they slowly slumped down if Mom didn’t readjust them every few days.  I didn’t like how their poses always seemed to involve hiding or being upset to justify how they always stood with their backs turned to the room.  Most of all, I remember how traumatizing it was the first time that I inspected one of them to find nothing except a lumpy and threadbare bag of nylon where the child’s face should be.  The cotton-like fiberfill that stuffed the doll to give it its shape poked out through the nylon exterior in places, and my imagination took over.  I saw a face that was screaming in terror, with a pair of too-small eyes and a jagged, irregular mouth near the doll’s chin.

Mom kept about twelve of these dolls in the room overlooking the cemetery.  She had maybe another dozen scattered all around the house.  There was at least one in every room (including my bedroom), and they all had names.  There was a Mary, a Constance, an Abigail, an Adam, a Jeremiah, and many others I no longer remember.  Mom called the one in my bedroom Peter and forbade me to move him.  “He’s your brother!” she would scold me with real fury in her eyes.  “You both share this bedroom!”

The police came to arrest my mom one day, and I went to live with my grandmother (who I called Nana).  I didn’t see Mom after that, and Nana always refused to talk about her.  We lived that way for five years.  Around the time I turned thirteen, she let slip that Mom was “being let out soon.” I managed to press my grandmother for the first hints of what really happened.

“Your mother lost her mind when Peter died,” she said hesitantly.  Until then, I had no idea that Peter was even an actual person.  “She had you two years later, but losing her firstborn son in a drowning like that…” Nana lost her composure for a few seconds.  “She never recovered.”

“That’s why she collected the dolls,” I said in astonishment.  “But why was she arrested?” Nana shook her head and took a deep breath.

“She started getting mixed up about what was real and what was pretend.  She did something…bad…and she’s been in a mental hospital for the past five years.  She’ll be out soon, though.” My grandmother tried to look brave but couldn’t quite manage it.  “I’m hoping she feels a lot better when we see her again.”

Nana drove me to visit Mom but didn’t want to stay herself.  “I’m sorry,” she told me as the car idled in Mom’s driveway.  “I just can’t face her.  Call me as soon as you’re ready to be picked up, or if anything seems weird.”

“I will,” I said.

Mom was excited to see me when I walked in the door, but not quite in the way I expected.  She seemed gaunt and wild – crazier than I imagined she ever could look.  I remembered our well-kept childhood home, but her new apartment was messy and barely furnished at all.  She called me by name and hugged me, then asked: “Did you bring your change of clothes?”

“Yes,” I nodded and indicated the backpack that I was carrying.  Mom had been adamant on the phone that I bring something to change into.  I thought she just didn’t want me wearing dirty clothes if I stayed over through tomorrow, but I was wrong.

“Good!” she exclaimed.  “I’ve been waiting so long to show you this!” She led me toward the back of the apartment until I saw something that made my heart skip.  In the corner of the bedroom was an undressed “shy kid” figure that was as tall as I was.  It stood with its forehead resting against the wall with both hands in its pockets.

“Did you make this?” I asked hesitantly.

“I had to!” she beamed.  “You’ve grown so much!  I couldn’t buy one this big, and I even had to ask Nana for your height.”

“It’s…it’s me?”

“It’s you!” she affirmed happily.  “Now, change out of your clothes so we can dress you!” I realized abruptly that Mom was referring to both me and the doll as “you.” We were two iterations of the same person in her mind.

“I don’t want to give the doll my clothes, Mom,” I said.  I could feel my voice shaking as her face changed from brightly excited to furious.

“Do you know how hard it was for me to keep Peter’s old shirt and pants while I was in the hospital?  I had to let them take everything else away!” She marched suddenly out of the room, and I followed her timidly.  As I turned the corner to find her, I saw that she was pulling a hunting rifle out of the hallway closet.

“You’re not supposed to have that, Mom,” I whispered.  I suddenly felt very sure that I was going to die.  She didn’t answer because she was entirely fixated on loading the rifle.  Her hands were trembling, and she fumbled while she did so.  It was then that I pushed past her and made for the door.

“How dare you!” she shrieked.  I could hear her footfalls following me.  I remembered my backpack full of spare clothes, and I threw it down before running out of the apartment.

“Keep the clothes!” I screamed and slammed the door shut behind me.  I kept running, but Mom never opened the door to pursue me.  Maybe the backpack was all she really wanted.

I got home as quickly as I could.  I jogged and slowed to a walk when the stitch in my side became too painful.  It took me over an hour to make it back to Nana’s house without a car.  We called the cops as soon as I told her what had happened, and I hadn’t heard from my mother since that night.  Nana never talked about it, and I was honestly afraid to ask her.

Nana died when I was 17, and I got myself emancipated as an adult because there was no one left in my life to take me in.  After my grandmother’s funeral, I decided to find out what really happened once and for all.

The criminal records told me everything I needed to know.  The cops couldn’t find Mom at first.  When I fled and hurried home after she brandished the rifle and demanded my clothes, Mom was alone for about an hour and a half before anyone came for her.  In that time, she must have hastily constructed her own faceless doll.  There are pictures of the apartment as it appeared when the police first arrived.

The house was empty except for three faceless dolls seated around the kitchen table.  Mom’s doll was a roughly humanoid form with stuffed pantyhose for skin and wearing mom’s best outfit.  It was posed to be slumped over at the kitchen table as though collapsed in a sobbing fit and burying its head in its hands.  Also seated at the table were two smaller dolls, positioned similarly with their heads down.  One was the teenager-sized one that represented me, and the other looked like a child.  I’m sure it was meant to be Peter.

They found her in her underwear, crushed to death in a garbage truck’s trash compactor.  I think Mom climbed into a relatively empty dumpster and waited to die.  Now that her family of dolls was perfect without her, she just threw herself away.

I went back into the older records of Mom’s criminality.  It gets so much worse.  The charges from her first arrest read as follows: interfering with a burial ground, desecration of a corpse, and attempted abduction.  Mom had been going to the cemetery and digging up bodies to dress her dolls.  Among her targets were long-dead children named Mary, Constance, Abigail, Adam, and Jeremiah.  I can sometimes see the doll’s outfits in my mind and how anachronistic they often were.  It all finally makes sense.

The police finally caught on when Mom graduated from simple graverobbing.  She apparently tried to lure a girl named Ruth into her car.  That’s when Mom went away for the first time.

I’ll always love my mother, but I can’t forgive her.  To this day, whenever I see a human form facing away from me, there’s always a split second of wondering how horrible the things I can’t see might turn out.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by David Feuling
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: David Feuling


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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