Kitsch Fixes

Kitsch Fix #58: Tormented Toys

Giant skull hung from a tree in someone's front yard and draped in bloody sheets

My pup and I dashed out the door well before nightfall on Monday and spent a solid two hours exploring the Halloween decorations around our neighborhood (camera in tow, of course). Some houses opted for very Martha-Stewart-esque wreaths and simple Jack O’Lanterns, while others decked their garages and lawns in more gruesome gear. My favorite two haunted lawns were actually within a block of each other and both featured an array of mutilated children’s toys. From stuffed animals splayed on bloody trays to severed doll heads in trees, there was something so exceptionally eerie about this use of tortured toys as Halloween decorations…

Look closely behind this pickled zombie head and you'll see that's a mutilated Sylvester stuffed animal in the background

This stuffed animal is unrecognizable with, blood stuffing, and vital organs hanging out everywhere

Paper banner of bloody, torture tools hung against black tulle - these were clearly used on poor Sylvester

Shovels and rope mark off this toy graveyard where...

A detached, antique doll head hangs in a tree

Psst: Aren’t these decorations such great displays of creativity and innovation? I love Halloween for so many reasons (including costumes and candy), but most importantly I adore the fact that it is a secular holiday that emphasizes creative things, like pumpkin carving, face painting, and haunted-house decorating. I mean, I’ve always thought there was something creepy about old toys, but thanks to the creative souls who decorated these houses I will never look at antique dolls the same way again…Do you find these mutilated toys creepy, or is it just me? Are there any holidays other than Halloween that bring out your inner craft goddess? I’d love to hear all the details! Leave a comment.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Matt November 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Those dolls heads are about to give me nightmares…thanks Jen!

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté November 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Haha, you’re oh-so-very welcome for the nightmares, Matt. 😉

  • Reply kristina@beancakes ★ November 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    hey cote! that skull is utterly scary!! as are all of these creepy toys ~ i love it!! i have to agree w. you that halloween definitely can bring out a lot of creativity indeed ~ i love all of the new ways in which people carve their pumpkins now, definitely a step up from your basic triangular eyes and jagged smiles 😉 😉 i hope that you had a great one my friend!!
    xx ~ kristina

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté November 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      I love seeing all the creative ways people carve their pumpkins now, too, Kristina. I hope you’ve had a great day free from antique doll heads. 😉

  • Reply Anna November 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    What a unique way to sprook up your yard. I have to say – de headed and blood riddled childrens toys would freak me RIGHTTTT out haha so they would be my winning pick too most likely. The other pic with the shovel looks like a graveyard which would also make me a little nervy walking past. Gosh I seriouslyyyyyy have to make sure Morgs and I make it to the U.S for at least one Halloween. We barely even acknowledge the day here in Australia (we had a few cute kid trick or treaters so had candy for them just in case luckily!) .. So glad you shared some of your photos though as I got to share in some of your Halloween – hope it was as scary as you wished it to be Jennifer 🙂

    Anna xx

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté November 3, 2011 at 12:45 am

      I’m so happy to hear you guys were able to experience Halloween through me even though it’s not a big deal on your continents, Letizia and Anna. 😉 I can definitely tell you first-hand that the toy graveyard and the severed doll’s head were very scary! BTW, I’m glad you and Morgs had some candy around just in case, Anna. Personally, I found myself wishing we’d received more trick-or-treaters so they could have taken all this candy off my hands. 😉

  • Reply letiziabarcelona November 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    I would have taken so many photos too! In Barcelona on Monday there wasn’t much decoration, except in some stores in la Rambla the famous avenue..but not much.The last pic with the head hanging at the tree is scary ! very creative, that’s for sure !

  • Reply Her Late Night Cravings November 3, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Wow, your neighbors didn’t play around when it came to decorating for Halloween! That last pic of the doll head freaks me out just a tiny bit. 😉 I enjoyed looking at your pics! You have a great blog!

    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings
    http://www.herlatenightcravings.blogspot.com/

  • Reply Jennifer Fabulous November 3, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Wow your neighborhood certainly celebrated Halloween in style!! For some reason the folks around here (KCMO) don’t really go all out. That’s a shame. I love the decorations you showed here. 🙂

    I love helping my mom decorate her house for Christmas. Something about Christmas decorations makes me feel really cozy inside. That’s really corny, but I’m afraid I had no other way to describe it. Haha!

    I hope you’re having a great week!

  • Reply Tamara Noor November 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    What a sad fate for these toys…

    xo,
    Tamara Noor
    http://www.tamaranoor.com

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté November 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks so much for the photo love, Mendi and Tamara! 🙂

    Miss Jennifer, I know exactly what you mean about the “cozy factor” of Christmas decorations. I didn’t go home to my mom’s for Christmas last year, so I feel like this year I have a whole lot of cookie baking/frosting and tree decorating to make up for. 😉

    Thank you for all your thoughtful comments, ladies and gents!

  • Reply Kitsch Fix #71: Island of Misfit Toys | coté writes May 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    […] and creepy at the same time. Toys can be very eerie after all – just check out these doll Halloween decorations if you need proof – and I couldn’t help thinking of how scary it would be to weave […]

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